The elevator rose ever higher. Samuel's vision was clear again. He thought he saw some clouds, but I have to be really far underground, he thought. No, those were definitely clouds. The elevator slowed to a stop on a small mountain.
"Where am I?" wondered Samuel.
He stepped off the stone platform, and it descended back down to the depths of Blackreach.
Samuel looked South, and saw the huge palace of Dragonsreach in the distance, somewhat shrouded by clouds. The Throat of the World loomed before him, foreboding as ever. Samuel found a small tent with a skeleton inside. Strapped to the skeleton was a sword, black as midnight, made of ebony. Samuel picked it up and tied to it his waist.
Samuel began the dangerous descent down the mountain.
Samuel was back at the peak of the Throat, with Paarthurnax nearby. He pulled out the Elder Scroll. The gentle snowfall seemed to slow down, or altogether stop, around a small area of the peak. Samuel assumed this was the Time-Wound.
"You have it," said Paarthurnax. "The Kel...the Elder Scroll. Tiid kreh, qalos. Time shudders at its touch. There is no question. You are doom-driven. Kogaan Akatosh. The very bones of the earth are at your disposal. Go then. Fulfill your destiny. Take the Scroll to the Time-Wound. Do not delay. Alduin will be coming. He cannot miss the signs.
Samuel stepped into the Time-Wound. He pulled open the Elder Scroll. Instead of blinding him, the world shimmered like it was a reflection in a pond, and someone swiped through hand through it.
The world changed, and Samuel dropped the Scroll. He was still on the mountain, but the world looked different. The skies were red, and the clouds blue. He was not in the year 4E 201 (4E means Fourth Era.) He was at least five thousand years in the past, during the Dragon War of Skyrim, in the Merethic Era. Two Nords, one a hulking warrior of a man, the other a smaller woman in steel armor. The man held a huge battleaxe in his hands, the woman holding a greatsword. They were both fighting a dragon with dull green scales.
"Gormlaith!" yelled the man. "We're running out of time! The battle..."
Samuel realized these two were the heroes Paarthurnax told him about. They were Hakon One-Eye and Gormlaith Golden-Hilt. But where was Felldir the Old?
The dragon bit at Hakon, the man sidestepping easily.
"Daar sul thur se Alduin vakrii. Today Alduin's lordship will be restored. Krif voth ahkriin. Die now, in vain."
"For Skyrim!" yelled Gormlaith. The two heroes ran toward the dragon, weapons drawn.
"Know that Gormlaith sent you down to your death!" she yelled, before stabbing the beast through the mouth.
After the dragon died, Gormlaith laughed. "Hakon! A glorious day, is it not?"
Hakon sighed. "Have you no thought beyond the blooding of your blade?"
She laughed again. "What else is there?"
"The battle below goes ill. If Alduin does not rise to our challenge, I fear all may be lost."
"Ah, you worry too much, brother! Victory will be ours."
Felldir walked up to the peak, a tube strapped to his back, and a mace hanging from his waist.
"Why does Alduin hang back?" bellowed Hakon. "We've staked everything on this plan of yours, old man."
"He will come. He cannot ignore our defiance. And why should he us, even now?" said Felldir.
"We've bloodied him well," responded Gormlaith. "Four of his kin have fallen to my blade alone this day."
"But has not yet stood against Alduin himself, and lived. Galthor, Sorri, Birkir..." said Felldir.
Gormlaith cut him off. "But they did not have Dragonrend. Once we bring him down, I swear I will have his head."
Felldir sighed. "You don't understand. Alduin cannot be slain like a lesser dragon. He is beyond our strength. Which is why..." he said, taking the tube off his back. "...I have brought the Elder Scroll."
Hakon looked alarmed. "Felldir! We agreed not to use it!"
"I never agreed! And if you're right, I won't need it."
A huge black dragon flew toward them.
"We shall see soon enough!" said Gormlaith. "Alduin approaches!"
Alduin landed near them, breathing fire everywhere.
"Meyye! Tahrodiis aanne! Him hinde pah liiv! Zu'u hin daan!" said Alduin.
Gormlaith drew her sword. "Let those who watch us from Sovngarde envy us this day!"
The three heroes turned toward Alduin.
The Shout pounded inside Samuel's head. After all this time, he'd finally learned Dragonrend. But the scene was not over.
Blue light surrounded Alduin. It pulled him toward the ground like someone was tugging on his body with a chain.
"Nivahraan joore! What have you done? What twisted Words have you created? Tahrodiis Paarthurnax! My teeth to his neck! But first...dir ko maar. You will die in terror, to know your final fate...To feed my power when I come for you in Sovngarde!"
Gormlaith growled. "If I die today, it will not be in terror! You feel fear for the first time, worm! I see it in your eyes!"
The three heroes hacked and chopped at Alduin. The blue light kept him the ground, stopping him from flying away.
Alduin picked up Gormlaith in his jaws, thrashing his mouth back and forth, before tossing her out. Her body fell off the side of the mountain.
"No!" yelled Hakon. "Felldir! The Scroll! Use it!"
Felldir opened up the Scroll and held it up. "Hold, Alduin on the Wing! Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to make this contract heard! Begone, World-Eater! By words with older bones than your own we break your perch on this age, and cast you out! Alduin, we Shout you out from all our endings unto the last!"
Orange and blue light flew from the Elder Scroll and circled Alduin, making a net around him. When he tried to move, he was shocked with electricity. The area around crumpled up like a paper ball.
Alduin was gone. The area returned to normal. The skies' orange tint faded to light blue.
"You are banished!" yelled Felldir.
"By the gods..." breathed Hakon. "It actually worked..."
Samuel smiled. He finally had Dragonrend.
The world around swirled like sugar in coffee until he was back, holding the Elder Scroll. The sun was going down over the horizon.
Paarthurnax was waiting patiently. "Alduin no doubt noticed this event. He should be coming soon."
As if summoned, a black shape swooped over the side of the mountain. "Baholki nahkip sillesejoor. My stomach is full of the souls of your fellow mortals, Dovahkiin. Die now, and await your fate in Sovngarde!"
"Lost funt," said Paarthurnax. "You are too late, Alduin!"
"Suleyki mulaag, Paarthurnax. My power has waxed, while yours has waned!"
Alduin rose into the air. "Dovahkiin!" cried Paarthurnax. "Use Dragonrend, if you know it!"
Samuel looked at Alduin.
JOOR ZAH FRUL!
Blue light danced around his body. The black dragon dropped the ground. Samuel drew his sword and charged in, slicing at Alduin's face. Paarthurnax helped by using fire and claw to attack Alduin's side. Samuel kept slicing at the dragon's maw, making some large cuts. The blue light dissipitated and Alduin shouted FUS RO DAH!
Samuel went flying across the peak, and almost fell off the mountain edge. He stuck his sword into the ground and held on, his feet dangling over a three hundred foot drop.
Alduin rose into the air, defiant. "Meyz mul, Dovahkiin. You have become strong. These cuts will not fade soon. But I am Alduin, firstborn of Akatosh! Mulaagi zok lot! I cannot be slain here, by you or anyone else! You cannot prevail against me! I will outlast you, mortal."
Alduin flew away to the east before Samuel could use Dragonrend. He pulled himself off the edge and walked over to Paarthurnax, who looked mournful.
"Lot krongrah. You truly have the Voice of a dovah," said the old dragon. "Alduin's allies will think twice after this victory."
Samuel frowned. "It wasn't really a...a victory. Alduin escaped. It could have ended there."
"Ni liivrah moro. True, this is not the final krongrah, victory. But not even the heroes of old were able to defeat Alduin in open battle. Alduin was always the pahlok--arrogant in his power. Uznahgar paar. He took domination as his birthright. This should shake the loyalty of those who serve him."
"Where do you think he went?" asked Samuel.
"Hmm. Krosis. I do not know. Perhaps...one of his allies could tell us. Motmahus...but it will not be easy to...convince one of them to betray him. Perhaps the hofkahsejun, the palace in Whiterun, Dragonsreach. It was originally built to house a captive dovah. A fine place to trap one of Alduin's allies, hmm?"
Samuel laughed. "Jarl Balgruff might not think so."
"Hmm, yes. But I have no doubt you could convince him. Once the threat is revealed to him, he may be more willing."
Samuel nodded. "Hopefully."