I seem to be losing hope… How long must one be true to a promise to those who are no longer around? What care do THEY have if you fulfill it or not? Will they know? My questioning of the gods goes unanswered, but that is not new. Who can know the will or ways of the divine? Or really want to… I have been searching for Cat and Twig so long I have lost the importance of the quest in my heart. Why are they important? Why did my parents die for this? All these gods-be-damned questions! What is happening to me?
I am beginning to believe I must leave Vvardenfell, though this is my home. My heart aches at the thought. I can intimately recall every rock and tree, each man and beast… though the island is huge, it feels very tiny at this moment.
I head to the Tel Mora wayshrine, since it’s relatively close. I am in this area of the island helping where I may. Be that through diplomacy or dealing death, always searching for my sisters. As I step up to the shrine and start to perform the invocation that will trigger its magic, I feel a push/pull. This is a force akin to the gentle hand I felt previously. Unseen. There the similarity ends. This time there is a palpable anger involved. As if I have warranted retribution from the force.
What right does this being or power have to be angry with me? Have I not done all I can do to hold true to my promises? Have I not bled and suffered and killed in the years of trying to accomplish something I do not fully understand?
As I fume in my head, I realize I have been walking some distance. Unconsciously fighting the pull, or push.
Tears are streaming down my dusky cheeks, salting my lips. I am close to curling in a ball and giving up. Gods, powers, and parents be damned. As I let loose a moan of frustration and rage, I come to a tree.
With a ladder.
Leading through a platform.
The force vanishes. As if I only imagined it. I am surprisingly bereft of even its angry company. I must be going insane.
Yes. At least I hope so. I can no longer stomach the uncertainty and sadness that have become a pervasive part of my life recently.
I grudgingly climb the tree, and after standing amid the scene on the platform, I take a seat. Seemingly left vacant just for me. Something begins to happen. Something I haven’t felt in a long time. Wonder.
I begin to wonder at so many things. How long have these two been here seemingly undisturbed? Who are they? Who is lighting the torch? The pumpkins are fresh… Is there really someone out in my beautiful homeland taking care of these two oddities? Why? For how long?
Was a promise made? And I’m hit with a mental bolt of….something. A tenuous grasp about answers to questions I have asked so many times.
I spend a day going over every conceivable inch, nook, and cranny of this mysterious open air tomb. I find few clues. Around the bony remains of the necks of both people, hidden beneath their robes, there hangs a necklace. Each with a different inscription in ancient Dunmer script.
One reads as follows: If you do not die for something,
The other: then you choose to die for nothing.
The poignancy of this statement does not elude me. I realize I have been letting doubt about my ability to find Cat and Twig cloud and darken my self confidence in the ability to do so. Leading me down a path of surrendering. Quitting. Spitting in the face of my mother and father. Thumbing my nose at the power that seems to know me better than I know myself. Forsaking my promises. Which leads me to why I believe I am here now. That which the caretaker of these two surely knows. Promises mean something. Even to the dead. For in our keeping of them we acknowledge the sacred vow they really are. We hold a vision of the time they were made to the other person. In that memory they still live. Still hopeful that the promise will be taken care of. To the one the promise is made, there is no responsibility in our fulfilling it. Only hope. Hope that you or I have the willpower and integrity to follow through.
Hope blooms eternal with the essence of longing, dreams, and desires. Promises to be kept.
Cat, Twig, you are the living embodiment of my promise. I choose to die for you.