Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Oblivion. Bethesda Game Studios does, and as one of their loyal followers and forum members, I would never dare claim ownership of any of their works.
A Cloak of Lies
Gardenhall was empty. The halls were silent, the rooms deserted, even the slave quarters were dead. Not a sound disturbed the beings that would spend their eternal rest there. Not a sound. There was a great flash of white light in the council chambers, and suddenly there were once more ten figures sitting there. But these were not Order members. Five were garbed in darkness, their features shrouded and concealed, while four others were hidden by light, only the outline of their figures visible. The final being wore a gray cloak, but nothing could be seen of his face.
And so the Order ends, as shall our rule. Perhaps Stendarr was too quick in conceiving his plan. Perhaps Akatosh and Arkay were correct in saying we were no longer needed in the realm. Our time appears to be over.
Nonsense Kynareth. We shall always be needed. Even Akatosh was forced to accept this when the foul Mehrunes Dagon threatened them, and through them, us.
Mehrunes was not foul, he simply was doing what he knew best. Sowing discord and chaos. In that case he decided his presence was necessary, just as your Akatosh did, Zenithar.
How very predictable for the Daedra to defend the Daedra. And here I thought Mehrunes was hated, hmm? Honestly Namira, why do you even bother?
Bother with what?
Coming here. Taking the place of someone much more... Qualified. Like Meridia. She was so much more pleasant.
For the same reason you haven't brought Akatosh or Arkay I imagine. She didn't agree with the Order to begin with. And indeed, looking at the state of the world now, I too must wonder. Regardless of that though, I believe you were much too hasty in interfering with Claudius, Magnus.
What would you have had me do?
Wait and see.
That's very foolish of you Namira. You know exactly what would have happened should Claudius have succeeded.
I don't need you to chastise me, Azura. What would have happened is that he would have destroyed all the Aedra. It wouldn't have been terribly hard to kill him afterwards.
Perhaps... Yet I don't think it would be wise to allow the Aedra to be destroyed. However much you all may hate them, the mortals still require their existence. At the most all I would want is the stripping of their powers.
Thank you Azura. I appreciate that not all of the Daedra are mindless fools reminiscent of Mehrunes.
Of course, Zenithar.
All right, that's enough. We are here today for a very specific reason. The girl, Selena. What shall be done with her? While the other humans are still relatively powerless, she could become powerful enough to accomplish Claudius's goal. Do we really want to allow her to exist?
You forget, Magnus, that you already made the promise of non-interference with the mortals.
And you forget, Hircine, that no promise made to mortals need be held. I shall call a vote, and you shall represent your respective groups in this regard. Should we, or should we not allow the existence of Selena Jucanis and those like her, with the knowledge that chaos shall eventually be sown because of them? Azura?
Let them live, I say. Many lives were saved because of her, and I believe the essence of her soul is just.
Give them their lives. They have yet to play the Game and take the Test, so they have not been proven worthy of my attention.
Destroy them. They shall cause trouble in the future for us, I can see it.
I agree. Destroy them. Their attempts at saving this planet in the future shall only cause the deaths of thousands. This world does not need saving, not from them.
I concur with Hircine. They have yet to show their true prowess yet, and the mortal soul can only truly be read during times of great danger. Now that they have awakened, let them experience it again so that we may observe them.
Destroy them. I warn you all now that their continued existence will only put the world in more danger.
Spare them. Though they destroyed my Order, I must now agree with Akatosh. Our continued interference will only cause more hardships.
Destroy them. Logic dictates that the only outcome of their existence is the perpetuation of further wars and bloodshed.
Kynareth? The decision is yours.
I say spare them. They haven't done anything to deserve our wrath yet, except exist, and do we truly have the right to condemn beings for existing?
Very well then, they shall be spared destruction. There is, however, one final matter we should attend to, one I haven't yet informed you all of. Before I destroyed Claudius, I gleaned a disturbing piece of information from his mind. Somewhere in Cyrodiil there is a person he infused with some of his memories and powers. This person he has shielded from our view, most likely with some Daedric artifact he secured. I cannot locate him, but I know he exists. This person is an extreme danger and will require our interference. From this point on, I want all of you to be watchful for anything strange occurring in Cyrodiil. That will obviously be much harder now, but I have faith that you will all ignore the promise I made and continue to influence mortal events. This is acceptable. However, I want no physical involvement from any of you. If I ever witness another invasion or summoning, I will come and strip you all of your powers. I hope you can understand what will happen to you after that.
Varus walked along the streets of the city of Skingrad, staring up at the castle with a gleam in his eye. Ever since that strange man had visited him, he had felt weird. Almost as if his body was changing. Honestly, the man had scared him, but his offer was irrefusable. He would finally be able to get off the streets and become someone important. There wouldn't be any more begging for food and clothes. He would be able to take everything he wanted. And all he had to do was be a test subject for a spell.
Varus hadn't even felt the spell when the man had shot him with it, and he hadn't noticed any changes then. The man guaranteed him that the spell would grant him what he wanted, smirked, and then teleported away in a flash of light. The teleportation more that anything had shocked him. He had always thought teleportation was impossible without a scroll, and even then it was illegal. It made him wonder if he had made the right decision. Now though, he knew he had been correct.
He flexed his hand as it burst into blue flames, then dissipated it. Some day, he would take that castle as his own. Some day, when everything was ready. He would make plans for it, and they would be flawless as always. The pieces would be ready, the board would be set, and then, then the game could begin...