“Is that the standard way of worshipping Azura?” I asked Brelyna quietly as we watched the almost naked priestess perform her morning prayer at the altar.
Brelyna and I had finally reached the Shrine of Azura and had climbed up the steps to the top when we realized that we were not alone. As we got closer, we were surprised to see the priestess wearing nothing more than her underwear, standing with arms outstretched as she performed the morning ritual out in the cold morning air.
“Um, it’s not the…standard way of worshipping. But everyone has their own way of doing things,” Brelyna whispered back.
As we stood back for a few minutes, silently waiting for the priestess to finish her prayer, I thought of the different reasons why she would not be wearing a proper robe. Perhaps she didn’t get many visitors out here. Or, maybe she was a naturalist - I had heard of secret enclaves where people liked to go about their business wearing only what nature had given them. Or maybe it was just her ”way of doing things,” as Brelyna had put it.
Finally, the priestess put her arms down and turned to look at us with not the least bit of embarrassment or surprise. She smiled and beckoned for us to come up.
“Azura has seen your coming, traveler,” the priestess said to me as I reached the platform. “It was not curiosity, but fate, that has led you here.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. This was just getting stranger by the minute.
“Azura has given me the gift of foresight,” she explained, calmly. “I had a vision of you walking up these steps to this altar long before you were born.”
“You have been chosen to be her champion,” she continued, seeing the doubt in my face. “I know it is unexpected. But everything will turn out just as Azura has predicted.”
The priestess, Aranea Ienith was the name she gave me, explained to me that Azura had tasked me to find an Elven mage in Winterhold who was able to turn “the brightest star into night.” I had no idea what that meant, but Aranea assured me that Azura would light the way.
I waited on the lower platform while Brelyna prayed at the altar. Just as we turned to leave, the priestess called out to us. “Remember, this has all been foreseen. We all have our parts to play in this,” she said as she waved goodbye. We waved back and left to our next destination: Muzlft.