Nightcaller Temple, as it turned out, had once been a Shrine of Mara before the Cult of Vaermina, Daedric Prince of Nightmares, took it over. Years ago, Orcish raiders invaded the temple, and the Daedric priests' last line of defense was the Miasma -- a gas-like energy field that put everyone in the temple into a deep sleep; the nightmares and insomnia plaguing the residents of Dawnstar appeared to be fallout from the Miasma. Erandur and I fought our way through the awakening Orcs and priests (all hostile) to find the source of the Miasma: a staff called the Skull of Corruption, Vaermina's Daedric artifact. The catch was that the Skull of Corruption was protected by an unbreakable force field.
The process of breaching the force field involved a kind of time travel; the details are morally irrelevant, but this stage of the quest did reveal that Erandur the Priest of Mara had once been known as Brother Casimir of the Vaermina Cult. He confessed that he ran when the Orcs attacked, and in his shame, converted to Divine worship. This is a critical point for my playstyle; Erandur's remorse and willingness to suffer for his misdeeds compelled me to save him later. After I disabled the forcefield, returned to present time, and defeated Erandur's revived former comrades, Erandur began the ritual to destroy the Skull of Corruption. As I watched the priest, the voice of Vaermina broke into my consciousness, saying, "He's deceiving you. When the ritual's complete, the Skull will be free and then Erandur will turn on you."
|Have I mentioned how much I dislike being a Daedra's puppet?|