Ascension, depicts Fenrik and Seldtis's promotion to Miraak and Vahlok, respectively.
Betrayal, features Miraak's corruption at the hands of Hermaeus Mora
While Endgame, tells the story of the climactic final duel between the Miraak and Vahlok.
"*Sigh* Vahl, it is time I tell you the truth." The First said one day.
"What more is there to know?" The Dunmer Dragonborn questioned "I'm sure you've told me this story once before."
"Yes, I did. But perhaps I haven't told you all of it...
Solstheim: 3000 years ago
"Come Fenrik, Sahrotaar is expecting us. Quickly now, you know well not to keep a Dragon waiting." A Dunmer said, beckoning his friend towards him. The Nord looked up, gave a hearty laugh and replied
"Ah, well met Seldtis! Right, my apologies. But what would Sahrotaar want with us? Have we done something to displease him?"
"He didn't say, but he did mention a moot of the Dragons. All of the high-ranking Dragons will be there, Sahrotaar, Kruziikrel, Relonikiv, Paarthunax and Odahviing." Answered Seldtis
"That sounds rather odd." Fenrik responded with a hint of unease "But if the Dov are to hold a moot and request an audience with us, who are we to deny them?"
Fenrik and Seldtis were no ordinary, everyday people. They were both Priests of the Dragon Cult, and high-ranking ones at that. It was their job to ensure that a peace was preserved over the mortals and the Dragons they looked up to as God-kings. The Nord and the Dunmer walked a lengthy distance to the Dragon Cult temple at Sahrotaar's request. But they knew little of the events to come, because a Dragon doesn't converse with a mortal, unless it was absolutely necessary.
"Fenrik and Seldtis, Valokein wah grind do faal Dovah" Sahrotaar said, greeting the two mortals "The other Dov and I have been discussing your actions and we find you bahlaan... worthy, to receive our greatest gift to mortalkind. If you will but kneel to us, we will bestow the gift unto you Krosis."
Both priests then knelt before their Dragon Overlords on command.
"By the right of the Dov and as the Children of Akatosh, do you Krosis, take up the responsibilities we would bestow upon you, or burn trying to do so?" Sahrotaar yelled out
"I will..." Fenrik responded, followed by Seldtis
"And will you serve only the Dov, in life and in death?" Odahviing added
Once more both mortals answered with "I will..."
Paarthunax spoke up next "And finally, will you hold no God over Alduin, who's Thu'um is the greatest of the Dov?"
Fenrik and Seldtis once again replied accordingly.
"Then by the will of the Dovah mu'ulaav, I name you both, High Priests of the Order." Sahrotaar decreed "This means you will now cast aside your mortal names and be given new ones as we see fit. Seldtis... You are overly protective of things precious to you, no?
"Yes. That is true my Lord." the Dunmer replied
"I have just the name for you." Sahrotaar assured "From this day forth, all of Nirn will know you as 'Vahlok'. In our tongue, it means 'Guardian'. May you keep guard of this peace that has been established... And you, Fenrik. Your will to command rivals that of a Dovah. Tell me, why do you take interest in guiding your fellow mortals along this path we, the Dov, have set for you?"
The Nord looked at the Dragon and responded by saying "I guide them, so that they would always remember that they owe the Dragons their allegience."
"You have always been a faithful priest, Fenrik. You have served us well and you will be rewarded." Sahrotaar commended with the other Dragons nodding in agreement "I have just the name for you. From this day forth, you will be called 'Miraak'. 'Allegiance Guide' in our tongue. And we have another gift to give you, Miraak."
The newly christened Miraak, stood to recieve the final gift the Dragons had for him.
"It is a Dragon Priest mask of your own. It's name shall be Miraak as well, as our traditions have stated. You are now bound to that mask, as it is to you." Sahrotaar said once more. "Now, go and continue serving us in ways you see fit"
The Five Dragons took to the skies they called home, once more.
"Fenrik, we are High Priests now, and you even have your own mask." Vahlok said only to be interrupted by Miraak
"Fenrik? I know not of this Fenrik of which you speak...
Now come Vahlok, we have work to do..."
"But there has to be more to it, Miraak." Vahl said. "How exactly did you find out you were Dragonborn, and how did you come to be involved with Hermaeus Mora?"
Miraak looked at the Dunmer and frowned, saying "Well, the moment the man you know as "Miraak" found out he was Dragonborn, was the moment the good man "Fenrik" died."
Solstheim: One year after the Christening
Miraak sat in his study, staring at a strange object Vahlok had brought him just days earlier. A book, as black as night surrounded by a corrupted aura. The Dragon Priest sat there and pondered the meaning of the book. He made a gesture towards the book as though he was about to open it to discover its contents, but before Miraak could do such a thing Vahlok bursted in through the door.
"Miraak, come quickly! Vokluumriik and Kruzvedzah are fighting." Vahlok yelled out.
Very rarely do two Dragons engage in a battle of the Thu'um, to witness a debate of the Dov was a privilege few were able to experience, and Miraak could not pass up this opportunity. So Miraak slid on his mask and quickly ran to the site of the battle where they saw the two Dov engage in an aerial battle. The two hurled their Thu'um at each other for the next half hour, and at the end Volkuumriik laid motionless on the ground, while Kruzvedzah flew away victorious.
"Vahlok, take the cultists back to the temple. I wish to study Volkuumriik in solitude." Miraak ordered. Vahlok complied and rounded up his fellow spectators.
Miraak was about to walk up to the corpse of Vokluumriik to collect scale samples, but barely made a few steps before the slain Dragon began disintegrating. The Dragon Priest was then struck with a colorful aura and felt a surge of power coursing through him. His blood felt hot and cold at the same time, and his very soul was on fire. Everything was hazy for Miraak, he was forced to the ground wondering what had happened. He then remembered that Dragons could absorb the souls of their fallen brethren by the same method. Miraak then stumbled back to his study, in pain the whole way, wondering what had happened. How could a lowly mortal absorb the soul of a Dragon? It was simply inconceivable. He went to record this event in his journal, but in his power-drunken state, he opened the Black Book by mistake. All went dark for the Priest.
"Where am I?" Miraak questioned when he came to, his vision slowly returning to him
"You..... are in my realm..... of Apocrypha....." A voice said to Miraak "It was a matter of time.... before you came here... seeking for the knowledge you have always wanted.... yet did not know you did..."
"Who are you? Speak quickly!" Miraak cried out, demanding the entity's identity
"I.... am Hermaeus Mora.... Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate.... and I possess the answers you seek.... I have been watching you Miraak from the very beginning..." Mora spoke in his slow and steady pace.
"If you have the answers to my questions, tell me why a mortal like me was able to absorb a Dragon's soul." Miraak demanded
"You are not a normal mortal... Miraak... You are.... Dragonborn.... The first of your kind... You possess the blood and soul of a Dragon... but... you are in a mortal body..... In essence... you are a Dragon... and as Dragon.... you crave power.... I can give you what you need... to achieve such power.... but all knowledge has a price...."
Miraak was puzzled, yet somewhat intrigued. When he absorbed the Dragon's soul, he felt as if he were in a state of ecstasy. Something inside, told him that he needed more of this forbidden power.
"What is your request, for this knowledge to a greater power?" The Dragonborn asked
"I simply ask for your allegiance... for you to become... my Champion..." Mora requested
Miraak's heart told him to say "no", but his blood and soul told him "yes". The First Dragonborn submitted and kneeled before Hermaeus Mora.
"Excellent choice... my champion.... Here.... is a shout of my own creation.... Use it bend the world to your will..." Mora chuckled with delight
What felt like months to Miraak's consciousness, was only a few hours in the real world, and Vahlok was sitting by his friend's bedside worried. As far as Vahlok had known, Miraak had fallen ill and was in a coma, but as Miraak came back to reality, he immediately demanded an audience with Sahrotaar, Kruziikrel and Relonikiv.
"Miraak, you know better than to speak to the Dov, uninvited." Vahlok pleaded, but the Dragonborn would hear none of it.
The First Dragonborn marched towards where the three Dragons were perched with a deathly glare in his eyes.
"We have not requested for your presence, Miraak. It is a great disrespect to interrupt a Dov, you know this." Sahrotaar chastised
However, Miraak feared the Dragons no longer, he was now backed by a Daedric Prince's power and he intended to use it.
Kruziikrel demanded for Miraak to turn around before he made the Dragons unleash their wrath. However, Miraak only said three words in response.
"Gol... HAH DOV!!!!"
"Seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days and days to weeks... Solstheim was mine, Vahl. My betrayal of the Dragons spurred whispers of rebellion amongst those who feared them. And when word of my ability to slay Dragons got around to eager ears, I was approached by Hakon One-Eye and his lot. You've met them in Sovngarde. It was they who aided us in felling Alduin, but they came to my temple begging for my help in Alduin's undoing. That was three thousand years ago, but I denied them my help in my hubris. I believed myself perfectly capable of killing Alduin, should I choose to, but I was delayed..."
Vahl leaned in closer, keenly listening to the climax of Miraak's tale, millenia in the making.
"The Dragons were not amused with my betrayal, so they met me in battle at my temple. The Dragon Cultists and the Dragons themselves against my own cultists and the Atronachs of Apocrypha. It lasted for several hours... heavy losses on both sides. My temple and cultists burned, but I had slain and devoured the souls of innumerable Dragons that were sent to kill me. At last, we had reached a stalemate, with each side refusing to give way to the other... And when the fighting ceased... I heard the voice I had wished never to hear from in this fight."
Solstheim: 3 weeks after Miraak's betrayal
"Stay this madness, Miraak!!!!" a voice cried out amidst the ruin of this terrible conflict. Miraak looked towards the voice's source and was shocked to find out it was none other than Vahlok, dressed in his finest armor.
"So, you use my own friend against me?" Miraak directed towards the Dragons in a condescending tone, all the while fighting back the tears forming in his inverted eyes. For Miraak knew, what Vahlok had come to do, before he even announced his intentions
"Miraak... The Dragons have demanded your death, and tasked me with bringing said death to you... And so it shall be. I'm sorry, my friend, but we shall have one final duel and let Fate decide as to what will become of you. It is better this way." Vahlok said, clearly heart-broken at his closest friend's betrayal. Vahlok had always looked up to Miraak during their time in the order, and aspired to be a strong willed leader like him. But those days were long gone. His friend was twisted and corrupted by the lust for forbidden power, Vahlok drew his sword and readied his spells, ready to make his move.
Miraak stared down at Vahlok and uttered a tearful response "So be it.... Mul... QAH DIIV!!!!"
The First was surrounded by ethereal armor, taking on the aspect of the Dragon. A shout of his own creation, a shout that was the very essense of power.
"Wuld... NAH KEST!!!!!" Miraak shouted as he bolted down towards Vahlok. The two priests clashed blades and began hacking at each other, but each combatant knew the other's fighting style well. They spent the next few minutes parrying and slashing, Miraak with the sword of Hermaeus Mora and Vahlok with a Ceremonial Dragon Blade. And at last Miraak's blade found its mark. Vahlok felt his strength leaving his body as the tentacle drained his stamina, but he would not be fazed. He picked himself back up and confronted Miraak once more. But Miraak was quick with this shout.
"Tiid... KLO UL!!!" Miraak shouted as time slowed down. As Vahlok's strike was slowed down, Miraak grabbed Vahlok's sword and shattered it, leaving the Dunmer Dragon Priest weaponless, but not defenseless.
As time returned to its normal speed, Vahlok countered with a shout of his own "Fus... RO DAH!!!!" The First Dragonborn was sent flying, but recovered quickly, shooting powerful Lightning bolts at Vahlok, with Vahlok blocking with a Ward while returning fire with his own Lightning bolts. This contest of their mastery of magic and shouts lasted well into the night, and to the dawn of the next day. The Dragons and Cultists were wise enough to leave the area while both Priests battled it out, but none were prepared for what followed next.
"Miraak let's just get this sorry fight over with!" Vahlok said, not wanting to fight his friend any longer
Miraak looked Vahlok in the eye and said "Hmph. As you wish..." And with that, Miraak and Vahlok both roared to the heavens with a shout so powerful and loud, it called out to Space itself. The sky darkened and turned a blood red. The earth quaked, tornadoes and thunderstorms were formed and meteors began to fall from the sky. It was a forbidden shout, that was so destructive in its nature, it broke the very earth apart.
Vahlok looked down and the ground was splitting beneath his feet. "Miraak, we're tearing this land apart! Stop this now!" But Miraak wouldn't listen. He jumped past the divide to end Vahlok. And it was then they started hurling their worst spells at one another for days. By the dawn of the 3rd day of battle, Miraak and Vahlok were brought to their knees out of exhaustion. But Vahlok found the power within him to stand and pick up the sword of a fallen Cultist and put it to Miraak's throat.
Miraak looked up to Vahlok and begged for death to the point of tears "Vahlok... Don't let them kill me... Don't let the Dragons kill me! YOU... You kill me... here and now... I beg you..."
Vahlok felt pity for Miraak, and reassured his friend "I always looked to you as a brother, Miraak. It's a shame you must meet your end this way, but it is for the best."
"I know..." Miraak whispered, closing his eyes and waiting for the end
"Good-bye, brother..." Vahlok said tearfully, as he raised the sword, ready to bring it down on Miraak's neck, but Sahrotaar, Kruziikrel and Relonikiv had descended from the skies to protect their master, and in the chaos, a mass of tentacles snatched Miraak and his three Dragons and transported them to Apocrypha
"Did you think.... I would give up.... My Champion.......? You...... Are sadly........ Mistaken........" Hermaeus Mora laughed and as quickly as he appeared, he vanished leaving Vahlok all alone on the newly created island of Solstheim. He made his way back to the Dragon Cult's temple where he was praised as a hero and paragon of loyalty for his defeat of the man who would forever be known as "The Traitor".
Miraak awoke in Apocrypha, dazed and confused and looked towards the sea of Apocrypha, hearing Mora's chilling laugh echo through the realm. And he wept, because he chose this path without hesitation and he must suffer the consequences for the rest of his life.
Epilogue Apocrypha: 3000 years later
Miraak stood all alone in Apocrypha, he had spent the past 3000 years gathering enough power and influence to enslave the people on the island of Solstheim. Word has reached his ears that Alduin and the Dragons had returned, and the First was eager to finally end the World Eater. But to do this, he needed to return to Nirn in full, because his time in Apocrypha had tethered his being to the Daedric Realm. Miraak wanted nothing more than to set things right.
"I... am so sorry Vahlok. I know you are long gone from Nirn and that your soul rests in Sovngarde, but I will return and set right the wrongs I've committed. Not a day goes by where I don't regret clashing blades with you that one fateful day, but the past is the past... Eh Vahlok? Yes... The time comes soon when... What?" Miraak said before he was interrupted by an intruder, in the form of a young Dunmer woman. He turned around and shot a flurry of lightning towards the newcomer bringing her to her knees, before walking towards the Dunmer and demanding her identity
"Who are you to dare set foot here?" Miraak asked, but he felt Vahlok's blood in her veins as well as the presence of a stronger power
"Ah.... You are Dragonborn. I can feel it. And yet...." Miraak said
The rest is history...