The Nine Divines. Powerful and absolute deities reigning benevolently over the man and mer of Tamriel. Akatosh, Mara, Stendarr, Julianos, Dibella, Kynareth, Arkay, Zenithar, and Talos.
Together, their pantheon is the official pantheon of the Empire. Are they real? Well, most seem to think so, though their acts are not as prolific as those of the Daedra.
I mean, except for that real big one at the end of the main Questline of Oblivion…but, er…never mind that…
Once, long ago, the Eight (as they were known before the ascension of Talos) saw their need of a champion against a vicious elven sorcerer who threatened to become much as they were themselves. Thus, they gifted a lone individual with the garments befitting a Knight...a…Knight of the Eight, if you will. And thus, Pelinal Whitestrake slayed the dread Umaril…but did not finish the job. Umaril’s spirit remained intact and waited for the day that he would return...and return he has, for some reason using Dwemer runes to mark his return upon the altars of the Nine, in the blood of their very priests.
Apparently Umaril is royally pissed about something.
Luckily, the player character who may or may not be the Champion of Cyrodiil by this point (as well as the Master of the Fighters’ Guild, Gray Fox of the Thieves’ Guild, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, and the Archmage of the Mages’ Guild) can speak to a crazy old man living outside the chapel in Anvil, who will set him upon the path to becoming the Avatar…I mean, the Divine Crusader, the only being worthy to recover the Relics of the Knights of the Nine and defeat Umaril once and for all.
This, during the first bits of your quest, means you’re going to traverse the length and breadth of Cyrodiil looking for the wayshrines of the Nine scattered about the wilderness in order to receive the status of Pilgrim within the Church of the Nine Divines. This, once completed, will purify your character. Or, in game terms, will see that all your points of Infamy you have gathered from working for the Thieves’ Guild or the Dark Brotherhood (or all around just running around killing people…it happens more often than you think) will be reset to zero, giving you a clean slate.
Of course, once you’ve become the Divine Crusader, you pretty much have to tow the line and be a good boy (or girl) or you will be unable to use the Relics and will have to go through the Pilgrimage all over again. And trust me, anything worth doing once is making sure you only have to do once. Hence, top tip, if you’re planning on going the Dark Brotherhood or Thieves’ Guild routes, go right ahead and do it before you take on the mantel of the Divine. Thus, you get all the perks of those without any of the dirtied hands. Fun fun.
|The map given to you by the Prophet.|
KoTN actually adds in a fair amount of new content and expounds on a few areas that already existed within the game. It has its own storyline which, albeit short is pretty good for an expansion. Most of your time is going to be spent in going from place to place, because nobody save those who take the long-running joke about the Elder Scrolls being nothing but a hiking sim and have literally traversed the entire length and breadth of the map will be able to fast-travel anywhere near some of the locations. That being said, the suit of armor and weapons you receive of the Crusaders set is very nice and there’s even a nice rack (stop laughing!) you can set everything in to bring it up to your level if you got it at a lower level, as well as instantly repair and reload all the magical charges in the sword and mace. Fantastic!
|This is the skin of a paladin, Bella!|
That being said, really, my only criticisms for it (besides those that come with vanilla Oblivion) is that it’s just rather short when you take out all the padding from the travel. But I can’t really complain too much about that, since what we get is fairly good for what we are promised by it. Unlike, say, being promised we could fly around on dragons and getting a merry go round that shoots fireballs instead.
But alas, even now, our journey back to the earlier half of the 2000s is not done yet. Next time, we’re going to take a trip to somewhere in the neighborhood of crazy. Pack your straitjackets, folks, we’re off for the Shivering Isles…
Knights of the Nine is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC from Bethesda Softworks.