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> Sleeper in the Cave, a Morrowind fanfic
Acadian
post Aug 20 2010, 11:22 PM
Post #21


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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



QUOTE
"Focussed" is actually an alternate UK spelling
Let me ask your forgiveness and thank you for your tact in correcting me. I thought I was pretty familiar with UK spelling. Mrs Acadian is an aussie so I should know better. tongue.gif


I liked this chapter even more than the first. You have a wonderfully brisk style interjected with Adryn's brilliantly clever observations and delightful tone. You have given her an amazing way with words as she shares her thoughts.

Very nice! smile.gif


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Kazaera
post Aug 22 2010, 10:27 PM
Post #22


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From: that island north of France



@Olen - Adryn doesn't agree with you, I'm afraid... I suppose it's a bit difficult to see the fun in it from her position. And, um, I might have used this part to relieve some of my frustration with that scene (why does your character have to be telling them the truth, after all?)

@hazmick - well, Adryn thinks it is a little ridiculous. She can walk from ship to office without needing a guard every step of the way... wink.gif

@haute ecole rider - Yeah, there had to be some reason for the weird "have to be recorded" scene... senseless bureaucracy seemed to be a good reason (I admit I'm not too fond of bureaucracy myself, but I do have more tolerance for it than Adryn.)

@treydog - thank you! Adryn's temper is probably going to get her in serious trouble someday, but it's incredibly fun to write.

@subRosa - yeah, Imperial schemes tend not to go so well for the poor person stuck in them, and Adryn knows that very well...

@mALX - thanks!

@Helena - really? blink.gif Butbutbut his name! Anyway, I've edited it so that he is now a Breton with delusions of being Imperial. Thanks for pointing that out!

@Acadian - don't worry about it, I checked and "focused" is more commonly used in the UK as well. Don't really know where I picked it up. And thank you! smile.gif

Previous

*****

Chapter 1, part 3

I slipped through the door and shut it behind me, letting out a deep breath. My mind was devising hellish tortures that would make hardened criminals quake with fear for the person who had invented bureaucracy, generously leaving some for the one who had come up with the triplicate form.

Luckily these particular bureaucrats seemed to have decided that I was harmless and didn't need a guard to go five steps from one office to the other (the guards on the ship could have learned much from them), which left me a bit of time to make my head stop spinning. I walked down the corridor, searching for a chair or a bench in order to get off my feet.

As soon as I looked into the next room, I forgot all about that.

The room was furnished simply, with a table, some rickety-looking chairs I didn't really want to test, a shelf and several baskets in a corner. However, what I was interested in was what was on said table and shelf. Namely the well-polished silverware and expensive-looking liquor – Cyrodiilic brandy, if I judged correctly. Quite practised in such things, I quickly tallied up my estimations of the values of each, adding on a bit as the brandy must have been imported. Then, sure I'd been mistaken, I tallied them up again.

The result was the same: enough money to eat for half a month. And that wasn't even counting the assortment of flasks on the shelf, and the small chest next to them and ye gods, was that a lockpick?

I clenched my fists. Was this some kind of game? A test or something? I grab the things here, they frisk me in the next room and voila, it's prison for you, little thief.

I turned away from the table and stalked towards the door. I hadn't got used to this 'freedom' deal yet (if Ergalla hadn't been lying, but I couldn't imagine it – he seemed stuffy, but not petty and malicious enough for a lie like that), no need to lose it before I'd even started. Better to be poor and free than rich and in prison – or rather, poor and in prison since it wasn't as if they'd let me keep my ill-gotten goods. So leaving everything behind was my best option... turning my back on not just a relatively lucrative but also totally unguarded haul.

I threw open the door and stopped short.

Far from another room with yet another Imperial officer, the door opened into a small, empty courtyard, with another building on one side of it and a tall wall on the other. A tall stone wall with plenty of hand- and footholds for the experienced climber.

In my mind, a plan began to form.

A few minutes later, I was back in the courtyard, now holding a bulging sack. The room behind me was completely bare, even the baskets at the side having been cleaned out. Spying a barrel near the door, I quickly rifled through it and added a greenish, slightly magical-feeling ring to my haul before turning my attention to the wall.

The wall was difficult to climb, especially with my heavy load, but not impossibly so; I silently thanked a childhood spent climbing trees when I reached the top and peered over.

The area just near the base of the wall was deserted, the ground overgrown with thick bushes. I quickly heaved the sack over the top. It disappeared behind a tree with a soft thump. I twisted around to see whether anyone had noticed, lost my balance and fell.

Lying on my back in the courtyard, I decided that a childhood spent climbing trees would probably have been better supplemented by an adulthood also spent climbing trees, or at least sometimes climbing trees. An adulthood spent climbing no trees at all seemed to have left me badly out of practice. I also wished I'd decided to keep the ring on me rather than add it to the sack; in retrospect, I was sure I'd felt healing magic on it and that sounded very good right now.

I got up, wincing, and dusted myself off gingerly. Luckily I seemed to have come away with only bruises.

I wandered out of the courtyard trying not to look innocent. This may sound somewhat counterintuitive, but Imperial guards expect you to look furtive and guilty. To them, an expression of carefree innocence implies that you're hiding something.

Luckily, the officer in the next room – "Sellus Gravius", Ergalla had called him – seemed decidedly uninterested in my expression, guilty or otherwise. In fact, he didn't register me at all. Instead, he was bent over a pile of paperwork, and the sound of low swearing made me suspect that here was someone who shared my view on bureaucracy and the triplicate form.

It would have made me more charitably inclined towards him, except that he was – as said – an officer of the Imperial legion. I figured the torture was only just.

It was tempting to just leave him to it and slip out the next door, but I suspected that would get me into far more trouble in the long run. So I cleared my throat.

Then coughed.

Then said, "Excuse me."

When I was wondering whether I would have to go over and shake him – always a thing to think twice about with an armed man – he finally looked up and blinked at seeing me standing there.

"Oh, right. You'd be... you'd be... I'm sure I have a letter about you in here. Somewhere." He looked through his pile of documents for a moment, then seemed to give up. "Anyway. Why didn't you say something instead of just standing there?"

Given that I had said something, I thought this accusation was rather unfair, but kept this to myself. Imperial officers can get quite upset when contradicted. Instead, I told him, "Are you Sellus Gravius? If you are, I'm to give you these papers."

"Yes, that's me. Knight Errant of the Imperial Legion – not that that gets me much but paperwork these days." He took the forms I'd painstakingly filled out and glanced over them briefly. I probably could have left them claiming I was Breton and he wouldn't have noticed. "Yes, this all seems to be in order. Now what was I supposed to do with you again... oh, right!" Apparently, Gravius had found the letter about me. Everyone seemed to have letters regarding me. It was disturbing.

He fished around on his desk and handed me a sealed package. "Take this package to Caius Cosades in Balmora. I don't know where he lives exactly but someone in Balmora should know, so ask around."

"Excuse me, but... Balmora?" I asked, confused.

"Oh, right, you're new. Balmora is a town up north from here, ask in the tradehouse for directions. Or you could take the silt strider. Quite reliable transport for a flea that's as big as a house."

So that hadn't been a hallucination after all. I wasn't sure whether to be happy that my wits weren't entirely addled or terrified that the giant flea did, after all, exist – and was apparently used as transport?

"Oh, and take this as well," Gravius continued, dropping a small pouch into my hands. The way it clinked was very, very familiar. "It's your release fee."

I stared. I seemed to be doing a lot of that today, but this definitely warranted it. Getting money from the Imperial Legion? And – I hefted the pouch – a not inconsiderable amount? From the weight, it was probably at least sixty drakes!

"Ah. T-thank you," I stumbled over the words, feeling completely off balance. It was enough to make a girl almost feel guilty about robbing the place.

Almost being the key word here.

"Yes, yes." Gravius had turned his attention back to his paperwork with a sigh. "I'm afraid I can't talk any longer, I really need to get back to this supply request. So if you'd excuse me..."

"Of course." I turned towards the door, then paused. Before, part two of my grand plan had seemed flawless and brilliant. Now, I wasn't so sure about it. But I ploughed ahead with it anyway.

"By the way... is the room back there supposed to be empty like that?"

Gravius' gaze snapped up. For the first time in the whole conversation, his entire attention was fixed on me. "What did you say?"

I shrank back. "The room. Back there. I thought it was odd that it was empty, and, and the chest on the shelf looked as if someone had broken into..." my voice trailed off as Gravius slowly stood up.

"No. That room is not supposed to be empty. That room is supposed to contain our food for the next several days, and the official Legion silverware, and the weekly... liquor... excuse me. I think I need to check on something." And he was gone.

I almost let out a sigh of relief – Gravius' full attention was a disturbing thing to have fixed upon you, and I was left with the distinct impression that this was a very dangerous man. However, dangerous or not he certainly wasn't telepathic, and what I'd done should muddy the waters a bit. I'd heard the guard with Ergalla mention that no one had been in the room since very early in the morning, so that left them with quite a large time frame in which the theft could have taken place. And I should be their last suspect now – after all, hadn't I reported the theft to the guards? And hadn't I left the place empty-handed save for what Gravius had given me?

I strolled out into the sunlight and had to suppress the urge to whistle.

*****

Next

This post has been edited by Kazaera: Jul 11 2013, 02:08 PM


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hazmick
post Aug 22 2010, 10:55 PM
Post #23


Mouth
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



brilliant, Adryn is left alone for a few minutes and the legions supply room is emptied- perhaps those guards should have carried on escorting her tongue.gif

A pleasant chapter which had me giggling, good show.


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Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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haute ecole rider
post Aug 23 2010, 12:05 AM
Post #24


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QUOTE
Instead, he was bent over a pile of paperwork, and the sound of low swearing made me suspect that here was someone who shared my view on bureaucracy and the triplicate form.
And I'm sure a lot of senior NCO's share that same sentiment! I know as someone who has to deal with OSHA (amongst others) what a pain the heinie bureaucracy is, and oh, the immortal triplicate form!
laugh.gif


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treydog
post Aug 23 2010, 12:47 AM
Post #25


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You skewer yet another inconsistency perfectly- the player character is so dangerous that s/he must be guarded right up to the office. Then poof "Here, let me leave you alone in this room full of stealable stuff."

And the note about Sellus NOT being telepathic was also quite fun. Spent much time in Cyrodiil have you?

QUOTE
Lying on my back in the courtyard, I decided that a childhood spent climbing trees would probably have been better supplemented by an adulthood also spent climbing trees, or at least sometimes climbing trees. An adulthood spent climbing no trees at all seemed to have left me badly out of practice. I also wished I'd decided to keep the ring on me rather than add it to the sack; in retrospect, I was sure I'd felt healing magic on it and that sounded very good right now.


Anyone who did not heed the earlier warning about beverages has only themself to blame.

And then, the crowning moment, when the harassed Knight realizes that "all our supplies- our liquor!- for the week were in that room." Truly inspired.


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SubRosa
post Aug 23 2010, 01:40 AM
Post #26


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From: Between The Worlds



Clever plan by Adryn to rob the Census office blind. The fall off the wall after her loot was just priceless!


It was enough to make a girl almost feel guilty about robbing the place.

Almost being the key word here.

biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Aug 23 2010, 01:40 AM


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Acadian
post Aug 23 2010, 01:58 AM
Post #27


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From: Las Vegas



So THAT's why she should be guarded and escorted even to make her way five steps! Leave her alone for three steps and she has a bag of loot over her shoulder. tongue.gif

There are quite a few of us here who are fans of character-driven stories, and this one is certainly a lovely example. I quite like Adryn's gift for - what is the word you used? Oh yes, verbose - rumination. A stellar example:
QUOTE
Lying on my back in the courtyard, I decided that a childhood spent climbing trees would probably have been better supplemented by an adulthood also spent climbing trees, or at least sometimes climbing trees. An adulthood spent climbing no trees at all seemed to have left me badly out of practice.


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Olen
post Aug 24 2010, 11:41 AM
Post #28


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biggrin.gif I laughed numerous times.

Adryn is a great character and has a great tone. I still think she's missing the point with beurocracy, though I agree the triplicate form is only really entertaining to see how large differences you can put between them and have it escape notice.

QUOTE
I wasn't sure whether to be happy that my wits weren't entirely addled or terrified that the giant flea did, after all, exist and was apparently used as transport?

Great line, experienced by many Morrowind players first time round.


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mALX
post Aug 25 2010, 01:36 AM
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Really good character development !!!


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Kazaera
post Aug 25 2010, 06:35 PM
Post #30


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From: that island north of France



Am home! Home home home! (Am also jetlagged and ill with a very nasty cold, but at least it didn't get really bad until I was home, where I can curl up with a cup of tea, a thick blanket and a plushie white blood cell and feel thoroughly sorry for myself.) This should be celebrated by more Adryn. I might have to slow down on the posting, though, as "editing chapter 1" has apparently turned into "rewriting chapter 1 entirely and possibly making it twice the length" and I'm not that far ahead of my posting right now.

Also, I uploaded some screenshots of Adryn (they're a bit dark, sorry about that, next time I'll up the gamma beforehand): Ignoring Socucius Ergalla
Unrepentant in front of the scene of her crime
Talking to Sellus Gravius
In front of Arrille's tradehouse, with the lighthouse in the background
and not a screenshot of Adryn herself, but for fun: Her stats. I'm not sure these are entirely accurate - had difficulty picking between Mercantile and Speechcraft for one of the major skills (Adryn's Speechcraft is difficult to decide on, it's as if it's very high but half the time she hits "Taunt" instead of "Admire" by accident) and I'm not sure Destruction is actually one of her minors, but given that she has no weapons or armour skills whatsoever I had to give her SOMETHING so she wouldn't get killed by the first mudcrab she came across.

@hazmick - yeeaah, I think Adryn just proved why she should be escorted every step of the way. XD

@haute ecole rider - I am lucky enough not to have that much to do with bureaucracy, but the parts I do need to deal with make me very unhappy indeed. I feel for your friend, believe me!

@treydog - the whole 'grabbing everything in the room, waltzing out and selling it next door with no repercussions' thing is not particularly realistic, no! I thought for a while on how I could have Adryn get away with the loot (because hey, that's the classic way to start the game! And totally IC for her, I should add) while not making it seem as if she was, well, in a video game. tongue.gif As far as telepathy goes... I haven't actually played Oblivion, but Morrowind also has a few quests where it seems like the questgiver was spying on you the whole time.

@SubRosa - Adryn may occasionally overestimate her skills a little. Occasionally. wink.gif

@Acadian - thank you! smile.gif I'm glad you're enjoying it, as this story is... not particularly plot-driven. Adryn has this tendency to ignore quests, wander off and do her own thing. (Difficulty with non-adventurer or starting out as non-adventurer characters...)

@Olen - well, I think she's coming round to its use as a torture method but I don't think that's what you meant. tongue.gif And I don't think any outlander could NOT gape at the giant flea, really!

@mALX - thanks!

Previous

*****

Chapter 1, part 4

Studying my sack of loot in the bushes, I no longer felt quite so cheerful.

It wasn't that it hadn't survived the fall, which I'd worried about earlier. In fact, the fall had done even less damage than I'd expected; only one flask had broken, and that one had been empty anyway. No, my plan had worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, I'd come to the conclusion that the plan had been slightly short-sighted.

I now had my ill-gotten goods, in a bush outside the Census and Excise office, and myself outside the Census and Excise office, and hopefully not fingered as potentially in possession of said ill-gotten goods. However, now came the question – what do I do with the goods?

It was, after all, broad daylight. There were quite a few people wandering around on the street. Worse yet, there were quite a few guards wandering around on the street. The bush was, thankfully, away from the main bit of traffic and shielded behind several trees, so no one had noticed the dark elf rooting through shrubbery.

Yet.

I couldn't very well grab the sack and walk straight through the village, either to the tradehouse on the other side or (since fencing stolen goods at the tradehouse next to the place I'd stolen them from in the first place wasn't the best of ideas) to the road leading out of the village.

Ordinarily, this turn of events would require waiting until dark and sneaking in to recover the items then. However, part two of my brilliant master plan, looking steadily less brilliant by the minute, meant that the guards would probably have finished figuring out that yes, someone had stolen their food, their silverware and (crime of all crimes!) all their alcohol for that week and would be out in force. Chances were, they'd discover the sack well before nightfall.

Really, my best option was high-tailing it away before Gravius added up a newly released dark elf, a sack placed precisely where someone might throw it from the top of a wall and the possibility of a childhood spent climbing trees and came up with the name Adryn.

Most of me rebelled at the idea. Hadn't I managed to get this far, after all? And besides, this was my first taste of freedom and a new life! It should start on a high note, with me leaving the town with everything and sticking out my tongue at Ergalla and Gravius as I went.

"Stealing from the Imperials, eh?"

The voice behind me made me try to jump a foot and freeze in terror simultaneously, which made for some rather odd movements. In the end, I lost my balance and barely managed to keep myself from pitching face-first into the bush.

Once I was steady on my feet again I turned around, horrified at having been caught. My fear was only lightened slightly when I saw the person behind me wasn't, in fact, an Imperial guard but rather a Bosmer.

"Don't worry. I won't say a word. We all hate them here in town." Slowly, my heart-rate returned to its normal speed. "Me especially, they keep beating me up and stealing my things. Just the other day, they took my ring! It's not worth that much, but it's a family heirloom, one of the only things I've got of them so far away from home, so it's really precious to me."

I fished around in the sack. "Would this be it?" I asked, cutting off the stream of words and handing him the green ring I'd found earlier. I was rewarded by seeing the Bosmer's eyes light up.

"Why, that's it exactly! Thank you so much!" He took the ring eagerly and pressed it to his chest.

Now, lest anyone get the wrong impression I should add that I am not, as a rule, all that altruistic. Especially when it comes to rings with healing magic, given my tendency to attract trouble through, I would like to emphasise, absolutely no fault of my own. However, I've learned that it pays to keep anyone who can call the guards on you as happy as possible.

"I was afraid I'd never see it again. I won't forget this! I'll put in a good word for you with Arrille at the tradehouse, just you see. And..." the Bosmer looked from me to the sack in the bushes and back again. Clearly, the predicament I was in was becoming clear to him. "I think I have an idea."

A few minutes later, I was strolling across the village to the tradehouse, Fargoth – that was the Bosmer's name – by my side. The sack was thrown carelessly over my shoulder, and Fargoth made sure to mention loudly how very grateful he was for my helping him carry some of his old things over to his good friend Arrille's, he couldn't have managed so much himself...

It would have seemed ridiculous that I, skinny little scarecrow of a dark elf – and we're not known for our upper body strength in the best of times – straight out of prison would be engaged for heavy lifting. Luckily, Fargoth was a Bosmer. I'm small for a dark elf, but Fargoth was still a head shorter than me.

The tradehouse was well-furnished, with hangings on the walls and various wares spread out on polished wooden tables and a counter. Several people seemed to be browsing, and there was an Altmer standing behind the counter; I surmised this was Arrille. Fargoth had gone ahead of me when we reached the narrow stairs, and he was now whispering intensely with Arrille. When I arrived, they stopped. Arrille came over to me and winked.

"I hear you're helping Fargoth with his things," he said in a drawl that was definitely not a Summerset accent. "Always told him he was a packrat and that one day that shack of his wouldn't be large enough anymore! Good for him I have a storage room free here, hm? If you follow me there, I'll show you where to put them, and give you some advice on Vvardenfell while you're at it."

"Don't listen to a word he says," a Redguard woman who had been looking at a selection of bows interrupted. "Last time he 'gave some advice', the man actually tried to go rob one of the tombs in the swamp. He ended up getting lost, wandering around after dark trying to find his way back, and finally tripped and broke his leg. And I was the one who had to rescue him." She glared at Arrille.

"Elone, I'm insulted!" Arrille gave a mock gasp. I was suddenly reminded of Jiub, and wondered with a pang what had happened to him. It had looked as though I was the only miraculous releasee. "I'll let you know my advice was fine. It's not my fault the fool decided that by 'ancestral tombs' I meant 'excellent way to make money.' And what about that Redguard girl I helped out a while back? Last I heard she was doing perfectly well."

"Only because I caught her afterwards and explained why everything you'd told her was nonsense. It looks as though I'll have to do the same with this one too." Elone looked at me critically. I stared back, shifting my sack of loot. It was heavy and my arms were getting tired. I decided that if the two of them didn't stop acting as if I was a soulless, mindless automaton I'd brain them both with my illicit gains.

Perhaps she read some of my hostile intentions from my face, because she just sighed and said, "Well, off you go. Drop off... Fargoth's belongings." I had the sudden impression that our little charade hadn't fooled her at all. "Arrille, I'll watch the shop for you. Girl, remember to come speak to me afterwards and I'll set you straight. I'm a scout, it's my job."

"Thank you kindly, Elone. Come, it's-"

"Wait a minute!" Fargoth interrupted. He'd been hovering near the doorway and now stepped forward. "I'll come with you. There are fragile things in there, I have to make sure you don't break them."

A nearby Nord let out a loud, braying laugh. "Fussy Fargoth needs to make sure you put every bleedin' thing down just right. Kid, you picked the wrong person to run errands for - you'll be lucky if you get out before nightfall." He did not seem at all abashed by suddenly being the target of three hostile glares - Fargoth's, Arrille's and Elone's. "If you want a real job, with real pay, come to me afterwards. Name's Hrisskar Flat-Foot, I'll be up at the bar."

"As if you're ever not at the bar, drunkard." Elone's tone was waspish. "Girl, don't listen to him, that one's no good through and through."

"Okay, that's it." I said loudly. All people arguing stopped and turned their heads to look at me. I found myself in awe at my apparent skills at crowd control - now if only I could do that on purpose... "My name is Adryn. Not girl, kid, child, or anything like that. Ad. Ryn. It's only two syllables, it's not that difficult. And my arms hurt and I am about to drop this sack and if I am forced to drop it I will use my last strength to aim at one of you lot, so could we save the manly posturing - or womanly posturing," I corrected myself, looking at Elone, "for another time?"

"Girl has spirit. I like that." Hrisskar snickered. I recalled my earlier conversation with Jiub and wondered just how hard I would have to punch him in order to break his nose - and not in a dashing storybook rogue way either.

Arrille coughed. "She does have a point, even if she phrased it a little... interestingly. We all have things we need to be getting back to, so best to get this out of the way. Here, the storage is up these stairs."

Stairs. I looked at them sadly, then promised my aching muscles it would be over soon, gritted my teeth and started walking.

*****

Next

This post has been edited by Kazaera: Jun 22 2013, 02:42 PM


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hazmick
post Aug 25 2010, 06:47 PM
Post #31


Mouth
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Brilliant, I think Adryn has made quite an impression on the locals already but now she must face the gruesome task of... the stairs ohmy.gif . Get well soon, I'm gonna get myself a plushie white blood cell. biggrin.gif


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Haa-Rei

Cirinwe

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

"...a quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business."
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haute ecole rider
post Aug 25 2010, 07:00 PM
Post #32


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Welcome home! Now get better!

QUOTE
However, now came the question what did I do with the goods?
The verb tense feels wrong here - did you perhaps mean - what do I do with the goods?

QUOTE
someone had stolen their food, their silverware and (crime of all crimes!) all their alcohol for that week and would be out in force.
QFT!

QUOTE
It would have seemed ridiculous that I, skinny little scarecrow of a dark elf and we're not known for our upper body strength in the best of times straight of prison would be engaged for heavy lifting.
A word seems to have absconded - didn't you mean out of?

QUOTE
Luckily, Fargoth was a Bosmer. I'm small for a dark elf, but Fargoth was still a head shorter than me.
First I smiled at this, then I nearly guffawed at the sudden vision of Adryn carrying a heavy load for a big burly Nord instead of this silly Bosmer!

QUOTE
"Girl has spirit. I like that." Hrisskar snickered. I recalled my earlier conversation with Jiub and wondered just how hard I would have to punch him in order to break his nose - and not in a dashing storybook rogue way either.
Adryn and me both! Forget the storybook rogue, let's just make a mashed potato out of it!

I hear you about the stairs!


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treydog
post Aug 25 2010, 07:55 PM
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First- get well soon! 'Cause if you're sick you can't write or edit;and if you can't write or edit you can't post; and you HAVE to post, because I am addicted to Adryn's story! panic.gif You wouldn't want to be responsible for damaging an innocent doggie's health would you? verysad.gif

QUOTE
...but it's a family heirloom, one of the only things I've got of them so far away from home, so it's really precious to me."


My precious! Yesss! My precioussss!

QUOTE
"My name is Adryn. Not girl, kid, child, or anything like that. Ad. Ryn. It's only two syllables, it's not that difficult.


If I quoted everything else that I enjoyed about this one, I would simply copy and paste the whole post. And Adryn is a cutie!

Something about her expression in the first shot reminds me of our new kitty...

This post has been edited by treydog: Aug 25 2010, 09:20 PM


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Olen
post Aug 25 2010, 09:12 PM
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I liked this, I even liked Fargoth, if that's not a sign of great talent...

The realism you give in her fencing the goods is a nice touch, it always struck me as strange that you could clean out the local officials, wonder past them with their goods than sell them and not arouse any suspicion, this way is far more natural and I found the introduction of the other Seyda Neen characters smooth.

The banter between Hrisskar, Elone, Arile and Fargoth was great too. Had me laughing twice.

Hope you recover soon so we can have more of this.


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Acadian
post Aug 26 2010, 02:34 AM
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QUOTE
@Acadian - thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it, as this story is... not particularly plot-driven. Adryn has this tendency to ignore quests, wander off and do her own thing.
What better foundation for a story could there possibly be? tongue.gif

Delightful, again.

Adryn has a wonderful voice. I thoroughly enjoy her verbose descriptions and way with words:
QUOTE
The voice behind me made me try to jump a foot and freeze in terror simultaneously, which made for some rather odd movements. In the end, I lost my balance and barely managed to keep myself from pitching face-first into the bush.


Her comments to the crowd regarding her name and such were simply priceless.


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SubRosa
post Aug 26 2010, 05:13 PM
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I couldn't very well grab the sack and walk straight through the village,
But you can in the game! Seriously, I like the fact that you are portraying the world and its denizens as a real place, where people frown on things like thievery. The way you wove Fargoth into Adryn's theft was pure genius!

Still, that pales compared to the scene within the tradehouse! That was just fantastic! Especially Ad.Ryn's rant at the end. biggrin.gif





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Kazaera
post Aug 31 2010, 12:18 AM
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All right, there might be something of a wait before the next part - I'm all healed up but have got a bit stuck on editing *and* ended up unfortunately obsessed with Doctor Who. *sigh* I'll try to get back to this when I can, but it might take a while. sad.gif

@hazmick - indeed, all of the foes Adryn needs to confront, the stairs are indubitably the most fearsome. ohmy.gif

@haute ecole rider - thanks for the pointing out of errors, all fixed now! And Hrisskar will get his come-uppance, I'm sure, even if not in the form of an Adryn punch.

@treydog - you know, when you said "our dear kitty" the first thing I imagined was Adryn and Maxical teaming up and I'm not actually sure the universe would survive that. blink.gif

@Olen - I like Fargoth! Although I seem to be the only one, I've never quite understood what people dislike about him so much. This was something of an attempt at rehabilitation on my part, I admit. And, yeah, I figured that although nobody cares about it ingame robbing the Census office would actually probably be seen as something of a crime...

@Acadian - thanks! biggrin.gif I like the way the story goes too (especially since frankly, at this point I think everyone knows the rough outline of most quests.) But who knows, there might exist strange people who object.

@SubRosa - thank you! Yeah, no cheap taking advantage of game mechanics for Adryn, she's going to have to do things the hard way.

Previous

Chapter 1.5

At the top there was, in fact, a small storage room, empty and obviously unused for quite some time.

I let my sack fall to the ground with a sigh. Arrille, then Fargoth entered the room as I shook out my arms, which were informing me that they had got used to lazy lounging about in prison and did not hold with this sort of strenuous activity. Painfully. Fargoth closed the door behind him carefully, then hopped up to sit on a large crate. I covered my nose when I saw the dust billow up, but he didn't seem to mind.

"There, that should do it," he said. "Now you two can bargain and no one will wonder what's taking so long. After all, Fussy Fargoth needs to have things just right." He grinned wryly.

"Doesn't it bother you?" I asked him.

"Oh, Hrisskar is just a big bully. And besides, I do get a little particular about how I want things. But just a little!" he added hastily. Next to him, Arrille started coughing loudly.

"Dear me, Arrille, that sounds like a nasty cold you're coming down with," I said. "Are you sure you're feeling quite well enough to bargain?"

"Oh, don't worry about me. The dust, is all. Should tidy this room more often. Now," he straightened, his demeanour growing serious, "Fargoth tells me you have items you'd like to sell. Items acquired from a nearby Imperial outpost under, shall we say, a loose interpretation of the law." I nodded, wincing. Two people already who knew of my criminal enterprises, this did not bode well for my future career. "Now although I usually don't look well on such activities, I could make an exception for a clearly good-hearted young lass who's been helping my good friend Fargoth, and one who's been a nuisance to the Imperials up at the Census office instead of any of us townsfolk."

By Arrille's scowl, Fargoth hadn't been exaggerating much when he'd said everyone in town hated the local Imperials. I was beginning to think I could run through the town stark naked at noon and paint 'URIEL SEPTIM IS THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF A MONKEY AND A SLOAD WHO COMMITS UNSPEAKABLE ACTS WITH SHEEP' on the walls and none of the citizens would report me.

...not that I was planning on doing this, understand. I mean, I like wearing clothes. Clothes are my close, personal friends. And noon? Not a good time. Besides, you know, if you're going to go the graffiti route it's best to go all the way - none of that 'unspeakable acts' business.

"...so that should settle it." Oops. Arrille was still talking, and it sounded as if he'd just said something important.

"Sorry, I didn't catch that?"

"I said, I'll probably go to the Census and Excise Office sometime tomorrow, if they don't stop by before then," Arrille repeated patiently. "A Nord sold it to me, big, strong-looking fellow. Kept his hood up, but sounded rather like Hrisskar Flat-Foot to me. Wouldn't be the first time he's pulled something like this, and I happen to know he was skulking around town today - probably trying to find Fargoth's stash again."

"Stash?" I asked.

"He seems to think I've got some kind of treasure chest hidden away in the swamp somewhere," Fargoth shrugged. "Honestly, as if I have any valuables left to my name in between Flat-Foot and the other soldiers. You saw what happened to my ring." I saw Arrille shoot him a sharp look from the corner of my eye, and suspected this might not be quite accurate. Not that I could particularly blame him; after all, I'd only known him for an hour, if that, and he knew I was a thief. "It does mean he'll probably be trying to poke his nose in here, trying to figure out just what 'belongings' you brought over."

"All the better," Arrille said firmly. "It'll make him look more suspicious. With luck, this will get him out of our hair entirely. And if I take it to Sellus Gravius, he'll feel obliged to cover my losses and pay for the items. A good sort, that Gravius. Pity the others aren't like him. Besides," his tone grew thoughtful, "if this does let us get rid of that Flat-foot we'll most certainly owe you something..."

I shook my head. "All right, I'm confused. What exactly does all this mean?"

"It means, young la- Adryn," he amended at my frosty look, "that I hear you have some goods you wish to sell me."

A classical way to open bargaining. I grinned. "As it so happens, I have... acquired... some items." I started taking things out of the sack. "For instance, this fine set of silverware."

Arrille looked distinctly unimpressed. "Fine? Rather an exaggeration, don't you think? But who knows, maybe someone will be near-sighted enough to believe these don't belong in the nearest junkheap... I'll give you seventy drakes for them."

Did I really look that green?

"Seventy? I'm insulted, truly insulted! Look at this craftsmanship, this polish – and feel how smooth it is, not a dent or a scratch. Seventy, I say! A septim and twenty and no less!"

"A septim and twenty? One hundred twenty drakes for that measly piece of tin? No dents, I'll give you that, but only because they've all been hammered out. But craftsmanship? Hardly! Eighty drakes and no more!"

And we were off. Bargaining, when you do it right, is as much sport as anything else. Fargoth certainly seemed to think so, at any rate - he listened to us with wide eyes and a delighted grin on his face. When one of us pulled off a particularly clever maneuver, he would break into brief applause.

"Whose side are you on?" Arrille asked him in mock outrage after Fargoth congratulated me on managing to talk him up to a round septim for the silverware.

"I am a neutral observer. I am on no one's side," Fargoth said with an attempt at an air of dignity, one which would have worked better if his feet hadn't been dangling. It all reminded me of watching the traders on market day when I was a little girl...

Well, to make a long story short, after a while we settled on three and a half septims for all my illicitly gotten goods. Arrille looked as if he were rather regretting this agreement, so I decided to cheer him up with some purchases.

Arrille frowned when I suggested going downstairs for the next stage of our bargaining. "That could be a mite difficult... did you even have any money apart from what you st- acquired at the Census office?"

I wasn't sure where this was heading, but my usual reflex when I was asked things like this was to lie, lie and lie some more. Still, I did owe Fargoth and Arrille. "Actually, Sellus Gravius gave me ninety drakes-" I clamped my mouth shut, horrified at myself. Telling them I had money, all right, but why tell them where I'd got it from? Now there'd be questions-

"Oh. You're one of those." Arrille's eyes narrowed, and Fargoth stared at me.

"Those?"

"It started, oh, one or two months ago. Every few weeks, the Imperials release a prisoner from the mainland here. Far as we can tell, they're usually in for minor, or at least not violent, crimes - theft, that sort of thing." I blushed - that example had not been chosen randomly, I knew. "They get given a bit of money, then sent up to Balmora." I flinched. Arrille nodded, looking satisfied. "You too, I take it?"

I nodded, deep in thought.

To be entirely truthful, my first reaction was relief. Now, most people's first reaction to being told they are embroiled in what sounded like some sort of byzantine Imperial scheme where poor innocent... mostly innocent... not that guilty people are moved around like, like one of those stones for the board games people play in the High Rock markets which I never had the patience to sit down and learn - well, anyway, their reaction would not be relief, not if they had any sense. And although the sense thing can be argued on my part, mine usually would not be either.

No, the reason I was relieved was that if I was one of a group, it was highly unlikely the Emperor was, in fact, personally interested in me.

After all, even if the Emperor himself was at the heart of said byzantine Imperial scheme he surely put unimportant work like selecting suitable pawns in the hands of subordinates. Right?

Right?

The Nine save me, I was doomed.

"So," Fargoth said. He'd hopped off the crate to stand next to Arrille. I inched back a bit upon seeing the united front. "I take it you don't care to tell us what's going on?"

All right. That was just too much.

I exploded. "Going on? What in the name of Ysgramor and his Five Hundred makes you think I have any idea what's going on? I woke up this morning on a ship hundreds of miles away from where I went to sleep with no idea how I'd got there or why, nobody's told me anything except 'go here, do that, fill out these forms.' I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm confused, I have no idea what I'm doing here, I've never even set foot on Morrowind before and you ask me what's going on? You, you inbred excuses for cowardly dogs who'd give Alduin indigestion-"

"All right, all right, all right!" Fargoth interrupted me before I could properly get going. "We understand. You don't know what's going on. Er, please calm down. I don't think you're supposed to be able to turn that colour."

...skin bubbling its hue changing it has already begun-

"Or that one, for that matter. Sit down, you've gone all... light grey."

I sat on the proffered crate and tried thinking of... plants. Beautiful, beautiful plants. Flowers. Ferns. Black trees in a volcanic wasteland while- no. "Thank you. Um. What were we talking about?"

There was a moment's collective silence.

"...well," Arrille said, "the issue is that we need to make sure you're not seen buying things with more money than you're meant to have. That sort of thing could lead to inconvenient questions, if you get my meaning. I'll sell you what I can, but best for you to get to Balmora and do your shopping there."

I was beginning to wish I could kidnap Arrille and take him with me. He thought of these things called 'consequences'. I'd always had a little trouble with those.

*****

edited: ha ha, autocensor, very funny.

Next

This post has been edited by Kazaera: Jul 11 2013, 02:16 PM


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SubRosa
post Aug 31 2010, 01:32 AM
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Lots of fun, and a clever plot by Arille and Fargoth to get rid of the bully. I am also one of those few people who do not hate Fargoth, so I enjoyed seeing him portrayed as something other than a complete loser.

I also liked the revelation that Adryn is not the first person in her situation. It makes me wonder if the others were possible Nerevarines, or perhaps Blades undercover.


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mALX
post Aug 31 2010, 01:34 AM
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This gets better with each chapter! Your character developement is outstanding, and you are really personalizing the storyline and making it your own! I am really liking this a lot! (and I haven't played Morrowind yet!) Awesome Write!!!


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treydog
post Aug 31 2010, 01:36 AM
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First- Adryn and Maxical- together? blink.gif ohmy.gif ph34r.gif panic.gif There would not be a building left standing in all of Tamriel.

Second- thank you for updating when I was at home as opposed to work. Mrs. treydog is used to my fits of uncontrollable laughter. She just rolls her eyes and goes about her business.

QUOTE
I mean, I like wearing clothes. Clothes are my close, personal friends. And noon? Not a good time. Besides, you know, if you're going to go the graffiti route it's best to go all the way - none of that 'unspeakable acts' business.


QUOTE
where poor innocent... mostly innocent... not that guilty people are moved around like, like one of those stones for the board games people play in the High Rock markets which I never had the patience to sit down and learn


Those two passages highlight one of the things I love about this- Adryn's stream-of-consciousness (or unconsciousness?) approach to things.

[Diffidently]- If editing is giving you trouble, I have had some small success helping people (like minque and a couple of others). And the fact that it would give me a sneak preview of the next installment is purely coincidental.


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The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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