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> Kothet's Story, A dremora in Skyrim, and his housecarl.
ghastley
post Oct 17 2016, 02:01 PM
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Acadian: The metal spiders have the extra annoying factor of magic resistance, even if they're less "real".

Renee: If the spiders in your basement are the size of the ones in Tamriel ...

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Previously: Kothet and company have found the diaries of the (dead) researchers in Nchuand-zel, and a lot of scrap metal.

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12 - Broken Tower

I presented the diaries and journals to Calcelmo, who recalled the expedition. He'd been intending to pay Staubin's team for their research, but since they wouldn't be coming back to collect, he gave the gold to me instead.

I was glad to receive payment in gold, rather than goods, as I was just about at the limit of what I could carry. I needed to smelt all this scrap into ingots, and make some bows (and sell them).

The ingots somehow weighed more than the items I'd melted down. I could barely walk, as I carried the metal back up to Ghorza's forge to make bows. I bought her entire stock of iron ingots, too, and made more bows than the entire guard here could ever use. Ghorza told me to keep enough dwarven metal to improve them, too, as that would give me even more smithing practice.

And the bows I made were heavier than the metal. I still don't understand that. But since I sold about half of them to Ghorza, I had the strength to take the others down the ramp to the market, where Lisbet at Arnlief's bought the remainder. She asked if I could look out for a statue of Dibella that she'd ordered. It had been stolen by Forsworn on the way to her, and she had an idea where they might be holding it.

I didn't have any Orichalcum, or I'd have tried upgrading my warhammer here in Markarth. All that forge-work should have raised my skill level a bit, but I'd have to find out later. Maybe we could go back to the Tower past Dushnik Yal, and I could mine some there. No, the statue that Lisbet wanted was in the other direction. I checked my map, and another Orcish Stronghold was in that direction, so maybe we'd continue on to that instead.

---

Broken Tower Redoubt was right next to the road, and one of the Forsworn was on guard outside. She was dressed like all the archers I'd encountered before, but this one was wielding dual swords. She was hit by at least two firebolts before she reached me, and fell at the first blow of my warhammer.

But now the archers on the redoubt walls had seen us, and arrows were starting to rain down. We needed to get inside, and engage them on level terms. The door wasn't locked, and nobody was waiting inside, so we got a chance to heal, and for my companion to cast her armour spell, before we resumed battle.

A couple more of the Forsworn women were stationed in the hall we entered. One on the balcony above us had a bow, and the one on our level had an axe and a sword. Engaging the latter took me out of the fire of the former, who was getting a firebolt attack, anyway.

Before leaving the area, I took a look around for Lisbet's statue. I found one, but it wasn't the right one. I took it anyway, as it looked valuable, as well as decorative. I wasn't sure if it was made of gold, or just gilded, but it was well-made, and I liked the choice of subject, too.

---

It seemed that all the Forsworn we encountered in the redoubt were women. There were archers, mages and sword- and axe-wielding foragers, but they were all female. And in that skimpy armour of theirs, obviously so. I knew that the boss of the Forsworn parties was likely to be one of the briar-hearts, and I'd only encountered males who'd undergone that. Would we meet our first female briar-heart here? Or would it be just one lucky (and probably tired) male?

Whichever it was would probably be behind that door, in the last tower of the redoubt. We'd taken the last of the women by surprise, and she'd dropped quietly, so we had a chance of sneaking in unannounced. I crouched, and tried the door. It wasn't locked.

Up ahead, I could see the (male) briar-heart, standing in front of a large statue of Dibella. Even from this distance, I could see that it was daubed with blood, and clearly part of some nasty ritual. It made sense why this particular bunch would have taken Lisbet's statue, too.

I nocked an arrow, and signalled for my companion to hold her fire a moment. The arrow staggered him, but didn't kill him outright. Nor did the firebolts that followed it, and he started to fire lightning back at us. That appeared to stop her from casting more firebolts, but it didn't stop me from shooting another arrow. He staggered again, and I reached for my warhammer to finish him off.

Just in time, I realised that there was a trap on the floor between us. Going back to the bow, I fired again, as a weak flame from behind me set off the rune trap. The blast of ice from it caught the briar-heart just as my arrow struck. I brushed frost from my face, and saw that I didn't need another arrow.

It was now safe to search the area. I found a key on his body that opened a cell at the far side, but there was nothing in that. A side-room, however, had a chest containing Lisbet's statue, and a number of other valuable items. I picked up a necklace from the table, and found a book on Conjuration back in the main chamber. Not a bad haul.

If I'd been alone, I'd have probably stripped the corpses of the women, and taken their armour to sell, too. Something told me that would not be a good idea now.

And if I'd done that, I'd have turned back to Markarth, as I wouldn't have been able to carry much else. As it was, there was no real reason not to continue on to look for Mor Khasgur, the next Orc Stronghold. That was closer than Markarth, although according to the map I had, there was no road, and we'd be travelling across country.

The map didn't show much in between here and Mor Khazgur, but caves, camps and other such places weren't usually marked, until I added them myself. It really just showed the main towns and cities, and the roads between them. A few trails were marked, too, but according to the map, they didn't lead anywhere. There were a couple of these trails to nowhere between here and the Stronghold, crossing our route. And one that lead in the right direction started just outside Broken Tower Redoubt, and headed north-west, the way we wanted to go. What was at the end of it, we'd soon find out.

---

The trail forked, and in the rocks above, I could see the entrance to a cave. Neither branch of the trail seemed to lead to it, so I ignored it for now and continued north-west. We soon saw a number of Stormcloak soldiers and the smoke of their campfires. This was just a temporary camp, so it made sense that it wouldn't be on the map.

Beyond it was a shallow area of the river, where another trail forded across it. I had the choice of going West or North on the trail. According to the map, the trail to the west would follow the river, and not take me to Mor Khazgur. The trail to the north would veer to the north-west, but it ended well before reaching there. Still, it was the right direction, and who knew what was at the end?

It turned out to be a Dragon Mound. Crossing the mound took us onto relatively level ground, and although I couldn't see the Orc Stronghold yet, it appeared that there was nothing in between here and there.
Other than some sabre-cats and wolves, that is. It made the journey exciting, even if we didn't exactly need the pelts.

The Orcs were friendly, and I was encouraged to mine as much ore as I liked. They'd be happy to buy all I could dig, as mining is a tedious and heavy labour, and having someone else do the work is always welcome. I mined more than I needed for my own use. The price they offered was good, and making new allies is always worth while.

As I expected, I managed to improve my war-hammer and armour a little. It would not be long before I could start thinking about a trip to Narzulbur, for ebony.

---

I asked where the trail outside the Stronghold led to. "Nowhere of any significance," the Orc smith replied. "There's a couple of Nordic ruins in that direction, probably occupied by Forsworn or other bandits by now. Then eventually you'll get to the old road between Solitude and High Rock. You can't cross the border any more. The pass was blocked by a landslide a long time ago, and they never bothered digging it out. All the trade goes around by ship these days."

"If you go back the way you came, but head east at the river, you'll get to Dragon Bridge, and another road to Solitude. On the other side of the bridge, the road divides, and goes to Morthal one way, and towards Rorikstead and Whiterun the other." Those were all places on my map, and I could see the roads she was talking about.

I knew that Solitude was the headquarters of the Imperial legion, and they weren't my favourite people after Helgen. So Dragon Bridge looked the more appealing, but where then? I hadn't been to either Morthal or Rorikstead before, so the curiosity factor was about even. Morthal was the seat of the Jarl of Hjaalmarch, so it had the prospect of being a more interesting place than Rorikstead, which looked on the map like just a tavern stop along the road.

Eventually, we'd need to return to Markarth, and take Lisbet's statue back to her, but I'd seen the carriages waiting at the stables and knew that they served the major cities. Perhaps we'd be able to take one from Morthal back to Markarth?


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Acadian
post Oct 17 2016, 10:00 PM
Post #42


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I chuckled as Kothet pointed out that finished ingots weigh more than rough scrap and that the final crafted product weighs more still.

Another favorite dungeon in Broken Tower Redoubt! I never really noticed it before but, by Azura, you are right that all the Forsworn there are women except the final Briarheart.

Then on to Mor Khazgur. In our later days in Skyrim, Buffy followed a pretty similar ‘circuit’ clockwise around Skyrim with each Orc Stronghold on the route.

I’m very much enjoying this story!


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ghastley
post Oct 24 2016, 02:47 PM
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Acadian: Dwarven stuff has to get ridiculously heavy somehow!
Routes will be rather dependent on side-quests, and how urgent they are. This episode will add more.

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Previously: Kothet has picked up a couple of statues of Dibella from Broken Tower Reboubt, one of which has to go back to Lisbet in Markarth. He's headed elsewhere, intending to take a carriage.

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13 - Morthal

Of course, once we reached Morthal, we discovered that the carriages will take you there, but don't pick up. If we wanted to hire a carriage, we'd have to go to Solitude, or Markarth, or Whiterun. The guard mentioned a couple of other cities way to the east, too. Riften and Windhelm were so far away from here, it was almost a joke.

Whiterun was actually the nearest, but there were the mountains in the way. The pass through them was just the other side of the old Nordic complex of Labyrinthian. The guard didn't recommend going through there, as there were frost trolls in some of the old buildings.

"You'd be safer out in the swamps," he told us. "Nothing worse than a few frostbite spiders out there."

A glance at my companion told me that she preferred trolls.

We stayed the night at the tavern, the Moorside Inn, and managed not to inspire the Orc bard to sing. He played the lute well enough, but the tavern-keeper, Jonna, warned us that his voice drove her customers away. "He won't sing while we're chatting, so I like to keep my customers in conversation, for their own good."

She told us all the local gossip, particularly about the fire that had destroyed Hroggar's house, and killed hs wife and daughter. "Hroggar says it was a hearth fire, but some folks say Hroggar started it himself." The Jarl would like to know the truth, and there might be a reward if someone could find it.

Her own theory was that Alva was involved, somehow. Hroggar had moved in with her the day after, and she wasn't just being charitable, and giving him a roof over his head. Alva wasn't that kind of woman.

I discovered that the town mage, Falion, was her brother. He lived in the house just beyond Alva's, overlooking the swamp. For some reason, he was unpopular with the townsfolk, who were suspicious of his night-time activities. Whether their relationship had anything to do with the slow trade at the inn wasn't clear. "Gorm comes here for dinner every evening, so at least one person isn't listening to the rumours," Jonna offered.

---

In the morning, we ate breakfast before Lurbuk rose, and got out before he started singing. When the Jarl's longhouse opened for business, we went in and asked about the burned-out house. Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone gave us the task of investigating. She shared Jonna's suspicions about Hroggar, but couldn't take action without proof. "Perhaps an outsider like yourself has a better chance to find some," she suggested.

At the Jarl's suggestion we started with a search of the remains of Hroggar's house. Parts of the walls were still standing, and in one corner was a ghost! Not an antagonistic one that wanted to drive us away, but a lonely little girl who wanted someone to play with her. I assured Helgi that although I was strange, being a Dremora, that wasn't the same as a stranger, so I could be her friend, if she wanted. We asked her about the fire, but she couldn't tell us there, in case someone was listening.

She wanted to play hide-and-seek, but we'd have to wait until it got dark, so "the other one" could play, too. "If you can find me first, I can tell you." Then she disappeared, going off to wherever she'd chosen to hide, I supposed.

We had quite a bit of time to kill before it got dark, so we wandered around the small town and checked out the only store, an alchemy shop known as the Thaumaturgist's Hut. Lami, the proprietress, was the wife of the mill-owner, Jorgen. She'd started the business when she read a book called "Song of the Alchemist" and she'd love to have her own copy. I promised to look out for one, and bring it to her if I found it.

We also met Alva, the woman in whose home Hroggar now lived. She flirted with me, although I got the impression she did that with all men. She dressed that way, showing almost as much cleavage as my lovely companion, and with a skirt slit up almost to the waist. But something was bothering me about her.

Something seemed fake, but I just couldn't place what it was. She wandered off towards the Moorside Inn, presumably to have lunch.

Idgrod the Younger was watching her little brother Joric, to make sure he didn't get into trouble. "Please don't mind Joric. He's not mad, really he's not." I asked what was wrong with the boy, and she told me "My brother is... sensitive. He has trouble focusing his attention on things. We were taking him to the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun, just so the healers could make sure he was in good health, and they say he's fine."

We talked a while longer and I discovered that "visions" affected the whole family. Jarl Idgrod had them, and considered them a gift. Her own were a bit more erratic, and didn't really give her any insights. Joric just found them confusing and unsettling.

At some point I must have mentioned Whiterun, because she asked me "Are you heading to Whiterun? Could you take this letter to the priestess, Danica Pure-Spring? It's a note about Joric's health."

I took the note. It was certainly likely that I'd be going back that way. I told Idgrod that it might not be soon, but she reassured me that it was more important to deliver it safely than immediately. I'm not sure why she chose to trust it to me. Perhaps she knew that a Kyn's promise was a solid guarantee.

---

The sun was getting low, so we started looking around for likely hiding places for the little ghost girl. At the edge of town was a small cemetery, where it was likely that she, and her mother, would have been buried. We could see, as we approached, that someone had been digging here recently, as there was a shovel sticking up from a hole in the ground, and a small coffin had been disturbed.

When we got just a bit closer, someone came around the rock, dressed in a black robe like the conjurers had worn in the cave where I nearly lost my housecarl. Just like them, she attacked us on sight, using a spell that I didn't recognise, but which seemed to drain my health. It wasn't as effective as my companion's firebolts, which quickly dropped her next to the defiled grave.

The coffin was Helgi's, and that's where she was hiding. She told us that Laelette had started the fire, but had kissed her on the neck so she wouldn't feel the heat. She'd still been 'all burned up' and she was tired, and wanted to rest, but couldn't.

---

"Laelette!" exclaimed a voice behind us. I turned to find Thonnir, who operated the lumber mill for Jorgen, standing behind us with a torch. He told us that the dead woman was his wife, who he'd thought had gone off to join the Stormcloaks. She'd been spending a lot of time with Alva, and was supposed to meet her the night she disappeared. Alva had told him that she never showed up.

"Perhaps she did meet Alva," I suggested. "Somebody made Laelette a vampire, and maybe that was when it happened."

"But that would mean that Alva's a vampire, too! I refuse to believe that. You have no proof!"

He rushed off in a huff, leaving us to put Helgi's coffin back in its grave. I considered burying Laelette, too, but decided that Thonnir would probably want to do that himself.

"Let's take a look in Alva's house," I decided. "She's probably not there at night, and Hroggar should be asleep. If there's any proof to be found, it will be there."

---

Hroggar wasn't asleep, and attacked us when we opened the door. We found a key on his body to the basement, where we found an open coffin, and Alva's journal. This was the proof we needed, as it detailed her plot to make all the town's inhabitants cattle for the vampires, and how she had Laelette deal with Hrogar's wife and daughter.

We took it to Jarl Idgrod, who recognised the name of Movarth, the ancient vampire who'd turned Alva. She raised a posse of men and women from the town to go with us to Movarth's lair outside town, but at the mouth of the cave, they all stopped, reluctant to enter. Most of them fled back to town, except for Thonnir, who I could tell was only there because he wanted revenge for Laelette. When I assured him that I'd do that for him, he left, running after the others.

Vampires don't like fire, so my housecarl dealt with them, as I cracked their thralls' skulls with my war-hammer. Movarth himself was a bit tougher than the rest, and needed attention from both of us. Among the bodies, as we searched the place, we found Alva. Whether the other vampires had killed her, or we had, it was hard to tell.

I collected quite a lot of vampire dust (including from Alva), as well as gold coin. I could have brought out quite a large assortment of boots and shoes, too. One of the vampires must have been collecting them.

As we left the lair, Helgi's ghost appeared again at the exit. She thanked us for helping her finally rest, and I'm sure that my silent partner had a tear in her eye when she disappeared again.


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haute ecole rider
post Oct 24 2016, 03:44 PM
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I loved this murder investigation in Morthal! Otherwise I generally avoid the town, as it is quite possibly the dreariest spot in the whole province.

The way the game handles the kids really pulls at my heartstrings. It brings out the "mother" in me (I have no kids, and no desire to have any, nor regrets that I don't have any, but still . . .) and I want to adopt every one of them, even the ghosts, and bring them home! Alise did adopt six children in one play through - Lydia had her hands full with them! And Rayaa just tried to scare them into submission by scowling at them, but that didn't work. And they kept bringing home stray mud crabs and puppies . . .

Quite the full house in that game. Alise and Argis had to go dungeon delving just to get some peace and quiet!

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Acadian
post Oct 24 2016, 10:06 PM
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Nice telling of the mystery of Morthal!

Buffy lost interest in the town except for her friend Idrod the Younger when all the townspeople chickened out, leaving the little elf to take on Movarch by herself. I'm glad Kothet had his fiery spider-fearing housecarl with him.

Yes, little Helgi tugs at one's heart and glad to see Kothet's Dremoress is not immune either.


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Renee
post Oct 28 2016, 12:34 AM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Oct 24 2016, 05:06 PM) *

Buffy lost interest in the town


This is true for pretty much all my characters who have visited Morthal; none of them have ever done any quests there. But that will change this winter, I'm sure. That quest does sound quite interesting, lots of twists & turns.

I was always disappointed that the orc bard never sung (not in the vanilla game, anyway). I wanted to have a good laugh at his singing.

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ghastley
post Oct 31 2016, 11:06 PM
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Acadian: I almost had the housecarl do all the chatting to Helgi, but decided to stick with the player character Kothet. The two probably preferred not having the townsfolk in the way in Movarth's lair, especially as most of them are people who they might not want killed. Jurgen has part of Mehrunes Razor, Lami is the only merchant in town, and Thonnir sells lumber. Benor will brawl with you, if you need a quick 100 septims. Kothet's more likely to do that than Buffy, of course.

Renee: There are few reasons to go to Morthal. The Mehrunes Razor quest, and the Vampire cure are the only ones that send you there, but it's also somewhere on your map that needs "collecting".

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Previously: Kothet did the "Laid to Rest" quest in Morthal and picked up a request to go to Whiterun.

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14 - Gildergreen

Rather than wake the Jarl in the middle of the night just to tell her, we went back to the Moorside Inn for the rest of the night. We told Jonna what had happened, and she brightened up as we told her of Movarth's death. That would make her brother's life a lot easier, if he didn't have to keep the vampires away from the town any more.

She advised me to take a Cure Disease potion, if I hadn't already. You could catch vampirism from fighting them, and although Falion knew how to cure it, it was a process one would want to avoid. I didn't have one, but I could ask Lami how to make one in the morning.

---

After telling Jarl Idgrod the news, (and receiving a decent gold reward), we headed over to the Thaumaturgist's Hut to make some Cure Disease potions. Lami told me I could use the Vampire Dust to make them, as long as I had another ingredient, Mudcrab Chitin, or Charred Skeever Hide. "If you've got any Hawk Feathers, you don't even have to make a potion. Just eat them."

I had plenty of mudcrab remains, and soon had a good supply of potions. I drank one, and handed another to my housecarl. She took it and drank it immediately, without a word. I offered her another to carry, but she shook her head.

---

Since we now had two reasons to head for Whiterun, to deliver Idgrod's note to Danica, and to take the carriage back to Markarth, we set out for Labyrinthian, and the pass. A couple of the smaller frostbite spiders blocked the road ahead of us, briefly, as a fireball quickly flew in their direction and dealt with them in short order. It seemed that my companion had a new, more powerful, spell in her repertoire.

She also had longer legs, or a shorter skirt. Whichever it was, I approved heartily.

---

The same fireball spell proved useful against the frost trolls we met at the ruin. Although I got caught in the blast a couple of times, fire was not a problem to me, and the frost trolls certainly didn't like it at all. Not that they liked being hit with my warhammer, either.

We passed through the ruin without being too tempted to investigate the various doors we saw. We could come back later, after we'd dealt with our current quests. Likewise, there were several side-trails leading into the hills that we ignored. I was already struggling to remember what unfinished business we had, without starting more.

After crossing the tundra, and discovering that my housecarl could also surround herself with a shield of flame when a pack of wolves attacked us, we arrived at the Whiterun stables. I almost hired the carriage to go to Markarth, but just in time, I remembered Idgrod's letter to Danica. I needed to deliver that first.

Danica Pure-Spring was sitting under the old tree in the middle of town when we found her. She paid me for the delivery, and we started talking about the tree. This was the Gildergreen, and the temple to Kynareth had been built here because of the tree. But it was dying, and could only be revived with the help of sap from its parent tree, the Eldergleam. That would be hard to do, as there was only one way to get that sap, using a special knife called Nettlebane.

I'm not sure when my fascination with the story turned into an agreement to get this knife from the hags at Orphan Rock, but that's what happened. It was in the opposite direction from Markarth, too.

On the other hand, this wasn't an urgent matter. The Eldergleam had been growing for thousands of years, and its daughter tree for hundreds, so a few days wouldn't even be noticed.

---

We rode the carriage back to Markarth, and I delivered the statue to Lisbet. She was delighted, and gave me a sum of gold that was way more than I'd expected. It made me wonder what the second statue I'd found was worth, but she soon dashed my hopes. Gilded and solid are nowhere similar in value.

I decided to keep mine. I should be able to find somewhere to put it, back at the Tower.

---

Ghorza asked how my smithing was progressing. I confessed that I hadn't done much recently, not since my visit to Mor Khasgur. "I have a couple of ebony ingots, If you want to try making something," she told me.

"Not yet," I replied. "It's a big step from Orcish to Ebony, and I still have some way to go."

"You should go to Riften, and have Balimund train you," she suggested. "You'll need to go east for the ebony, anyway."

I needed to go east for Nettlebane, too, and Danica had mentioned that the grove where the Elderglem grew was also in that direction. It looked like we'd be going east.

"Everywhere in Skyrim's east from Markarth" Ghorza reminded me.

---

The road from Helgen towards Orphan Rock was familiar for some reason. Then it dawned on me that this was the way we'd come in on the cart, that day with the dragon. Except now I was going in the opposite direction, and I had much better company.

Yes, she was quite the opposite of Ralof. He'd kept up a constant steam of comment, even as we'd been supposedly sneaking past the bear in the cave on the way out.

Orphan Rock was guarded by witches who liked to use shock spells. That was unfortunate, as a fire mage is at a bit of a disadvantage when she has her magicka drained that way. A war-hammer is an appropriate counter-measure, however, to which they have no answer.

The final hag, and the hagraven that held Nettlebane, preferred fire spells, and that played into our strength. They had little to offer, apart from the dagger itself. A few potions, some ingredients, and a bit of gold. Nettlebane itelf didn't appear valuable, and was rather heavy, for just a short knife. But it was its unique ability to harvest sap from the Eldergleam that made it special, and we had to return to Whiterun to find out how.

---

There was a pilgrim in the temple when we took it to Danica, a man called Maurice Jondrelle, which I think is a Breton name. He'd come to see the Gildergreen, and been disappointed at its current state. When he overheard that we were to travel to the parent tree, he asked if he could come with us.

Since I'd cleared the bandits from Valtheim, before rebuilding the Tower, I knew that most of the road between here and Darkwater Crossing would be safe, apart from the usual wolves and other wild creatures we might run across. So I agreed that he could tag along. We'd not be responsible for his safety once we got there, as I had no idea what to expect when we reached the Eldergreen Sanctuary.

Apart from one incident where the idiot Breton tried to tackle a sabre-cat with his bare hands, and was only saved by a well-timed fireball, we reached Darkwater Crossing without too many problems. The miners there pointed out the way to the Sanctuary, through a cave entrance out among the hot springs.

The entrance tunnel brought us out into a large grotto, where light poured in through a hole in the roof of the cave. The light fell on a huge tree to one side of the cave, and spilled over to a lush green area with a steam flowing through it. A couple of other pilgrims were here ahead of us, admiring the flowers and shrubs by the streamside. The water was warm, and the air in the cave was heavy and moist, making growing conditions perfect for a lot of the tender plants that grew there.

The tangled roots of the great tree were everywhere, blocking the path up to its base. I pulled out Nettlebane and hacked at the nearest root, to see what happened. Would it give up its sap?

Instead the root lifted out of my way, letting me climb further up the path. I repeated the process at the next root, and the next ...

Maurice was horrified at this, and stopped me before I could cut into the trunk of the tree. He told me there had to be another way, and I allowed him to try his alternative first. If it didn't work, it would be back to the original plan.

After a few moments of silent prayer to Kyanreth, he got up off his knees and pointed. There, in front of the tree, was a small sapling, in a pot. "You can take this back to Danica. Tell her it's a daughter of the Eldergleam, just like the one she's trying to resurrect. The true blessings of nature are in renewal, not maintenance. This can become a new Gildergreen, in time."

I could see his point. This was not Dagon's way, but it was the way of this world. Everything dies, and is replaced by something younger, rather than being destroyed and rebuilt every so often. Since the Kyn do not have children, we tend to forget the ways of mortals, and see things a different way. Danica was a mortal, so I imagined that she'd see things more like Maurice did.


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haute ecole rider
post Oct 31 2016, 11:57 PM
Post #48


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From: The place where the Witchhorses play



QUOTE
I could see his point. This was not Dagon's way, but it was the way of this world. Everything dies, and is replaced by something younger, rather than being destroyed and rebuilt every so often. Since the Kyn do not have children, we tend to forget the ways of mortals, and see things a different way. Danica was a mortal, so I imagined that she'd see things more like Maurice did.


I really like this observation of Kothet's. While he is Lord Dagon's minion of sorts, he is not living in Lord Dagon's realm. As such, he understands that when one is in Rome, one must do as the Romans do. If you don't like the Roman way, get the hell out of Rome. Apparently Kothet likes Skyrim just fine for now, and is adaptable enough to accept the way things are in Skyrim. And this little segment right here gives me a great deal of insight into Kothet's character. I like him even more now than I did before!


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Acadian
post Nov 1 2016, 02:29 AM
Post #49


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From: Las Vegas



A busy pair of Dremora! It is great fun to follow their progress across Skyrim.

So many temptations passing the troll-infested Labyrinthian area. . . .
'I was already struggling to remember what unfinished business we had, without starting more.'

Back to Markarth to turn in that statue. . . .
"Everywhere in Skyrim's east from Markarth" Ghorza reminded me.'

The Gildergreen quest! I love Kothet’s perspective, choice and how he listened to the Breton. It is so different when doing the quest as a Bosmer who knows way more about trees than any human named Maurice. tongue.gif

The Eldergleam Sanctuary is such a beautiful area.


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ghastley
post Nov 7 2016, 02:51 PM
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haute: He's different, but not too different, I hope. That is, he thinks the same way, but starts from a different place than any mortal.

Acadian: I'm sure the pair would rather have taken a Bosmer with them, but he was all that was on offer.

-----------------

Previously: Kothet and co. have gone to Eldergleam Sanctuary to collect sap from the great tree, but they've picked up a sapling instead.

-----------------

15 - Riften

We left him at the Sanctuary, and headed back to Whiterun. I presented the sapling to Danica, who wasn't too happy. She'd been expecting the sap, and to get the old Gildergreen back. I told her what Maurice had told me, and she began to see the point. When I added my own insights, especially the comparison between Dagon's methods and Kynareth's, she came around. It wouldn't be the same tree, but it would be young and fresh, and could grow into a new Gildergreen, given time.

---

That was the last of my obligations fulfilled, except for the trip to visit the Greybeards. I wasn't going there until I had my Daedric armour, and I still couldn't make ebony. What had Ghorza told me? Balimund in Riften could train me further, so that is where I should go next.

We took the carriage. I'd already walked half-way there before, twice, and it was the destination, not the journey, that mattered. I expected we'd find reason to explore the area nearer Riften after we got there. It would not have surprised me to find that this Balimund would need me to do something before he'd give me training.

Well, he did have a request, but it wasn't a pre-requisite for anything. His forge needed fire salts, and he'd like me to bring him ten units of the stuff. If I had the coin, he'd train me, but higher-level training costs more, and I couldn't afford as much as I'd have liked. Still, the ability to forge ebony was getting closer. He warned me that he couldn't train me that far. I'd still have to do more work on my own.

Two of the townsfolk had requests to make that fit in with my plans. I needed to collect dwarven metal, so that I could make more bows, and practice my smithing. Mjoll gave me directions to a dwarven ruin in the north where she'd lost her sword, Grimsever. An Argonian woman, down at the docks, had the opposite to ask me. She wanted an item taken back to a dwarven ruin. Avanchnzel was closer, so we went there first.

I must admit that I quite like dwarven ruins. Perhaps it's just the way that the metal rings when I crush one of the automata with my war-hammer, or that it's particularly effective against them.

My companion doesn't appear to share my opinion. They resist her spells, and the spiders remind her too much of the live ones. At least I assume that's why she glares at them with obvious hatred. And although they resist the fire, when a fireball hits them, they fall apart quite nicely. So she hits the spiders, and I take the spheres.

We found ghosts in the ruin, but they weren't hostile, Maybe apparitions would be a better description, too, as one of them appeared to be From-Deepest-Fathoms, the woman who'd sent us her. She didn't appear to be dead, when we'd talked to her in Riften. Or did Argonians get restored, like the Kyn? I didn't think so. The Nords don't, and two of the ghosts were Nords.

We saw them several times as we worked our way through the maze of hallways and chambers. They'd clearly encountered the automata, too, as we overheard comments about the dormant creatures as we progressed. Apparently, they'd been woken up by this party, and we were having to deal with more than they did. There were four of them, and only two of us, but we were Dremora, so that counted for more. I hoped it was enough, as the ghosts seemed to be having an increasingly hard time of it.

We did have the advantage that they'd marked a few of the traps with their dead bodies. We found Drennen first, but it wasn't clear what had killed him. Perhaps the automata had caught him, when he left the group to turn back.

Watches-the-Roots, the Argonian who was apparently leading the expedition, had fallen to a blade trap on one of the ramps. Seeing his body lying at the end of a long slot on the floor made me suspicious, and I'd gone down to investigate along the wall, staying as far from that slot as I could. A lever at the end turned the whirling blade on and off. A couple more steps, and he'd have reached it. Perhaps one of his companions had, as the other two must have passed here.

The final "trap" was a huge dwarven centurion, guarding the lexicon stand we'd come to find. The body of Breya lay at his feet, where she'd fallen, as From-Deepest-Fathoms had escaped up the stairs beyond.

Another centurion lay broken next to her. I wondered if she'd managed to defeat that one, or if it had been like that when the first party arrived.

We had only one to deal with, but those things are big! It appeared to shrug off the fireballs that struck it, and stomped in our direction. I pointed to an alcove for her to duck into if the thing fired anything back at us, and I charged. Its blast of steam went over my head as I connected with my first swing. A fireball exploded above me, too, helping to put the machine off-balance. I kept swinging, as hard as I could. I aimed at the joints, hoping at least to cripple it in case I needed to withdraw.

Fortunately, I didn't. Our combined attack had been enough, or perhaps just well-enough timed, and it fell. I placed the lexicon on its stand, and looked back to see if I was alone. That blast of steam hadn't been aimed at me. Her head appeared around the corner she'd ducked behind, and she ran to catch up again.

The cube of the Lexicon had opened, and the inner sphere was spinning and glowing. It felt like I was learning something, but I wasn't sure what it was. The feeling was not unlike what I'd experienced at the word walls, where I'd learned words of the Dragon language. I wasn't hearing anything in my head, this time, just getting the same sensation of extra knowledge.

And it had something to do with smithing, I was sure. This had been the right place to come first.

---

We didn't need to go back to Riften before continuing to Mzinchaleft. It would have been quicker, perhaps, to go back and take the carriage, but we had some exploring to do on the way to Dawnstar. I hadn't been to Ivarstead, the village at the foot of the seven thousand steps that led to High Hrothgar. Although I wasn't planning to make the climb for some time, I'd like to see what it looked like from the bottom. From there, we could travel north and cross the road that we'd taken from Whiterun to Darkwater Crossing. If I recalled the signs, we'd be headed for Windhelm, but I suspected we'd meet the road to Dawnstar before we got there.

A little before we could see Windhelm, the weather started to get cold, and the first flakes of snow began to drift down. My armour kept me fairly well insulated from both heat and cold, but a certain lady had been wearing progressively less, and I was wondering if she'd return to something warmer.

Apparently mages can keep themselves warm by magic, as she didn't cover up, and she wasn't shivering. Perhaps it's an enchantment on the robe? I hoped there wasn't any illusion involved. I wanted what I was seeing to be real!

We'd passed a mill, and several side-roads that may have led off to other adventures, but we hadn't taken them. Now we were approaching another mill, and we hadn't met anything more challenging than a couple of wolves all the way here. That made me uncomfortable, as it usually meant that life was saving up trouble to throw at us all at once.

As if to confound me, an Argonian in tight leather approached, with two swords drawn, and murder on his mind. He didn't even get close enough to swing, as a fireball knocked him backwards before I could get the war-hammer off my back. I found a note on his body that said that the Dark Brotherhood had a contract to kill me. They didn't know who wanted me dead, just that the ritual had been performed. That made no sense. Killing me wouldn't achieve very much. Did they think they were dealing with a mortal?

It did make me ponder for a while, though. I knew that I could re-summon my companion if she was taken from me. I would do all I could to prevent that, however, as I was sure she'd prefer not to have that experience too often. But if I had to be restored, would I still have that ability? Did I need to preserve myself for her? From what I'd seen fighting conjurers, their summons were dispelled when they died, so the same would probably happen for us.

This post has been edited by ghastley: Nov 7 2016, 10:10 PM


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Acadian
post Nov 7 2016, 07:53 PM
Post #51


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Glad that Danica was happy. Gildergreen is a nice quest. smile.gif

’… it was the destination, not the journey, that mattered.’ - - By Azura! Such sacrilege! ohmy.gif

Avonschnitzel! Also a wonderful quest. Like Kothet, I very much like Dwemer dungeons. And how nice for Kothet that returning the lexicon helped out his smithing.

Mintchelcleft for Grimsever up next! With some detours en route of course.

’Apparently mages can keep themselves warm by magic, …’ - - My little mage tells me this is quite true. goodjob.gif

Intriguing thoughts by Kothet about his and Huskarla’s mortality and possible interdependence. He’s smitten – in a dremoran kinda way – no doubt about it. I know. . . I'm a hopeless romantic. happy.gif


Nits:
’Still, the ability to forge ebony was geting {getting} closer.’
’An Argonian woman, down a {at} the docks, …’


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Renee
post Nov 8 2016, 12:13 AM
Post #52


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Yes, I noticed that too Acadian, the destination > the journey! panic.gif Then again, if you've done it twice already.... biggrin.gif

I really like the whole lair-dive in this one, especially when he has to bash that one dwemer with all his might, that's exciting!

QUOTE
I found a note on his body that said that the Dark Brotherhood had a contract to kill me. They didn't know who wanted me dead, just that the ritual had been performed. That made no sense. Killing me wouldn't achieve very much. Did they think they were dealing with a mortal?


Maybe they're after him because he is not mortal.

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ghastley
post Nov 14 2016, 02:53 PM
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Acadian: Kothet has been stuck in Tamriel without a female Dremora for two centuries. Of course he's smitten!

Renee: They're after him because that's their business.

-----------------

Previously: Having quests to two Dwarven ruins, the pair selected Avanchnzel first, and now they're moving on to the second.

-----------------

16 - Mzinchaleft

More wolves before we passed the Nightgate Inn, and several other roads we did not travel. As we passed an entrance to a Nordic ruin a short way further up the road, a bandit warned us to stay away. At any time in the past, I'd probably have attacked him for his insolence, but this time I just laughed, and carried on walking up the road. It wasn't worth my time.

Fort Dunstad couldn't be overlooked, as it blocked the road, and almost filled the valley. We headed around it, but the bandits weren't in the mood to be ignored, and came out to greet us. The gap between the wall and the rocks, however, was narrow, and prevented too many of them from attacking us together. With her behind me, sending firebolts over my shoulder, I was as much of a block to them, as the fort was to us.

I was glad that she was using the lesser spell. I wasn't blinded by the explosions that fireballs produce, and she'd be able to keep up that barrage as long as she needed to. It was sufficient to keep the archers and mages suppressed, and I could deal well enough with the others. The battle was long and tedious, though, and I'd used up most of my stamina potions by the time it was done. We back-tracked a little and went through the fort, looking for more.

I didn't find many, but at least they had an alchemy lab, and I could make some. I don't have the skill to make strong ones, but it's improving slowly.

---

We continued into Dawnstar, before turning back to take the other road. I didn't want to get involved with any other quests until I'd completed Mjoll's, but knowing what was here would be useful. I'd heard about the Quicksilver mine from Belethor, when he told me about the vein near the Battle-Born farm. Now I knew where it was. I also knew that there was a smithy here, and an alchemist's. And that reminds me, stamina potions!

The trail off towards Mzinchaleft was marked by a cairn of stones, and a couple of wolves. It was likely that they waited there in ambush, as deer used the trails at least as much as people did. A grateful rabbit fled the other way after we killed them.

The dwarven ruin was down in a hollow, and I suspected that this was just the entrance to something larger, and mostly underground. Avanchnzel had had almost no visible structure near the entrance, and had been almost entirely beneath the hills. Nchuand-Zel was an exception of a sort, as either it was entirely underground, or the whole city of Markarth was its entrance.

There was enough above ground here to make a decent home for bandits, and that was who greeted us as we arrived. They'd left an archer on guard outside, but most of them were camped in the buildings behind him. We met about half-a-dozen of them, one at a time. Fortunately, they didn't have the coordination to attack as a group.

That probably meant that their leader, if they had one, was inside the ruin proper. I opened the door cautiously, not knowing if the fighting outside had alerted anyone within. Apparently not; these thick doors must shut out all the noise.

The bandits inside were just as disorganised, and we dealt with them in ones and twos. No sign of any leadership yet. The last one had a key labelled "Maluril's room" which opened the door he'd been guarding. There was no sign of Maluril, just a diary, left on the table. He'd been their leader, of sorts. A "scholar" looting the Dwemer artifacts from the ruins for sale, who'd hired the bandits to protect him. Maybe we'd find him deeper into the ruin.

I say the last, but in fact he was just the last we had to deal with. There were a few more not much further down, but they were battling the dwarven spheres behind the next gate, and we let it all work out before we opened that.

The spheres had won, but didn't have a lot left. I soon dispatched each of them with a swing of my war-hammer. One of them yielded a large plate I could melt down. I looked around the room for more scrap, but found none.

Mzinchaleft had less traps than Avanchnzel, but just as many automata guarding it, and like we did there, I handled the spheres while she took care of the spiders. There was one unique feature here, an elaborate puzzle gate with multiple levers to pull in sequence, before I reached a valve that turned it all off. That gave us access to an elevator that took us down into Mzinchaleft Depths.

This would be different. Just outside the elevator at the bottom, was a dead body. It was a Falmer, like we'd met in Nchuand-Zel. There was also a broken dwarven spider, so most likely they'd be fighting each other down here. That's if we were lucky. If not, one side would have won, and we'd be the only adversaries.

We had to fight our way past several Falmer to reach the next building, and there were more inside. Mjoll had told us about the centurion that had nearly killed her, so had these blind elves dealt with that? If so, they would be tough to beat.

We emerged into a courtyard, where more of the Falmer tents had been erected. It looked like they were in control in this part, too. There was a barred gateway to the left, with no visible way to open them, and a ramp to the right. Maybe the control to open the gate was up there? We'd have to pass the ones in the tents to find out.

A fireball into each tent had the weakened occupants coming out to meet us. They all wielded bows, and so I rushed the nearest, trying to put him between myself and the other two. If I could just keep them lined up, I could handle them one at a time. The two at the back knew that, and spread apart. A well-timed fireball spread them even further. By the time they recovered their balance enough to raise their bows again, I was on the next one, and the last was getting her full fire.

I found another Falmer up in the tower, guarding the switch. He couldn't fire down where we'd been, directly below him, or we'd have been in trouble. I knocked him over the balcony to join his late fellows.

The gate bars rattled down when I used the switch. If we'd been trying to sneak into the next area, we wouldn't have got far. However, we weren't trying to sneak, and the nearest Falmer had come over to investigate, leaving the other behind. Separately, they were less trouble than they would have been together, not that the boss was easy. He threw frost at us before he drew his sword, and took several good blows from my hammer before he fell.

Beyond him, a ramp led up to a large door, and I could see both Falmer corpses, and broken dwarven automata lying around, as if there had just been a major battle here.

---

Through the door, there was no sign of Falmer, but I could see an active centurion standing in his charging frame at the far end of the hall. Since we'd dealt with the one in Avanchnzel, I believed we could handle another, as long as we used the right tactics. I needed to get in close, below the steam blast he could use, and she needed somewhere to get out of its way.

We had one more thing going for us here. It hadn't seen us yet. That meant we could each get a long-range shot in before he came for us. Then we could retreat back around this corner, and wait until he got closer.

Yes, my plans included retreating. The Kyn do not retreat, ever. Except when we do, and then we don't talk about it after.

Strategic withdrawal. That sounded much better than retreat, and it fit the situation better. Anyway, it was what we needed to do, and so we did it. Both of us, although I'd worried that she'd charge in like she had against the Draugr in Soljund's Sinkhole.

It turned out that we'd also left a dwarven sphere out of the fight by luring the centurion to us. That popped out of its hole in the wall as we got closer. On its own, it wasn't a major threat, but in the middle of fighting the big guy, it would NOT have been welcome.

Mjoll's sword, Grimsever, was just lying on a bench near the centurion's charging frame. That may have been exactly where she dropped it, or it might have been put there by a spider worker clearing up. But it was in one piece, and we'd found it!

I'll be honest, I was almost as excited by the amount of usable scrap metal I'd been able to collect as we went along. I had some malachite, and I intended to give Grimsever a tune-up before I handed it back, but dwarven work was taking me closer to my goal of proper daedric equipment.


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Acadian
post Nov 14 2016, 07:39 PM
Post #54


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Another of my fave Dwemer dungeons! This was fun because I knew exactly where Kothet was all the time and chuckled over some of his observations.

Between you and me, I think the Falmer are cranky all the time because there seems to be no women Falmer.

’The Kyn do not retreat, ever. Except when we do, and then we don't talk about it after.’ - - The words 'advance to the rear' came to mind until Kothet chose to call it a 'strategic withdrawal'. tongue.gif

Aww, Mjoll will certainly appreciate getting her mighty blade back. Why, I hear that just the sight of it can cause bandits to soil their greaves.


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ghastley
post Nov 21 2016, 02:57 PM
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Acadian: "Aww, Mjoll will certainly appreciate getting her mighty blade back." - Yes, she will.

And there are women Falmer, sort of. The shamans are supposedly female! ohmy.gif

--------------


Previously: Kothet and co. had travelled to Mzinchaleft to retrieve Mjoll's sword (and gather metal).

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17 - Shor's Stone

To describe Mjoll as happy to get Grimsever back would be an understatement. I was hugged and kissed in a way that would have been most enjoyable if we hadn't both been wearing armour. I could hear Aerin and my associate discussing whether our cuirasses would crack like nut-shells under the onslaught.

"If you didn't already have a companion, I'd have to offered to follow you for a while. I clearly have a lot to learn," she told me.

I pointed out that she was a two-handed tank like myself, and what either of us needed more as a follower was a mage. Since she had a magical enchantment on Grimsever, her perfect match would be a healer. Especially if she fought with similar exuberance.

She agreed. "When I was younger, I was fearless, and took too many risks." She told me all about Aerin finding her outside Mzinchaleft. She'd already told me that whole story before we went there, but she clearly liked telling it again, and perhaps she needed to remind him that she remained grateful to him, as well as me.

---

We all went into the Bee and Barb for a drink or two to celebrate. The four of us chatted for hours, and it wasn't until we left that I realised my companion had managed to do that without ever actually speaking to me.

---

Riften didn't have a smelter in town, so we headed out to the nearest mine, in Shor's Stone. a village not far to the north, on the road to Windhelm. So of course, there was a problem they'd like sorted out, first. And it had to involve spiders, didn't it?

"I'll go do this. You wait here," I told her. She not only doesn't talk to me, sometimes she doesn't listen, either, and despite her spider issues, she followed me into the mine.

I don't think I managed to hit any of the spiders before a fireball blew them out of reach. It's probably cathartic for her to do that, so I don't mind. And we did have the whole mine free of spiders in just a couple of minutes. I mined some iron while I was there, so I'd have enough to go with the dwarven metal. After reporting back that the spiders were gone, I set myself to making more bows.

If I hadn't been able to sell half of them there in Shor's Stone, I wouldn't have been able to carry them all back to Riften. Selling the remainder to Balimund meant that I had enough cash to have him train me, as far as he was able. "You should be able to work with ebony soon," he told me, and I knew just where I needed to go.

---

We passed another Dwemer ruin on the way, at Mzulft, but it was locked beyond my picking abilities. However, I did manage to get into a storeroom outside that had a fair amount of metal, and a couple of chests with other useful items.

At Narzulbur, or rather, Gloombound mine, I mined ebony and iron, and a little Orichalcum, too. Making a couple of Orcish bows was all I needed to reach my next skill level, and I could finally make ebony items. I put a bit of extra value into my war-hammer before I sold it to Dushnamub, and set into making an ebony one to replace it. The Orc smith was impressed. He didn't make much of the ebony himself, as the tribe preferred tradional Orcish, but he knew it was hard to work, and needed a lot of skill.

"I don't have a lot of gold to buy what you're making," he warned me. "Don't make more than you can carry."

He had a good point. While I wanted to make as much ebony weapons and armour as I could, to raise my smithing skill, maybe I shouldn't do it here. I'd given Balimund, back in Riften, most of my gold to pay for lessons. He'd be able to afford to buy it, so I should use the forge there instead.

Balimund could teach me just a little more, now that I had the materials, but Daedric was beyond his abilities. He could afford to buy the things I made, however. I made mostly bows, as I was holding off from making ebony armour. Although it would be better than what I was wearing, it wouldn't have the look I wanted. My heavy armour skill was high enough that most of my defence was independent of material, anyway. And if I didn't make a complete set of armour, the mis-match reduced the benefits, too.

The problem I was going to have in making Daedric was that it required Deadra hearts. You can imagine my reluctance to seek out those.


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Acadian
post Nov 21 2016, 08:04 PM
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Wonderful job of showing us the motormouth enthusiastic Mjoll we all know and love. The mystery continues regarding Kothet's fireballing housecarl. She will follow him and protect him even against his orders but will not speak to him. . . but will speak to others. How curious. His smithing is certainly coming along. Dremora hearts. I should think a Dremora would have no qualms harvesting them. It would seem that they prize dominance and power more than loyalty to their own kind. Less Dremora = less competition in the realms?


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Renee
post Nov 22 2016, 12:21 AM
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Gotta love Motormouth Mjoll. biggrin.gif Just when you think she can't possibly tell you again how much she 'misses adventuring like dis."

Seeking daedra hearts probably won't be fun.

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ghastley
post Nov 28 2016, 02:54 PM
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Acadian: Gathered hearts mean karmic demotion for the providers. He'd prefer opponents that don't deserve that.

Renee: He won't have to seek Deadra hearts, as it turns out.

-------------

Peviously: Kothet returned Grimsever, his housecarl cleared Redbelly Mine, and he's advanced his smithing to the brink of Deadric.

-------------

18 - Dawnstar

I'm not sure if fate, or Mehrunes Dagon himself, solved that problem for me. Probably the former, as he undoubtedly wouldn't have any influence with Vaermina, who also played a part.

A courier handed me a flyer advertising a new museum opening up in Dawnstar, and I had no significant quests to complete that would stop me going there. I still had half the fire salts to find for Balimund, but they could be anywhere. I'd picked up almost all I had in the one conjurer den, the one where I almost lost my housecarl. Was that a reason not to look for more?

Anyway, we did head for Dawnstar, and the museum turned out to be one of relics of the Mythic Dawn. Silus Versuius was apparently the descendent of a member of that faction. His knowlege of the history was a bit lacking, and coloured by his nostalgia, but he had managed to assemble a decent amount of items to tell his story.

I was amused to hear it all from the perspective of a mortal. Mankar Camoran had been Dagon's puppet, but Silus seemed to believe he'd instigated the entire plot. He revered the "Commentaries" more than the original Mysterium Xarxes, too. I was surprised to find that he had a piece of that. I'd have expected that Lord Dagon would have taken it all back, but perhaps it was serving a new purpose here.

Silus was eager to recruit my help in adding to his collection. He knew the locations of the remnants of Mehrunes' Razor, an artifact of Lord Dagon that had last been seen at the end of the third Era. It had been broken up, and the parts scattered around Skyrim, but Silus had tracked them down.

Of course, they were guarded, which is why he needed help. He gave me a book about the keepers of the parts, and asked me to return when I had anything.

---

I also discovered that Dawnstar had another problem. Everyone was getting persistent nightmares, and only one person, a priest of Mara, had any idea what to do. He was convinced that the source of the problem was a temple on the hill overlooking the town. Vaermina was the instigator of the nightmares, and it was her temple. He seemed to know a lot about the place that he wasn't telling me, but I trusted him enough to agree to help. He was at least trying to assist the people of Dawnstar, and I couldn't see any treacherous angle in what he proposed.

I was agreeing for the two of us, of course, but a glance in her direction had been met with a nod. That was about all I ever got, so I took it as enthusiasm.

---

When we reached the temple, it was guarded by sabre-cats. The snowy variety that are stronger than the tundra ones, and harder to see against the snow. Fortunately, the three of us had the right combination of offence to handle that issue. Erandur, the priest, told me that he'd had to fight spiders the last time he came here. I'm sure someone I know would prefer sabre-cats.

"Your companion will have to remain outside, I'm afraid," Erandur told me. "I have placed warding spells to protect myself, and my shrine to Mara, that would harm her."

"Won't they harm me, too?" I asked.

"Perhaps a little, but I can prevent that. I don't have enough magical skill for both of you, however."

We entered the first chamber, and I could see the shrine he'd mentioned. There was also a large statue, or wall-relief, of Vaermina. What I couldn't see was any other exit from the room. How would we enter the rest of the temple from here?

"Give me just a moment, and I'll have this open," Erandur said, playing a spell over the statue. It looked like a regular flames spell, but I'm sure it wasn't. Whatever it was, the statue faded and revealed a doorway. We stepped through the now insubstantial statue and entered the temple proper.

We walked around the curved corridor until we reached a point where we could look down into the central shaft of the tower. "There is the source of the nightmares," Erandur told me. "Behold the Skull of Corruption. We must get down there to the inner sanctum, and destroy it."

Naturally, it was easier said than done. Not only did we find two Orcs recovering from the effects of what Eraundur called "the Miasma", a gas the priests had used to put everyone to sleep, but the way was blocked by a magical barrier we had no way to remove.

Erandur knew another route. He had a key to the library. When I asked him about it, he admitted having been one of the Priests of Vaermina himself. He'd switched his allegiance to Mara after fleeing the Orc attack on the temple.

"Be careful once we enter here. There are undoubtedly more of the Orcs awakening inside, and probably the priests as well. Neither will be making us welcome."

We did have to fight both, but at least they weren't cooperating against us. We could let them fight each other for a while before finishing off the survivors. Once we had the library to ourselves, Erandur asked me to try and find a volume called "The Dreamstride". It would have the likeness of the Vaermina statue on the cover. Whether this was a true representation of the Daedric Prince wasn't known, of course, but I'd know the book when I saw it.

It was back up a level, and hidden in a corner, but I found it at last. Erandur read through it, evidently looking for a particular part. "Mara be praised, there is a way past the barrier. It involves a liquid known as Vaermina's Torpor."

"A potion, I presume."

"Yes, and there's a good chance we''l find a sample in the alchemy laboratory just up ahead. It will be in a tall red bottle, and should be clearly labelled."

The laboratory turned out to be full of recovering Orcs and Priests, and we had more fighting to do, before we could start our hunt for the Torpor. Erandur looked upstairs, where the lab benches were, while I searched the lower level, among the ingredient shelves. I found several more fire salts for Balimund, and to my horror, two Daedra hearts. How they'd been obtained, I didn't want to know, but if I'd had any sympathy for the priests before, it had just disappeared.

The bottle I needed was on the bottom shelf of the last rack, next to some ice wraith teeth, and more fire salts.

Erandur now wanted me to drink it. "As a sworn priest of Mara, it will no longer work for me," he claimed.

I wanted to know what would happen if I did so. He told me I'd dream, and in that dream I'd travel to the other side of the barrier. He couldn't tell me much more, but asked me again to trust him.

I drank the potion, and found myself looking through the blurred vision of someone else. A priest of Vaermina, it appeared, as I was in conversation with two other priests, deciding to release the miasma, as a last resort to stop the Orcs. I was addressed as "Brother Casimir" and told that it was my job to go and release it.

I set off through the battle. None of the fighting orcs and priests paid me any attention, as they were too busy, and I reached the chain, and pulled it. The blur receded, and I found myself staring at a soul gem that appeared to be sustaining the barrier. I took it from its holder, and the barrier disappeared.

Erandur was waiting on the other side. He told me that I'd just disappeared when I drank the Torpor, and he'd come here hoping that I'd found a way to disable the barrier, and he could come and assist.

We battled our way through a lot more of the orcs and priests on our way to the inner sanctum where the Skull stood. Erandur unlocked the door, and we went inside, to find two priests waiting for us. They were the same two I'd seen in my dream, vision, whatever it was when I drank the Torpor. And they addressed Erandur as "Casimir".

He acknowledged that name, but told them he was Erandur now. Veren and Thorek denounced him as a cowardly traitor, and he admitted fear at the time that he'd fled during the Orcs' invasion. But he had Mara's guidance now, and he was here to finish things.

Veren and Thorek attacked, with maces, and with magic. Each was the equal of Erandur, but my different skills turned the tide in our favour, and soon Erandur was able to start the ritual to deal with the Skull of Corruption.

Vaermina tried to intervene, speaking to me, and trying to persuade me to kill Erandur, and take the Skull for myself. While it was a Daedric artifact, and therefore obviously valuable, I didn't see it having any direct usefulness to me, so I did nothing. I had a suspicion that the nightmares would have continued if I'd taken the staff, and the people of Dawnstar might be grateful if they ended.

I'd found enough in the chests in the temple to reward me for the work I'd done, and the fire salts and Daedra hearts were more important than the rest. The former would be going to Balimund, and the latter meant that I didn't have to gather them myself, to make my armour.


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Acadian
post Nov 29 2016, 01:06 AM
Post #59


Paladin
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I’ve never done the Mehrune’s Razor/Museum quest so I’m interested in hearing about it from Kothet.

I’ve done the Vaermina/Mara quest multiple times though and thoroughly enjoy it.

Heh, When Erandur said no followers in the temple, I wondered if Kothet was going to take his quiet housecarl and walk away. I was pleased to see him take the quest and, ultimately, his choice at the end. In his own way, Kothet is kind of a good guy. You know, for a Dremora. tongue.gif


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ghastley
post Dec 5 2016, 03:17 PM
Post #60


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Acadian: Not much detail on the sub-quests, I'm afraid, as they really don't say much about Kothet. He just does that kind of mindless slaughter without really paying much attention.

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Previously: Kothet found two Daedra hearts in the temple of Varemina, while helping to stop the nightmares in Dawnstar. He's started a second quest there.

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19 - Dagon's Shrine

Finding the pieces of Mehrunes' Razor was a tedious trip across most of the province, but the bandits who held the blade shards, and the Hagraven with her Forsworn minions who held the pommel stone, were at least satisfying enemies to deal with. I already had enough issues with both factions to take pleasure in recovering those parts. The hilt, however, was held by Jorgen, the mill-owner in Morthal, and I had no quarrel with him. I hoped he could be persuaded to hand over the last item without any conflict.

Since Silus had paid me for the first two, I was able to simply buy it from him, and for less than Silus was paying me.

I took the final piece back to the museum. I wanted to ask Silus why he wanted the Razor's parts in his collection, as they had nothing to do with the Daedric invasion of Tamriel in which the Mythic Dawn had taken part. Yes, the two had Mehrunes Dagon in common, but this was supposed to be the museum of the Mythic Dawn, not of Dagon.

He told me that he intended to take the pieces to Dagon's shrine and ask the Deadric Prince to restore the artifact. He already had the scabbard, and with all four parts, he was sure that Dagon would listen to his plea.

I didn't think that was a good idea. And I did know Mehrunes Dagon better than any mortal could. He wasn't to be dissuaded, though, and set off at a run for the hills. We followed behind him, hoping to avert what I suspected would be a nasty situation.

---

We found him at the shrine, with the pieces laid on the altar, trying to talk to the Daedric Prince, who wasn't listening. He implored me to try. "Just put your hands on the altar. I'm sure he'll listen to you."

I did so, and wasn't surprised to hear Dagon's voice. "You are worthy to listen to. You reclaimed the pieces of my Razor, unlike this mortal."

"He helped me, and he did find the scabbard himself," I replied.

"Nevertheless," Dagon replied. "I do not declare a winner while there is a pawn on the board. Kill Silus, and I will restore the Razor for you."

"I don't think I want it restored," I told him, "and I'm surprised that you're considering it. Surely the whole point of destroying it was that something better could take its place."

That seemed to annoy the Daedric Prince. Although I sensed that I was right about the Razor, it was my implicit refusal to kill Silus that irked him.

"I have spoken. Kill Silus, or I will crush you!"

I let the frightened Imperial grab the pieces and make a run for it, back to Dawnstar. I had a feeling there was more to this than just the matter of Silus.

Two summoned Dremora appeared from nowhere, with weapons already drawn. However, they were far enough from me and my companion that we were able to prepare ourselves for battle. And neither was higher than Caitiff, if my estimate of their skill was accurate. A Valkynaz, or rather ex-Valkynaz, like myself, should be able to handle them alone. I wasn't alone, and they were resistant to her spells, so I did have to defend for two, but not for long.

I was astounded to see their bodies remain on the snow when they fell. Surely they should have immediately returned to the Deadlands, as any summoned daedra would. I couldn't take their armour, but their hearts were available. Had I just passed one of Dagon's tests?

Each of them also had a key to the shrine, so it was likely that they had just been moved outside, rather than coming from Dagon's realm. Perhaps these were like me, stuck in Tamriel after the doors to Oblivion were closed by Martin Septim's sacrifice.

I used one of the keys, and we found two more of their number inside, one of them a mage. This time, however, we had the advantage of surprise, and they were soon lying dead on the icy floor. Two more Daedra hearts, enough to make my armour, and a weapon.

I collected several ingots of gold, and ebony, as well as various enchanted pieces of armour and jewellery. I turned to show one of those to my companion, but she wasn't there behind me, as she usually was. Had Dagon recalled her while I was busy fighting his minions?

I looked outside the shrine, but she wasn't there either. Then I walked all the way back to Dawnstar, in case she'd decided that Silus needed escorting back. She was an intelligent woman, and would have seen the possibility of Dagon sending another Caitiff after him. She wasn't there, and Silus was safely back in his museum.

---

I took the ebony and Daedra hearts back to the Tower, and put them in a chest by the anvil. Tomorrow, I'd see if my smithing was up to making Daedric equipment, but first I needed to rest. She still hadn't re-appeared, and I was worried, so I wasn't sure if I could actually sleep.

I also wasn't sure if I should re-cast the summoning spell. If she was still in Tamriel, what would happen? I knew that being "banished" was quite unpleasant, and I didn't want to put her through that unnecessarily. On the other hand, I didn't want to go to bed without her. Even if nothing ever happened, she belonged there beside me, and it wouldn't feel right. I cast the spell.

I'd conjectured that when I finally made my Daedric armour, she'd be naked. I'd only gathered the materials to do that, and there she was. She didn't seem to be in any way surprised by her new outfit, or lack of one, and was smiling at me in a way she'd never done before.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" she asked.

After all that time, it was my turn to say to say nothing. I think she understood.

---

We woke about half-way through the following day, having thoroughly exhausted each other the night before. "Are we going to catch up on all the gossip, or are you in the mood for more?" she asked me, with a huge grin on her face.

"Both," I assured her, "but we have all the time we need. Let's start with you telling me what happened back at Dagon's shrine. Where did you go?"

"Dagon brought me back to the Deadlands, and asked me whether I thought you'd passed his test. Since I wasn't really sure what he was testing you for, it took a while to figure it all out. He was pleased that you'd found the courage to defy him, and your reasoning about the Razor was in line with his own. That was a failed experiment, and he should forge some new weapon to take its place."

"I presume it's over now, since you can talk to me?" I asked.

"Yes, that's true. I wasn't allowed to give you any clues about it, not that I really ever knew what I wasn't supposed to be telling you."

"Perhaps you weren't supposed to know either. It could have been both of us on trial."

"I hadn't thought of it that way. I was just told not to talk to you, so I didn't. And when Dagon called me back, he told me that was over, and I could."

"OK, so now explain why you appeared totally naked when I summoned you. I'd noticed that your outfits seemed to be getting smaller as my smithing skill increased, and I'd wondered where that would end. Was there any connection?"

"No, silly! I was just getting more comfortable being with you, and if I couldn't talk, it was one way I could provide some encouragement. But the naked part was just because you summoned me here in the bedroom. That's how I knew why you wanted me. That you wanted me, not just someone to help even the odds in a fight."

"I wanted you before. I've wanted you for a long time. What changed?"

"When I wasn't allowed to talk to you, I didn't trust myself not to say anything when ... you know, my mind was on other things. And I'd be telling you what I liked, or didn't, even if I wasn't saying anything. I wasn't sure if that counted as communicating."

"Oh it definitely does. And you seemed to know what I liked, without me telling you, so it works both ways."

"I got some of that from talking to Prizna," she told me. "Dagon sent me to find out all she could tell me about you, before you got that letter. He's quite pleased with her, you know. She broke all the rules by rebelling against you, and Dagon thinks they needed breaking, because the Dremora women are much more confident now."

"Yes, he does like to see things get broken." I rubbed the back of my head, remembering where she'd hit me with that mace. "But it seems that it's always someone else's job to put things back together."

"I didn't remake you. You did that yourself. I was just the monitor, to report on your progress."

"So what went into your report?" I asked.

"Things like your decision at the Eldergleam. You thought that one out, and made the decision you thought was right, not just doing what Danica had asked, but what she really needed. And all the other choices. You don't just react these days, you think."


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