Winterhold/ Mage´s College/Arch-mage Quarters.
Kulkrein, the Arch-mage of the College of Winterhold, was not the typical image of mages that the population of Skyrim had. Far from it.
Standing on eight feet height and built like a slightly hunched Orsimer Berserker, Kulkrein was an imposing visage, although he was of the race of Men; he was Atmoran, from the original conquerors of Skyrim, that sailed from the lands of Atmora of old and colonized Skyrim during the Merethic Era. Kullkrein had a shoulder length crimson red hair and a middle beard; orange red, bear like, eyes and very sharp and marked facial features, product of the thousands of years that he has lived as Werebear. His nose was bigger than the usual and the tips of his fangs peeked from the edges of his lips. In all, he was not precisely handsome, but more rugged and bestial, something that has caused him a lot of problems over the centuries and the reason why he always wore a mask or a hood in public.
Old habits die hard, and since his teenager years, Kulkrein has been wearing the mask of the Dragon Cult. He was a Dragon Priest after all, a very unorthodox one, but Dragon Priest nonetheless. Although the Cult of the Dragon was supposed extinct for good since the First Era, Kulkrein was the last Dragon Priest and unless Akatosh had other plans, he was going to be wandering the Eras for a long time. Kulkrein was pretty sure that the day that he will kick the bucket, both Daedra and Aedra are going to have a heated debate about where on Oblivion did his soul belong.
And it would be quite the conundrum.
Akatosh, Kyne, Talos, Shor, Dibella, Mara, Julianos, Zenithar, Hircine, Sanguine, Meridia, Namira, Sheogorath, Jyggalagand Malacath; all could claim his soul. Long life, only means more messing ups with the wrong entities, and at this point, he has meet, fought and meddle with all the superior entities of this world.
Enjoying a lazy afternoon, The Arch-mage was lazily sitting on a reinforced chair, reading a copy of Mannimarco, the King of Worms; the book that told, very sketchily, the ideas of Mannimarco, however, it carried a description of a potent Akaviri potion that Kulkrein was testing in the nearby Alchemy station. He has carefully mixed the ingredients, and now was a matter of letting the mixture boil for a while, once the liquid had changed color and it started bubbling, he would have to add a pinch of Frost Salts and let the poison stabilize before it could be of use.
Having a lot of time, until the potion reached the adequate state, he started to reminiscence a lot of the events that he has been participant of; voluntarily or forced; during his long and convoluted existence.
After all, he has been around since the Merethic Era when he accompanied Ysgrammor in the first colony of the Atmoran in Skyrim. He was part of the Dragon Priest that accompanied the expedition and along some other fellow Dragon Priest collaborated in the foundation of Saarthal and then continued traveling deep into the Continent.
Alcyone days those, until the betrayal of the Snow Elves and how they raided Shaartal to the ground, slaughtering all Atmoran citizens there. As the history goes, Ysgrammor and his two sons survived the onslaught and years later, the Five Hundred Companions arrived back, ready to made the Elves pay in blood for what they did. Kulkrein and his master, Azhidal were there, helping the vengeful party into the continent. The only reason why Kulkrein survived was because he was Werebear, transformed during his travels into Skyrim, killing an Alpha Bear and receiving the blessing of Hircine for it.
At the end of the battle of the Moesring, Kulkrein was convinced that he had personally killed hundreds of those pale bastards and after that, he never stopped, until Konahrik, the Warlord of the Dragon Cult, called him and others to become her personal guards in Bromjunaar; the Capital of the Dragon Cult. Unfortunately, Kulkrein sided with the humans and battled against his former fellow Dragonpriest, slaying Konahrik with his own hands and destroying the Sanctuary.
Fearing that he would become what he has just destroyed, the Nords of Skyrim, sealed Kulkrein into the Sanctuary; trapping him into an eternal prison. That should have been his destiny, forever trapped with the corpses of the Dragon Priests that he has killed and the Mask of the Warlord. But Hircine had other plans and drag Kulkrein out of the sealed space, bringing him to the Hunting Grounds.
Three thousand years as Werebear in the Hunting Grounds; the entire First Era; only to set a pawn into Mundus, to participate in the Bloodmoon; was all that Kulkrein could remember of that time. It was not a bad thing, but he barely did anything that it was not hunt, kill, devour, rinse and repeat. A bit boring, specially for him, that was a Dragon Priest and possible the best sorcerer of his generation. Well, he did learn a lot about the Daedra, Oblivion and how to dominate his transformation flawlessly.
Then the Second Era come, and Kulkrein found himself out of the Hunting Grounds and running all around Tamriel, crushing Molag Bal´s Soul Anchors wherever he found ones and helping Tiber Septim to become the Emperor of a United Tamriel.
Those were exhausting days, running from one place to the other, crushing Daedra´s pawns and fools all around and trying, by all means, to keep the shenanigans of Tiber Septim and those who tried to influence him, to the minimum. Akatosh has provided him with the gift of the ageless and the curse of being on the thick of the most dangerous situations that one could dream.
At the end of the Second Era, he was called back to the Hunting Grounds by Hircine; years after the coronation of Tiber as Emperor, but released again by Meridia and taken to her realm, where he fought and learned all he could about how to keep the undead, dead.
At the Third Era, when the War of the Red Diamond erupted in all its glory; Kulkrein fought against the undead army of Potema Septim; he acted as the Champion of Meridia, carrying the light of Dawnbreaker onto the battlefield. Potema was a real piece of work, she really deserved the Wolf Queen name, she was a ruthless and predatory as an enraged She-wolf and with the blood of the Septim on her veins, she was one of the most worthy opponents that Kulkrein has fought in his long live.
It took a month to break down the walls of Solitude but at the end, Kulkrein cleaved a path to the throne room and finally, they killed Potema Septim and ended the War of the Red Diamond. Unfortunately, before he could destroy the gem that Potema gifted her son with, Hircine called Kulkrein back to the Hunting Grounds, as the contract with Meridia has expired when the Wolf Queen died.
Centuries later, Kulkrein fought and defeat an avatar of Mehrunes Dagon at Battlespire, before the plans of Jagar Tharn took place, showing the existence of the Staff of Chaos and insinuating the possibility of the impersonation of the Emperor by the Imperial Mage. Dagon did not take well the defeat and tossed Kulkrein into Oblivion, only the intervention of Akatosh during the chaos of the Numidium, free him from the darkest corners of Oblivion, where Kulkrein has been doing all he could to survive, traveling and wandering the dimension; always on the run from the Dremora that wanted his skin to made an offering to Bal or Dagon.
At the end, he somehow found his way back into the Hunting Grounds, just in time to join Hircine in the Bloodmoon Prophecy of the Third Era and having to scourge Solstheim as a Hound of Hircine. There he meet the Nerevarine and fought against him, in his Werebeast form, as a test to determine he could be challenge enough for Hircine. On a side note, Trueflame hurt like hell.
Anyhow, not even six years later, Kulkrein found himself aiding the Hero of Kvatch in the task of destroying the Amulet of Kings and what worse, Kulkrein had to guide him to the Shivering Isles to face the Greymarch and had to be witness of howthe poor sod became Sheogorath, the madgod, releasing Jyggalag from his curse.
It was a bittersweet victory, however, as Kulkrein was ready to be called back to the Hunting Grounds, the intervention of Jyggalag made him participate in the Great War, centuries later, as a one of the most powerful Battlemages of the Empire; participating in the Battle of the Red Ring and aiding the Forgotten Hero in the recoveryand reforging ofGoldbrand.
At the end of that nasty business; those cretins of the Senate and that old fool of Titus Mede II, signed the bloody White-Gold Concordant and Kulkrein; who knew first hand of the deals between the Thalmor and the Daedra; almost ripped a new one to the Emperor, ironically, it only transformed him into a fugitive.
A former Battlemage, has to run from Cyrodil before the same people that he has fought to save would kill him. There is little need to say that Kulkrein lost any hope he could have on the Empire that same day. Titus Mede II was there, he saw the horrors that the Thalmor inflicted in the Imperial City and what the Lord Naarifin has stored for all humans, no matter Imperial or not.
For a decade, all kind of Thalmor agents tried to hunt down Kulkrein, only to be dismembered by him in a gory and spectacular ways, much to the chagrin of the Thalmor; who couldn'tbelieve that a human was superior to they in the ways of the magicka.
To be honest, Kulkrein was the best mage of his generation, back in the Merethic era; and since then, his powers has done nothing but grow. Still, he was far from being perfect; his nails were a third of an inch long all the time, making pick-pocketing an impossible task, never bothered too much in being discrete, considering it, an art of assassin and thieves, specially since he could just made himself invisible of with a Word, turn himself into an invisible ghost; he was not precisely the smoothest talker of the world, specially with his deep and almost beast like voice, consequence of having a set of vocal cords more akin to roar than to give speeches.
He was a master of the axestaff, on the other hand, a weapon that he forged and enchanted by himself in the Skyforge, long before it was even named like that. Bahlok, was a masterpiece of Ebony, Dragonbone and Aetherium. It looks like a common Dragon Priest staff, but on the back of the Dragon like head of the staff, a solid and sharp blade, like the one of a Dragonbone Battleaxe rested, glowing with powerful enchantments dancing on the blade; all the handle was covered in Dragon Runes, engraved with Aetherium to channel the absurd magicka reserves of Kulkrein. Thanks to his height and strength, Kulkrein could use Bahlok with one or two hands, indistinctly, leaving a hand free to cast a spell or wield a shield, depending on the situation.
Never ask him to shot an arrow, however, he sucked at archery, never really understood the need of a bow, when he could shoot an ice spike, or a deadlier projectile, faster than he could set the arrow into the bow and took aim.
The constant persecution of the Thalmor, lead him back to Skyrim, after a decade or so on the run; in all that time allhe saw, was nothing but a weak Empire trying to catch its second breath.
Now, they have even voluntarily relinquished a miracle from their own bloody Patron-God, as they denied Talos. Cretins, everyone of them, it was impossible that no one in the Empire would not realize that abandoning a God in such a manner; specially the God that protects the Empire; was calling the disaster upon their heads; never, ever, play with the Divines. None of them had any patience for the nonsense of the mortals, and the Daedra are more than happy to smile at you, and then hung your innards by the nearest post in a very artistic display. Kulkrein knew well, a Dremora did that to him when he was fighting for his life in Oblivion, only his Beast Blood and skill with the Restoration School savedhim from the death.
As the years passed and no Divine or Daedra summoned him, Kulkrein was ready to some well deserved vacation to the Sea of Ghost, to an isolated and peaceful mountain, where he could hibernate like a bear for about a couple of hundred years, and with luck, awake in a new Era or at last, in a century where common sense and logic would be a bit more common.
If only, he was that lucky.
Next thing he knew; after carving a comfortable den on the corners of a mountain, somewhere in Winterhold; was awakening inside a coffin on the Snowclad Ruins of Solstheim, facing three very hungry and angry Werebears that Kulkrein proceed to rip to pieces and feast on their flesh and blood. He blamed Hircine entirely for that, the Daedric Prince would help you, but only if you help yourself, although, he had no bloody idea how did he ended in Solstheim, in the first place. Such mussing were soon cut short as the voice of Miraak covered the island, even after thousands of years, Kulkrein would never forget the voice of the Dragon Priest that surrendered himself to Hermaeus Mora and rebel against the Dovah, before the uprising of the Nords could take place.
As much as Kulkrein wanted to deny it, the similitudes between him and Miraak were too many to be dismissed. Both rebelled against the Dovah, both had the patronage of powerful entities behind them and both were Dragon Priests of the highest order, only surpassed by Alduin and Konahrik, the former exiled by the First Tongues and the latter slain in battle by Kulkrein at the battle for Bromjunaar.The only difference comes about what side did they took. Miraak wanted to rule everything and Kulkrein wanted to free his kinsmen from the tyranny of the Dragon Priests and the Dovah. Call Kulkrein arrogant if you wanted, but he was sure that Akatosh did not want his children to behave like arrogant fools. Sure, the Dovahs were crafted to be the representations of power and time, and sure, dominance is in their very natures. But dominance was not what Akatosh wanted, Dovahs were not rulers, just Apex Predators.
The wolf or the bear does nor rule the forest, the whale does not rule the oceans, the eagle or the dove does not rule the skies. They live and protect them, as them protect and nurtures them.
Long forgotten words of Kulkrein´s first master when he was a young Dragon Priest, looking for what kind of aspect of the Gods was the most suited to him. Finally, he become a Dragon Priest, go figure.
After he dealt with the Werebears, Kulkrein realized that he was naked and alone in the middle of a forgotten and abandoned ruin. Fortunately, Bahlok has survived, and the axestaff was like the touch of a lover, always more than welcome. He carved a bloody path in the island, turning himself into something akin to a legend among the Skaal and the Dunmer of the island, along with the Frostmoon Pack that feared him and respected him as an Alpha, even if they are all Werewolves and Kulkrein a Werebear.
On a side note, somehow, he has become royalty in Morrowind, when he helped Enchanter Neloth with a delicate matter and Neloth granted him Telvanni membership. Technically speaking he was Kulkrein Telvanni, an Atmoran member of one of the House Telvanni. Bloody hilarious.
Kulkrein hated the events that took place in Solstheim, not only because Miraak was a twisted reflection of himself, but because what he had to do and what he uncovered as he torn the island apart, ready to kill that bastard of Miraak, like Master Vahlok should have done thousands of years ago; only surviving because Hermaeus Mora saved him and took him to the Apocrypha.
Founding Vahlok and Ahzidal, two of the masters that has taught Kulkrein a lot of things, was a bitter pill to swallow. Vahlok was an undead, a lich, like the other Dragon Priests and only focused on keeping Miraak chained and confined in the island, unfortunately, the years had not been kind with the only Dragon Priest that Kulkrein respected and his purpose became his obsession. Kulkrein destroyed his old master but recover his ashes and promise himself that he would put them in an honored place. Ahzidal was an entire different matter, he took his name of the Embittered to a new level and turned the minds of those around him like they were puppets, nothing else but destruction and his vengeance against Mer and Men for the events of Saarthal. Kulkrein destroyed his former master and took his mask as trophy, like he did in the past with all the Dragon Priest he slain in battle; now those trophies were nothing but dust, but Ahzidal would be a good start.
Soon followed,Zahkriisos, Dukaan and finally Miraak, after they battled in the summit of the Apocrypha, under the amused stare of Mora. But Kulkrein was the one that laugh the last, when he defeated Miraak and before Mora could kill Miraak and stole his soul; Jyggalag intervened. Mora could have the flesh and the blood of Miraak, but the soul was of Kulkrein.
That´s how he became Dragonborn, by absorbing the soul of Miraak; and all the souls that Miraak has taken since his awakening; and learning all of what the Dragon Priest know. Considering the thousands of years that he has been in Apocrypha, it was quite the amount. Mora wanted vengeance of course, but Jyggalag was not the strongest of the Daedric for nothing and Mora has to swallow his pride and let Kulkrein go, as he was protected by Jyggalag; and Hircine, and Meridia and Akatosh, and Kyne and Shor and...well, Mora got the idea.
Honestly, having the memories of Miraak tumbling in his brain was not the most pleasant of the experiences, and after Mora dumped his sorry ass somewhere in the frozen plains of the northern corners of the mountains of Solstheim, it was an even less pleasant experience. Fortunately, the Skaal hunters found him, trashing and speaking to himself as Kulkrein tried to put order in his own brain, and took him to the Shaman´s Hut of the Skaal Village, where Frea took care of him, until he recovered from the ordeal.
In truth, it was only a matter of recovery from injuries from the battle with Miraak and put order in his thoughts, ironically, Jyaggalag was the Daedric Prince of Order and did help him to set things straight in his own head, marking him as his new Champion. Another one that could claim possession of his soul, when the day comes, and it will come, nothing is eternal, and at some point, Kulkrein will meet his end, he was wise enough to shut down any delirious of grandeur.
Kulkrein pass some time with the Skaal; he felt like he owned them for taking care of him and for the sordid matter of how their previous Shaman has to die at the hands of Mora, so the Daedric Prince will gift Kulkrein the Words of Power to reach Apocrypha, and to subjugate any living being to his will. [Bend Will] was a terrible shout, that took hold of the mind of his victim and turn him into puppets. It was the method that Ahzidal used to control its puppets?, that was why he turned to the side of Miraak and Mora?. Kulkrein had a lot of questions then, even for an ageless Dragon Priest like him, there were questions without answer. Oh, sure, he has seen the world commit the same mistake hundreds of times, but that was the mortal nature, step in the same stone hundreds of times, until they learn how to get the stone out of their way.
After his recovery, it didn't take long for Kulkrein to reach Tel Mithryn and talk with Neloth. The old Dunmer was as self obsessed as he remembered, but with the knowledge of another Dragon Priest added to his own, Kulkrein was superior to Neloth in the magical arts, even in his favorite subject, Enchanting, something that Kulkrein mastered after he learned under the tutelage of Ahzidal, when he was a better man.
The Telvanni name carried a lot of weight among the Dunmer, so when he appeared at Raven Rock with a Dragon Priest mask, Bahlok and the clothes of a Telvanni Wizard, the local Dunmer populace widened their collective eyes, at the visage of a Nord; they believed that Kulkrein was a Nord as the Atmorans were no longer among the living; dressed like a High Wizard of the Telvanni House. The rest of the population just feared the worst, as Kulkrein has earned himself quite the reputation after how he cleansed the temple, re-opened the Ebony mines, free them from the Miraak fellow, saved the live of the Councilor Morvayn, by butchering Morag Tong like they were cattle, dealt with the Ash Spawns attacks and all other deeds that put him above the common adventure and sellsword.
Even the local thug, Mogrul, tip toed around him, after the heads of first thugs that he sent to beat Kulkrein into paying a debt, appeared impaled in stakes in front of the Manor that Kulkrein owned after saving the life of Councilor Morvayn.
Kulkrein took residence in Severinn Manor, but even if the place was quite comfortable, Solstheim carried a lot of bad memories for Kulkrein now, and he need to travel to Skyrim and deposit the ashes of Vahlok into an adequate Hall of the Death. After so much time, practically an entire Era, he was not sure of how did Skyrim change, but Windhelm, Solitude or even Bromjunaar would be adequate resting places for the ashes of his revered Master, with luck, his spirit would be feasting in Sovngarde or will be one with the All-Maker, as Vahlok, was the founder of the Skaal tribes.
Anyhow, Kulkrein wanted to leave Solstheim and soon found passage in the ship of Gjalund Salt-Sage, The Northern Maiden, he doubled the usual fee, to set sail to Skyrim as soon as he could, as he was eager to be back in his homeland and see what has happened since he hibernated and awoke in the middle of this mess with the First Dragonborn. There is no need to say, that Gjalund accepted the money and after quickly finishing the business that he had in Raven Rock, he called Kulkrein and told him that the ship was ready to sail as soon as he was ready.
For Kulkrein, feeling the sea and the fresh breeze of the Sea of Ghost was like greeting an old friend that he has not seen in a long time. During all his life, Kulkrein has had little chances of enjoying a quiet sail, it was always as part of a bigger mission, a bigger danger. But this time, it was the first time that he simply sailed, eager to visit his homeland, and see how has the pass of time, treat Skyrim. The last time he could see the country, was when he fought and slain the Wolf Queen, and later was when he was on the run from the Thalmor.
Surely, a decade and half of disappearance has done nothing to the memories of the Thalmor, that were arrogant bitches the best of the days and could hold a grudge for centuries. No matter the Era, Altmer have always been hard to deal with, although, Kulkrein has to admit that he did have a massive axe to grind with the Snow Elves.
He laughed for days when he saw the twisted and horrid form of the Falmer today, betrayed by the Dwemer, turned into grotesque, blind monsters. After what they did in Saarthal and the rest of the Colonies, during the Merethic Era?; Justice served, in Kulkrein´s opinion. As Atmoran, Kulkrein knew perfectly well, how it feels to see your race diluted and mixed with all kinds of new blood; and it was a good thing, fresh blood prevents stagnation and inbreeding, but what the Dwemer did to their own Mer kin was something that Kulkrein found ironic to the utmost degree.
Speaking of which, he was a member of the House Telvanni of Morrowind, possessing the rank of Archmagister; much to Neloth reluctance and chagrin as Kulkrein was an ever enchanter and magician than him, advantages of being a mage for more than four thousand years; and that would mean that he would be royalty in Morrowind. The Dunmer of Skyrim would either hate him or fear him, and the Argonian would probably hate him, just by principles. The Argonian of the Black Marshes has been systematically exterminating Telvanni´s from the Southern coasts of Morrowind since the beginning of the Fourth Era, as a payment for the slavery they suffered at the hands of the Dunmer for centuries.
At this point, Kulkrein couldn't care less about what anyone could think of him, he was Kulkrein, theLast Dragon Priest and his Thu´um will not be denied by anyone, Aedra or Daedra, didn't matter.
He would be lying, if he said that he was not eager to return to Skyrim, since the days of the War of the Red Diamond, Kulkrein did not have time to enjoy the harsh and cold climate of his country. Atmoran he may be, but he traveled to Skyrim, when he was nothing but a young cub, full of desire to see a new world. He did get what he desired, he only lamented that it was at such a step cost. More than once, has he asked himself why the Snow Elves betrayed and exterminated them like that.
After knowing the Snow Elves, Kulkrein knew that the common thinking among the Mer races of that time, was that anything that were not Mer, were little more than cattle in their eyes. Kulkrein would never thought like that, Kyne protect him if he started to think like that. Ironical, considering he was a Werebear and A Dragonborn, meaning he was made for Dominance, however, thousands of years of beatings and exposure to the worst of the mortals and immortals alike, has stomped any arrogant ideas out of his mind. Respect?, sure, when it due, Arrogance?, not in a million years.
If anything, Kulkrein liked the peaceful voyage from Solstheim to Skyrim, the Sea of Ghost and its frozen waters, such a change from the last months, that has been nothing but a frustration and bittersweet victories, one after another. Slaying his old masters, Vahlok and Ahzidal has been quite the bitter task for Kulkrein, he respected them as the Paragon they were, but the Eras were not kind with the fallen Dragon Priests, being forced to sacrifice Storn Crag-Strider in order to gain the bloody words of the [Bend Will] Shout has been another insult to his honor, the Frostmoon Pack, the last Werewolf pack of Solstheim, the others eradicated by the crazy and mad Werebears that roamed the lands; and he didn't even want to think about the bad joke of the Thirsk Mead Hall, that has been a headache.
Of course,not everything was bad, for example, theStalhrim; Kulkrein learned about the secrets of the Stalhrim and the blessings of the All-Maker and he found and defeated powerful foes and collected quite the reward for defeating them. Specially two of them; Karthaag and Haknir Death-Brand, the latter had quite the treasure dusting around in his Burrow, far more than enough to start a new life, after all, gold was gold any place in Tamriel and he had about fifty thousand septims in gold from the Barrow. Safely stored in his enchanted pouch.
With luck, it will be more than enough to start a new life in Skyrim, no matter the Era, when the gold speaks, mortals tend to listen. It was hard to keep any kind of wealth, being in and out of Mundus like a rag doll, more times that he liked to count, so Kulkrein has soon grown accustom of amassing fortunes, to lost them by the next day. That was one of the reasons why Zenithar blessed him, Kulkrein believed in honest profit from honest work, all his wealth, no matter the Era, come by his own effort; and contrary to the popular belief, Kulkrein never made of looting his first source of income.
Taking the example of the riches of the tomb of Haknir Death-Brand, those come After Kulkrein get a participation of the Ebony mine of Raven Rock and won, quite a bit of money for reforging and enchanting a lot of the gear of the Redoran Guard in Raven Rock, much to the relief and thankfulness of the Councilor and the Captain of the Guard. Enchanting a dozen of pickaxes to be able to mine Ebony ores easier did earn him a lot of favor with the local merchants and miners.
Kulkrein was sure that they will miss him and his forging skill when he left; he was the most “sociable” of the Telvanni Wizards, although, after the Argonian did cull them like wheat as soon as they saw one, it was not all that difficult to be more sociable that a House that was famous for being reclusive, asocial, misanthropists. Anyhow, Raven Rock and Solstheim was at peace, now that Miraak and Hermaeus Mora influence has been cleansed from the island, and Kulkrein needed to get back home.
The Last Dragon Priest did not known when he was going to be dragged by Aedra or Daedra, into another bloody mess, so he wanted to enjoy a little vacation and travel through Skyrim, paying homage to the lands where he grew from a rambunctious teenager to a respected Dragon Priest, even if at the end, he became the worst enemy of his own people. Kulkrein wanted to see Bromjunaar again, even during the War of the Red Diamond, he barely could pass near the site, now called Labyrinthian, since the Arch-mage Shalindor turned it, into a maze to test future Arch-mages. Kulkrein was eager to test himself against that tests and after the events that took place in the College, not long after his returning to Skyrim, he had the chance to prove himself worthy of the title of Arch-mage.
Windhelm was only the first step of his travel, and he wanted to start by the city that he helped to build, when Ysgrammor conquered all Skyrim for the Atmorans, at the Merethic Era. Ironically, the same Elves that despised and butchered the Atmoran like they were inferior races, were the slaves that built the city, under the attentive watch of the merciless Atmorans, who had more than enough of their arrogant behavior and their dismissal of the consequences of their actions.
Something that Kulkrein has found in hundreds of Mer along the Eras, it was as if they just don't care about the consequences of their acts, that they could simply, run away and let the matter die with the pass of time. Dealing with Men or Beast Folk, it may be true, but trying to pull such a trick on the Daedra Cults was the most stupid thing, anyone has done since, well,forever. Aedra and Daedra never forget, they may have leashed that cut short a lot of their power in Mundus, but the Oblivion Crysis, the Red Mountain, the Dragon Breaks, all of those should have been a bloody dose of reality for all the races of Tamriel.
Closing the book on his lap; the reading all but forgotten at this point and Kulkrein already remembered the recipe by the letter; he stared at the pretty garden that the room had. Savos Aren, the previous Arch-mage, had quite the selection of ingredients there, and Kulkrein added his own to the garden, cautiouslymixing the plants, so they do not harm each other and would grow into adequate ingredients. Crimson Nirnroots and Dragon´s Tongue did not mix well, unless you gardened them extra carefully.
Drumming with his fingers over the leather cover of the book, carefully of do not damage the cover with his nails; Urag, the Librarian would gut him alive if he dared, Arch-mage be dammed; Kulkrein leaned over the back of the chair, making it crunch for the weight. He stared at the tree on the center of the little garden, and mussed about the possibility of travel again to the Eldergleam Sanctuary and pray Kyne for a Sapling again.
It would do good for the College to have a Gildergreen in the middle of all this snow and cold, and a Temple of Kyne on the College would do wonders to their reputation and the well-fare of the rest of the city near them. Kyne was a very respected goddess, healers and protectors, setting a Gildergreen would represent that Kyne blessed the College, and no Nord worth of his name would say anything bad about Kyne.
Not in his presence anyway, Kulkrein was a follower of Kyne and would never tolerate any disrespect for the Goddess of the Storm under his watch. She was the reason why the old Nords could stand and fight the Dovah at the Dragon Wars.
Taking mental note to travel to spoke with the staff of the College on the matter, Kulkrein eyed the potion on the Alchemy table and saw that it would take a lot more for the potion to be ready. During his travels, Kulkrein had earned a deep respect for potions, they could be life savers, little miracles in bottles, like the bloody Vaermina´s Torpor; now, that was a concoction to remember. Kulkrein kept The Dreamstride, the sacred book of a cult of Vaermina that details the creation of the bloody thing, never knew when it was going to be useful again.
Speaking of Alchemy and Windhelm, he still had the White Phial after good Quintus repaired the thing and show to his dying Master Nurelion, that the work of his life was complete. The young but incredible talented Alchemist didn't want to have the phial around, as it remembered him of the death of his Master, and Kulkrein took it with him; considering his adventuring life, having a phial that replenished itself with any elixir that has been inside of it, was a very advantageous item to have around. So far, Kulkrein had it as a Health potion, just in case his magicka was running low and he needed quick healing.
Windhelm was pretty much as he remembered; they build the city to endure after all, he was smiling as soon as the docks of the city could be seen; he did falter for a second, at the image of Argonian workers on the docks, but shrugged it, after all, this was a different Era and the last time he has seen an Argonian was during the War of the Red Diamond, when a Vampire Shadow Scale tried to slit his throat during his slept. Hircine bless his enhanced senses and light sleeping habits that he developed during his centuries in the Hunting Grounds.
Ah, he could remember quite clearly the events that took place that day, and the unique friends that he meet that day.
The Northern Maiden was a very good vessel, Kulkrein could appreciate the work and devotion that Gjalund pour on his ship. It was one of the few that did all the travel back and forth between Solstheim and Windhelm; after all, the voyage was always a risky one, specially with the constant dangers of the Pirates and other dangers that lurked the cold waters of the Sea of Ghosts.
Thankfully, no Pirate has tried to attack them during their travel, something that disappointed Kulkrein a little, he would have loved to test his mettle against this called Raiders and Pirates. Specially the ones that were called the Blood Horkers, who supposedly had a powerful mage as their leader, one that was capable of evading the armed patrols of the East Empire Company and any Pirate Hunter vessels of the eastern coast of Skyrim.
B ut Kulkrein has not been so lucky, on the other hand, a peaceful voyage by sea has been a very relaxing experience after the bitter experiences on Solstheim. He distractedly put his hand over his enchanted pouch, where the ashes of Master Vahlok were resting, along all the things that Kulkrein considered worthy of bringing with him after his adventures in Solstheim.
It was quite the haul, now that the thought about it, but thanks to his enhanced pouch, he could carry a lot of things and none would be the wiser. Once he tested himself, without the pouch he was capable of carrying around about four hundred kilos of materials before he ha d to slow down, on the other hand, with the pouch, he could carry ten tons of things and do not even feel it.
A s the ship got closer to the docks, Kulkrein could feel the curious gazes over him, from both, the Guards and the workers of the dock. He was accustom ed to that, after all, he was an eight tall giant that could made an Orsimer Bersker look like a milk drinker, not to mention his gold Dragon Priest mask and th e gold and black tunic that he was wearing, and of course, Bahlok. Kulkrein never let the weapon get to far from his hands; he was fond of calling the weapon at his hand with a simple [Telekinesis] spell, after thousands of years of practice, he could cast the spell even in h is sleep.
O nce the ship reached the docks and the sailors put the wooden plan k, Kulkrein stepped into the docks and with a wide smile, raised his masked face and saluted to the sky. A Thu´um, a greeting to the land and sky that he loved in the past.
“[Drem yol lok,golt do di bormah; Kulkrein lost daal]”.
T he power of the Voice run deep on Kulkrein, his Thu´um rivals the one of the eldest Dovah s, and when he spoke, even if there was an unmistakable joy in his words, the echos were enough to shook the people on his surroundings, unable to endure the pressure of the power of the Thu´um, and forced to kneel or cover their ears, trying to minimize the impact. The st one s of the city trembled with the voice, a voice that the foundations of the city felt thousands of years ago; the days of their creation and establishing as the roots of the City of the Kings.
For Kulkrein, it was good to be home; however, he has cause quite the commotion, not only in the docks, w here everyone was trying to recover, but from the rest of the city, where Ulfric, the Dragonborn and the Harbinger of the Companions had listened to the echo of the voice and felt a shudder run on their spines. It was the voice of a Dovah or at last, a voice that could echo the voices of the Greybeards, Masters of the Voice.
A s he stepped into the stairs that lead out of the docks, in front of the astonished faces of all the presents; some observing him with fear and awe, others with the same ye that one dedicates to a dangerous predator; all of them give him a wide berth as he walked onto the stairs, but before he could climb the steps, two figures rushed from the city´s door an onto the top of the stairs.
Kulkrein stop, observing the newcomers.
A male Altmer and a female Redguard .
The female Redguard was one of the most beautiful women that Kulkrein has seen in his long life, an amazonian Redguard warrior, almost as tall as the Altmer and covered in the Steel armor that the Nords favored, with a snow bear fur over her shoulders and back; she carried two sharp enchanted Scimitars and lacked any helmet, allowing Kulkrein to see her mocha colored skin; paler than the usual in the Redguards ; her red mane, braided in one single braid, hanging from her left shoulder, and her azure eyes. Those same eyes, that flashed golden for a second, as soon as her Beast Blood told her that Kulkrein was one of the Beast Blood, her eyes widened in recognition, as well as Kulkrein´s who didn't expect to find such a powerful Werewolf that easily.
The male was a n Altmer; the golden skin was unmistakable , he had a curious pale blue Glass sword in one hand, and Kulkrein recognized a poweful enchanted weapon as soon as he saw it; on the other hand, he had a fireball, ready to be throw in the other. For an Altmer, he was quite strong built, usually Altmer were more slim, but this one had a powerful complexion, pearl colored hair and a curious coat with armored greaves and arm braces , that looks like a Thalmor robes, but it left his torso in the open ; were a black tattoo of the Talos symbol was clearly visible... By the Nine, he recognized that Tattoo.
“Well, this is a surprise, what, in Talos name, are you doing in Windhelm, Goldenar?”. Asked Kulkrein looking through his mask to a fellow Battlemage and valiant comrade during the war.
O ne of the most vocal against the Thalmor, specially after they massacred his family in the numerous pogroms that the Thalmor unleashed in the Summerset Isles, in order of cleansing all non-Aldmer blood and dissidents.
“By Talos”. Lowered the blade Goldenar. “Is that you, Kulkrein?, stubborn bear, I thought the Thalmor finally hunted you down!”.
“Ha!”. Barked more that laughed Kulkrein. “Not that they did not try, at some point, I ran out of ideas of how to kill them more creatively, the last one was to drown one in honey and gut him near a bear cave”.
“I would have paid money to see that”. Laughed loudly Goldenar, whose hate for the Thalmor run deep within him, they stole his entire family, killed because they were not, “Aldmer enough”.
“So, hum, whose your friend, Lion?”. The mocking remark of the last word was almost palatable, although, Kulkrein had to admit that she had a nice voice, steel enveloped in silk, delicious.
“Ah, sorry Frysa”. Sheathed the blue blade Goldenar, without losing the smile and canceled the spell in his other hand. “Allow me to introduce you, one of the best comrades I could ever ask for, we fought together in the Ninth Legion, Kulkrein, the most powerful Battlemage I have ever seen”. Turned to his old friend, suddenly returned from the dead and in a way that Goldenar would have not suspected in a million years. “Kulkrein, allow me introduce you to the Harbinger of the Companions, Lady Frysa Whitemane”.
Frysa punched the shoulder of Goldenar with an amused frown in her face, muttering something about Lady, her sweet ass; Goldenar just rubbed the spot, Frysa packed quite the punch, she was not the Harbinger for nothing.
“Speaking of introductions, would be so kind to explain to me why are you wearing a Dragon Priest mask, and could use the Thu´um?”. Asked Goldenar, curious as hell, as Frysa was, but more concerned about the Beast Blood that she has felt like a punch in her gut.
“Simply, I am a Dragon Priest, I have always been one; is my name, Kul Krein, Son of the Sun in Dovahzuul”. Shrugged Kulkrein, like it was the most common thing of the world, leaving the other two, mouth agape.
Winterhold´s College/Arch-mage Quarters.
Aye, that was a good memory, leaving his two dear friends stunned and mouth agape was a good memory, their faces were totally priceless.
The sudden whistle of the Alchemy gear, called the attention of Kulkrein, who raised from his chair and attended the next procedures of the potion. With great care, Kulkrein removed the phial from the flame and depositing over one of the oval holes in the table, he took a bowl of Frost Salts and toss a pinch of it, inside the phial. The boiling substance cooled immediately, acquiring a red color, that indicated that the ingredients had mixed correctly.
Who would have though, Esbern´s Dragon Potion was based on an old Akaviri recipe called the Dragon Infusion. Supposedly, Esbern´s potion would make the drinker more resilient to the natural attacks of Dovah, the original recipe, on the other hand, was a physical enhances, making anyone who drinks it, stronger for a long while. If his calculations were correct; and he would have to run the numbers with Babette later, being the Silencer of the Dark Brotherhood had its perk after all; a single dosage of this mixture would be enough for about a decade or so, in order to made it permanent, he would need something akin to a Briar Heart or a Daedra Heart.
With that taken care off, Kulkrein labeled the phial with a tag; a simple string with a patch of paper with Dovah-Zul runes on it; and carried the phial to the shelves where he kept all the poisons. Call him paranoid, but some potions and draughts that he made in his Alchemy tables were too dangerous to be left unchecked. Very few could read Dovah-Zul, and that the only indication about what is inside the different bottles of the shelves. Among dozens of poisons, there were several unique concoctions that Kulkrein was keeping in secret.
Another batch of Vaerminia´s Torpor, although he has created variations that would allow him to “Dream” as a lack of a better world of the effects, into the Hunting Grounds or even into Sovngarde; one exceptionally risky was made to “Dream” into the Evergloam, the gloomy realm of Nocturnal. A potion that would allow a person to became a Werewolf for a single full moon night, the Dragon Infusion, an extraordinary potent fertility potion and other similar distillations that should have never had seen the light.
In his defense, Kulkrein was just experimenting with the Alchemy of the Fourth Era, founding it curious if anything else. Kulkrein was a mage at heart, he was a Dragon Priest, supposedly the wise men of the Atmorans, and to be able to be wise, one has to know what on Oblivion is he talking about, not to mention that Krein, in Dovah-Zul was the name of the God of Magic, Magnus or more commonly known, as the bloody sun on the sky. Magic was in his very name.
Stretching his powerful limbs a little, Kulkrein, who was dressed with a simply brown tunic, moved to one of the wardrobes and quickly changed into the Arch-mage robes, feeling the enchantments of the clothes pour over his skin. Selecting some sturdy boots from the wardrobe, Kulkrein extended his hand and the Staff of Magnus flew to his hand, the powerful artifact exuded Magical power, and somehow, it was incredible fitting for him. Kulkrein feel way more comfortable with Bahlok, but after how the axestaff has been at his side since forever, it was a surprise that few weapons could even hold a candle to his favored and greatest weapon masterpiece so far.
Firmly attaching his enhanced pouch to his waist, Kulkrein took Morokei out of the pouch and slipped over his face. It was quite the irony, considering that Morokei, the Dragon Priest that gave name to the mask, was the responsible of the greatest shame of Savos Aren, the previous Arch-mage. After defeating his fellow Dragon Priest, Kulkrein added his mask to his collection, he used them as permanent reminder of what he would never become, to remember everyone around about who he was and to hide his unique features from those that would not understand, or directly would kill him by principles.
All the paraphernalia was mostly a show, to let everyone know who was the Arch-mage and that he was conquered Labyrinthian and the Shalindor Maze, before he put an end to the crazy machinations of that fool of Ancano, that almost doomed then all, when the Thalmor cretin tried to master the powers of the Eye of Magnus. That...thing was something that Kulkrein never expected to see again; it was of the reasons why the Falmer turned on them during the Merethic Era, they coveted the power of the Eye, but all Atmorans, saw the horrific power that the Eye contained and buried it deep in the roots of Saarthal.
Thousands of years later, when Kulkrein was visiting the Winterhold College; and practically freaking the entire staff and student body in one go; he learned the expedition to Saarthal, and fearing the worst, he traveled to the Nordic city, just in time to help the expedition to deal with the custodian of the Eye of Magnus. Jyrik was one of the sons of Gauldur, a Nord Arch-mage of the First Era, the Draugr has been sealed there, due his crimes in live.
It didn't take long for the bloody Psijic Order to get their noses in the College, although, Kulkrein has to admit that the Eye of Magnus did not augur anything good, it was too powerful for any mortal to control. Since the first time that he put his eyes on it, Kulkrein suspected that the Eye was of Aedric origin, that Magnus himself, God of Magic, was the responsible of the creation of the blasted thing, much like his Staff; the same one that he was carrying now as Arch-Mage of the Winterhold College; powerful artifacts beyond mortal understanding.
At the end of the debacle, Kulkrein did the only sensible thing that one can do with such an artifact, and it was to Shout it directly to Aetherius. [Krein Daal Lah], [Magnus-Returns-Aetherius]. The Eye was from Magnus, he would not keep it in Mundus. Enough doomsday artifacts were already running rampant on it, to add one as volatile and dangerous as the Eye. The Psijic didn't like what Kulkrein did, as they had foresighted a different result of all the events, one on where they will have the Eye under their control.
Kulkrein didn't trust the Psijic Order, like the Greybeards, the Imperial Senate and other organizations, they pass too many time on the top, that they forget what it is to walk on the ground and live with the consequences of their acts. In Tamriel, it was not the first time that some “good intentional” organization screw it in the most spectacular of the ways. Mystic Dawn comes to the mind, the Tribunal of Morrowind, the bloody Synod of Cyrodil, the White-Gold Concordant and the list goes on.
Kulkrein had nothing against the Psijic Order, he had not dealt a lot with them, and mostly they were as devoted to the knowledge and order as they claimed they were, but letting them go with hammer the size of the Eye of Magnus, and soon they would start to see everything as nails. Better to send it back to his master, and if its not, better in Aetherius under the control of the Aedra, than in the hands of mortals or The Nine protects them, in Oblivion, where monsters like Dagon could start to have ideas about how to use it.
Veiled threats, a little show of power and the Psijic admitted that Kulkrein was powerful, a worthy Arch-mage; he was a Telvanni too; so they recognized him as the Arch-mage and left him to clean up the bloody mess that has been the discovery and retrieval of the dammed Eye. It was the third time in all his life, that Saarthal has become the source of great pains and tribulations to him, along unsuspected blessings and gifts.
By the Nine, Kulkrein was sometimes amazed that he was still in one piece, after all the disasters that he has survived.
Ironing, with a quick [Telekinesis] spell, some imperfections of the enchanted robes, Kulkrein walked into the stairs that lead to the balcony of the College, the open space on the roof, where students and staff could practice their spells, by tossing them into the cliffs and onto the Sea of Ghost, without harming anyone. Usually, students practice their spells in the Hall of the Elements, under the watch of their Masters, however, Kulkrein always thought that practicing them in the open would do better.
They learn how to channel their magicka under adverse weather and how far would their spells go; hitting a practice bullseye was one thing, as the distance was always the same, but knowing how far would your [Ice Spike] would go, will allow you to develop better survival tactics, in the case of a possible battle. This is Tamriel, there is always something potentially catastrophic going on, Kulkrein know it very well, he has been in the thick of a lot of those bloody situations since the Merethic Era.
If anything, walking in the stone balconies of the College was very relaxing for Kulkrein. The gray stones and balconies of the College had some magical engravings and lamps here and there, [Candlelights] that would glow when the night comes and will dim when the sun rises. As Kulkrein walked through the open space, peeking over the border and into the open plaza in the entrance of the College; where the statue of Shalindor was located; he saw a bunch of new students, animatedly talking with themselves, thanks to his enhanced hearing, Kulkrein could listen to what they were saying.
It was a clear day on the College, not sunny, but enough clear to be able to appreciate the salty breeze of the sea, way down the cliff where the College was located. This place had a haunted story, and the distrust that the Nords had for magic didn't help either; the grudge was deep seated, and completely stupid in Kulkrein´s opinion, the forefathers of the Nords respected the Clever Arts and considered them uniquely useful. By Kyne, back in the day, any Chieftain, King, or ruler of any kind always had a lot of mages around. Warriors and Mages are just facets of the same coin, War, lacking one would only cause your defeat, something that Skyrim will soon have to learn of face defeat at the hands of the Thalmor, who belong to a very magically oriented race of Mer.
Leaning over the edge of the stone of the balcony, Kulkrein observed the students; he was glad that after how the College defended the city from the actions of that fool of Ancano, and how he explained it in full detail to the Jarl of Winterhold, what the “observer” of the Thalmor has provoked.
Korir was convinced that the Great Collapse was to blame on the College, Kulkrein scoffed it off, it was ridiculous, not to mention that if it wasnt for the College to shelter the bulk of the city, it would have fall onto the sea. The College Building has acted as wall against the storms that scourged the coast, otherwise, Winterhold would be no more. That new perspective made Korir think twice about what he said, and just to be on the same page, Kulkrein suggested to made something useful of Nelacar, and hire him as the Court Wizard, a liason between the College and the Jarl, so there will be no more misunderstandings, neither foolish accusations nor veiled threats. Kulkrein was seriously disappointed on his Nord descendants, there was a bloody reason why magic was called the Clever Arts, and they are disregarding it, making themselves vulnerable to those that uses them.
His straightforward and honest politics, did earn a lot of respect from the Hold citizens, and with the help of Collette Marence, the College´s Restoration Scholar, he sent several young apprentices to heal, free of charge, any wounded soldier. That sure made them popular and welcome practically everywhere, not to mention, how hiring some extra sell-swords to protect that groups, made the country realize that Mages and Soldiers working together are quite effective.
At the beginning the staff of the College protested about sending apprentices like that, but after they improved their magical skill by leaps and bounds after each expedition, did shut up a lot of protests. The best teacher there is, is experience, books can only bring you so far, then is the time to test your mettle against the harsh world out there. As it has been said, Tamriel is not a cozy, pleasant place, bandits, beasts, monsters, and worse things prowled the roads and wild lands of Skyrim. Kulkrein wanted his students to be aware of the dangers they face and have the discipline and the strong of character to face it with honor and determination.
The students moved outside of the College, surely they will go for a quick drink to The Frozen Hearth, the Inn that the city had in front of the Jarl´s House. Dagur, the Inn owner, was not happy at the beginning, considering the amount of potentially dangerous drunken mages that were coming to his Inn, but the gold that he earn did shut up a lot of complains, although, Kulkrein has let absolutely clear to all the students that if they are caught drunk, he will personally skin them alive for being idiots. If they want to get drunk, grab the booze and go to the empty beaches under the College cliffs, there they could drink and blow themselves up all they want, without causing damage to their surroundings or any innocent bystander.
The zero tolerance politic of Kulkrein did cause some frowns among the College, but the results were unarguable, sober mages, disciplined mages, good mages, respected mages all over the country. All in one single year, since he was named Arch-mage by the Psijic mages that appeared at the end of the debacle with the Eye of Magnus.
Kulkrein continued walking and smiled at the magical sigil that decorated one of the towers of the College. He did help Phinis Gestor to obtain a Sigil Stone, a piece of Oblivion craftsmanship that has allowed Kulkrein to use the Atronach Forge in the Midden. The Atronach Forge was one of his favorite pieces of magical craftsmanship. Kulkrein suspected that the one under the College was of Dwemer origin, he saw similar ones in the past; when he was learning along Master Ahzidal, the secret of the Metal Harmonics of the Dwemer forges.
It was an interesting piece of work, set the correct ingredients and it would create Atronach themed objects or even Atronachs, unfortunately, the Atronachs that were created from this Forge, were unbounded and will attack anyone in the nearby. On a positive note, with the Sigil Stone, it can create Daedric gear and even turn human hearts into Daedra Hearts.
The door of that lead to the Hall of Attainment opened and J´zargo came outside, carrying a book under his arm and with his usual Kha´jit smirks of smugness. The gray and black furred Kha´jit was good friend, and his unique perception of the world and his unabashed confidence in himself, soon made they become very good friends. The relentless pursue of magical knowledge, as the Kha´jit wanted to be a Great Mage, was something that Kulkrein could understand perfectly.
“Greetings Arch-mage”. Saluted J´zargo to Kulkrein. “J´zargo was looking for you, a courier has come to the College with some letters for you”.
“I always found fascinating how they always managed to find their clients”. Commented Kulkrein, after all that he has done and see, he was still dumbfounded by the Couriers skills in carrying messages all around Skyrim.
“J´zargo found it incredible amusing, do you think that they could teach J´zargo how do they do it?”. Laughed the Kha´jit extending the letters to Kulkrein who took it and answered back to his friend.
“I seriously doubt it, but I think that branching your spells a little would do you some good”. Good humored, quipped Kulkrein to J´zargo. “No doubt, you are in the right road to be a Master on the Destruction School, but balancing it with some Alteration, Restoration spells or even Alchemy or Enchanting will make you a better mage in the long run”.
“J´zargo hates the Arch-mage when he is right, and even more when J´zargo has to agree with him”. Hissed in defeat the Kha´jit. “I have already signed up for the next departure of the Restoration Teams”. Confessed the Kha´jit, who learned, the hard way, how vital a solid [Ward] spell can be.
“Good”. Nodded Kulkrein, smiling under his mask, now that he was Arch-mage, he did worry about all beings under his care, even that poor sod of the Augur of Dunlain. “Is that why are you carrying Whitershins by Yaqut Tawashi?”.
“One day, Kulkrein has to explain J´zargo how he can see anything with that scary mask on”. Sighed J´zargo. “And yes, J´zargo was recommended by the angry Orc Librarian to read this book, if J´zargo was interested in Restoration”.
“Is a very good read”. Smiled Kulkrein under his mask, unfolding the first letter, it was from Falk Firebeard, the Steward of Jarl Elisif the Fair. “Not an actual spell book, but it will increase your understanding of how the Restorations spells works on the bodies of the living beings”.
The letter was short and to the point, hinting that a ritual that he interrupted and that would have brought Potema back to life; something horrific to even contemplate; has brought unusual complications and that he would like to have his opinion on the matter, as soon as possible.
The next letter was a bit different from what he expected, it was from Goldenar. Usually the Altmer Dragonborn was a bit more prodigal in letters, but the short letter, barely two lines, asking for a meeting in his home of Hjerim in Windhelm; a home that he bought after he become the Stormblade. However, the urgency of the test and the way on where he has written it...There was something that enervated Kulkrein.
“Something of interest, Arch-Mage?”. Asked J´zargo, who has accompanied Kulkrein in several adventures before, all the times it was extenuating but incredible rewarding.
“Nay, two petitions of consultation, one from the Blue Palace, and the other from Goldenar”. Shrugged Kulkrein.
“Ah, the Lion of Talos, the Dragonborn, the Stormblade”. Dramatically numbered the titles that Goldenar was carrying these days. J´zargo has already meet the Dragonborn before, when he and the Arch-Mage explored a Barrow, in order to find one of those Dragon Walls, where Thu´um words were inscribed.
“Aye, the one and only”. Chuckled Kulkrein sightly.
“Odd, J´zargo knows that the Dragonborn knew his way with the spells, he was an Imperial Battlemage too”. Commented the Kha´jit, who has shared enough campfires with Goldenar, to knew that the Altmer was a very competent Battlemage, asking for magical assistance was unusual for someone versed as he was, in the ways of the Magicka.
“Aye, but I suppose he must have stumbled into another mess like the one at Bthardamz”, snorted in disgust Kulkrein, he has never liked Peryite; Lydia loved Spellbreaker thought, the shield was perfect for her, as it provided defense both physical and magical.
“J´zargo didn't want to remember that”. J´zargo looked nauseated, and for the usually clean Kha´jit, the disgusting battles that took place in the strange Dwemer ruins, with the Cult called the Afflicted was a shocking and traumatizing experience.
“I will be going then”. Said Kulkrein, pouching the letters back into his enhanced pouch. “Please inform Tolfdir that I have been summoned to Solitude and Windhelm, you know, the usual”.
“J´zargo will do”. Nodded the Kha´jit with a smile. “Although, J´zargo would love to accompany the Arch-mage if he had the chance to find something that could make J´zargo a better mage, the Arch-mage knows, something small, easy to pick-pocket and that no one will miss”.
“Like the enchanted circlet that you found in Folgunthur and you wear, all the time, under your hood?”. Raised an eyebrow Kulkrein under his mask.
“Exactly”. Shamlessly admitted J´zargo, laughing with the Arch-mage, before they went to their respective business.
For Kulkrein, it was an easy matter to move back to his Quarters, put the Arch-mage robes back into his wardrobe; taking his Dragonhide Robes, the same that made him famous all over Skyrim, not only as Arch-Mage, but as companion of the Dragonborn, the Battlemage of Winhelm, The Legion Bane and the Thalmor Slayer, just o name a few titles and nicknames that the people had keep calling him since he joined Goldenar in his quest to defeat Alduin.
Covering his face with the gold improved mask of Konahrik, Kulkrein sighed and adjusted his usual gear when he knew that he was going to step into the bear´s den. Each time, one of his friends send him a letter, it was always resulting in quite the adventure or a complete disaster, depending who do you ask.
Dawnbreaker and a Dragon Priest dagger, firmly sheathed on his waist, Bahlok in his left hand, Dragonhide Robes covering his frame and Konahrik covering his face. Kulkrein was ready to face, whatever the universe could throw at him.
Vanishing in thousands of light spots; really, the Psijic believed that they are the only ones that can teleport?, it was old even when he was a teenager in Atmora; Kulkrein materialized back in the inner hall of the Manor of his friend in Windhelm.
However, as soon as he appeared, Kulkrein froze and after sighing, couldn't but ask a single question.
“Goldenar, you golden skinned fool; how, in Talos name, did you managed to turn yourself into a Pureblood Vampire?”.