Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

32 Pages V < 1 2 3 4 5 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> I am Lena Wolf, Lena's life as it happens
Acadian
post Jun 2 2021, 07:36 PM
Post #41


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



I like Lena's analysis of the merits of silk vs velvet for her robes. And the need for a matching hood of course. tongue.gif


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
macole
post Jun 2 2021, 08:01 PM
Post #42


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 10-January 20



Poor ole Shady Sam, should've sold the hood when the price was right.


--------------------
Vampire Hunter,
Endure and through enduring grow strong.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 2 2021, 09:14 PM
Post #43


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Acadian @ Jun 2 2021, 07:36 PM) *

I like Lena's analysis of the merits of silk vs velvet for her robes. And the need for a matching hood of course. tongue.gif


A girl has to have style. smile.gif Even when in 100% chameleon. tongue.gif

QUOTE(macole @ Jun 2 2021, 08:01 PM) *

Poor ole Shady Sam, should've sold the hood when the price was right.


She tried to persuade him but he just got so angry... and you'd think he'd be able to tell who is who. I mean - in his line of work!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

14-16 First Seed, 4E202 - Arkved's Tower - Charcoal Cave

Lena and Garrus set off from Cheydinhal going roughly South West towards the White Rose River following up on a job for the Mages Guild. Going through the forest, they were passing close to the shrine of Vaermina.

14 First Seed

"I happen to have a black soul gem" - said Lena. "What say you if we go talk to Vaermina and see if there's anything she wants doing?"

"Isn't that unwise?" - Garrus never dealt with a Daedric Prince before. "Aren't they all out to kill you?"

"Nah, not all of them" - Lena tried to sound reassuring. "Vaermina is all right."

Garrus was still not convinced but Lena marched to the shrine and placed a black soul gem on the altar. Vaermina had a task for her.

...

"See, it's not as bad as that! We just need to clear this fort" - Lena was saying as they entered Arkved's Tower. "The man really made a home for himself here!"

The first chamber was set up as a dining room with fine furnishings and silver tableware. They continued on. The second chamber appeared empty, only furnished in cobwebs.

"Ok, this is a little weird" - Lena conceded looking up. The room wasn't empty - there was a dining room set up... on the ceiling, suspended upside down. "He's a mage all right, but that's just silly."

The third chamber had two Xivilae waiting for them.

"Finally!" - Garrus exclaimed drawing his claymore. "Now you die!"

No, Xivilae weren't impressed. They summoned a clannfear each, and soon Lena and Garrus were both knocked out. Getting up and trying not to attract attention, Lena summoned a daedroth, stepped back and took up the Shadowhunt. Poisoned arrows with the heavy enchantment from the bow found their mark, and Garrus saw one xivilae going down and taking his clannfear with him. With the forces evened out, the other xivilae went down fairly quickly too.

"Who were they?" - asked Garrus standing over the corpses.

"Xivilae" - answered Lena with regret, cutting out the hearts. "Proud creatures, it's a pity to see them bound in Mundus like that. It seems we are in for more daedra."

...

Arkved had created his own piece of Oblivion in the tower, complete with a rocky oasis amid a sea of lava. Daedra were numerous and fierce, apparently rather annoyed to be stuck there. Garrus was having the time of his life.

IPB Image

"Was it like this during the Oblivion Crisis?" - he asked Lena, walking among the corpses.

"Yeah, except that the corpses were mostly of mortals, not daedra" - she answered, trying not to step into too much blood. "But inside the Oblivion gates it was all red with lava like in that oasis. And full of daedra."

"Have you closed a lot of gates?"

"I... yes." She didn't seem to want to go into the details. "Come on - we're not done yet."

The decor in the tower had changed - there were now decomposing corpses everywhere, ready to be raised as zombies. There were traps and more daedra. In the final chamber they found Arkved, sleeping. He used Vaermina's orb to enter eternal sleep with eternal dreams. He did not fear the nightmares.

"What will happen to him now?" - asked Garrus when Lena picked up the orb.

"He will die in his sleep, eventually. It will happen anyway, whether the orb is here or not. He won't wake up because he doesn't want to."

...

Vaermina was pleased to have her orb back and gave Lena the Skull of Corruption.

"It's yours again" - she said. "Do try not to lose it like last time, will you?"

"Last time?" - Garrus looked at Lena suspiciously. "When was that?"

"A while back" - she answered, sliding her hand over the staff. "In another life." It certainly felt that way. The Dunmer at the shrine smiled in understanding.

16 First Seed

It was 5 a.m. when Lena and Garrus stood on the bridge by the Charcoal Cave looking at the Imperial City. They haven't slept the previous night, having cleared Fort Sejanus and the Charcoal Cave on their way towards the Faregyl Inn that should be close to Nenyond Twyll - their actual destination.

IPB Image

"Well, Faregyl Inn isn't far" - Lena said checking the map. "But the Imperial City is right there - and my house on the Waterfront. We could drop off the loot, get some sleep and still not lose much time."

"I could use having my armour repaired as well" - Garrus was looking at the dents and scratches. "Those Xivilae with their clannfears weren't joking."

"Clannfears make for very good dogs" - Lena laughed walking North to the City.

...

By the time they got to her house and had a bite to eat, it was past 6 a.m. Getting up from the table, Garrus looked rather stiff.

"You seem to have a broken rib" - Lena said watching his movements. "Let me help you out of your armour."

"I thought you'd never ask!" - smirked Garrus risking another broken rib.

It seemed ebony armour could not stand up to Xivilae's warhammers for very long - Garrus had serious injuries, and his Atronach birthsign kept absorbing much of Lena's healing magic. She used what potions and salves she had at hand rubbing into the bruises, much to Garrus' delight. But jokes aside, by the time she was done, they were completely exhausted, fell into bed and slept well into late afternoon.

...

It was nearing 8 p.m. when all the chores were done and Lena re-packed her bag again.

"Arrows, bows, daggers, Honorblade, silver blade, staff, poisons, potions, provisions, wine, robes, shadow gear, gems, repair hammers. It's all here, I guess" - she checked her pack. Necromancers were not to be taken lightly.

"Those robes" - Garrus pointed at a set of black robes - "you changed into them in the Charcoal cave when we got separated, right? I practically walked into you - couldn't see you at all."

"There were too many bandits for me to battle head-on" - she said. "I went quietly. Black robes don't stand out in a dark cave" - she smiled.

"There's more to it than that" - he gave her a long look. "You move differently in them and fight better, more powerful and precise. And that bow - I've never seen a steel bow take out a massive orc with two shots."

"Well, that arrow was poisoned" - Lena smiled. "And, well, this is professional gear."

Garrus laughed.

"Professional. Of course" - he laughed again. "The Count is right not to interfere."

...

The sun already set when they crossed Lake Rumare on their way to the Faregyl Inn. They would spend the night there and go looking for Nenyond Twyll in the morning.

IPB Image


This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: Jun 2 2021, 09:15 PM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 4 2021, 11:03 AM
Post #44


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



17-18 First Seed, 4E202 - Nenyond Twyll - The Leyawiin Sanctuary

"What are you doing here?" - Fithragaer greeted Lena and Garrus as they entered Nenyond Twyll. "All the other battlemages are dead - the necromancers were waiting for us! I'm the only one left - follow me!"

And he charged into the ruin without looking.

"Wait!" - Lena tried to stop him. "Ruins have... traps... oh no!"

Fithragaer promptly ran into a rising floor trap.

"Battlemages are not used to Ayleid ruins" - she said turning to Garrus. "Hauk told me. They just charge in, and get caught out like this one. What a shame!"

"It's a good thing you're not on your own then" - Garrus said checking his blade. "It sounds like the necromancers mean business. Come on, let's be on our guard."

...

After much fighting, they found the mage that had infiltrated the necromancers. He had been found out, and turned into a zombie. Lena killed him again - there was nothing else she could do. It was sad news to bring to the Mages Guild.

...

"The Mages Guild can wait" - Lena told Garrus when he suggested to return to the Imperial City with the news. "Their battlemages are dead, their informant is dead, and the necromancers are dead, so there is no rush. I cannot believe they would send battlemages into an Ayleid ruin without preparing them for what might lie within."

"May be that's why they sent you to Vahtacen and not the battlemages" - Garrus reminded her of that adventure. "I wasn't prepared either, but at least you knew what to expect."

They were walking towards Bravil. Lena wanted to rest, re-supply and continue South.

18 First Seed

They got up late, and by the time their errands were done, it was past midday.

"Let's just travel to Leyawiin today, and see about the Fighters Guild business tomorrow. It's just outside the city" - Lena was ticking things off on a list. "There's an old Sanctuary nearby that is supposed to be refurbished now, we can hopefully spend the night there."

"Hopefully?"

"Well, it is a bit odd. It was my great-uncle's, who went rogue from the Dark Brotherhood and became a vampire. He then changed his mind and found a cure, but the Dark Brotherhood had caught up with his group. That was over 200 years ago, but they had only just released it to me. It was empty last time I visited, but should be furnished now. I am not sure what to expect" - Lena explained. She looked up from the papers, and saw Garrus looking at her in amazement.

"Wow! Of course we should go see!"

...

"Shhh, it's all right" - Lena and Garrus entered the shrine of Sithis at the Leyawiin Sanctuary. There was someone there, kneeling. He jumped up, dagger in hand. Garrus took up his claymore. "Rest with Sithis" - said Lena.

"Mistress!" - the vampire kneeled before her.

"Where did you come from and what are you doing here?" - she asked. Last time when she came here with Jowan, the place was empty.

"Rowley Eardwulf brought me" - he kneeled again. "Said the Sanctuary was being brought to life. I'm yours to command, Mistress!"

"Then get up and answer my questions properly" - Lena was getting annoyed, yet she could also sense that the vampire was terrified. Garrus still held his claymore at the ready. A silver claymore.

"Rowley Eardwulf was with your Uncle" - the vampire managed to control his shaking. "He escaped before the Dark Brotherhood came here, so he wasn't killed. He took a few young recruits with him, myself included - he wanted to build his own group... he knew the Dark Brotherhood would come for your Uncle..."

"But he is not a vampire" - Lena recalled Rowley's features. Old, but not a vampire. Perhaps an ex-vampire. She took a dislike to him from the start.

"No, he took the cure, Mistress!" - the vampire kneeled again, then got up, remembering that he was told not to kneel. "His group did not do very well... the others were all killed, I'm the last one. So he sent me here... I haven't killed anyone in a hundred years!" - he said with horror. "Sithis will have my soul."

"All right, come with me" - Lena said, putting her arm around his shoulders and looking pleadingly at Garrus to put away his claymore. She remembered all too well what it was like being a solitary vampire. "How old are you?"

"Probably three hundred. I lost track of time..." - he said, sensing the warmth of her mortal blood and... something else. "You... are not a vampire... but you were, once."

"Yes" - she answered. "I am about your age, but not entirely. It's complicated."

They came into the dining room. In the brighter light the vampire saw Lena's robes.

"You are a Black Hand!" - he kneeled again, covering his head with his arms in defence.

"Yes" - Lena said, lifting him up. "But I am not here to kill you."

The Sanctuary didn't have a proper bed - there was just an ornate coffin. Lena had no intention of sleeping in it.

"I shall be changing a few things around here" - she told the vampire. "You can have that coffin or would you prefer a normal bed?"

"I..." - he wasn't used to be asked his opinion. "I... whatever you decide, Mistress..."

"Right..." - she looked at him shaking her head. It would take some work to make him into a person of his own, but she wasn't giving up on him. "Stay here - I see you've got someone to feed on" - she pointed at a sleeping prisoner. "Don't feed on anyone else - some Orcs will be bringing new furnishings, I'll warn them about you. I'll be back later, then we'll see." She turned to leave, then stopped. "What is your name?"

"Fenris Bero."

"House Hlaalu?" - Lena raised an eyebrow. The family name was famous.

"Once" - Fenris looked embarrassed. "Not since I... turned." House Hlaalu disapproved of vampires.

"All right" - she said, now really turning to leave. "We'll talk more later. I am Lena Wolf."

...

"Well, that was interesting" - Garrus looked at Lena with mixed emotions once they were outside again. "Mistress!"

"Yeah, I didn't expect anyone there" - Lena admitted. "That Rowley character was only going to furnish the place. With the very things that he had removed from it after the Dark Brotherhood was done there."

"So what are you going to do about that vampire?"

"I'm not going to kill him, if that's what you are asking" - Lena shot Garrus a glance over the shoulder. "Rowley will have to explain the meaning of this, first. Then..."

"Rowley won't be missed" - Garrus said, touching Lena on the arm. "I can see where your loyalties lie."

They were about to enter Leyawiin.

"Garrus" - Lena started, turning to him. "I am not a model citizen, and your association with me might well cost you your career. Just tell me if you'd rather we never met."

He looked her in the eye, then smiled.

"The Count would rather have someone around who knows what's going on" - he touched her robes. "I am not spying on you, and you would never take me on a job, but those Ayleid ruins need exploring, and weren't there necromancers to be kept in check? You are not just an assassin."

He took her hand and they entered Leyawiin.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 5 2021, 02:57 PM
Post #45


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



19 First Seed, 4E202 - Water's Edge

At the Three Sisters Inn the usual happened. It was nearing midnight, and all three sisters were sitting in the dining room, chatting. Lena and Garrus walked in, looking to rent a room and have something to eat.

"They have very nice rooms, but the hostess is a bit odd" - Lena told Garrus before entering. "You'll see."

As they entered the dining room, Shuravi got up to greet them.

"If you are looking for a room, I've got just the thing for you - all the comforts... oh, it's you" - she recognised Lena. "Sharing with yet another man, I see?" She looked Garrus over head to toe.

"And still no wedding ring" - smiled Lena. "Hello, Shuravi. We'll take the suite, and some dinner too, please."

"Well, you can have food, but no wine! There's enough going on as it is."

Garrus and the other two sisters were watching with amusement. In the suite, Garrus couldn't resist.

"Sharing with yet another man, eh?" - he laughed. "Some lifestyle you've got!"

She was about to punch him in the ribs, but alas, he was wearing armour.

"If you don't want to share with me, you can sleep out in the hall" - she said instead.

"Oh, I am not complaining" - he said unclipping his sword. "What's for dinner?"

...

In the morning they went to see Biene Amelion in the village of Water's Edge about the Fighters Guild job.

"I need my grandfather's ceremonial armour and sword from the family tomb" - she said - "to pay off my father's gambling debts... Some people came and dragged him off into the night, and now I fear I'll be next! That debt is over 1000 septims!"

A voice in Lena's head said: "Just give her the money and skip the tomb visit." But Lena brushed it aside - skip the tomb visit? What a strange idea!

The tomb was just on the other side of the water and seemed to have quite a lot of warriors buried there, or rather left unburied in their rickety coffins. No wonder that they were now walking around brandishing their weapons!

Garrus cursed under his breath and started punching them.

"Why are you punching them?" - Lena asked between the fights. "What's wrong with your sword?"

"Nothing" - Garrus smiled. "They are just not worth dulling the blade. Besides, punching wraiths doesn't even scrape your knuckles."

As they progressed through the caverns, Lena started spotting pieces of ceremonial armour lying in the dust. Gauntlets, shield, boots...

"This is odd" - she turned to Garrus, picking them up. "It looks like they belong to the same set, and they are definitely ceremonial - mighty heavy and not that protective, but surely pretty. This may well be what we're looking for. But why is it all disjointed like that?"

"I blame the skeletons" - Garrus replied, shifting a pile of bones to the side. "I bet the armour pieces were not entombed but just laid onto a slab. The skeletons must have dragged them all over the cave. We'll probably need to make sure we've got them all."

They went through the caverns, fighting more undead and picking up a few more pieces of armour. In the final chamber they found a cuirass and a sword on a slab. Garrus seemed to be right. Collecting everything, they returned to Biene.

"Oh thank you so much!" - she was plainly ecstatic. "You have no idea what this means to me!"

Yet she only wanted the cuirass and the sword.

"Biene, you will need the whole set if you want to make any money on this" - Lena tried telling her, thinking to herself that there was no way Biene was going to raise 1000 septims even with the whole set. It was long out of fashion.

A voice in Lena's head said again: "You could still pay her debt and keep the fancy armour..." Light armour that was heavier than heavy with the protection of a cloth? Light armour that she wasn't skilled in? "But pretty!" - the voice said.

"No" - Lena said loudly. Garrus and Biene stared at her - no one else had heard the Voice. "Umm... no, you have to have the whole set" - Lena corrected herself. "We gathered it all anyway, so here - take it."

She dropped the remaining pieces before Biene, nodded to Garrus, and they left.

...

"That was a bit... strange" - Garrus said once they were back on the road, walking towards Bravil. "She didn't seem to know what she was doing there."

"Yeah..." - Lena was thinking of the voice in her head. "Oh wait, I think I know why."

She pulled him into the forest.

"There" - Lena pointed up the hill.

A statue of a dainty gentleman with a cane was surrounded by several people in varying states of undress.

"A shrine to Sanguine?" - guessed Garrus.

"No, Sheogorath."

IPB Image

The people were distinctly odd, as one might expect. The Prince would accept a lesser soul gem as an offering, provided it came with some yarn and lettuce. Lena didn't have any yarn, so she let it be. Summoning Sheogorath at the shrine while she could just go to the Shivering Isles was... well... a bit crazy. Besides, the Khajiit village nearby was still recovering from the burning dogs plague she had helped to unleash onto them last time.

"And this also explains your odd behaviour" - Lena turned to Garrus. "Punching the wraiths, indeed!"

...

They reached Bravil just before midnight. They were tired after a long trek and all the fighting, but glad to be back in the world of reason and clear thought. The skooma den was open as usual, and the gate to the Shivering Isles shone brightly in the night. Home at last!


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 6 2021, 04:45 PM
Post #46


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



20-23 First Seed, 4E202 - Vanishing touch - Rowley - Borba

"That's been another great week" - Garrus said in the morning looking wistful. "I've got to get back to my duties."

"We haven't found all that much loot this time, I'm afraid" - Lena was looking at a couple of bows they picked up on the way, but there was not much else, really.

"Oh, don't worry about that" - Garrus was ready to leave. "You paid for my armour repairs, weapons, food, lodging, everything - so that's my share. I'll take your promise to come and find me again." He smiled.

"Without a doubt" - Lena got up to kiss him goodbye. "There are always more wraiths in need of punching."

...

"Well, now that he's gone, I should go about my own business" - Lena thought, going through her journal. "Fort Sutch... where is Fort Sutch... Oh, all the way on the Golden Coast. Right, never mind, Fort Sutch it is. Then Chorrol, Imperial City, and back to Cheydinhal. I better call Roach, that's going to take a few days..."

Roach was such a wonderful horse. You could whistle for her, and she'd come from gods know where, ready to travel anywhere in Tamriel (almost). But even she had a weakness: rum. Rum as they served it at the Bloated Float - and mind you, it was not on the menu. Whenever Lena stayed for any period of time in the Imperial City, and especially if Lena had taken the subway to quickly travel between the districts, Roach would disappear to the Bloated Float and stop responding to calls. There was only one thing that could get her to respond in such situations: better rum. Not the usual Captain McGee variety, but the feared Abecean Medusa dark rum. Which is why Lena made a mental note to stop by Anvil for a refill.

...

Lena called, holding a bottle of Abecean Medusa rum at the ready. Roach appeared. The bottle disappeared. They were off. Bravil - Skingrad - Kvatch - Anvil. Would they make it in a day?

...

The road from Bravil to Skingrad wasn't a road - Lena decided to ride through the forest to save time. Roach wasn't keen on that - there were always more beasts in the forest, and the ground was often rocky and difficult to navigate. True; but not if you were invisible.

What?

Yes. One of the custom spells that Lena had prepared. Vanish and run, on touch. She was getting quite good at Illusion.

They arrived in Skingrad in the early afternoon. Roach needed a rest and Lena needed to refill her restoratives and poisons - she had used up most of the stock on the necromancers. So she stopped by her house for a few hours. No, they wouldn't reach Anvil in a day.

The road to Kvatch had quite a few bandits, trolls and minotaurs out and about, but the new Vanish and Run spell worked a treat, leaving them all rooted on the spot looking around in confusion. Lena didn't bother to fight them, just rode on. But Anvil was still far, and the climb to Kvatch was steep and long, and so they turned off South West already before Kvatch and reached the Gweden Farm in time for the evening drinks.

21-22 First Seed

The next day saw Lena go to Anvil, Fort Sutch and Chorrol, taking care of business and staying at the Motierre House for the night. She was rather early paying for the next month's supplies for the Battlehorn Castle, but Emfrid didn't mind. In the morning Lena set off for the Imperial City.

22 First Seed

Hannibal Traven was saddened by the death of his informant, although not so much by the deaths of the battlemages, Lena noted with disgust. She wondered just why they had been so poorly prepared - perhaps that warranted an investigation. Traven seemed to wage the war on necromancy at the cost of many, many lives. Lena's ever rising rank within the Mages Guild started to lose its luster.

Shaking her head and not in the best of moods, she went about the other business in the Imperial City - to see the trader who refurbished the Deepscorn Hollow. That just wouldn't do.

IPB Image

"Hello, Rowley Eardwulf" - Lena said approaching him at the Wawnet Inn. "I have gone to see what you delivered to the Deepscorn Hollow. I have a few, ah, questions."

She sat down at the table next to him.

"Whatever you mean!" - protested Rowley. "It is all first class gear!"

"Really?" - she smiled, setting her elbow on the table and smoothing her glove. "Like the dirty old rugs and tapestries fit for the best of skooma dens of the Imperial City sewers, perhaps? Or like a dining table for just two in such a huge place? Or perhaps like a complete lack of beds? I believe my great-uncle used to have a group of assassins there, he wasn't living alone!"

"But you understand... That was over 200 years ago... Things perish over time..." - Rowley stuttered slightly, but still kept firm.

"Perhaps. However, you charged me for the unperished variety. I want half of that money back."

"But I haven't got it!" - he was starting to become nervous, the purse being the weakest body part of any trader. "I supplied you with a servant and a prisoner, almost free of charge!"

"Ah yes, about the servant" - Lena looked at him twisting her ring. "You never mentioned any servant last time."

"But he's there to please you! In every which way! He's a vampire, like you-- oh, like your great-uncle!"

"Opened your eyes now, have you? My great-uncle never kept slaves."

"Well, slaves... Slaves are good - slaves are obedient. Vampires make great slaves, surely you must know. He will do whatever you say, or just deny him blood - and I mean whatever you say..." - Rowley finally noticed Lena's gloves and rings. "Oh!"

"Ah, you recognise the robes" - Lena smiled. "Then I suppose you know why I've come."

...

She was back in Cheydinhal just before nightfall. A report to the Fighters Guild and to the Sanctuary on finished assignments, an to Lucien personally on a few other matters. A visit to Borba's would have to wait until tomorrow.

...

"I have completed the Purification of Crimson Scars" - Lena told Lucien among other business.

"Completed?" - Lucien looked up from the papers. "Did we miss someone?"

"Rowley Eardwulf."

"Ah" - Lucien sounded disappointed. "I've heard rumours that someone had escaped, with a few new recruits, but then they were all thought to have been killed through their own ineptitude. Apparently not so."

"Rowley was no longer active as an assassin" - Lena explained. "He stripped the Sanctuary after you were done and was running a small trade business of sorts. The recruits that you mentioned were indeed all killed, except one, whom he was employing in another capacity."

"Go on" - Lucien was listening with interest.

"As a slave. Fenris Bero is a vampire."

"Bero?"

"Exactly."

"Well, well! And now?"

"Now he calls me Mistress and I have no idea how to make him into a proper person again."

23 First Seed

"It is so good to see you again!" - Borba was remarkably friendly when Lena entered her shop in the morning. "I've seen you wear your new robes last night. So very elegant."

Oh! Of course. The robes. Borba was supplying Lucien's place, after all.

"Thank you, Borba" - Lena beamed. "I wonder if you could supply some furniture to a place near Leyawiin?"

"Refurbishing your great-uncle's Sanctuary, are you? That Rowley Eardwulf would rip you off blind and leave you with rubbish" - Borba grimaced. "Just as well he's been taken care of."

How on Nirn..? Yes, how did she know? But it was better not to ask.

"Yes, I shall need new furnishings, and also to take away some of the... odd stuff that's there."

She gave Borba a list.

"That's no problem, give us a week or so - it's a bit out of the way."

"Oh, and I must warn you: there's someone there" - Lena wasn't sure how Borba would react to a vampire - many Orcs were quite averse to them. "A servant. I told him to stay out of your way, but still you should know - he's a vampire."

"I see" - Borba said slowly, looking thoughtfully at Lena. "A servant you didn't quite expect, right? Yes, that would be Rowley's style... to shift them off his hands once he tired of them..."

"You mean - there are more?" - Lena was picturing a dungeon filled with slaves.

"Oh no, not now, but there were more - in the past. Then the Empire got really tough on slave trade and Rowley just kept them for his own pleasure... err... service. You know, he wasn't very kind hearted" - she added quite unnecessarily. "There's a prisoner there as well, I take it?"

"There is" - Lena confirmed, thanking Whoever for Borba's professional touch.

"Well, not to worry. We are not all afraid of vampires" - she smiled. "You could always shop here back then, too."

That was true. Borba was one of the few traders who had had no issues with Lena's vampirism at the time. Lena paid Borba with the funds recovered from Rowley - only rightly so - and left the shop with a light heart.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 6 2021, 09:39 PM
Post #47


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



23-24 First Seed, 4E202 - Arena

"Hauk! I missed you" - Lena waved to Hauk spotting him in the Elven Gardens. "How have you been?"

"Busy" - he replied, kissing her on a cheek. "After our trip to Skyrim, the Legion wanted my services again."

IPB Image

It was only now that Lena realised what was so odd about Hauk: his armour. It wasn't his usual steel set but Imperial Dragon.

"Yeah, they had me dress up" - he grimaced. "I haven't worn this since the War ended. But apparently it's inspirational for the recruits."

"Would you like to clear out some damp zombie-infested caves with me instead, Optio?" - Lena laughed.

"By Akatosh! When do we leave?"

"As soon as we find Jowan. He's getting himself into trouble again. Arena."

"Betting?"

"Combating!"

"Then we have no time to lose! Let me change out of this monkey suit, and I'll meet you there."

...

Jowan was in the ring, facing a heavily armed Orc.

"They are pitting a lightly armoured mage against a heavily armoured Orc!" - the bookie announced excitedly. "Place your bets, place your bets!!"

Lena didn't want to place a bet, but she had to in order to get to see the match. She bet a small amount of gold on Jowan.

"A strategic bet, is it?" - someone behind her noted. "She's betting on the mage - who will likely be killed - so she won't lose much money, but if by some miracle the mage does survive, she'll cash in a tidy sum against the odds!"

"I just hope the mage does survive" - Lena thought, feverishly trying to remember what they did with dead bodies - in case Jowan got killed and would need resuscitation. It's been a long time since she had competed herself...

The match had started. The Orc charged at Jowan, but Jowan evaded - he was quick - and fired some spells at the Orc. The audience applauded as the sparks and flames reflected off the shiny shield. The Orc charged again, Jowan evaded again, firing some more spells. They danced like that for a while. The Orc was getting burned, singed and frostbitten, but still he advanced. He had a mace, not a sword - he wouldn't draw blood. This Orc came prepared.

Jowan wasn't tired yet but he knew he could not win this way - the Orc was strong and kept drinking potions against elemental damage. One hit with that mace would crush Jowan's skull...

"And I would not be able to resuscitate him!" - Lena thought watching them.

Jowan drew his sword - the Orc raised his shield - Jowan slit his own wrist and cast a spell. The audience erupted in applause.

With a thump, the Orc fell to the ground, paralysed. A Spider Daedra fell on him, her fangs bared. A Nether Lich shot a spell from his staff. The Orc was now but a corpse.

Lena rushed down to the Bloodworks.

"Jowan!" - she brushed aside the Bloodworks master. "Not now, Owyn."

"Wolf!" - Owyn recognised her. "I didn't know the bloodmage was your protegee."

"Well, now you do. Jowan!" - she finally spotted him at the Basin of Renewal. "That's enough for today - come with me. Owyn will pay you later."

Jowan's wrists were still bleeding, so the Basin wasn't having much of an effect. Hauk came in, having changed out of his Imperial Dragon armour into blue robes. Owyn stepped back.

"Welcome, Optio."

"Hello, Owyn."

Did everyone know each other here? The other combatants stopped their practice and were watching the scene in disbelief. Wolf? The Wolf? Grand Champion that had disappeared? And Optio? He looked familiar... Wait... Heavy raiment... Gladiator. So this bloodmage... Oh!

...

Jowan was lying on the bed in Hauk's house while Lena and Hauk were trying to stop the bleeding from his veins. He was covered in cuts, at different stages of healing. Some had festered.

"Well, he is not going to die, but he's in no condition for any kind of adventuring" - Hauk concluded, turning to Lena. "And he needs looking after, or he'll run off to the Arena again."

"I'm not dead yet, you know" - Jowan piped up. "I can hear you."

"Good" - Lena came closer. "That was some spell you cast back there."

"Yeah, paralysis and a double summon" - Jowan smiled. "It only works when one is dead and the other alive."

"Illusion, Conjuration and Necromancy" - Lena noted. Then turning to Hauk she added: "He summoned a Spider Daedra and a Nether Lich. That Orc stood no chance."

"I see the need for blood" - Hauk nodded. "You would only be able to cast one of those spells normally. Is that how you've been surviving?" Hauk pointed at Jowan's cuts.

"Yes" - Jowan nodded. "I probably made it to Myrmidon now, Owyn thought that Bloodletter was ironic."

"You..." - Lena started telling him off, then remembered what Jowan told her about his best friend back in Ferelden. She did not want to become like her. "Jowan" - she started again. "It's your life of course, but please don't waste it - we still want you to come with us to fight wraiths and liches."

That was the right thing to say, and Jowan brightened up.

"All right, since you insist" - he got up and cast a healing spell onto himself. A rather special healing spell - his wounds promptly knitted together, infections banished. "Blood magic can be used for healing, too" - he smiled. "If there's a reason for it."

24 First Seed

"I didn't close my cuts to get decapitated by a hangover" - Jowan moaned the next morning, waking up on the floor in Hauk's bedroom. "How much mead did we drink?"

"A couple of barrels" - replied Lena from the bed. "You didn't want to sleep in the bed for some reason."

"I am not used to sharing a bed Skyrim style" - he said, getting up rather shakily. "I leave it to you two."

"Mmmm?" - Hauk was waking up as well. "If you want privacy, there's water in the basement - you can wash there. Although we've seen you naked already."

Jowan disappeared to the basement.

"He'll get used to it" - said Hauk filling the bath. "In the field modesty can kill you."

Lena didn't argue. Instead, she took advantage of the commotion to get into the bath first.

...

Washed and dressed and with almost clear heads, Lena, Hauk and Jowan sat at The Tiber Septim Hotel next door at breakfast.

"So, where are we going? You mentioned wraiths and liches?" - Jowan asked slicing a watermelon.

"There are a few Ayleid ruins in the Niben that need investigating" - Lena was pouring over a map. "We would be gone for a while, it's completely out of the way of everything."

"Sounds fantastic" - grinned Jowan. "I've had enough of civilization."


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
macole
post Jun 7 2021, 02:24 AM
Post #48


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 10-January 20



I didn't expect Jowan to use such drastic measures.


--------------------
Vampire Hunter,
Endure and through enduring grow strong.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 7 2021, 06:27 AM
Post #49


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(macole @ Jun 7 2021, 02:24 AM) *

I didn't expect Jowan to use such drastic measures.


Do you mean against the Orc or to close his cuts? Both were possible in Dragon Age. There he would summon a daemon from the Fade, and that surely is equivalent to a Spider Daedra and a Lich. Paralysis came as a freebie with the daemon. But it would take almost all of his blood, nearly killing him - which is why Lena and Hauk were fussing over him that much. Jowan shouldn't be doing it too often, but you know, he's not very level-headed... smile.gif


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 7 2021, 10:41 PM
Post #50


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



24-25 First Seed, 4E202 - The Niben Basin

It was well past midday when Lena, Hauk and Jowan finally set off from the Imperial City towards the Niben. It was foggy and cool, and they were able to make good time jogging and walking along the Ring Road, crossing the Upper Niben and turning off to the Yellow Road going South East. They passed by Cropsford where they were greeted as saviours by the Bretons who now managed to build their houses on that land. A very warm welcome indeed, but no, you're not getting any food here, and neither can you spend the night. Oh great.

So they continued along the road hoping to stay at the Crestbridge Camp, only to discover that no such camp any longer existed. Oh, there was an abandoned campsite, sure, but no tents, no fire, nothing. It was nearing 9 p.m.

"So, what do you want to do?" - asked Lena. "We can go and clear out the fort over there" - she pointed to the other side of the Corbolo River - "or walk around in the wilderness hoping to find another campsite, or else pick up the pace and aim for the Imperial Bridge Inn - we should probably get there by midnight."

"The inn" - said Hauk and Jowan in unison. "Don't want to wander around in the wilderness in the middle of the night looking for a campsite that might or might not be there. And that fort - we've been there already, it took forever to clear out and didn't Garrus nearly drown in that one? Or was it somewhere else?"

Lena couldn't remember in which fort it was exactly, and Jowan didn't want to find out, and so they marched on aiming for the Imperial Bridge Inn.

The inn was welcoming and accommodating as usual, with a wide selection of alcoholic drinks to accompany the meal. However, their heads were still slightly buzzing from the mead they had consumed the night before, so they thanked the publican and focused on the food. There were just the two single beds free, but plenty of floor space. Against his protests, Jowan was thrust onto one of the beds - "You still need to rest!" - and Hauk took the floor, for a little while at least.

25 First Seed

"Explain this to me" - asked Jowan at breakfast. "Are you two lovers?"

Lena and Hauk looked at each other, then Hauk answered: "Officially - no, unofficially - may be."

"What?" - Jowan was confused. "How is that?"

"Well..." - Lena started, not so sure what to say.

"We are friends, first and foremost" - said Hauk firmly. "And we've been travelling together for, what? - half a year now?" Lena nodded. "And things happen in travels."

"Things that don't happen off travels or with other people" - Lena added, blushing slightly.

"Wolf is not ready to make any choices or decisions, it's not the time" - continued Hauk. "No, we're just friends" - he smirked and winked at Jowan. Lucky for him, he was already wearing armour.

...

Mackamentain was a bit odd.

"Tombs of the Undead?" - Lena read an inscription above the door. "I've never come across undead that would still be entombed..."

And sure enough, they were not. Wraiths and zombies raised by the necromancers perhaps, unless the necromancers were just visiting.

The next door was even more interesting: "Necromancer's Asylum".

"Well, let's hope Mr. Umbacano likes them bloody" - said Lena pointing at an Ayleid statue. "I certainly don't want to know where this one has been" - she added stashing it in her pack.

IPB Image

...

Going East from Mackamentain, they found Deserted Mine that wasn't actually deserted but occupied by bandits. It provided quite a bit of gold and had a Minotaur Lord locked in behind some rickety planks.

"What does a beast like this do in the deapths of some forgotten mine, barricaded like that?" - wondered Jowan.

"Who knows!" - said Hauk. "Minotaur are supposed to be intelligent, sentient even. Although I think this one might have been touched by Sheogorath. The bandits probably put up the barricade for their own safety."

"Yeah, except that I was able to break it down with a single punch" - interjected Lena. "Perhaps it's rather the bandits who had been touched by Sheogorath."

It didn't really matter, because they were all dead now. Lena, Hauk and Jowan stayed in the mine for the night.

This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: Jun 7 2021, 10:48 PM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
macole
post Jun 8 2021, 04:52 AM
Post #51


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 10-January 20



QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Jun 7 2021, 12:27 AM) *

QUOTE(macole @ Jun 7 2021, 02:24 AM) *

I didn't expect Jowan to use such drastic measures.


Do you mean against the Orc or to close his cuts? Both were possible in Dragon Age. There he would summon a daemon from the Fade, and that surely is equivalent to a Spider Daedra and a Lich. Paralysis came as a freebie with the daemon. But it would take almost all of his blood, nearly killing him - which is why Lena and Hauk were fussing over him that much. Jowan shouldn't be doing it too often, but you know, he's not very level-headed... smile.gif

It was against the Orc. I haven't played Dragon Age in a long time so Jowan's use of the blood magic was unexpected. Really didn't know it would take so much.
This is one reason why I like reading other's accounts on the use of magic. Seems like everyone takes a slightly different approach to how the spells work and how the casting affects the caster.


--------------------
Vampire Hunter,
Endure and through enduring grow strong.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 8 2021, 07:43 AM
Post #52


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(macole @ Jun 8 2021, 04:52 AM) *

It was against the Orc. I haven't played Dragon Age in a long time so Jowan's use of the blood magic was unexpected. Really didn't know it would take so much.
This is one reason why I like reading other's accounts on the use of magic. Seems like everyone takes a slightly different approach to how the spells work and how the casting affects the caster.


There is a lot of blood magic in Dragon Age but almost none of it is available to the player because Jowan could not be recruited into the team. However, some rules are spelled out, the most important being that while a blood magic powered spell is active, the donor cannot be healed. The donor not necessarily being the caster... in fact, for more powerful spells like summoning a demon, so much blood is required that the donor usually dies. Some spells take the blood of several people...

But Jowan isn't evil, so he wouldn't use another person's blood unless it was unavoidable. He is prone to go for spectacular effects though... and being in the arena, he just couldn't resist. smile.gif

Not all spells require so much blood of course. In fact, most spells only require a little - blood acts simply as a Fortify Magicka stimulant. So when an opponent draws Jowan's blood, Jowan can use it to his advantage to cast a stronger spell of the usual kind. Effective, if not spectacular.

There is blood magic in Skyrim (Equilibrium spell) to convert health into magicka, but in Oblivion you could only get a much weaker version to fortify magicka without replenishing it. And fortify magicka spell costs too much magicka to cast to be useful.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 8 2021, 07:55 PM
Post #53


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



I realised that I had not introduced Jowan properly into this thread. Jowan is from Ferelden (Dragon Age Origins). He messed things up so badly, that there was nothing left for him to do but to board a ship - any ship - and leave Ferelden hoping to arrive Elsewhere.

What follows happened a few months back, soon after Lena met Jowan in Anvil. Jowan tells Lena about his past.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

28 Morning Star, 4E202 - Conversations - Jowan reminiscences

"Turn over and let me treat your back" - Lena was saying to Jowan at the inn after their expedition to the Bramblepoint Cave. "Not wearing armour has its disadvantages. Those minotaures got you pretty bad."

Jowan was covered in deep cuts from minotaures' horns, and although his general health could be restored with healing magic, the bruises had to be treated with aloe vera to avoid infection. Lithnilian noticed Jowan's bruises, as well as Jowan's scars.

"Scars over the veins - you are a Blood Mage, aren't you? Not from Tamriel? Fascinating!" - There was no judgement in Lithnilian's voice, just interest. An Altmer sorcerer not of the first youth, he knew of many things not from Tamriel. "I would be thrilled to hear from you about Blood Magic, we know so little about it here. Perhaps tomorrow, when you are feeling better?"

Jowan was a bit taken aback, but Lithnilian seemed genuinely interested, so why not - one mage to another, they could have a conversation. Lena didn't mind hearing that too.

"Oh, you are a mage as well, of course" - Lithnilian looked at Lena with understanding. "And more. The Sufferthorn blade, the Black Band, the Spelldrinker amulet... Yes, so much more..." He was as discreet as he was observant.

"The potions you gave me will be extremely useful, thanks" - Lena referred to very strong Resist Magic potions that Lithnilian gave her as thanks for retrieving his notes. "My birthsign is the Apprentice."

"Indeed!" - Lithnilian beamed. "I'm glad I guessed right."

...

The next morning after breakfast they sat outside the inn enjoying lovely mild weather and beautiful views over the South bank of the Silverfish River. Lithnilian wanted to know how blood magic worked in practice - if blood was a material representation of life force, then of course it could be converted into magicka to power spells, or may be it could be used as is for some special rituals, not unlike Necromancy spells creating animated undead out of corpses. How much magicka would blood actually yield? Would it not kill the mage in the process? Oh - a mage could use someone else's blood instead of his own, you say? That opens up so many new possibilities, of course! And yes, I see why the Tevinter Magisters got so involved with that... But does that not corrupt one's spirit? Oh yes, Sithis will have claimed them long ago... And so on, and so forth.

For Jowan speaking about Blood Magic freely was not just strange - it was unreal. It turned his life upside down and ended any possibility of freedom back in Ferelden, and even though it carried no such punishment in Cyrodiil, it was a non-topic, something that wasn't spoken of. If Necromancy got banned by the Mages Guild, then surely Blood Magic would have been banned even earlier, had it been better known here.

"Well, I don't think Necromancy should have been banned" - said Lithnilian. "I'm not a member of the Mages Guild, so I don't speak for them, but as a fellow mage, I think it was a short-sighted move by the Arch Mage - look how many mages quit and were forced to devote all their time to Necromancy instead of just dabbing in it now and again. Mannimarco does not tolerate part-time members. Surely, Hannibal Traven must have expected this to happen. He must be going for an all-out war, and it is the mages on both sides that are to fall in it." Which was exactly what happened in Ferelden with the war against Blood Magic. Lena made a mental note to try to stay alive.

...

It was mid-afternoon when the discussion came to a close, and the innkeep declared that she was out of crab sandwiches, grapes, pears and oranges - she wasn't missing a beat in keeping her guests well fed.

"I'd like to take a walk now" - Jowan turned to Lena. "I feel a bit heavy with all the memories. Shall we see what's on the other side of this bridge?"

Nothing like a nice walk to clear your head. Wandering through the woods and enjoying filtered sunshine, Jowan was visibly relaxing, and other memories were coming to the fore.

"I got myself into a right mess back in Ferelden" - he told Lena. "I was just in my early 20s, I should have been graduating, but the First Enchanter kept pushing back the date. I thought he didn't trust me to deal with the demons in the Fade, but now I see that he was trying to protect me from the fate awaiting a Blood Mage, which is death. If it wasn't for my so-called girlfriend at the time, I would have talked to someone, but I never said a word of my worries, not even to my best friend, let alone the First Enchanter."

"Your so-called girlfriend?"

"She was an Initiate with the Chantry - you know, she was going to be a Priestess, and so had taken a vow of celibacy. Except that she came to regret it and apparently thought to herself to find a mage willing to go rogue for her and help her escape from the Chantry while in the process completely ruining his own life. That mage was to be me. Well, she was pretty" - he added defensively. "Very... umm... not like a nun." He smiled. Lena knew what he meant. "I was completely smitten, I admit."

"But she wasn't actually in love with you, was she?"

"No, I found out about her plan later... When I was waiting to be executed, or made tranquil, or something... My best friend saved my skin in the end, I should have trusted her with everything, but how do you talk to a girl about another girl? It was awkward, you know. I made such a mess!"

It was hard to argue with that. Lena just walked silently next to Jowan, letting him tell her what he chose.

"My best friend, she... Well, we've been friends since we met at the Tower as children, aged five or six or so, our respective parents having abandoned us for being mages. That was normal in Ferelden, by the way, there was no other way. You either was taken to the Tower or you became an apostate - a rogue mage, and that wasn't a life either. As we were growing up, we remained best friends. We each had adventures with others - you know, short-lived little things, nothing serious... except may be Elisa's flick with that templar, Cullen... but I think it was far more serious on his side than on hers, and he was older too. May be I was jealous and so didn't tell her about Lily's plan to elope until the very end..."

Lena had a few thoughts on what Elisa would have said to that plan, but she remained silent. Jowan continued his story.

"So when the plan went wrong, Lily immediately backed out of everything calling me a 'Blood Mage' and looking stricken with horror - which didn't help to reduce her sentence for breaking her vows, by the way... At that point I did something stupid - I used blood to boost my magicka to help me escape, and in doing so I proved to everyone that I was in fact a Blood Mage."

Ouch. He must have regretted it the moment he'd done it.

"Of course the templars caught up with me after some time... I found I could not live on the run. I got myself into more mess... Then at some point Elisa walked in - she didn't know I was there, it was a coincidence. It was thanks to her that I wasn't executed then and there..."

"She was a good friend" - Lena ventured.

"Yes... Well... She..." - Jowan was struggling. It was obvious that he wanted to tell this story, and he trusted Lena enough for that, but it seemed that he was confused by his own feelings on this... on what he was about to put into words, for the first time even to himself.

"I had misunderstood her for years. When she came to see me in prison later, she offered a way out for me - I could join the Grey Wardens, the group she joined after Lily's and my escape plan failed. But there was more... She said she had loved me for years, that she'd just been waiting for the right time to say it, and, well, we were still so young then. I felt cornered. If I were to refuse her offer, I'd be executed, but if I were to accept it, how could I not accept her love as well? If she hadn't said anything about her feelings, if she'd only offered to join the Grey Wardens, I would have gone with her - she was my best friend, what a better place for me to be than by her side? But love changed everything..."

The sun was starting to set and the sky in the West was coloured pink. Soon the pink turned red, filling more and more of the sky. The red turned sanguine. And finally the night swallowed all.

"But did you love her too?" - Lena asked after a long pause.

"I don't know, is an honest answer. I was so confused, I still am. I thought I loved Lily, but after her betrayal, I definitely didn't, so did I just stop loving her or had I never loved her? Love is such a volatile thing... How do you manage it?"

"You don't. It manages you."

The stars were abundant, and Secunda showed its pale face in full. Lena and Jowan settled on a hill looking into the sky from high grass.

"So how did you escape execution?" - Lena asked, hoping to move away from love woes.

"Cullen - the templar that Elisa had a flick with - he got me out and helped me onto a ship. He said he did it for Elisa, because I was her friend, but I think he did it for himself, because he wanted Elisa and this good deed would put him closer to her. Whatever his motivation, I'm grateful - I'm alive."

Love was a weird thing, and there was no getting away from it. They sat there, looking at the stars, each thinking of the people in their lives, and what they meant to them. Was there true love among them? The stars weren't giving any answers.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 9 2021, 01:09 PM
Post #54


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



26 First Seed, 4E202 - Hame

"Where to next?" - asked Jowan stretching in the fresh air outside of the Deserted Mine where they had spent the night. It was safe but stuffy.

"That way" - Lena pointed vaguely North. "Into the mountains."

It was a lovely morning, and they walked on the slopes enjoying the view and trying not to slip into the canyon below.

"Wait - are those Ayleid stones on the other side of the canyon?" - Hauk pointed East. "Shall we go see?"

If there was ever an invitation to adventure, this was it.

...

Hame housed necromancers.

"Mages Guild necromancers" - pointed out Hauk seeing a Mages Guild banner in one of the halls. "Well, ex-Mages Guild now, of course. I wish we didn't have to fight them."

But there was no way around it - the necromancers were bitter for having been cast out like that, made to live in ruins... They would not tolerate explorers.

After the first encounter, Lena changed into her black robes, crouched, dipped an arrow in poison...

"Let me go first, hang back a bit" - she told Hauk and Jowan. "It'll be easier that way."

The ruin was spacious and dark, with mist hanging low. Bluish light from the Welkynd stones lit up the mist hiding everything from view, torch light included. Lena cast a night eye spell with life detection.

"Ah-ha! There you are" - she muttered under her breath. Shadowhunt sent out an arrow.

"Aaww!" The arrow found its target. The fight didn't last long.

They went through several halls in this manner, the only thing to watch out for being the traps.

"Now I've seen the Assassin" - Jowan was looking at Lena in admiration. "That must be some poison."

"I am not taking any chances" - she replied. "Traps are already bad enough."

Traps were bad here. Two rising floor traps in sequence: one flat and one with spikes, so if you didn't get squashed to death, the impaling would do the trick. There was a necromancer on the other side whom Lena shot with a poisoned arrow. He ran towards her... and... well... you'd think he'd know better than that, but no.

Getting through the traps unharmed was nearly impossible. Both Hauk and Jowan got caught out, even though they did try to follow Lena and jump over the corners. Jowan passed out and had to be pulled off the platform to avoid getting crushed indefinitely. Hauk's armour took most of the damage, and now looked it.

"Here - lie down on this slab" - Lena told Jowan when he came to, moaning.

"I'm not lying down on a slab!" - he protested. "That's a sarcophagus!"

"Oh come on, she's not going to turn you into a zombie!" - Hauk joined in, and Jowan reluctantly agreed.

His ribs were crushed, his limbs were broken in several places, and he was only keeping himself alive with magic. They spent some time casting bone repair spells and rubbing salves into most of his body. One of the traps was still rising and falling rhythmically next to them, with the weight of the dead necromancer triggering the mechanism.

"You don't want to end up like him" - was all Lena could say. "Have you thought about wearing armour?"

"I have" - Jowan admitted. "But light armour wouldn't save me here, and I am no good with heavy - it slows me down. I have been practicing shield spells instead."

Well, it was something. They continued into the ruin.

...

"Oh - look at this great hall!" - exclaimed Lena stepping into a hall in Hame Silasel and turning to Hauk and Jowan just behind her... and watching a grid rise from the floor cutting her off. "Oh."

This was a great hall indeed, with a fire brightly burning in the centre, which made everything else appear even darker. Lena lit up a torch. The hall seemed to be deserted. There was a table with some food in the corner, a Mages Guild counter with alchemical equipment in the middle, and not much else. The door on the opposite end was locked, requiring a key.

"I hate these magical locks" - thought Lena fiddling with it with Nocturnal's skeleton key. "No, it won't give. I need to find the real key. What a bother."

The key could be anywhere... this was like searching for a needle in a stack of hay in the dark with a donkey munching on it. Sooner or later the donkey would swallow the needle.

"Ok, here's one of those Ayleid buttons" - thought Lena. "As good a start as any." She pushed it and heard a wall panel sliding down and a groan behind it, with the stench following - no, preceding it.

"Ugh, a dread zombie. Better not come close!"

She summoned a clannfear and shot a few fire balls at the zombie - job done. In the depth of the hidden corridor was another Ayleid button. She pressed it and heard another wall panel sliding down on the opposite side of the hall. No groans came from there, just chill.

"A wraith, perhaps?" - Lena thought summoning a clannfear. Clannfears are not brilliant against wraiths, but they are fast and can sense danger in the dark. The clannfear ran across the hall but did not enter the now open second hidden corridor. Was it afraid of the icy cold coming from within?

Perhaps. And anyway, it found something else to play with - a couple of skeletons. Correction: a skeleton champion and his summon.

It took several clannfears to lay to rest the champion. The final clannfear stood there looking at the shattered bones, then edged towards the hidden corridor - the icy cold was still emanating from within. The clannfear ran and hid behind Lena.

"Ok, ok, good dog" - Lena patted it. "I'll call Toothy to deal with the wraith." She summoned a daedroth.

The daedroth could barely fit under the low ceiling of the hidden corridor, but he caught attention of the wraith. A few frost spells and Toothy was banished back to Oblivion. This was a Gloom Wraith without a weapon - a wraith of a powerful mage. Very dangerous.

"Just one of those frost spells would kill me" - thought Lena. "Better not get hit. And Toothy will need help."

She summoned another daedroth, and started shooting fire spells at the wraith using the daedroth as a cover. The battle was long, with Lena jumping out of the way of spells and summoning daedroth after daedroth. Eventually the wraith was defeated. Behind it in the depth of the hidden corridor was another Ayleid button. Lena pressed it. Another wall was sliding down.

"Here we go again" - she thought. "What now? A lich?"

The hidden corridor behind this sliding wall opened onto a chamber. Someone was inside.

"So, they locked themselves in. They are not going to be happy to be disturbed!" She remembered the Benirus Manor and the way Lorgren Benirus had locked himself in the basement while transforming into a lich. She shuddered.

She dipped an arrow in poison and crouched, ready to shoot.

"Wait a minute" - a voice said in her head. "What if the key to the exit is in that room somewhere? Like on top of a chest or whatever they've got inside? You shoot this guy, he'll start shooting back and your clannfear will make a mess of it all - you will never find the key! Better go in quietly first and look around."

Lena put away the bow and cast an invisibility spell. Still crouched, she sneaked past the guy - a necromancer of course - and looked around the room. She spotted a key ready to slip from a book it was on. Now or never.

She grabbed the key, dispelling her cloack, then quickly cast the cloack back on and moved. A powerful shock spell hit where she had just stood. She ran out of the room - still cloacked - and summoned a clannfear. No need to hide any longer, the battle was on.

You cannot silence a mage with a staff but you can still stab them. Lena wondered why he had locked himself in like that, but figured there must have been a reason. She also wondered if he was planning to ever come out - and then how - since there was no obvious way to lower the sliding wall from within. Key or no key, he would not have been able to get to the door to begin with.

"Suicide or murder?" - she wondered. But it mattered not.

...

"Finally!" - Hauk rushed towards her hearing a door being unlocked not far from where they had entered Hame Silasel. "When we got cut off by that grid, we backtracked here and found this locked door. We figured that was the exit. What happened?"

"I'll tell you later" - Lena looked pale and tired. "There was some food and beds near the entrance - I need to lie down. There was a wraith" - she looked at Hauk, and he nodded. He too remembered Benirus Manor.

"Will you take blood this time?" - he asked, checking her eye colour.

"'You might need blood to recover from a bad fight'" - Vicente's voice echoed in Lena's mind. "I'll try not to" - she said turning to Hauk.

...

The way back to the entrance was complicated, they took a wrong turn and found more necromancers. The chamber looked like a zombie laboratory.

IPB Image

"A decomposing body on a slab, tied down and freshly decapitated" - Lena had never seen necromancers at work. "Oh, and here's the head. And a silver warhammer at the ready in case things went wrong, I guess."

"But they didn't expect any trouble from the living" - Hauk observed. "I still think it was wrong to ban Necromancy. These mages were meticulous in their work, and the bodies they used were no recent kills. We've just murdered some decent folk" - he added with regret looking at the dead necromancer.

"Yeah, it's too bad they tried to kill us" - Lena reminded him.

Jowan was looking at all this in silence. He was still struggling to understand why some of the Necromancy practices were classified as Conjuration and thus allowed, while others would get you banned and hunted.

"How is summoning undead or raising a revenant any better than making zombies?" - he asked, not really expecting an answer.

"It isn't" - Hauk replied. "Traven re-classified it, or he'd lose the entire Council of Mages rather than half of it."

They left the room shaking their heads.

Once again they navigated the two rising floor traps, getting caught out, cursing and casting healing spells. By the time they reached the hall near the entrance, the improvised bedroom looked exceedingly welcoming.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post Jun 9 2021, 06:48 PM
Post #55


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



I enjoyed your reflections on necromancy. As a healer, Buffy will quietly admit that her craft is not complete without at least an academic knowledge of necromantic principles. A lifebringer must understand the process of death to fully grasp her craft. Not to mention necromantic insights on repairing dead or heavily damaged tissue.


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 9 2021, 09:06 PM
Post #56


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Acadian @ Jun 9 2021, 06:48 PM) *
A lifebringer must understand the process of death to fully grasp her craft. Not to mention necromantic insights on repairing dead or heavily damaged tissue.


Exactly. Which is why Arkay is the God of both Life and Death. There is not one without the other.

Of course Traven has a personal vendetta with Manimarco. Considering how easily Traven sacrifices the lives of Guild mages who happened to practice a bit of necromancy, I would call him evil.

This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: Jun 9 2021, 09:08 PM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 9 2021, 10:23 PM
Post #57


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



27 First Seed, 4E202 - Cold dream - Shopping in Cheydinhal

Lena was cold. She was lying on a bed in an Ayleid ruin. All was quiet, save the breathing of Jowan and Hauk sleeping on the bedrolls nearby. Lena was hungry, too.

She got up to get some food. Next to the bed was a crate serving as a table with parts of a skeleton on it. And blood stains. Blood.

Icy chill enveloped Lena - she was now shaking. She remembered the wraith she'd faced the day before - a Gloom Wraith with devastating frost spells. Lena didn't get hit by those spells, but the cold emanating from the wraith was enough to freeze the blood in her veins. Perhaps Lena had underestimated the effects.

She tried to put those visions out of her mind and to warm up by moving around. She sprinted into the next chamber and stretched. A dead necromancer was lying against the wall. Was he still warm?

"I'll just--" she was at his neck before she could finish the thought. No, the necromancer was already cold. That wouldn't do.

"But his flesh must be still rich..." - she caught herself thinking, unsheathing her dagger.

"You will always be mine, little one" - a voice said gently in her head. "Don't fight it now."

"Namira!" - Lena cried. "No!"

She forced herself to sheath the dagger and move away from the corpse.

"You'll see" - the voice replied. "With time."

Lena had to clear her head and to warm up, somehow. She ran down the stairs, past Jowan and Hauk, still sleeping. She was very quiet. It was the hall with the traps. Blood. The slabs were covered in blood from yesterday's attempts to cross them. The room started spinning... already dim lights went dimmer still... blood shone brightly on the first slab - it was warm, it was steaming...

...

Lena woke up on the bed in the first hall. She was warm. She remembered the strange dream she had... cold... hunger... corpse... Namira's voice... steaming blood... She shivered. An arm pulled her closer. Hauk.

"You fainted by the traps - it's a wonder you didn't get crushed. You were ice cold. We got you on the bed and I've been trying to warm you up" - he said in her ear. "Don't do that again."

So... it wasn't a dream.

...

It was a chilly morning with overcast skies as they stood outside Hame.

"Which way now?" - asked Jowan. "Can you even walk?"

"Of course I can walk, stop fussing over me" - Lena snapped without conviction. "We need to find an inn or a town - we are out of food." They ate the last bits of fruit for breakfast.

"We also have expensive loot to sell" - added Hauk pointing at their bulging pack. "And the prongs of that Ayleid statue are tearing holes in the bag."

"Cheydinhal then" - decided Lena pointing North West. "Through the mountains."

...

They reached Cheydinhal in the afternoon, their legs sore from climbing. The two inns by the gate had enough food, mead and wine between them to cover several meals. Lena bought it all. Borba was pleased to see her, and bought all the rings, scrolls and potions that Lena cared to sell. They took the Welkynd and Varla stones to the Mages Guild.

"Oh my goodness - nineteen Welkynd stones and five Varlas!" - Eilonwy was extatic. "Don't you want to keep them for yourself?" - she paused at the Varla stones. "It's much cheaper than recharging with gems or... mmm... here." She shot a glance at Uurwen.

"No, that's fine" - Lena replied. "We've got plenty of gems, too..."

Eilonwy's eyes widened as she saw a bag full of gems.

"In fact, I wanted to sell these smaller ones..."

...

They stopped at the smithy to drop off their armour for repairs.

"You want this fixed?" - Tertia Viducia was holding up Hauk's cuirass that looked like a sieve. "I can do it, but it'll cost you! You might be better off buying a new set."

"No, I don't want a new one - this one's already worn in. It actually fits" - Hauk insisted. "Fix it, please. And... polish it" - he smiled.

"All right, but it won't be ready until tomorrow" - Tertia took the armour into her workshop.

Lena decided not to add her armour to the work, Tertia had enough to do as it was. She stopped by the Fighters Guild. The porter wouldn't let her past the door.

"Hey, I'm a member, you know!" - she had to remind him.

"I have no contracts for you, meat!" - Burz gro-Khash was his charming self. "Go see Azzan in Anvil."

"Shut it, gro-Khash" - Keld of the Isles was equally courteous. "I've got a thick skin, but he's rough" - he turned to Lena. "If you choose to spend your time with me..."

"Ahem" - Hauk came in and now stood behind Lena.

"Ah, well, I'm a Guardian, you know" - Keld continued in a more neutral tone. "Didn't get to this rank by picking fights. I'm cautious."

The porter finally conceded to repair Lena's armour, and soon they could leave.

"Why do you even bother with them?" - asked Jowan, having watched this whole exchange with increasing scepticism. "Does it at least pay well?"

"No, it doesn't" - confessed Lena. "I... I am not even sure! Azzan in Anvil is nice, but the rest of them throw nothing but insults at you. Just like the Skyrim assassins" - she looked at Hauk. "I wonder why I bother."

With the shopping done, they finally made it to the Wolf Sanctuary. It was time to eat, bathe and relax - they've done enough adventuring for one day.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Renee
post Jun 10 2021, 04:22 PM
Post #58


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



Hauk's story is really interesting, being a special forces sort of guy, going off on missions and maybe not coming back for days or weeks. viking.gif Yes, I wonder if Hauk and Iver might have traded places on occasion...

QUOTE
Back in Cyrodiil Lena still has a lot to do. She needs to get back her house in Bravil which got repossessed by the county under the feeble excuse that Lena had been absent for a couple of centuries.


laugh.gif laugh.gif

I like how Hauk first notices Lena making some advanced magics in the AU, and then wonders who she is. redwizardsmile.gif

QUOTE
"You have a brother?"


She has a brother? wink.gif This is a wild story, Elena. Especially how Hauk knows who the White Wolf is even before she is able to tell him.

I just finished that part where they are drinking in the inn, Hauk and Lena. One of these days I'll finish Post 1. laugh.gif It's looking like that'll be some time around Christmas. santa.gif Okay, Thanksgiving, if I really buckle down.

This post has been edited by Renee: Jun 10 2021, 05:05 PM


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 10 2021, 04:52 PM
Post #59


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Renee @ Jun 10 2021, 04:22 PM) *

Hauk's story is really interesting, being a special forces sort of guy, going off on missions and maybe not coming back for days or weeks. viking.gif Yes, I wonder if Hauk and Iver might have traded places on occasion...


That's an interesting thought... Iver has more to him than meets the eye, I'm sure. After all, they are brothers. But they disagree on a few points, Necromancy being one. Or may be Iver is just more cautious - he wouldn't be seen crossing the Arch-Mage. I hope Lena can tell them apart, though! ohmy.gif


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 11 2021, 12:38 PM
Post #60


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Renee @ Jun 10 2021, 04:22 PM) *

Especially how Hauk knows who the White Wolf is even before she is able to tell him.


The news from the Northern Realms don't reach Tamriel very quickly, but eventually they do, and some of it is even true. ;-) The White Wolf is famous in several different ways (not all good), so of course Hauk had heard of him.

QUOTE
I just finished that part where they are drinking in the inn, Hauk and Lena. One of these days I'll finish Post 1. laugh.gif It's looking like that'll be some time around Christmas. santa.gif Okay, Thanksgiving, if I really buckle down.


As long as you don't specify the year, you're fine. laugh.gif That first post is just a few bits to introduce the story, you might have read them on Beth already (unless you missed them there as well, that is) - but no pressure. biggrin.gif The story does get wilder still, if you think what you've read so far was wild... then buckle up!!!


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

32 Pages V < 1 2 3 4 5 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st February 2024 - 06:15 AM