“In which Leona does some archaeology, looks at pretty carvings, and makes a decision.”
Esbern was terribly excited when we discovered the hidden entrance to the temple or perhaps fortress was a more apt name for the structure. It was not only carved into the hillside, but it was surrounded on all sides by tall rocky mountaintops that blocked it from view and still allowed the sun to shine. If the sun ever shines in the Reach. The structure was a validation and example of Akaviri architecture and all that he had studied. He couldn’t help pausing every four steps to exclaim over a carving or cunningly placed symbol. Delphine was more practical and between the two of us we got him to help us avoid the traps that had been left for the unwary. “Dragon” seems to be the key to almost everything they did.
At last we arrived at the main entrance which was disturbingly a huge carved face in the wall. Even worse was that according to Esbern the symbol on the floor had locked the temple tight and the door could only be opened by the blood of the Dragonborn. I’m not sure that any blood wouldn’t have also opened the door, but my blood did indeed work and we entered the temple. Probably the first in generations to make it so far. Alduin’s wall sat in the main hall of the complex.
I had expected the wall to be like the word walls I’d already discovered where dragon shouts were recorded. This one would be for a shout that we could use stop Aludin from bringing all the dragons back and destroying the world. However, the wall instead was carved in reliefs not the dragon tongue. According to Esbern the pictures showed the birth of Alduin at the beginning of time, the subjugation of the Nords to the dragonlords and their eventual uprising with the help of the dragonborn who could use the shouts. It showed the blades and the dragonborn bringing Alduin down from the sky with a shout and then it showed prophecy of the return of Alduin and the dragonborn.
It did not, however, tell what shout was used to defeat Alduin. At least not in any form that I could use to learn the words. That meant, despite all the knowledge contained in the temple, we were still no closer to stopping Alduin and he would continue to bring the dragons back who would continue to attack the Nords. I wouldn’t say it was a complete waste to find the wall, but I will admit that I was disappointed by how little we learned. Esbern decided to stay at the temple and continue looking for clues with Delphine, but I was too anxious to wait and find they still learned nothing. After a couple days of fruitless searching, I had to leave or go mad.
The memory of Miraak’s cultists haunted me and it intrigued me. They say that Ulfric used a shout to kill the high King, but I’d never met him nor anyone who claimed to be Dragonborn, even if they wanted to kill me. I wondered if perhaps this Miraak knew anything that would help us. Or if not, at least I could figure out why he wanted to kill me. I decided to visit Solstheim while Esbern and Delphine continued to look for clues.