When last we left our heroes, they had thwarted an ambush from the Silver Hand and successfully recovered stolen East Empire Trading Company cargo with the help of two skooma-dealing Khajiit. After returning to Riverwood to hand off their prisoners to the local guards, the party continued their journey to Hamvir’s Rest to look for an original copy of The Battle of Sancre Tor.
Bob decided to scout ahead and look for traps and potential ambushes. Confident that there was no damage in the area (failed Search check) he waived his companions up as he attempted to unlock the door—which triggered the fire rune trap on the door. This was part and parcel for the entire misadventure through the tomb, which included setting off various traps accidentally while fighting the angry duegar around every corner.
The final battle with the undead remains of Hamvir ended unceremoniously when Alicia made epic contact with Mara to blast him back to Aetherius. (Damn you, Sun Domain granted ability, Damn you and the gods that allow you!).
At first, the party was disappointed as much of the inner tomb was partially flooded and it seemed that all of Hamvir’s books had rotted. But then they found the exceptionally crafted, sealed glass case that housed Hamvir’s most previous books. Besides finding the copy of The Battle of Sancre Tor, they also found a couple of strange books written in languages they didn’t recognized. They gathered all of the books up (and the glass case since it was cool and they wanted it for the keep) and returned to Arvanell.
As they return to Whiterun, Bob gets the bright idea to try to pickpocket one of the many merchants coming to and from the gates. He gets caught, and chaos ensues as the Sampson tries to smooth over the situation diplomatically even as Bob takes off running. A guard pushed himself between the pick pocket victim, who is pointing fingers at everyone and being particularly abusing to the elves, and Merdin to try to get some order. Just as he steps in between them, an arcane arrow strikes him in the head and kills him instantly.
Sampson immediately realizes that arrow was met for his friend Merdin, and discerns that the would-be assassin would have had to be on the roof of the stable to make the shot. But there is no sign of the assassin on the roof or anywhere else (because this is what happens when nobody in the group has tracking or decent ranks in survival). They do find a torn piece of black and red high quality fabric, possibly snagged on a nail as the assassin retreated.
Arvanell was pleased with their results and happily began flipping through the titles. When he got to one of the books written in an unknown language, however, he took a deep breath and his hands began to shake.
“You have no idea what you have accomplished this day, my friends,” he said as he choked back tears. So overwhelmed by the discovery was he that he told them to let him know what sort of item would be of use to them, and he would gift it to them if they could (i.e. granting either a +1 weapon or a minor magic item of the player’s choice as a reward).
They inform Arvanell of the situation with the assassin. He’s deeply troubled by this and says he will see if he can possible scry on the matter. He takes the fabric from the party and says he will try to sneak out to the stables when there will be no one around to avoid people noticing him. A few days later, he lets them know that all he is able to scry on the matter is that the assassin was in fact a member of the Dark Brotherhood and an Argonian. But he has no idea why the Brotherhood has a contract on Merdin.
To that end, he lets Merdin borrow a Hat of Disguise for now until they can get to the bottom of the matter. Because he does have a new task for the party.
Arvanell requests rubbings from the shrines that dot the path leading up to High Hrothgar. He has reason to believe that these ancient shrines have a secret code in them that can be read in the reverse, and this information will be useful toward his research. Travel to High Horthgar, walk the 7,000 steps, and return with the rubbings.
The journey there is uneventful. Some of the party members struggle to get all the way up the stairs (this is what happens when you have a low constitution and a class with no Fortitude bonus). Midway up the steps, the earth shakes as a powerful shout of “Dovahkiin” echoes from the Throat of the World. Grog and Celeste almost fall to their deaths (failed Reflex saves) but are saved by the rest of the party.
Upon reaching the monastery, the party decides to enter, as they assume it must have something to do with Bob. When they get inside, they are greeting by one of the Greybeards, who at first seems curious why they are there and asks if they saw anyone else on the path.
“I think you called me?” asks Bob sheepishly.
The Greybeards, surprised by the existence of another Dovahkiin, take Bob to the courtyard to test the power of his Thu’um. Bob succeeds in not getting himself shouted to death while the rest of the party tries to figure out what exactly is going on.
Another Shout comes from the Throat of the World, and the Greybeards tell Bob that their leader, Paarthurnax, wishes to speak with him immediately and they are to escort him along the way. The rest of the party, however, must remain behind. This is a private matter.
Major Plot Revelation!
Bob is taken to the top of the mountain and left their by his escort. A moment later, the huge dragon Paarthurnax flies down and lands before Bob.
“Welcome, Dovahkiin. Forgive my confusion, but you smell familiar to me. Why have you come here?”
Bob confesses to Paarthurnax that he is the younger brother of The White Witch, the original Dragonborn. The dragon asks about the whereabouts of Bob’s sister. Bob tells him the last time he saw her, she was heading to Soltheim to deal with some dragon cult that had attacked her and later attacked him. But she hasn’t been heard from in years.
The dragon contemplates the situation before revealing the disturbing news that he has not felt her presence on Nirn in some time, but neither is she in Sovangarde, because he cannot feel her presence there either. She is elsewhere, but where is unknown.
Bob remembers the cryptic statement from the entity that emerged from Hermonius Mora’s destroyed shrine and relays the story to Paarthurnax.
“If your sister has gotten involved in a plot involving the Daedric Prince, it is possible that she is on one of the planes of Oblivion and beyond my reach to feel. She may be beyond our reach to help.”
Bob defiantly insisted that he has faith in his sister and that she will come home. The dragon tells him that he is always welcome at High Hrothgar, and that he will instruct the Greybeards to afford him any assistance that they can provide. He then teaches Bob the Shout to open the way up to the Throat of the World, so he can return to discuss matters as more information is learned.
Bob goes back down the mountain as Paarthurnax once more shouts to the Greybeards. The Greybeards reaffirm that they will provide any assistance that they can “Just as we did to your sister when she faced Alduin.”
Because Bob forgot to mention that his companions didn’t actually know that little point, so neither Paarthurnax nor the Greybeards knew to keep it a secret.