High Hrothgar loomed before Samuel. He went inside and walked through the stone halls, looking for Arngeir. He found him sitting on a chair, munching on some bread.
"Hello, Dragonborn," said Arngeir. "We haven't seen you in several weeks. Are you here for more training?"
"Sort of," said Samuel. "I need to learn the Shout used to defeat Alduin."
Arngeir frowned. "What?!" he said angrily. "Where did learn of that? Who told you about that Shout?"
Samuel bit his lip. "It...it was recorded on Alduin's Wall. The Blades, Esbern and Delphine, helped me find it."
"Of course," said Arngeir. "The Blades...They specialize in meddling in matters they barely understand."
"The Blades just want to defeat Alduin. Don't you?"
Arngeir looked ready to explode. "What I want is irrelevant. This Shout was used once before, was it not? And here we are again. Have you considered Alduin was not meant to be defeated? Those who overthrew him in the ancient times only postponed the day reckoning, they did not stop it. If the world is meant to end, so be it. Let it end and be reborn.
Samuel sighed. "So you won't help me?"
"No. Not now. Not until you return to the path of wisdom."
The room shook as Master Einarth walked in.
"ARNGEIR! RAK LOS DOVAHKIIN, STRUNDU'UL. ROK FEN TINVAK PAARTHURNAX."
The room stopped shaking and the ringing in Samuel's ear stopped.
Arngeir looked at him apologetically. "Dragonborn...wait. Forgive me. I was...intemperate. I allowed my emotions to cloud my judgement. Master Einarth remained me of my duty. The decision to help you or not is not mine to make."
"So...can you teach me the Shout?" asked Samuel.
Arngeir sighed. "No. I cannot teach it to you because I do not know it. It is called 'Dragonrend but its Words of Power are...unknown to us. We do not regret this loss. Dragonrend holds no place within the Way of the Voice."
Samuel's heart fell to his ankles. "If you don't know the Shout, how can I defeat Alduin?"
"Only Paarthurnax, the leader of our order, can answer that question, if he so chooses."
"Who is...Paarthurnax?" asked Samuel. The name felt strange and alien in his mouth.
"He is our leader. He surpasses all in his mastery of the Way of the Voice."
"Why haven't I met him before?"
"He lives in seclusion on the very peak of the mountain. He speaks to us very rarely, and never to outsiders. Being allowed to see him is a great privilege."
Samuel's heart put on a jetpack and flew back up between his lungs. "I need to see him then."
Arngeir shook his head. "You weren't ready. You still aren't ready. But, thanks to the Blades, you now have questions only Paarthurnax can answer."
"How do I get up to the top of the mountain to see him?"
"Only those whose Voice is strong can find the path. We will teach you a Shout to to open the way to Paarthurnax."
They walked out to the courtyard with the other Greybeards. They moved to an area Samuel hadn't been before. It was a short stairway to a landing with a fire pit. A gate with a dragon face carved into into stood behind the fire pit. A snowy flurry stood directly behind the gate instead of a door. Samuel held out his hand, and was about to stick it into the flurry.
"Stop! Don't do that!" yelled Arngeir. "You'll be frozen forever!"
"Isn't this the start of the path to Paarthurnax?"
"Yes. I will show how to open the gate," said Arngeir.
He used a shout and three sets of runes burned into the ground. They turned into a wind that went into Samuel and they disappeared.
"You have been given the Clear Skies Shout," said Arngeir. "I will grant you my knowledge of Clear Skies. This is your final gift from us, Dragonborn. Use it well. Clear Skies will blow away the wind, but only for a time. The path to Paarthurnax is perilous, and not be embarked upon lightly. Keep moving, stay focused on your goal, and you will reach the summit."
Samuel looked at the snow flurry.
LOH VAH KOOR!
The flurry was gone. Samuel stepped onto the trail and the snow flurry returned. He walked along the path, climbing steadily upwards. A wooden bridge was built across a long drop.He kept walking and heard a high-pitched hiss. An Ice Wraith, a crystalline...thing (creature and monster sounded dumb) native only to Skyrim. It flew in the air and bit at Samuel. He shot a flame spell at it and sliced it with his sword. It fell to the ground and melted. The path seemed to be leveling out, and Samuel made it to the peak. It was a flat area covered in snow with a Word Wall near the center. A large rock spire jutted out a dozen yards from the Word Wall.
"Where's Paarthurnax?" muttered Samuel.
A massive dragon swooped down onto the mountain. Samuel drew his sword. The dragon landed in front of him.
"Drem Yo Lok. Greetings, wunduniik. I am Paarthurnax."
"Y-you're a dragon?" stammered Samuel.
"I am as my father Akatosh made me. As are you...Dovahkiin. Tell me. Why did you come here, volaan. Why do you intrude on my meditation?"
"I need to learn the Dragonrend Shout. Can you teach me?"
"Drem. Patience. There are formalities which must be observed, at the first meeting of two of the dov. By long tradition, the elder speaks first. Hear my Thu'um! Feel it in your bones, match it, if you are Dovahkiin!"
Paarthurnax turned to to the Word Wall. "Yol...Toor...Shul!"
Fire flew from his mouth, charring the Word Wall. When the smoke cleared, a set of runes had been burned into it. Samuel learned the Shout as Paarthurnax gave him his knowledge of the Shout.
"Now, show me what you can do," said Paarthurnax. "Greet me not as mortal, but as dovah! Do not be afraid. Fassnu. Let me feel the power of your Thu'um."
Samuel looked at the old dragon.
YOL TOOR SHUL!
Fire spewed from his mouth, singing Paarthurnax.
"Aaah...yes! Sossedov los mul. The dragonblood runs strong in you. It is long since I had the pleasure of speech with one of my own kind. So. You have made your way here, to me. No easy task for a joor...mortal. Even for one of Dovah Sos. Dragonblood. What would you ask of me?"
"Can you teach me the Dragonrend Shout?" asked Samuel.
"Ah. I have expected you. Prodah. You would not come all this way for tinvaak with an old dovah. No. You seek your weapon against Alduin."
Samuel smiled. "Yes. Do you know the Shout?"
Paarthurnax dipped his head. "Krosis. No. It cannot be known to me. Your kind, joore, mortals, created it to be a weapon against the dov...the dragons. Our hadrimme, our minds, cannot even...comprehend its concepts."
Samuel sighed. "How can I learn it then?"
"Drem. All in good time. First, a question for you. Why do you want to learn this Thu'um?"
Samuel blinked. "So I can stop Alduin."
"Yes. Alduin...zeymah. The elder brother. Gifted, grasping and troublesome as is so often the case with firstborn. But why? Why must you stop Alduin?"
"The prophecy says only the Dragonborn can stop him."
"True. But qostiid, prophecy, tells what may be, not what should be. Qostiid sahlo aak. Just because you can do a thing, does not always mean you should. Do have no better reason for acting than destiny? Are you nothing but a plaything of dez? Fate?
"I don't want the world to end," said Samuel.
"Pruzah. As good a reason as any. There are many who feel as you do, although not all. Some would say all things must end, so that the next world can come to pass. Perhaps this world is simply the Egg for the next kalpa? Lein vokiin? Would you stop the next world from being born?"
"The next world will have to take care of itself."
"Paaz. A fair answer. Ro fus...maybe you only balance the forces at work to quicken the end of this world. Even we who ride the currents of Time cannot see past Time's end. Wusdsetiid los tahrodiis. Those who try to hasten its end, may delay it. Those who work to delay the end, may bring it closer. But you have indulged my weakness my weakness for speech long enough. Now I will answer your question. Do you know why I live here, at the peak of the Monahaven, what you name Throat of the World?"
"Uhh...no. Dragons like mountains, right?"
"True. But few remember that this was the very spot where Alduin was defeated by the ancient heroes. Vahrukt unslaad...perhaps none but me remember how he defeated.
"Using the Dragonrend Shout, right?"
"Yes and no. Viik nuz ni kron. Alduin was not truly defeated,either. If he was, you would not be here today, seeking to...defeat him. The Nords of those days used the Dragonrend Shout to cripple Alduin. But this not enough. Ok mulaag unslaad. It was the Kel, the Elder Scroll. They used it to...cast him adrift on the currents of Time.
Samuel's brow furrowed. "What's an Elder Scroll?"
"Hmm. How to explain in your tounge? The dov have words for such things that joore do not. It is an...artifact from outside Time. It does not exist, but it has always existed. Rah wahlaan. They are...hmm...fragments of creation. The Kelle, Elder Scrolls, as you name them, they have often been used for prophecy. Yes, your prophecy comes from an Elder Scroll. But this is only a small part of their power. Zofaas suleyk.
"Are you saying the Ancient Nords sent Alduin forward in time?
"Not intentionally. Some hoped he would be gone forever, forever lost. Meyye. I knew better. Tiid bo amativ. Time flows ever onward. One day he would surface. Which is why I have lived here. For thousands of mortal years I have waited. I knew where he would emerge, but not when.
Samuel sighed. "How does any of this help me?"
"Tiid krent. Time was...shattered here because of what the ancient Nords did to Alduin. If you brought that Kel, that Elder Scroll back here...to the Tiid Ahraan, the Time-Wound..with the Elder Scroll that was used to break Time, you may be able to...cast yourself back. To the other end of the break. You could learn Dragonrend from those who created it."