While Esbern didn’t know much about how to rid Skyrim of the dragons, he knew a place where we could get some ideas. He told Delphine, Lydia, and I of Alduin’s Wall – an ancient relief that accounts the reign of the ancient dragon Alduin, the rise of the first dragonborn Tiber Septim, and the battle between these two legendary figures. Esbern believed Alduin’s Wall resided in an ancient Dwemer ruin called Karthspire located to the east of Whiterun, near Markarth, a city I have yet to visit.
The journey wasn’t too bad from Riverwood and it marked my first time battling the Forsworn, a clan of Bretons who dressed in animalistic attire and were relentless in attacking us. I’ll have to research them later. Another group I didn’t know a lot about (but learned about thanks to Esbern) was the Dwemer. Esbern told me they’re a lost race of elves that were quite advanced for their time. I wondered why Alduin’s Wall was inside a Dwemer ruin, but as it turned out, Karthspire was a Blade refuge way back in the day; much of their equipment was still around.
Alduin’s Wall was impressive. It was very large and the detail in the relief was unbelievable. As we all examined it, Esbern told us of the story of Alduin. He was a powerful dragon that terrorized the Nords. They were helpless until Tiber Septim appeared as the first dragonborn and was able to battle Alduin. Esbern believed the relief depicted Tiber Septim defeating Alduin with a shout. He knew nothing of this and Delphine advised me to ask the Greybeards as they might know. I didn’t realize it before but Delphine has hostility for the Greybeards, and apparently the Blades and the Greybeards might not get along.
Lydia and I returned to High Hrothgar and spoke with the Greybeards. Arngeir was reluctant to tell us anything about this shout and he did show resentment towards the Blades. He believed that Alduin’s return represented the end of the world and if it was time, so be it. However a thundering voice came from the heavens and Arngeir had a change of heart. He was worried that I would become a merciless dragon killer and wander from the way of the voice, but I’ll do what I must to protect the world.
Arngeir and the Greybeards had basically taught me all they could and sent me off to climb to the Throat of the World and speak with the leader of the Greybeards, the source of the thunderous voice. I was amazed at what I saw when I made the trek – a dragon! This dragon wasn’t hostile towards Lydia and I however. He began speaking with me and revealed himself to be Paarthurnax, the leader of the Greybeards. He was a well of information and I learned so much from him; dragons are eternal and his time on Nirn has made him the wisest living creature in the world. What was most interesting to me is what he had to say about Alduin.
When Tiber Septim and the Nords rose up to Alduin and defeated him, they didn’t kill him; Paarthurnax believes they instead sent him forward in time! He believes they did this with an Elder Scroll, although he didn’t know the location of one (I later spoke with Arngeir and he told me to visit the College of Winterhold for more information on that). Paarthurnax also told me of the shout I was searching for. Dragon Rend as it’s called has the ability to decimate a dragon by forcing them to comprehend mortality (dragons are immortal) and tear them to shreds. This shout and the Elder Scroll are linked, and while Paarthurnax had a wealth of information and shed a light on so many things that would take hours to write down, I now need to head for the College of Winterhold to learn more on how to defeat Alduin.