"Didn't expect to see any mortal faces today - not living ones anyway. You must be new. Provincial militia, right? You got the look of one." Provincials?"The Covenant. The Pact. The Dominion. The bull-headed armies tearing each other apart on the fields of Cyrodiil while Daedric beasts lounge on the throne. If you've come to ask me to join my banner to yours, you can walk right back out that door."
Actually, I'm here to help you. One of your soldiers sent me."Zel. He always sees the best in people. That's why I had to drag him, bleeding, out of a legionary stockade. He couldn't believe our superiors would betray us and hand the city to Molag Bal. Me, I see the worst in people. That's why I am still alive."
So you don't want me help?"I didn't say that. Desperate times demand flexibility. Molag Bal's lapdogs are preparing for another assault. My soldiers are exhausted and the door braces are near to breaking. We need help. If you're willing to fight, you'd have my thanks."
I'll defend your garrison from Molag Bal’s army."Our weak points are blocked doors on the north, west, and south sides. Zel's scouting for attacks, so if he thinks the Daedra are going to hit a door, he'll mark it with a sigil. Look for that sigil and wait. Zel will update you whenever he can."
How have eight soldiers held this garrison for two months?"Through some of the best soldiering I have ever seen. These soldiers are lions. Stubborn as High Rock mules. We've also been lucky. Very lucky. I figured we've made things so damned difficult that the Daedra have found better things to do."
Is that all there is to it?"That almost sounds like you don't trust us. Don't worry, the feeling's mutual. But for now, I need you to send those Daedra back where they came from and protect my people. We'll talk again after the assault. If you live through it, of course."
After defending the garrison:
"That was some damn fine soldiering out there. Nothing I didn't expect, but it's refreshing to have something go right." Now can you tell me how you've held out for so long?"I suppose it's time for that. It's all due to a scroll. Old magic. Just before Molag Bal's assault on the Imperial City, a group of priests unearthed an ancient scroll they claimed dated back to the time of St. Alessia. Never asked where they found it."
Is this scroll really that old?"Do I look like a priest? All I know is one of them, Father Egnatius, was obsessed with it. He brought it to me and urged me to keep it safe. I wrote it off as nonsense until I had my first dream. It came the night before the city fell."
What was the dream about?"I saw the empress regent and her generals taking Molag Bal's hand. I heard creaking chains and smelled charred flesh... Then I saw the scroll. It was just out of reach, covered in blood. Woke up screaming. After that, I knew I had to keep it safe."
So how has an old scroll helped you defend the garrison?"Like I said, it carries some kind of enchantment... magic strong enough to bring us back when we fall in battle. It's not pleasant, mind you, and each time I come back I feel less like myself. But it's kept us fighting. Simply put, we can't die."
So this scroll made the eight of you immortal?"So long as we hold the garrison... so long as we keep fighting, yes. Zel's taken to calling us the "Immortal Eight." Nonsense, but I let him do it. It's good for morale. There's more. Some of the dreams that scroll sent me involved you."
Me?"These were prophetic dreams, like the one that warned me of the invasion and betrayal. I dreamed you would come for the scroll, along with a masked woman. I knew I had to protect it for you. And so we have. Now, you should take it."
So I should take this to the masked woman? The Drake of Blades?"It's for both of you... but her especially. I can't say more. You'd best go find her. Somehow, I'm certain this scroll is key to stopping whatever Molag Bal has planned for our city. Keep it safe."
All right. I'll take the scroll to the Drake of Blades."I have a feeling we'll be seeing each other again, soon. This war is far from over. Until then, watch you back, soldier."
You said each time you come back, you feel less like your self?"Indeed, it's like... shedding warm clothes in a heavy snow. We just get leaner. Colder. The first time I died, I was crushed by a siege engine. The next day, I just woke up - muddy, but no worse for wear. Old Maxima almost had a stroke."
Doesn't losing parts of yourself worry you?"This garrison - this city is all that matters. I will grind whatever grist the mill requires to protect it, even at the price of my soul. Some of us are more conflicted than others - Arrianus especially. But he fights on anyway. We all do."
If I take this scroll, won't you lose your immortality?"Honestly, I don't know. But it doesn't matter. This building used to be a forum, did you know that? Just bricks, and old ledgers, and broken chairs. But now, it's something more. This garrison is the Empire. I'll see it defended, whatever the cost."