Online:Vastarie

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Vastarie
Location Tower of Vastarie, Laeloria, Grahtwood
Ashen Scar, Northern Elsweyr
Race Altmer Gender Female
Reaction Friendly
Vastarie

Vastarie is an Altmer wizard who can be found in her mansion, the Tower of Vastarie, near Laeloria in Grahtwood. She is a priestess of Azura. Her husband was Telacar, also a powerful wizard. They had a son, Calion.

She can also be found in Northern Elsweyr at the entrance to the Ashen Scar, where she requests help to keep the undead Khajiiti at bay.

Related Quests[edit]

Quest Related Events[edit]

Eyes of Azura[edit]

Inside Laeloria, you and Irrai will encounter the still very alive and very angry Vastarie. You learn that Irrai once betrayed the wizard and lured her into this trap, as she planned to do with you. Help her battle the treacherous Daedra. When sufficiently hurt, the winged twilight will try to escape and Vastarie follows her around the room to finally pin her down. While she is holding Irrai on the ground, she wants to tell you something:

"The sigil geode! Do you still have it?"
Yes, I do. Why?
"Touching the Sigil Geode to Irrai's forehead will absorb her soul. It's the only way we'll ever leave this place."
Why is that?
"If she dies outside of that stone, we'll spend the next century counting the tiles in this place.
I noted thirty-two thousand seven hundred and eight. But you're welcome to check my figures."
That doesn't explain why I should trap Irrai.
"In the depths of this ruin is a portal leading straight to Coldharbour. We can only close it from the other side.
Once in Coldharbour, we'll have no hope of escape unless Irrai is inside that stone. Quickly, I can't keep this up for long!

You can choose to either imprison her in the geode as Vastarie tells you, or kill her outright. If you choose to imprison her, Vastarie will approach you and explain why it was necessary:

"I'm not one to hope any creature suffers, but with Irrai I'll make an exception. She can spend eternity in the sigil geode, for all I care."
Why was it so important to trap Irrai?
"Irrai is bound to her tablet. While she's within the sigil geode, we can use her as a tether to escape from Coldharbour. If I hadn't been so quick to destroy her those years ago, my companions would still be alive. Come, we must retrieve Culanwe."

If you decide to kill Irrai (Vastarie is forever trapped in Coldharbour) Vastarie will exclaim, "What have you done!" and approach you:

"Do you understand what you've done? Without Irrai in the sigil geode, we're stuck here!"
Molag Bal's servants can't use it to escape if we fall.
"I … yes. Quite pragmatic. Forgive my frustration, I haven't spoken with another person in years.
But we'll have time for conversation later. Come, we must retrieve Culanwe."

Regardless of the fate you decide for Irrai, Vastarie will then return the conversation to the issue of releasing Culanwe:

Where can we find Culanwe?
"At the base of these ruins is the hole her torment tears between worlds. But the moment we enter, Molag Bal's servants are likely to sense our presence.
I'd have long ago made the attempt myself, if I had anywhere to flee."
How can we close the portal?
We must find Culanwe and free her from whatever cruel device causes her so much pain. Doing so should end her torment. When she no longer cries out, the rift between Coldharbour and Laeloria should close.
I hope.
Let's go.
I kept this library clear of Daedra, but the chambers beyond are home to a variety of the creatures.
It may be best to avoid them.

Accompanied by Vastarie now, press your way trough the ruin until you eventually reach the portal to Coldharbour. Follow the wizard trough the portal.

Hero to the Rescue[edit]

On the other side you will find Vastarie and a summoned skeleton in a battle with several Dremora. Advancing further you will find an elaborate platform with an altar, upon which Culanwe's remains have been placed, while Culanwe's soul is held and being tortured above. Her soul is kept imprisoned by the energy emanating from two crystals flanking the platform. Vastarie will instruct you to destroy the soul pinions binding Culanwe's soul to the altar. Be aware that they are not undefended; as soon as you approach each pinion, three Dremora will ambush you.

After you have shattered the crystals, climb up the stairs to the altar and collect Culanwe's remains in order to take them back to Nirn. Return to Vastarie to discuss your exit strategy:

"We've done it. We freed Culanwe from her torment.
It was worth the wait."
If the portal is closed, how do we get back?
"Irrai brought us both through the seal. It's only fitting she bring us back.
I can use the sigil geode to trace her soul back, and then it's a simple matter to open a portal. Are you ready?"
I am.
"Then prepare yourself. Departing Coldharbour is never easy."

You will find yourself and the wizard outside the entrance to Laeloria, next to the Twilit Heart. It is about time to depart, so have a farewell chat with her:

"It is good to stand beneath the sky once more. To feel the breeze upon my skin.
And I wouldn't have made it here without you. My home is always open to you, should you care to visit.
How long were you trapped in Laeloria?
"Eighty-eight years, three months, eleven days. Thirteen hours. Seven minutes."
That's very precise.
"All right, I'm showing off. I used a simple spell to mark the time. It was the first thing I did when I realized I was trapped.
It's not entirely precise, so I had to guess the minutes."
What will you do, now?
"Clear my tower of Daedra, for one. Memorialize my companions who did not return. Organize my effects.
Then, I'll find out what has transpired in this world since I left. I have some catching up to do.
Your companions?
"I opened my home to many I met in my travels. A young Redguard swordsman, a scarred Wood Elf hunter, a Psijic outcast … I can still hear their voices.
But that was ninety years ago. Those not killed by the Daedra must have fled.
Will you be staying at your tower?
"For a time, though I expect my attention shall be drawn elsewhere soon enough.
There was something different in Coldharbour. The air was a little too full, the fires too bright."
You speak as though you've been there before.
"Molag Bal's corner of Oblivion holds many secrets. I plundered several from his halls, a lifetime ago.
Did you know, I did it to impress a boy? What a fool I was.
What boy was worth traveling to Coldharbour?
"Telacar. A powerful mage, brilliant, always focused upon his work … hardly striking, though such things never mattered to me. It took my escapade in Coldharbour to convince him there were adventurous women outside of his books.
But that was long ago."

If you already solved the quest The Unquiet Dead, you will get now some dialogue options related to how you solved it. If you did not, she might hint you to that quest now.

The Witch of Azurah[edit]

While you are in Northern Elsweyr, you may meet Vastarie at the entrance to the Ashen Scar. As you approach she will murmur, "Azura. Is this truly the path you set me on?"

When you speak with her she'll introduce herself:

"A fellow wanderer on the path. Greetings. I'm Vastarie.
If you plan to explore the Ashen Scar, I'd advise caution. Some dark intention has this canyon in a vise-grip. An inopportune time for a visit, hmm? Then again, perhaps we're meant to be here."
What's going on in the Ashen Scar, exactly?
"An undead awakening—as intense as it is unstable.
The corpses emerge in fits and starts, for now. But I can sense more stirring below. Hundreds more. If left unchecked, these creatures may spill out into larger Elsweyr. Perhaps even lands beyond."
Maybe I can help.
"Yes, maybe you can.
I find myself having difficulty focusing. If the force that reanimates these corpses exerts pressure on the mind as well … that would be profoundly unsettling. I intend to search these ruins for answers. Will you join me?"
Yes, I'll help you investigate this undead awakening.
"I'm glad to have your company. As I said, something about this place puts me ill at ease.
Now, are you ready to proceed?"
I don't have any questions. Let's set out.
"Excellent. Let's be on our way, then."

Otherwise, you can ask her some questions:

I remember you, Vastarie. We worked together once before, in Grahtwood. (If Eyes of Azura is complete)
"We did indeed.
I recognized you, of course, but I find that reunions can get a bit awkward if one party doesn't recall the other. I'm glad I made an impression. You certainly did. I'd still be bumbling around Coldharbour if not for you and Azura."
is there an alternate way to get the Khajiiti worship of Azurah discussion
That's right. You serve the Daedric Prince, Azura, right?
"The very same. I find that title rather coarse, but ultimately, titles tell more about the speaker than they do about the subject, wouldn't you agree?
In these lands, she is called Azurah—Queen of the Night Sky, and mother to all Khajiit."
Why do you worship Azura instead of the Divines, again?
"Love. With Azura, everything begins with love. A love that is fierce, possessive, even cruel—but always true, and impossibly deep.
I mean no offense, but worshiping the dead gods always struck me as a fantastically dull and unfulfilling tradition."
And the Khajiit worship her too?
"Yes, though not as fervently as they once did.
A prophet named Rid-Thar-ri'Datta revealed the secrets of the Riddle'thar to the Khajiit some years back, essentially creating a child's religion that sanded down the sharper edges of Khajiiti theology."
That seems to upset you.
"I always hate to see a rich tradition usurped by a flimsy one, but ultimately it's the Khajiit's choice.
What matters is that Azura loves them. And what my lady loves, she always reclaims. Eventually."
What can you tell me about this place, the Ashen Scar?
"It's the site of an ancient Khajiiti temple to Azura—the Temple of the Hidden Moon. I conducted some research on the temple before I set out from Grahtwood, but didn't find much.
Something happened here that the Khajiit aren't keen to dredge up."
Something related to the undead?
"Undoubtedly.
What little scholarship I did find referred to a sprawling nest of catacombs beneath the temple, filled with Khajiiti dead. The adepts of the Hidden Moon watched over them, I think. Beyond that, there's nothing."
So if we learn about these Hidden Moon adepts, we might find the source of the awakening?
"That's the hope, yes.
Azura's influence runs deep here—deeper even than whatever malevolent force stirred up the undead. She'll guide us to the answers. Of that I have no doubt."

Disturbance in the Ashen Scar[edit]

Once you are ready to move on, she will begin to lead you into the Ashen Ruins while explaining the history of the place. She will then sense something:

Vastarie : "The Hidden Moon Temple stands at the very center of the Ashen Scar. The adepts who lived there vanished centuries ago, but the air still crackles with arcane energy. Necromantic energy."
Vastarie : "But there's more. A malice that— By Azura, that sound!"
Vastarie : "Wait, my friend. Wait!"

You can then talk to her to see what is wrong:

"Forgive me. I didn't expect to face such resistance."
Are you all right?
"Yes. And no.
It felt as though I was struck blind and deaf, save for the sound of a beating heart. I think something tried to drive me back, then relented and tried to claim me instead. There's an intention to it. A greed and a hunger."
What should we do?
"You seem unaffected. Good. I can't go any farther. Not until I understand the nature of this event.
Take these descrying stones and place them throughout the canyon. They'll allow me to perceive this threat from a distance."
All right, I'll place these descrying stones.
"The three stones act in concert, so be sure to place them in a broad pattern that encompasses the whole area.
Now, you should set out. The sooner you place the descrying stones, the sooner I can locate the source of this evil."

You can ask her about the stones and necromancy:

Does necromantic energy always affect you this way?
"No, not at all.
Truth be told, necromancy is my primary area of expertise. The study of souls, to be more specific. I trust that won't be a problem?"
I guess that depends. What is necromancy, exactly?
"The magical art of reanimating and communing with the dead. Most people find its coercive aspects abhorrent—I certainly wouldn't argue with that. Necromancy doesn't have to include thralldom.
In any event, I hope you aren't too troubled by it."
It sounds evil to me.
"I'm sorry you feel that way, but truthfully, I don't blame you. We necromancers have a very poor track record when it comes to moral leadership.
Even so, I hope that in working together, I can change your mind."
I don't have any objections.
"I'm glad to hear it. Though, I wouldn't blame you if you did. We haven't exactly covered ourselves in glory in recent times.
I hope you'll trust me when I say my intentions aren't evil. Not explicitly so, anyway."
I don't have any objections to necromancy.
"I'm glad to hear it. Though, I wouldn't blame you if you did. We haven't exactly covered ourselves in glory in recent times.
I hope you'll trust me when I say my intentions aren't evil. Not explicitly so, anyway.'
It is a problem. Necromancy is evil.
"I'm sorry you feel that way, but truthfully, I don't blame you. We necromancers have a very poor track record when it comes to moral leadership.
Even so, I hope that in working together, I can change your mind."

If the player is a Necromancer:

I don't have any objections. I'm a necromancer myself.
"So you are. I only hope that you're using your skills for the betterment of Tamriel. Necromancy often makes a meal of less disciplined mages. It's a school fraught with temptations.
Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know."
What are these descrying stones, exactly?
"An experiment of mine. Expended soul gems re-infused with the smallest trace of my own spiritual essence.
They allow me to perceive the world as lingering spirits do—making the invisible flow of animus and magicka visible."
How will that will help us?
"Well, for one thing, they'll allow me to conduct my search from far away. No small thing, given what just occurred.
Once I see the flow of magicka in this place, I should be able to trace the corrupt energies back to their source."
And finding this source will allow us to stop the undead?
"Perhaps. I hope so.
At the very least, it will give us a fuller sense of what we're dealing with here."

Place the first descrying stone and you'll hear her voice echo in your head:

Vastarie : "Excellent. My sight grows clearer. I see a maze of catacombs below. Undead rise there too. And something else."

Placing the second stone:

Vastarie : "The corruption here is just suffocating. Like a dark fog rising from below, bidding the dead to serve."

And the third:

Vastarie : "Good. I sense … yes, some kind of wards infused into the architecture, though weakened by the march of time. Someone tried to prevent this."

Once you have placed all of the descrying stones, she will have pinpointed one of the sources of dark energy:

Vastarie : "Ah, there's a concentration of dark energy in the exposed tomb at the center of the Scar. Meet me there."

Tomb of the Hidden Moon[edit]

You can then head over to the Tomb of the Hidden Moon, when inside you will see that she is in some trouble:

Vastarie : "The orb! Destroy it! Quickly!"

Once you destroy the orb, the Lich Arum-Khal appears and threatens the pair of you before vanishing. You can then discuss what just occurred:

"Thank you for acting quickly, friend. The situation appears much worse than I thought.
The being you just encountered—it was the shade of a dark lich. An undead Khajiit possessing unimaginable power. You just shattered one of his phylacteries."
Phylactery?
"A focus—like an arcane vessel or container.
Think of the stones I gave you earlier. Those contain a sliver of my essence, but nothing of what makes me who I am. Phylacteries contain much larger fragments of the soul. Powerful, but dangerous tools."
But I destroyed it.
"You destroyed one, yes, and the shade simply taunted us. There must be others.
If we're to have any hope of stopping this lich, we'll have to find and destroy all of them. A daunting prospect. They're probably well-hidden."
We'll find them.
"I admire your optimism … unfounded though it may be.
Did you notice the body near the orb? He met his end recently. I intend to find out what he knows. Place this stone in the center of the room. It should ease the summoning process."
Wait, you're going to raise him from the dead?
"No. Nothing so complicated. I mean only to open the door for his spirit to speak to us. An invitation to converse, nothing more.
He may appear, he may not. But I think he'll want us to know what he learned, for vengeance's sake if nothing else."
It still seems wrong.
"Your kindness does you credit, but we can't afford to pass over an opportunity like this. This lich will make very few mistakes.
I promise you, if the soul cries out for relief or escape, I'll grant it without hesitation."
Can we force him to tell us what we want to know?
"That's within my power, yes. But I never coerce mortal souls. That path leads to avarice and horror. No thank you.
Azura teaches that a thing is only valuable if it's given freely. Truth extracted like a rotten tooth is just an accurate lie."
How will this stone help?
"It will amplify my senses, just like before. Finding one soul among millions is no small feat.
Summoning rituals require extreme precision, friend. Darker things than mortal souls wait for summons, too. In necromancy, even small mistakes are fatal."
Is there anything else I need to do?
"It will take all my concentration to maintain the ritual, so the questioning falls to you.
I ask only that you proceed quickly. As I said before, an open door to spirit realm can draw unwelcome attention. So, be concise, all right?"

Once you palce the stone next to Malizaz, Vastarie will begin the ritual:

Vastarie : "Stand back."
Vastarie : "Mithralas elanthanal cueridanare!"
Malizaz : "Where am—? You! You must … you must listen!"
Vastarie : "Speak with him. Quickly."

Once Malizaz tells you how he was killed by the Lich and used to power his minions, Malizaz will start to fade:

Malizaz : "No more! Release me! Please!"
Vastarie : "Azura have mercy on him. I'd say he learned his lesson."

When you talk with her, she will recognize the name of Arum-Khal:

"Well done. I had hoped to glean a bit more, but that name is enough. Arum-Khal, the dro-m'Athra. Arum-Khal, the Moon-Slayer.
Mages whisper his name as they do that of the Worm-King, Mannimarco. I thought him long gone. Seems I was wrong."
What should we do now?
"Whatever wards the disciples of this temple put in place to keep Arum-Khal bound are failing, and it's unlikely we'll find the means to mend them.
We'll have to deal with this threat head on. For that, I need your help."

You will then receive some gold and a pair of boots.

Path of the Hidden Moon[edit]

If your conversation with her doesn't continue immediately, she can be heard to say, "This temple holds the answers, I know it."

When you talk with her, she will speak more of Arum-Khal and speculate on his link to the Hidden Moon Temple:

"The Khajiiti spirit called Arum-Khal the Dark Adept and the ancient defiler. Could Arum-Khal's fate and the fate of the Hidden Moon adepts be intertwined?"
The Hidden Moon adepts?
"The former residents of the Hidden Moon Temple. They vanished centuries ago, but the ruins of their sanctuary remain.
If they managed to seal a lich like Arum-Khal away, they clearly possessed skills and techniques we can use."
Do you think any of their knowledge remains?
"Yes. Probably. Memories run deep in places like this, and where there are memories, there are spirits. Helpful ones, I hope. With any luck, one of them will answer our questions.
Now, it's a long climb to the temple summit. Are you prepared?"
Yes, I'm ready to go investigate the temple.
"I'm going to take a moment to make sure we didn't miss anything here. I'll meet you at the temple summit soon. Unless you needed something?"
What makes Arum-Khal more dangerous than other liches?
"Well, for starters, he's more than just a lich. He is also a dro-m'Athra."
A dro-m'Athra?
"Yes. Sticks in the throat a bit, doesn't it?
Dro-m'Athra means something like dark spirit in the Khajiiti tongue. But I think that definition falls woefully short of describing them accurately."
What are they, exactly?
"Something unique.
Some mages believe they're Daedra who serve the dark Prince, Namira. Others contend that the dro-m'Athra are just mortal Khajiiti souls held in her thrall. Neither definition sounds right to me."
What do you mean?
"There are things about Khajiiti souls that even I, a master of soul conjuring, don't understand.
For instance, only Khajiit can become dro-m'Athra. This indicates there's some hidden capacity or dreadful flaw unique to the race. A duality."
A duality?
"Yes. A tension between two opposing natures. A choice of some kind that no other race has to make.
It's a fascinating puzzle. If we survive this—and that is a significant if—I intend to give it my undivided attention."
Can you tell me more about the Temple of the Hidden Moon?
"I know little more than what I've already told you. I can guess its age from the state of the masonry and the religious motifs, I suppose. Early First Era, perhaps?
The Hidden Moon adepts venerated Azura above other deities—that much is clear."
Do you know the significance of the name? The Hidden Moon?
"Well, modern Khajiiti teachings claim a third moon appears in the sky to usher in the birth of a new Mane—the spiritual leader of the Khajiit.
Perhaps there was a time when it meant something else?"
Something related to Azura?
"That would make sense.
My lady carries a single moon in her right hand, and legends speak of her parting the Tamrielic moons, Masser and Secunda, with a whisper. Stands to reason that she might hold dominion over this third Hidden Moon, too."
What is a lich, exactly?/Can you tell me more about liches?
"Lichdom is a state of being. The most sophisticated form of undeath.
While lesser necromancers busy themselves with other people's souls, liches turn inward, manipulating their own soul to gain power and extend their life."
How does it work?
"This is just academic curiosity, right? Because I can't overstate the risks.
To become a lich, the necromancer must press their soul through an arcane vessel called a phylactery. This requires a lifetime of study, mind you, and fierce power of will."
How does that make the mage more powerful?
"Souls contain tremendous power, but they place certain checks on mortal will. Divesting the two—soul and mortal form—removes these boundaries. The effect is a virtually limitless magical horizon.
The process extracts a heavy toll, of course."
What's that?
"Traveling through the phylactery can tear a lich's psyche apart, resulting in madness. Long separation from one's soul can lead to apathy and megalomania, as well.
In almost all cases, lichdom becomes a curse in very short order."
Do you know any liches?
"A few.
We should get back to the task at hand."

Temple Summit[edit]

Once you make it to the summit, Vastarie will be waiting:

Vastarie : "Ah, you've arrived. I sense there's a great deal to uncover here."

If you talk to her, she will mention she can feel a spirit nearby:

"It's as I thought. Spirits cling to practically every stone up here. Some more sociable than others. One in particular … it feels welcoming, but old. Wary.
Have a look around. With any luck, at least one of these entities will present itself."

Read The Tale of Three Moons and Vastarie will comment:

Vastarie : "Hmm. Some kind of Khajiiti children's tale?"
<Mazza-Mirri appears where the book once was.>
Mazza-Mirri : "You know better than that, witch of Azurah."
Vastarie : "Greetings, spirit. We've come in good faith."
Mazza-Mirri : "Very well. Who is this youth who travels with you, I wonder? Come, child. Let old Mazza-Mirri have a look at you."

You can ask Vastarie what an Alfiq is:

"An elderly Alfiq? That's a stroke of good fortune. Few Khajiit speak with more wisdom than an Alfiq Clan Mother.
Speak with her, but try to be diplomatic. Remember, we're the intruders."
What's an Alfiq, again? Is this for Non-Khajiit characters
"The smallest furstock of the Khajiit. Most are blessed with strong magical aptitude and the gift of foresight.
Of course, gifts like that can turn a skillful liar into a master deceiver. So, listen carefully. I'll do the same."
You think she'll lie to us?
"No. But a small measure of skepticism certainly can't hurt.
Come. Let's see what she wants to tell you."

After you have introduced yourself to Mazza-Mirri, Vastarie will begin to follow you around as you find the teaching stone:

"Well, we did come here for a history lesson. We'd best do what she says, for now."
Is this Alfiq really a spirit? She seems like flesh and blood to me.
"Ha! Surely you've been in the adventuring business long enough to know that looks can be deceiving.
I don't understand her precise nature. Not yet, anyway. But she's flush with spiritual power. Don't take her for granted."

Vastarie will comment on each stone you read: Stone of Banishment and she'll comment:

Vastarie : "So, the adepts acted as soul shepherds? Ushering true souls to paradise, and bent souls to this Great Darkness. Hmm. Quite a task."

At the Stone of Commitment she'll say:

Vastarie : "So, the adepts charged themselves with defending the liminal border between this world and Oblivion—the Lunar Lattice, as they saw it. Gatekeepers, of a sort. Intriguing."

And finally read the Stone of Atonement and she'll conclude:

Vastarie : "I see. The Hidden Moon adepts practiced a form of necromancy here, pressing the souls of their corrupted kin into service so that they might be redeemed. Fascinating."

If you talk with her, she will sum up what you have learnt:

"So, these Hidden Moon adepts used necromancy to guide and redeem lost Khajiiti souls. Seems their good intentions had unintended consequences.
Now that we know the Hidden Moon adepts' story, maybe Mazza-Mirri will agree to help us."

After speaking to Mazza-Mirri she'll tell you to do as the spirit says:

"I think we can trust this Mazza-Mirri. Do as she asks and learn what you can.
I'm going to head back to the tomb where you destroyed the phylactery. I can't shake the feeling that we missed something. We'll meet again soon. Azura guide you."

Back at the Tomb[edit]

After you pass the tests and locate the Moonlight Blade and the Warrior Shando-ri, you can find a winding passage which leads you back to the Tomb of the Hidden Moons. When you jump down, Vastarie will be surprised to see you:

Vastarie : "Oh! Welcome back."
Shando-ri : "A witch of Azurah? Hmm. You bring worthy allies to this battle, sword-wielder."
Vastarie : "And you've made a new friend, I see. Excellent."

You can then ask her if she learnt anything new:

"I didn't gather up any ancient spirits, like you. But, I did make a vital discovery.
In studying the phylactery you destroyed, I identified three more orbs hidden deep within the temple catacombs. We should make destroying them a priority."
Good. We can destroy them, and Arum-Khal, with this weapon—the Moonlight Blade.
"The Moonlight Blade, eh? And I assume this spirit bound himself to the sword somehow? Fascinating.
With this blade, and a wise spirit guiding us, we finally have a real chance at defeating Arum-Khal. Well done, my friend."

The Moonlight Blade[edit]

As you approach her, she will have a suggestion, "We should examine that blade of yours. It could be the key to all this."

When you talk with her, Vastarie will quickly have an idea:

"Azura's will resonates within that Moonlight Blade, but it's so faint. Like a voice at the far end of a darkened hallway … or the other side of a stone door.
That's it! This sword, Arum-Khal's phylacteries—they're not vessels. They're gateways!"
What do you mean, gateways?
"I told you before, Arum-Khal's phylactery felt different, somehow. Cavernous. Now I see, it wasn't a vessel. It was a gate to another realm. A realm of horror that he controls.
This Moonlight Blade serves as a gate, too. A door to the afterlife."
Shando-ri told me the enchantment on the blade needs to be restored.
"Hmm. Something about the enchantment—it's purposeful. Its strength seems tied to your new friend's will to serve. Fighting the undead with the sword near to hand might be enough to restore it.
We'll need it fully charged to defeat Arum-Khal."
All right, I'll keep the sword close while I fight undead.
"The undead outside should provide the power you need. If you strike them down, I'm confident the sword and the spirit within will do the rest.
You should share this with … Shando-ri, was it? I doubt he'll object. He seems more than ready to fight."

Before you tell Shando-ri the plan,you can ask her some questions about the Blade and Arum-Khal:

You said the sword and the phylacteries are both gates. What did you mean?
"The world you see is just a small fraction of all that is, my friend. Realms of Oblivion, pocket dimensions, the Aetherial plane …. The Aurbis is incomprehensibly vast, but many pathways between realms do exist here in Tamriel."
If Arum-Khal's orbs and the sword are gates between realms, where do they lead?
"A good question. The Moonlight Blade clearly ushers Khajiiti souls from one fate to another. The Great Darkness of Namira, or Khajiiti paradise, whatever that might be."
Why do you say it like that?
"The Riddle'thar cult would have them believe that Khenarthi, the wind god, whisks their souls away to the Sands Behind the Stars—a sugary paradise. I have my doubts.
The Hidden Moon adepts revere Azura. I suspect they send redeemed Khajiit to her."
And where do Arum-Khal's orbs lead?
"Somewhere else entirely. If my suspicions are correct, they connect to a plane of his own making. A twilight place where only dark spirits can thrive.
To conjure up an entire plane of existence …. It's an ambition that few mages have realized."
Do you really think the Moonlight Blade can destroy Arum-Khal?
"I can't be sure, but the theory seems sound.
The Hidden Moon's sword can draw souls from one realm, and banish them to others. If anything can pry Arum-Khal away from his source of power and destroy him, it would be a weapon like that."
Are you comfortable with destroying a soul like Arum-Khal's?
"Comfortable? No, of course not. But life is full of little concessions.
By all accounts, pride and malice corrupted Arum-Khal's soul completely. He's beyond redemption. That doesn't leave us many options."
What do you think would happen if we failed?
"I really can't be sure. If his hatred of Azura runs as deep as Mazza-Mirri thinks, he might rain down miseries upon her followers, or seek to collapse her Lunar Lattice.
In either case, the suffering here on Nirn would be unimaginable."

Azurah's Gate[edit]

Once you've charged the Moonlight Blade, you can head to Azurah's Gate, there will be some issues however:

Vastarie : "We may have a problem. This gate won't budge. Speak to Shando-ri, would you?"

Also Vastarie isn't doing as well in such proximity to Arum-Khal:

"Even I, a faithful servant of Azura, can't open a door bearing her likeness. More than a little frustrating, I can tell you."
Are you feeling all right?
"Honestly? No. I feel like my bones are about to burst out of my skin.
I had hoped to aid you in the fight, but I fear my health will decline even further once we enter the temple. A result of my peculiar condition, I guess."
Your condition?
"Haven't you guessed? I'm not, strictly speaking, alive. I mask it with complex illusions, but yes. There you are.
It makes me powerful, but here, it also makes me vulnerable. If I lose focus for even a moment, Arum-Khal's will could dominate me."
Should I be worried?
"What? About me turning on you? No. Not yet, anyway. Despite all the horrors we've witnessed, Arum-Khal hasn't reclaimed his full power yet. Hmm. I meant for that to sound encouraging.
My will is strong enough to keep him at bay. You have my word."

After you speak with Shando-ri, Vastarie will be curious to see the blade at work:

"So, the Moonlight Blade opens physical doors, as well? Fascinating. Go on, sword-wielder. I'm keen to see how this works."

Hidden Moon Crypts[edit]

Once inside the Hidden Moon Crypts, Shando-ri and Vastarie will go over the plan of attack:

Shando-ri : "Witch of Azurah, where will we find the Dark Adept's orbs?"
Vastarie : "His corrupt stench billows out of the northern vault. But darkness gathers to the east and west, too."
Shando-ri : "Then we strike east and west. Destroying those orbs should weaken Arum-Khal before our final attack."
Vastarie : "I can't risk approaching him while he remains at full strength. I'll do what I can from here. Azura guide you, my friends."

Vastarie will elect to stay behind and prevent any escapes:

"I'll remain here to ensure no more dark spirits escape.
I know your souls well, now—yours and Shando-ri's. If I sense you've fallen into serious peril, I'll come to your aid. You have my word."

Once you have destroyed both of the orbs, Vastarie will speak in your head:

Vastarie : "Well done! Destroying the orbs diminished Arum-Khal's power, but I don't know for how long. You have to strike now!"

After Arum-Khal physical form is slain, Shando-ri will hesitate at the critical moment. This leads to Arum-Khal's spirit dragging him into his realm with him. Vastarie will then teleport in:

Vastarie : "I arrive too late. Damn! The veil is paper thin near the orb, friend. Use the Moonlight Blade! It might allow you to widen the breach."

Once you have opened the breach with the Blade:

Vastarie : "You can still catch him if you act quickly!"

Arum-Khal's Realm[edit]

Once you have destroyed the Dark Spirit of Arum-Khal, the realm will begin to collapse while you try to flee with Shando-ri. You will then hear some familiar voices:

Mazza-Mirri : "You must not, Witch. Arum-Khal was his realm. Now it collapses."
Vastarie : "No. I can find them!"
Shando-ri : "There. A portal!"
Vastarie : "We haven't much time! Reach for me!"
Shando-ri : "Do not worry for me, friend. Go!"
Mazza-Mirri : "Shando … he will not make it."
Vastarie : "Don't despair. I won't abandon them!"

Next to the nearly created portal will be the spectral form of Vastarie holding it open.

Light out of Dark[edit]

When you emerge from the portal back in the Ashen Scar, Vastarie and Mazza-Mirri will be there:

Mazza-Mirri : "There! They emerge!"
Vastarie : "No. I lost Shando-ri. I am sorry."
Mazza-Mirri : "You have nothing to apologize for. I trained Shando to face the Dark. He will find his way. I am certain of it."

You can then speak with Vastarie, at your question about Shando-ri, she will reveal she may be able to do something:

"You return, victorious! What a relief. From this side of the portal, I could only see white flames slashing through the shadows. Even so, I'm confident you sundered Arum-Khal's spirit.
I am sorry about Shando-ri. I just couldn't reach far enough."
Is there no way to save him? He said the realm was collapsing.
"There may be one way, though it's not without risk.
Arum-Khal's realm is one of absolute darkness. If I reach out for sparks of light, I may be able to gather enough to reconstitute Shando-ri's soul."
What's the risk?
"Your friend's soul is so thoroughly shattered, I can't be sure that what I'm gathering is actually Shando-ri. Any sliver of spirit that's free of Arum-Khal's corruption will come through as well.
Summoning unknown spirits is not always wise."
Are you willing to take the risk?
"Of course I am.
When I give you the signal, hold the Moonlight Blade aloft. I'll draw the spiritual fragments through the sword, then send them on to realms beyond. Be ready to act if something other than Shando appears, all right?"
All right. I'll lift the Moonlight Blade.
Vastarie : "Stand in the ritual circle and raise the Moonlight Blade. I will do the rest."

Move to the glowing ritual circle and raise the Moonlight Blade, Vastarie will then perform the ritual:

Vastarie : "Lost and shattered light, come forth! Cast off your shadows and heed my call!"
<Shando's spirit appears.>
Shando-ri : "Shando-ri is whole? Azurah shows me mercy."
<Arum-Khal's spirit appears as well.>
Arum-Khal : "Shando … is that you?"
Shando-ri : "Yes, brother. It's time to go home."
Arum-Khal : "It's so dark. I can't …."
Shando-ri : "Come. I will show you the way."

After the ritual is a success, she will be heartened:

"So, Arum-Khal wasn't beyond redemption after all. That's heartening.
If a creature like the Dark Adept can rediscover the light, perhaps other lost souls can do the same."
So, what happens now?
"I think I'll stay here a while. The adepts of the Hidden Moon still have a great deal to teach us, it seems.
As for you, the Moonlight Blade remains in your care. Wield it justly, and never forget what we accomplished here. Azura guide you, friend."

Once you have received your reward, she will tell you about her immediate plans:

"We may have sundered and redeemed Arum-Khal, but his thralls remain. Ushering those spirits back to Oblivion will keep me busy for some time.
As for you, you have Azura's eye now. She'll guide you to glory. You need only listen."
So, Shando-ri was really able to redeem Arum-Khal?
"It appears so. With our help, of course.
You should be very proud, my friend. Bringing a person so thoroughly corrupted back to the light is practically unheard of."
But how did it happen?
"My conjuring ritual drew every speck of light from Arum-Khal's realm of darkness. It appears that beneath all that evil, some kernel of Arum-Khal's better nature remained intact. A discovery as startling as it is uplifting."
Where did he and Shando-ri go?
"On to the next life, I suppose. Perhaps to my lady, Azura, herself.
Wherever they go, they go together. And that is an encouraging thought. Well done, my friend."

Heir of Anequina[edit]

If you helped out Vastarie at the Ashen Scar beforehand, she will attend the coronation ceremony at the Rimmen Palace.

"Ah, my friend. It is good to see you. This is a welcome change of pace, don't you think? Shining faces, regal attire ….
After our time in the Ashen Scar, I could use some pomp and pageantry."
It is something. How are things going in the Ashen Scar?
"Very well indeed! Mazza-Mirri has taught me a great deal since the redemption of Arum-Khal.
If not for my friendship with you, I'm not sure she would have trusted me. It seems that everyone who associates with you makes out well in the end, hmm?"
Let's hope so. What do you think of Khamira?
"She seems very wise for her age, and wise rulers rule well.
I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can judge a person by the company they keep. The fact that both you and Gharesh-ri vouch for her speaks volumes. She will make an excellent queen."

Notes[edit]

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