Shivering:Count Cirion's Ghost
|Count Cirion's Ghost
(NPC is ghost)
|Essential||Always (Removed from game after Ghosts of Vitharn)|
Count Cirion is an Altmer noble and ruler of the ruined city of Vitharn, which was overrun by its own brethren centuries ago. As a result of the cowardice, inaction and incompetence displayed by the denizens of Vitharn, and especially Cirion, their ghosts were cursed by Sheogorath to relive their final moments in perpetuity.
Vitharn's destruction only three generations after its founding was no surprise, given that the young Cirion was crowned in haste due to his father's illness, even when it was widely known that he was a coward. Even a shadow of a passing bird would startle him visibly. When the Vassals slowly started to show aversion towards the regime, Cirion failed to react, and when he later learned the news of an upcoming attack, he stationed a defense-line of unprepared and incompetent soldiers and fled deep into the security of the Vitharn Keep. During the related quest, it's up to you to correct all of his mistakes and help the defense line prevent the invasion of the Vassal Fanatics.
As soon as you enter the Keep for the first time, he will seek you out and approach you with the words: "I am Count Cirion, and you have violated the inner sanctum of Vitharn. What say you in your defense?" You are given two choices, and if you choose the correct one, he will fill you in on the tragic tale of Vitharn: "Wisely answered. My people and I are in need. Maybe you can help us. Centuries ago, Vitharn was overrun by Fanatics. We were soft and failed to defend ourselves. I was the weakest of all. Now, the shades of my people are cursed by Sheogorath to repeat the final moments of their failures, over and over again. You must help us break the cycle of torment. Help my people overcome their weakness and defend Vitharn from the Fanatics. Walk among them. There were four who failed to protect the gate lever. Find out what they did wrong and help them correct it. You can put away your sword in these halls. Unlike the defending spirits, within these walls, none will war with you. Not even the Fanatics." If you choose the 'I'm here to cleanse these halls', Cirion will get angry and immediately lock the door behind you with the words: "Arrogant fool! I curse you to remain trapped here with the shades of my people. As we are doomed to eternally relive the last moments of our failed attempts to save our keep, so shall you eternally watch us."
After this, he will turn around and walk into the dining area of the Keep and take a seat in a chair on a podium, looking at all the ghostly upper-class residents still feasting, endlessly repeating their own ignorance: "Those Fanatics are so tiresome. Do they have to interrupt our feast?" and "Let the soldiers fight the Fanatics. I have better things to do.". If you approach the Count again, he will say: "My people long to be laid to rest. Please help them." After the words "Was my sin so great that I must suffer for all eternity?" he will enlighten you further: "Do you seek to deepen my despair by reminding me of my greatest failure? Four people failed in their duties that day, allowing the Fanatics to open the main gate. In the end, I failed with them. At the moment of my death, Lord Sheogorath appeared. We had already earned His wrath for sins of pride. He told me that the spirits of my people would remain bound here, replaying our cowardice, as a lesson to those that thwarted his will."
As it turns out after a visit to the battlefield, three of the ghostly defenders have major issues and different reasons for their failure long ago. After speaking with all of them, Count Cirion will have additional information: On the treacherous and stunted mage, Hloval Dreth, he will say: "Hloval's treachery is second only to my cowardice. My curse will not allow me to help you with his need." Doll-obsessed Desideratus Annius will make the count reflect: "Desideratus is a gentle fool. I never should have allowed him to take up the sword. My curse will not allow me to help you with his need." When asked about brave archer Althel the Count will prove unhelpful for the third time: "Athel was a brave scout. She brought us the first word of the Fanatics. My curse will not allow me to help you with her need." Ironically, while dying over and over in the defense line, Althel will tell you about Count Cirion's reaction when the city was attacked: "1, 6, 1. I was the first to spot the invaders. 8, 0, 3. I was on patrol when I saw their skirmishers marching toward Vitharn. 3, 9, 8. I rode back as fast as I could to tell Count Cirion of the danger. 8, 7, 4. He went and hid. 9, 8, 9. 14, 11."
After helping the three ghosts stop most of the attack, it turns out that one of the Fanatics still manages to slip through; after greeting you with "I feel something different...the curse feels lighter somehow.", Count Cirion will, when confronted with the problem, finally prove helpful: "The defenders of the gate were not the only ones to fail their town. My greatest shame is that I was struck by cowardice and fled. Like my people, I am doomed to repeat the actions of my cowardice. Alone, I cannot redress this wrong. However, you can. Take my helm. With it, you can take my place in the defense of the gate. Defeat the Devoted Fanatic in combat, and the curse will be lifted. Be warned though. While you wear the helm, it is as if you are one of us. You are trapped in these ruins until you lift our curse." After using Count Cirion's Helmet to defeat the last Fanatic, a relived Count will appear on the battleground and thank you with all his heart: "You have lifted the curse. All of Vitharn thanks you. You may keep my helmet. It never did me much good."
- If you have completed the Main Quest, Cirion's first and final dialogue lines will differ slightly: "I am Count Cirion. What does the mighty Lord Sheogorath need here among the shades of Vitharn? Have you come to mock us?" and "You have lifted the curse. All of Vitharn thanks you, Lord Sheogorath. You may keep my helmet. It never did me much good."