A Pilgrims guide to the holy Pillars of our Way
By Gurnjad Shormirisson
Wanderer of the Way
Praise be to our Master, and to the Teachings of the Way.
Hail, Pilgrim! It is to your honor that you seek to learn of the Pillars. They are the guides along the Way, and their sites are holy to our Cult.
Let us speak first of those called the Pillars of the Way:
They are called thus because of their importance. They were the first established by our Master, and they guide us in all that we do.
By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Way, you begin your journey.
By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Progress, you may learn of your progression upon the Way. By consulting it you can understand your distance, and reflect upon all the choices you have made
By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of the Choice, you may choose how you will progress upon the Way. The powers that we gain upon our Path must be determined and decided upon by us and us alone.
By seeking the counsel of the Pillar of Rewalking, we may choose to Rewalk the Way. We are relieved of our previous choices, and may make our decisions anew. Be wise, though, because Talos gives us only one chance to Rewalk our Path.
Let us now turn our attention to the holy sites of the Pillars of Power. These Pillars are unique places of importance, where great judgement of justice was once made. The significance and power of these sites influenced the Master and the Cult to erect Pillars in honor of them. These Pillars bestow upon the Pilgrims and Wanderers a unique power to aid them in their pursuit of justice.
Pillar of the Shadows
The Pillar of Shadows is the site of a great battle between a Wanderer and a Bandit camp that took place after nightfall. The Wanderer Hod's heart was weighed upon in compassion for the locals who had suffered under the tyranny of the bandit chief. The Orc chief forced a tax upon the village that he had taken by force. He controlled the movements of everyone in the area, keeping them from alerting nearby villages. Their village was small, as well, and could not resist his warband. The blood of many of their sons already soaked the ground from the initial battle. Hod, however, encountered one of their men as he ran from the clutches of three bandits. Hod assaulted the criminals and dashed their brains upon the rocks. Filled with gratitude, the young man told the whole tale to Hod with his dying breath. Hod traveled to the surrounding villages and raised a band of his own to match the chief's force. At nightfall he and his men crept through the shadows and attacked the invaders. All of villagers were brutally slain by the heroes. The Orc chief himself was slain in his bed as he forced himself upon a local maiden. Justice was served.
Find ye the stone of Shadows
There you will find the Pillar of night
Pillar of the Elements
Avoid the Apostates! For once there was another cult; a cult of Apostates. They were vile and conniving in their deeds, and they turned every thought towards personal gain. Because of their evil, they tempered their powers and became masters of both magic and the Moth combat form. Eventually their masters learned to even combine the styles to form a new mode of fighting. But despite their power, their greed destroyed the new cult. When the temple heard of their apostasy, Master Shormir led a force of Wanderers and Elders to their tower and destroyed every one of their hideous followers. In memory of their downfall, and to warn future generations from following the Apostate Path, the Master established a Pillar that bestows the cult's elemental skill upon Wanderers and followers of the True Way. Justice was served.
Pillar of Dimensions
Vanquish the Dark Brotherhood! As with all men of valor, our Master has encountered assassins from that vile association. Once, upon traveling to Dragon Bridge from Riverwood, he stayed the night in a camp on the shore of the shorter branch of the River Karth. He awoke in the night with blade at his throat. But the wretched assassin was not prepared for our Master's skill. Instead of Shormir's blood upon the ground, he was surprised to find his own when our master stole the blade from his hand. But the evildoer was crafty. Through some arcane sorcery he vanished from the tent. Our Master ran into the night and discovered the man upon a rock, laughing at his own power. "You can not catch a man who is not there," he mocked. But justice is not to be derided. Our master struck the evil man down and learned his power. Now he grants the ability to all who follow him. But beware, for such power is not to be abused. The power is not reliable, and could take you to your grave within the ground. Justice was vindicated.
Pillar of Aptitude
The Pillar of Aptitude was the first Pillar to be established by our Master, and is visited by Pilgrims more than any other. When our Master first built the Pillars of the Way, he also built the Pillar of Aptitude to guide them upon their way and to speed their progress upon the Path. Justice can be learned.
To reach the Pillar of Aptitude, you need only to find the Guardian Stones.
Pillar of the Healer
The Pillar of the Healer is the most recently established Pillar. During the beginning of the conflict between the Empire and the Stormcloaks, a caravan of Pilgrims was caught between two opposing forces. In desperation, the Wanderer in charge of the caravan called upon his knowledge of the arcane to protect his men and heal them while the battle raged around him. Though arrows flew through the air, and lightening bolts seared ground, not one of the Pilgrims fell dead upon the ground. Finally, as the battle drew to a close, the Wanderer collapsed in fatigue. The noble man sacrificed his life's force to protect the Pilgrims, and in his great honor to the Master build this Pillar. Justice was protected.
Venture ye to the valley of the Sleeping Tree
Look ye then to the rise of the sun,
And to lights of the frozen lands.
Follow the path of their merging,
And the Healer's Pillar will be discovered.
Pillar of the Whirlwind
Honor our Master! For there is no equal of his in the art of the Way form. When he strikes an enemy, the vile wretch is vanquished. When he casts an Apostate down, they are crushed beneath his blows. No rival has he in Cultist combat. Whether with the bare fist, or with the Implements designed by his skill, all who come before his might are destroyed. Fear him in battle, and respect him in debate. For not a Dragonborn could defeat him in war. In mercy and in honor did he establish the Whirlwind Pillar. For he wisely saw that his power must be shared if his followers were to bring the light of justice into this dark world. To meet that end did he build this Pillar. Once a day, Pilgrims of this Pillar are granted his skill and power to pummel their enemies beneath many blows. Justice enlightens the world.
Behold the tower of the Dwemer!
Like a sentinel it reaches to the sky from the Reach,
And now it has another ward to guard
The Pillar which our Master bestowed.
Pillar of the Seer
Not long after the formation of the Cult of the Way, an elderly man came from Cyrodil to visit our Master at the new Temple. He was a Cultist of the Ancestor Moths, our father Cult. Though our Master had once been banished from their brethren, they saw that he had now become a great man, despite their initial dispute. Thus, he offered our Master a chance to return to the Ancestor Moths, and forsake the Way. Gently, and wisely, our Master declined. With grace, the elder accepted his decision, and left our Master with a gift. The gift was the knowledge of Seeing. For centuries the Ancestor Moth cultists have read the Elder Scrolls to decipher their meaning. But to do so leaves them blind and nearly mad. To aid in the service of Justice, the elder granted our Master and his followers the ability of prescience vision. Though the user is partially blinded for a short while, they are allowed to see the presence of all creatures in the region, whether dead or alive. Justice was honored.
The Pillar of Shadows was not established nearby,
But seek ye out the city of Wind,
Follow the waters west to the frozen lake,
and there will you gain the power of the Seer.