10: The Tale of the Traitor and the Guardian

In this new segment on our podcast, we fill in the blanks of Elder Lore scrolls lore with creative fiction. The following story was heavily researched and cross-checked with primary sources, but is still a work of fiction. It can be experienced in-game as well, with our new mod. If you have Skyrim on PC, find The Wanderer’s Tales on the Skyrim Workshop and subscribe to get started!


The Aldmeri Dominion had come into Cyrodiil in great numbers, quick as the wind in the mountains. In the first days of the invasion, the unprepared southern counties fell easily under Thalmor sword and spell. In the coming months they pressed north, and as the Elven invaders took more and more territory, and showed scant mercy for innocents, people began to flee Cyrodiil with all due haste. The east was more or less off limits, after the fall of Baar Dau and the eruption of Red Mountain laid Morrowind to waste, and then the swift invasion from Black Marsh saw large swaths of lands in the south returned to the Argonians. It was not safe for refugees. Skyrim was, as of yet, untouched by the Aldmeri Dominion, however, so many fled through the mountain passes north into the snow and ice. Others headed west into the Heartlands toward Hammerfell and High Rock.

And so it was that, when the moons were high and the snow was just beginning to fall on the rolling hills and wheat fields of the Colovian Highlands, the Wanderer came to a campsite in the night. Those who sat around the fire were startled at first, but seeing the Wanderer slumped and walking with a crude wooden cane, decided he was no threat and shared their fire and food. These are lean times, they said, when an honest family must leave home and hearth to escape Elven swords. The Wanderer nodded and happily slurped up a bowl of stew, and washed it down with warm ale. Those in attendance slowly slipped into silence, thinking about things lost and left behind, thinking about what was to come for them and for the Empire, thinking about how long it would be before they could once again sleep indoors. And so, the Wanderer cleared his throat and spoke.

I don’t have anything to give you, to repay you for your generous offers of food and warmth and shelter for the night. There is not much these old bones can carry these days. But I do have one gift I might share with you, if it please you. I have seen many places, and heard many stories. Some of them true, some of them fairy tales, but they may serve to distract you, for a time, from your heavy hearts. And perhaps this night, instead of dreaming of death and blood you will dream of something more magical. So the people gathered closer around the fire, men, women, and children of all ages, pulling their cloaks tight against cold, and listened to his story…

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