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> Buffy - Book 3, We're Having a Crisis Here!
macole
post Mar 18 2020, 05:52 PM
Post #101


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Well that was a shocker. Waiting to hear what was reason behind the treason. Surely it has to be more than some dinner party gone wrong.


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Lopov
post Mar 24 2020, 09:40 AM
Post #102


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What a twist! I didn't expect that Countess Caro would be executed, and by her own husband at that. I'm curious what's behind it all.

I'm glad I read this story "late", else I'd be too curious over the week. We're in for a treat tomorrow.


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Darkness Eternal
post Mar 24 2020, 07:13 PM
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"Getting her magic severed by a Daedric spellcaster quite inflicted a déjà vu terror in Buffy’s heart. She vividly recalls that is exactly what led to her inability to prevent the mortal damage Savlian took during their final battle back at Kvatch."

Well that certainly stirred up some heavy emotions. That must be a terrible feeling indeed!

Buffy's has been away for quite awhile. Time does flow differently in Oblivion.

It was appropriately Buffy to decide to stay in the Mages Guildhall rather than the castle chambers. Much more fitting for her, and I'm sure she feels more comfortable in familiar settings and company, given her great history with the Mages Guild.

I like how Buffy realizes that though nature will take its course and things will return to normal, the otherworldly stain of Oblivion will last as a terrible reminder of the Crisis.

Buffy's honor and humbleness is not unnoticed here, too. She did right to share the substantial amount of gold with the hall. I chuckled at her comment about the beastfolk possibly praising the fate of Alessia Caro, which came as a shocker. But considering her very strong feelings regarding race, I don't blame them either.

I'm excited for Buffy, even in something as simple as a bath. This is the first thing to do coming back from an Oblivion realm. Raven can testify laugh.gif


--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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Grits
post Mar 24 2020, 08:21 PM
Post #104


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“Thank Zenithar!” she exclaimed.

Neat! You don’t often hear people invoking Zenithar, but of course that’s whose chapel stands over Leyawiin. Nice.

Along with Buffy and I’m sure every other reader, I am curious about Alessia Caro’s execution!

Ooo, Kalthar’s lair quarters got a makeover. I’m looking forward to seeing the renovations. I think a Nord mage would install a good bath tub!


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Acadian
post Mar 25 2020, 12:48 PM
Post #105


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Previously- Buffy was greeted by Leyawiin’s guard force as she bounced back to Nirn with sigil stone in hand. She reported finding the corpse of Leyawiin’s forester inside the Deadlands. Captain Draconis agreed to arrange a meeting with Count Caro in the morning. The Captain then informed Buffy that Count Caro had recently had his Countess executed for treason and promised to provide more details when she escorted Buffy to the castle in the morning. Buffy then went to the mages guild to clean up and spend the night.

*

All- I figured Countess Alessia’s execution for treason would be a surprise since, of course, it quite departs from what happens in game. Unfortunately, Buffy will dally in the mages guildhall (as she often does) for one more episode before Captain Draconis can fill her in on what happened. The implications of Alessia’s execution will emotionally challenge Buffy’s dealings with Count Caro and, later, with Count Terentius in Bravil.

SubRosa- Gosh, it seems so long ago that Kalthar met his end at Buffy’s hand! We figured that invoking Zenitor is better than Skeletor. tongue.gif

Rider- I’m glad you asked about the reaction of Alessia’s mother to the news of her daughter’s execution - the answer is in the episode after today’s.

ghastley- In today’s episode, Buffy will tell you more about the guild’s bathing pool.

macole- I hope the reason for Alessia’s execution will ring true and reasonable as it gets revealed in a couple episodes.

Lopov- An unexpected twist indeed. I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers but it just worked out that way here. I must apologize further for not revealing the reason for Alessia's execution until next week’s episode. Hopefully, today’s episode will prove worthy in its own right.

DE- You are right about Buffy and the Mages Guild. Though she does not feel bound to it, she does identify more closely with them than any other organization. Buffy had the extra gold deposited in her personal account with the guild – not donated to them. We will see her generosity with it though very much later in the book when we learn that her extra gold goes to Kvatch to support its rebuilding.

Grits- I agree that, since Leyawiin hosts the Chapel of Zenithar, it would be nice to reflect that in some of the local interactions. I think you’ll be pleased with how we transformed the guild’s basement to include a welcoming bathing area.

* * *

Episode 15


“S’drassa,” I asked, “may I use some of your equipment?”

“Of course,” replied the alchemist without looking up from a gently bubbling alembic, “so long as you clean up after yourself. This one must continue to tend his brewing. After that Oblivion Gate, the guild’s stock of healing potions is alarmingly low.”

“I’m not surprised. I know Captain Draconis’ soldiers certainly appreciate such help from the guild.” I dug ingredients out of my magic satchel and began grinding then mixing. Before long, my concoction was ready and I poured the result into a vial.

S’drassa finally looked up from his own work and asked, “What have we made today, Buffy? A multi-effect potion? Or perhaps a deadly poison for your bow?”

“Oh, nothing so exotic,” I replied. “I’m embarrassed to say that I somehow left my hair conditioner back at the University and I quite favor a recipe that Ardaline and I developed years ago.”

“Ah yes, the young alchemist with the Bravil chapter,” commented S’drassa. “Though Khajiiti fur requires little more than a good diet and the occasional tongue bathing to remain sleek, this one is always interested in learning more about the mixtures used his furless colleagues to care for their manes. Would you share your recipe?”

“Of course,” I replied as I cleaned up the equipment I had just used. “It contains just a touch of ectoplasm, along with some rosemary oil and aloe vera; those items provide for the actual conditioning. I then add some glow dust for shine. Lastly, when making a batch for my own use, a pinch of finely ground bergamot for a nice citrus scent.”

“An interesting combination, and one that makes sense. This one thanks you for sharing it and hopes to see you at dinner later.”

“I hope so as well but,” I added with a sheepish grin, “as you can certainly see and likely smell, a bath to wash away the Deadlands must be my next stop. In fact I’m heading downstairs to the bathing pool straightaway. Thanks for letting me use your alchemy tools, S’drassa.”

I followed the soft sounds of gurgling water as I made my way to the bottom of a wooden staircase. The guild’s basement was comfortably warm and lit by an inviting combination of wall-mounted fire braziers and Ayleid glow stones. Adorning the stone walls were beautiful tapestries and paintings of southern Cyrodiil’s weeping trees, bright deserts of Elsweyr, and the brooding swamps of Black Marsh. I continued across an eclectic collection of exotic scatter rugs from all over Tamriel that covered most of the stone tiles until I stood by the guild’s bathing pool.

The water's surface was flush with the floor and there was a knee-high ledge all the way around its square perimeter. It was large enough to comfortably accommodate Superian – or more realistically half a dozen mages. A brief study of the stone bath revealed it was quite similar to the one in Bravil’s guildhall. Natural flow of the Niben ensured that old water was quickly and continuously purged and replaced by fresh. Heat stones to maintain a high temperature were incorporated into the hidden passage that carried incoming water.

I wasted little time stowing my bow and quiver, then stripping out of my buckskins. Retrieving vials of soap, shampoo and the new batch of conditioner from my satchel, I arranged them on the edge of the pool. I then slid into the deliciously warm water. After washing my hair and body, I ducked underwater to rinse. Perching on the underwater sitting ledge, I leaned back against the warm stone and relaxed, luxuriating almost weightlessly in the feeling of Aetherius on Nirn.

“Greetings, Acadian. How does the evening find you and your young elf?”

The voice and salutation it carried could have only come from one mer. I opened my eyes to see Leyawiin’s guildmagister drop her gown and slide into the water. She sat comfortably at the other side of the pool. I simply smiled as Acadian’s voice quietly filled the air around us. “We are well, Dagail, and it has been too long.”

The mer loosened and lowered long gray hair to flow around her shoulders. “I am pleased that you have developed the ability to speak in your current form, old paladin. Buffy, tell me what brings the two of you who are one to Leyawiin?”

Dagail had recognized the duality that was Acadian and I from the moment I met her while pursuing recommendations to enter the University. Later, she had imparted the magic that helped Acadian augment his telepathic communication with spoken word. I replied, “It’s good to see you again, Guildmagister. Boderi Farano has sent me here on behalf of the Arch Mage to solicit assistance from Count Leyawiin relating to the Oblivion Crisis.”

“Crises come and go,” she replied, “but I sense Dame Boderi has given you a personal quest as well?”

The use of Boderi’s title did not escape me. “She has asked me to consider joining her as a Knight Arcana.”

“And you are hoping one of the Nine deigns to sponsor you as a paladin,” stated Dagail.

“I greatly value any advice you have, Guildmagister, as I am a very confused elf. I mean, which Divine should I petition? I was raised in Mara’s city, but Acadian was a champion of Kyne. Sirs Mazoga and Agronak are Knights of the White Stallion like me but serve a Priest of Akatosh. The Blades associate with Talos, and Boderi – the only paladin besides Acadian that I know - was chosen by Julianos. To make matters worse, none of the Divines even talk to me! Even Azura talks to me, and-“

“Let me see your hand,” interrupted Dagail. I moved close enough for the older Bosmer to examine my palm. She studied it for a few moments before calmly declaring, “There is no confusion among the Nine, child. You are on the correct path. When the time is right, your destination will become clear.” Dagail released my hand, leaned her head back against the stone and closed her eyes. “I grow weary now. Let me rest.”

“Forgive me, Magister,” I said softly. “I’m not very good when it comes to patience. Or trusting in things I cannot see, hear or feel. I appreciate your wisdom and encouragement.”

I climbed out of the warm pool and summoned a towel. After drying off and combing conditioner through my hair, I donned a russet felt dress with matching slippers. The pile of buckskins on the floor needed both cleaning and subsequent treating to retain their supple softness, but my growling stomach insisted those chores could wait until after dinner. I headed for the guild’s dining room.



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Renee
post Mar 25 2020, 03:38 PM
Post #106


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QUOTE
The teeth-tingling discordant hum of three sigil stones forced both hands over my ears.


I've always liked this noise, but I bet it's a lot louder and even painful to listen to from their perspective.

I am in shock like the others. Countess Caro has been executed. Goodness. I mean, she always was a rather sordid sort of character. In a way, although you do not practice dead-is-dead, in a way you do. Not with Buffy herself, and not really with Caro (she is part of the story) but I notice over the years there have been various NPCs who have not been resurrected. DiD applies to NPCs too. I know you have used the console to bring certain people back (such as stablehands) but I have come across some old posts in which you also did not use Resurrect 1.

laugh.gif She's making hair conditioner. laugh.gif In all seriousness, if we're considering Elder Scrolls to be based upon Medieval fantasy, the use of various oils has been documented as hair conditioners ever since ancient Egypt. Surely Buffy is going for something which adds luster and strength, here. It's not so much like typical modern conditioners packed full of synthetic detergents.

Aw, she's wearing the russet outfit after bathing. Does she still change clothes frequently? Does she still make herself invisible so she can change clothes in public?

This post has been edited by Renee: Mar 25 2020, 03:47 PM
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SubRosa
post Mar 25 2020, 04:11 PM
Post #107


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I still love Buffy's ethereal hair products. Much better than putting quicklime in your hair like the Celts used to do! ohmy.gif

It is nice to see Dagail as herself, now that she has her amulet, or her father's amulet I believe.

It sounds like Buffy is not a doctor, so she does not have any patience... wink.gif

Dagail seems to be quite assured that things are going as they ought to concerning Buffy's future. So that is a good sign. I suppose Buffy and the rest of us will have to just wait and see what shakes out.


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Darkness Eternal
post Mar 27 2020, 02:33 PM
Post #108


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Alchemy goes a long way in perilous times like these, where potions are very essential in the fight against the Daedra. And of course in cosmetics! Those ingredients make for an interesting conditioner indeed. She sure takes care of herself! I can imagine the relief of washing away the stains of the Deadlands!

I enjoyed the details of bath; its so interesting how it works. I've often wondered how folks in a magical world such as the Elder Scrolls bathe. Thankfully ESO showed us different things. You provided much depth even in the day-to-day things.

Great words of wisdom as Dagail confirms that Buffy is on the right path. Great advice!


--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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SubRosa
post Mar 27 2020, 08:11 PM
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Maybe Buffy should try to put some mayonnaise in her hair. I heard some actresses like Blake Lively do that to get a really glossy shine to it.


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ghastley
post Mar 27 2020, 08:15 PM
Post #110


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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Mar 27 2020, 03:11 PM) *

Maybe Buffy should try to put some mayonnaise in her hair. I heard some actresses like Blake Lively do that to get a really glossy shine to it.

Shhh! If Buffy knew that Mayo could substitute for Ectoplasm, then she wouldn't deal with all the ghosties for us. biggrin.gif


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Lopov
post Mar 30 2020, 12:01 PM
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Too bad that the conditioner can't be summoned too! laugh.gif

A bath with wise Dagail and some obligatory future-reading at hand.

A lot of things are going on in Buffy's life simultaneously, maybe a relaxing conversation with Dagail was just, what she needed.


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Grits
post Mar 31 2020, 07:03 PM
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Hair glop is an essential, I’m glad that Buffy didn’t have to go without!

Oh, what a perfectly magical bathing pool! The whole room invites relaxation. I love that Dagail addressed Acadian as she entered, and now he is able to answer for himself.

The russet felt dress made me smile, a nice reminder of the game. happy.gif


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Acadian
post Apr 1 2020, 12:51 PM
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Previously- While Buffy was enjoying a much needed hot bath in Leyawiin’s mages guildhall, she was joined by Dagail. The mysterious old guildmagister had always been able to sense the duality of Buffy and Acadian and greeted them both. She was somehow aware of Dame Boderi’s suggestion that Buffy consider trying to become a paladin, and offered her own cryptic encouragement.

*

Renee- Regarding that sigil stone noise, Buffy’s big ears are not just for looks. tongue.gif We’ll find out why Count Caro had his Countess executed in today’s episode. Buffy shared her hair conditioner recipe with us way back in Book 1 and I couldn’t resist reviewing it again. Ha! Yes, she still occasionally disappears long enough to change clothes unseen.

SubRosa- Elder Scrolls ingredient creations are fun to dream up! And they hopefully help render Buffy’s world more alive and believable. Dagail is neat to write since she feels no obligation to explain the abundant mystery surrounding her and is too old to care what others think. Her reassurance that Buffy is ‘on the right path’ is of some comfort to the confused younger elf though.

DE- I hated to delay spilling the beans on why Alessia Caro was executed but Buffy wanted to linger over cleaning up after closing that Oblivion Gate and I wanted her reminded of Boderi’s suggestion that Buffy consider trying to become a paladin. Calia will tell Buffy what happened to Alessia in today’s episode.

ghastley- Buffy used to hunt Azhklan trolls to fill empty grand soul gems with their dying residual magicka. She learned as a result that troll fat brings a good price, since many women use it in their hair and skin care products due to its regenerative and moisturizing properties. wink.gif

Lopov- Hee! Buffy’s found that summoning mundane things works best for temporary items that she can use, then conveniently dispose of as the summon dissipates. Bath towels, handkerchiefs and hunting knives are perfect examples. I suppose summoning could perhaps work for soap or shampoo, but Buffy wants the residual of her hair conditioner to remain in her hair until the next time she washes it. A good thought though and you’ve inspired Buffy to work on a summoning spell for her boar bristle and bamboo toothbrush that Daenlin fletched for her.

Grits- As is so often the case, I must thank you for insightfully mentioning the things in this quiet episode that I hoped would stand out. happy.gif

* * *

Episode 16


The next morning, after a small plate of venison sausage with grilled vegetables, I was enjoying some hot hibiscus tea as I chatted with my Leyawiin guildmates around the breakfast table. With a sweet roll poised midway between plate and mouth, I heard the soft jingle of mail armor – a noise not oft heard in the halls of mages. Placing the uneaten pastry on Agata’s plate with a wink, I rose to my feet. The sound grew closer until I heard S’drassa’s raspy voice. “Has the Captain yet broken her fast this morning?”

“Yes, I ate with the oncoming morning watch, thank you,” replied Captain Caelia Draconis as she strode into the dining room accompanied by the tan-robed Khajiit. “Good morning, magisters. I’m here to escort Dame Buffy to the castle.” She was a far cry from the soot-smudged and exhausted guard commander who had left me at the closed Oblivion Gate the afternoon prior. Caelia was now parade crisp, with every hair perfectly restrained in place and a spotless Leyawiin surcoat over the gleaming links of her mail. The arming sword of a Legion officer rode at one hip and an oval city shield was secured to her back by a leather guige.

As I retrieved and shouldered my bow and quiver, I remarked, “You look quite impressive this morning.”

She looked me over slowly as I stood there in my clean buckskins with a waist sash of forest green silk that hosted my magic satchel. My hair was neatly pulled back into a high ponytail. Her inspection ended at my eyes and was accompanied by an approving nod. “Shall we be off then, My Lady?”

I grinned. “Certainly, My Captain.”

On our way to the door, she remarked, “You’ll be pleased to know it’s a beautiful day out.”

“I know,” I replied. “Watching the sun’s first rays highlight the detritus of Dagon’s closed portal outside your northeast gate was bittersweet.”

“You’ve already been out of the city today?” she asked, giving me a sideways glance.

“Yes. I couldn’t resist an early ride. There are few things I enjoy more than watching the sunrise from astride my mare.”

Once outside, we began our trek to the castle. Long morning shadows contrasted sharply with patches of brilliant sunshine that bathed the still lightly populated streets and ivy covered buildings. The sounds of busily buzzing insects reached my long ears, as did the cheerful notes of songbirds as they greeted the day. A light breeze carried the perfumes of domica redwort, lavender and tiger lily. I prompted Caelia, “You said you would tell me more about why Lady Alessia was executed.”

“Not long ago,” she began, “I awoke just in time to deflect the dagger of a Bosmeri assassin in my own quarters. We wrestled to the floor where I managed to turn her blade and force it into her chest. Given her dark shrouded armor and manner of attack we assessed her to be an operative for the Dark Brotherhood.”

“Thank Mara you awoke and were able to subdue her!” I exclaimed.

'Do you understand now, my relief when you walked away from a still breathing Rufio and did not seal Lucien LaChance’s offer?' Acadian’s silent words struck a chord in my heart.

I all too clearly recalled struggling with dark feelings while glaring at the cowering Rufio over the tip of my arrow. I ultimately stepped back from the precipice of killing for hire, contenting myself with immobilizing the man in a manner that only a priest could reverse. I was later pleased to learn that, thanks to the evidence I had gathered and left behind, and Rufio’s inability to flee, he had been arrested and imprisoned. I had friends in the Legion who assured me that those who raped and murdered young girls did not fare well in the Imperial Prison. Though I could have certainly justified killing Rufio, had I loosed that arrow my path would now be much different. How long would it have been before the ‘loving family’ promised by Lucien Lachance sent me to kill fine Legion officers like the one who now walked beside me? I rubbed my arms to give plausible blame to Leyawiin’s cool morning air for the shudder that rippled through me. “Who on Nirn would want to see you killed, Caelia?” The words had already escaped my mouth before I remembered the subject of our conversation. “No! I mean, I remember that Alessia had a foul streak of racial superiority in her heart but. . . why would she want you murdered? You’re an Imperial like her.”

Caelia’s head snapped my way as she pinned me with her eyes. “No! I am proudly Imperial to be sure, but nothing like her. As guard commander for this city, I see Leyawiin citizens - not humans, mer or betmer. My very refusal to persecute citizens for being born with tails, tusks or pointed ears is what made me an impediment to Alessia’s plans.”

“Forgive me, Caelia, I did not mean-“

With a shake of her head, she interrupted, “It was but a few days into our investigation of the incident when Alessia tried to co-opt my sergeant of the guard. She wanted him to present falsified documents to the Count, linking me to the cause of the Renrijra Krin.”

“Are they not a band of Khajiit rebels who act in defiance of the Mane and seek to claim Leyawiin County as part of Elsweyr? If such charges were true, I’d imagine the Count would relieve you from command and recommend your dismissal from the Legion. Or worse.”

“Exactly,” spat Caelia. “She not only promised the sergeant my position, but offered him treasure from her purse and skirts as well.” One hand involuntarily flew up to my mouth as she continued, “Alessia overlooked, however, that Ignatius Varro was cut from the same cloth as the man who trained him - Lucilius Marcus.”

My rueful smile matched Caelia’s. Lucilius was one of the finest soldiers I’d ever met. He had served as Caelia’s senior sergeant before she transferred him to Kvatch where he became Savlian Matius’ second in command. After my hero’s death, Lucilius had been promoted to guard commander of Kvatch.

“Ignatius promptly reported the matter to me and I took my suspicions to Count Caro.”

“You risked reporting this to the woman’s own husband?” I asked.

She nodded. “I’ve known the Count since long before his unfortunate marriage to the attractive, but darkly ambitious Alessia. I believed that his bond of duty to this city would cause him to do the right thing – regardless of personal cost.” After a half smile, she added, “That said, I am not stupid. Had he ordered me thrown into irons, he would have been hard pressed to find one of my soldiers willing to carry out the order. And Ignatius was prepared to take our preliminary findings to Legion headquarters without further direction from me, if necessary.”

“Well,” I said, “it would seem you were right about Count Caro’s sense of duty.”

“Fortunately so,” she replied. “After we discussed the matter, he authorized a search of the Countess’ personal effects. Hidden therein we discovered paraphernalia associated with the Night Mother ritual, along with a small vial that your guild's alchemist subsequently confirmed was filled with a deadly elixir. We also found Alessia’s diary detailing plans to have me assassinated and the Count poisoned. Once those of us who could interfere with her ambitions were eliminated, she expected to become sole ruler of Leyawiin. When confronted with the evidence, she began ranting about ‘tail draggers, knife ears and tuskers infecting her county’. The Count found his bride guilty of treason and had her put to the guillotine the next day.”

We walked without words for a few moments. Caelia lifted an arm to move aside a low hanging willow branch that obstructed our approach to a small bridge. The banks of the pond we passed over hosted ferns, reeds and the yellow heads of bog beacon. Near the surface of the dark water I could see the bright gold scales and white fins of large carp-like fish as they ventured near the surface, hunting for unwary dragonflies. Finally, my anger toward Alessia caused me to break the silence. “What a terrible choice her hateful ambitions forced upon Count Caro!”

Caelia nodded her agreement. “We included a full copy of my investigation with the Count’s letter of condolence to Alessia’s mother, Countess Valga of Chorrol. To the lady’s credit, her measured reply acknowledged that noble birth did not exempt her daughter from the law.”

“That speaks well of Countess Valga,” I offered. “How is Count Caro holding up?”

“Stoically on the outside, but I know that giving the order to have Alessia executed broke his heart.” Caelia’s fist struck the head of the white horse emblazoned on her chest as she returned the gesture of one of her guards standing duty ahead of us. The young soldier then pulled open a heavy door to Castle Leyawiin’s great hall and we stepped inside.


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SubRosa
post Apr 1 2020, 08:22 PM
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Oh no, did someone nearly steal Buffy's sweetroll? Divines forbid!

Both the Lady and the Captain clean up pretty well.

It is just like Buffy to be out and riding before anyone else even wakes up.

I wonder if that assassin might have been someone Buffy knew? I am glad you took us down a brief stroll down memory lane, to the found family that Buffy nearly had, but wisely turned away from. There but for the grace of Mara we all go.

And now the story behind the execution of the Countess unfolds. Such a sad tale. Prejudice comes from fear, and decisions made from fear are never wise. Poor Count. I imagine he will have trouble ever trusting anyone ever again.


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haute ecole rider
post Apr 2 2020, 12:18 AM
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Well, you seem more charitable toward Count Caro than I did! laugh.gif I was pleased, however, to see that your thoughts regarding his wife mirror mine in so many ways. And the tale Captain Caelia unfolded during that leisurely walk across town was not surprising to me at all.

All in all, a very enjoyable two chapters. I can’t wait until next week’s episode!


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macole
post Apr 2 2020, 04:06 AM
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Beauty fades and the sweetest nectar sours with age. Poor Lady Alessia, c'est la vie.

Who knows, perhaps the Count was looking for an excuse to redecorate the castle?

This post has been edited by macole: Apr 2 2020, 04:11 AM


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Lopov
post Apr 2 2020, 07:50 PM
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What a thrilling story behind the death of the Countess Caro. You pulled this brilliantly, Acadian. I had no idea before reading the story, what would be the reason of her execution, but I definitely didn't think that even the Dark Brotherhood would be involved.

I must ask however, because I didn't read Book 1...to get asked to kill Rufio, Buffy must have killed before? Who was it? Was it by accident? You can link me to the original story, if it's not too much to ask.


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Renee
post Apr 6 2020, 05:41 PM
Post #118


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Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



Okay good. I am glad Alessia's execution gets explained. Otherwise I'd have to bug you with n00by questions! Like, maybe the reason got explained long ago in the first Buffy book, but i was not around back in those days.

Oh my gosh. indifferent.gif So she had a bunch of notes and poisons and everything! Not to mention I believe she was the one in charge of that
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SubRosa
post Apr 6 2020, 06:21 PM
Post #119


Ancient
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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



QUOTE(Renee @ Apr 6 2020, 12:41 PM) *

Okay good. I am glad Alessia's execution gets explained. Otherwise I'd have to bug you with n00by questions! Like, maybe the reason got explained long ago in the first Buffy book, but i was not around back in those days.

Oh my gosh. indifferent.gif So she had a bunch of notes and poisons and everything! Not to mention I believe she was the one in charge of that

The spoiler was her husband. He has the key for that room, not her.


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Acadian
post Apr 8 2020, 12:32 PM
Post #120


Paladin
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From: Las Vegas



Previously- During their walk to Castle Leyawiin to meet with Count Caro, Captain Caelia Draconis explained to Buffy the details of Countess Alessia Caro’s treachery and why the Count was forced to have her executed for treason.

*

SubRosa- I enjoyed being able to weave Buffy’s rejection of the DB back into her story. We’ll see that though the Count knows he made the right decision, it still broke his heart. I expect the lesson he’ll learn is don’t marry someone hoping to change their nature.

Rider- As you know, the game drops clues that the Count was not so noble himself, but in Buffy’s story, he is what I hope the next two episodes show him to be: Imperfect but, on balance, worthy of his title.

macole- I think the Count was blinded by love and wishful thinking regarding Alessia. Thankfully, duty to his county prevailed and he made the right call when it was required.

Lopov- Buffy assassinated Erana - a mage in Chorrol who posed an ongoing mortal threat to Buffy. It happened fairly early in Book 1. I just reread it myself and found her chat with Acadian afterwards to be rather prophetic, I hope you agree. Here is a link to that episode.

Renee- Alessia really was evil. Marius Caro (in Buffy Fiction) actually does want the best for his county and is worthy of his title. Though his heart is good, he is neither perfect nor a pillar of strength. He is naïve and idealistic enough to believe he could change Alessia and it truly broke his heart that he could not ‘fix’ her. Buffy is predisposed to a favorable opinion of the Count because his knighting of Sir Mazoga was instrumental in giving noble purpose to the angry unguided orc’s life. I hope the next two episodes Buffy spends with the Count help reinforce our view of him and how it varies from what one sees in the game.

* * *

Episode 17

Emerald banners hung from the lofty ceiling as Captain Draconis and I strode through Castle Leyawiin’s great hall and into the throne room. Fire bowls mounted on short stone columns crackled and hissed softly, just as I remembered. At the end of the green carpet stretched before us were two thrones. One sat empty while the other hosted Count Marius Caro dressed in black and gold finery.

We both stopped four paces short of the balding Imperial and bowed. Caelia reported, “Milord, I bring you Dame Buffy.”

The Count looked weary, but his smile was warm. “Welcome back, Buffy. Our errant knight has not graced this court for far too long. Caelia informs me that Leyawiin is once again in your debt, this time for single-handedly closing an Oblivion Gate just outside our walls.”

“I am pleased to see his lordship again and humbled by his kind words.”

The staccato of boots on stone tile reached my ears. The Count gazed beyond me toward the sound. I turned to see a knight approaching. As he reached the length of carpet leading to the twin thrones, the click of his boots softened. I could now clearly hear the sounds of well-fitted plate armor as it moved with each stride.

Numerous dents, several burn marks and generous streaks of soot and blood, could not disguise the fact that the silver-gray panoply he wore was of the finest quality. If cleaned up and repaired, the exquisite set of heavy plate would likely be worth more than a small house or fine horse. A matching full helm was tucked under his left arm and temporarily hosted the knight’s gauntlets. The ornate handle of a great sword protruded above one shoulder, hinting at its quality.

Disheveled black hair streaked with gray framed the Nibenean Imperial’s face. In the lines of his olive skin were written more than half the years of a human lifespan. An old scar ran prominently from just below one eye across the bridge a nose that would have been aristocratic if not marred by the evidence of being broken at least once.

The man bowed. “Forgive my appearance, Milord. We have but recently closed the last Oblivion Gate plaguing your city.” The voice resonated with a culture and tone suggestive of both authority and a noble heritage.

“Sir Flavius, your bloody badges of service to Leyawiin bring no dishonor to this court,” replied the Count. His gaze then returned to me. “Dame Buffy, I asked the Order of the White Stallion’s Knight Commander to join us this morning.”

I turned to the senior knight, dipped my head slightly and offered my hand. “I’m honored to meet you, Sir Flavius.”

He elegantly touched the back of my hand to his lips. “Decimus Flavius Aquilinus, humbled to be at your service, Dame Buffy.”

“Buffy,” resumed the count, “shortly after Mazoga and Agronak left Leyawiin to assist you at Kvatch, I contracted Sir Flavius to serve as knight commander. He’s capably brought the Order through an expansion of both its numbers and lodge.”

“I saw the new facility as my ship sailed past it on the way here,” I remarked. “Very impressive.”

“Milord,” protested Sir Flavius, “I have several wounded knights being tended in the chapel, and little time for pleasantries.”

Marius Caro lifted an eyebrow peevishly. “And the priests healing them require your personal supervision?”

The knight’s dark eyes flashed for but a moment before a look of granite-like discipline recaptured his chiseled features. “Forgive my impatience, Milord.”

Count Leyawiin’s face softened visibly. “Be at ease, Flavius, I know your heart is with your knights. They are in good hands with the Priests of Zenithar.” He looked at me. “My guard commander could only tell me that your business in Leyawiin involves the Oblivion Crisis.”

“Milord, I would humbly ask that only your ears and those of Captain Draconis and Sir Flavius hear the message I bring.”

The Count glanced at his bodyguard and nodded. Once the steward, footman, two maids and even the soldiers guarding the throne room had withdrawn, I began, “I bring you greetings, Milord, and a dire request from the next Emperor of Cyrodiil.”

“What manner of treachery is this?” exclaimed Sir Flavius. “Is the Septim line not dead? Who would presume to usurp the throne?”

“Silence, Flavius!” The Count’s rebuke echoed throughout the throne room. He gazed at the empty throne to his left. “I know treachery when I see it!” His angry eyes then pinned the armored knight. “Buffy’s integrity and service to Leyawiin, like your own, are above reproach. When last I met with the Elder Council, they quietly alluded to a surviving Septim heir in exile.”

“This outspoken knight,” replied Flavius, “must once again ask forgiveness for his rash and ill-considered words.” The Nibenean’s eyes traveled from the Count to me. “I beg pardons, Milord, Milady.”

Count Caro replied, “That you readily voice your opinions with frankness is an attribute I prize, Flavius, but stay them for a time. I am eager to hear what news Buffy brings from this exiled emperor-in-waiting.” He motioned me to continue.

“There is indeed a surviving Septim whose veins carry the blood of a dragon. His request is for urgently needed forces to reinforce the city of Bruma. As you may be aware, the Amulet of Kings was . . . .”

I proceeded to carefully, and without further interruption, detail how Martin’s desperate plan to recover the stolen Amulet of Kings would expose Bruma to the grave dangers of a Great Oblivion Gate preceded by the opening of several smaller portals to the Deadlands.

“. . . so as you can see, the need to reinforce Bruma is dire. Once Martin has the amulet, he will lead his army to The Imperial City, claim his throne and relight the dragonfires - permanently closing the jaws of Oblivion. In conclusion, Milord, I’ve been authorized to add that Martin Septim, when Emperor, will not forget the loyalty of those nobles who assisted Bruma in her time of need.”

For several moments, the only sound was the gentle hiss and crackling of the nearby fire bowls as Count Caro contemplated his steepled fingers. Finally, he spoke. “I am aware of the devastation that a Great Gate inflicted upon the city of Kvatch. Leyawiin herself could have been brought to her knees by the recent opening of numerous nearby Oblivion Gates, were it not for the intervention of courageous knights and the steadfast diligence of our guard force. Bruma shall have what help I can provide.” He lifted an eyebrow and gazed, in turn, at the two warriors flanking me.

“My knights are well suited for this task and can travel quickly, Milord,” began Sir Flavius. “Leyawiin still faces numerous threats requiring the presence of its brave soldiers and able commander. I would like to leave two knights behind and, with Captain Draconis’ permission, detail them to her should another portal to the Deadlands open and she deems their experienced assistance appropriate. It will take us two days to recover from wounds to the flesh and damage to both armor and weaponry sustained during the recent closing of several Oblivion Gates. Nevertheless, when we do ride north, it will be with a score of ready knights and the speed of heavy white horses.”

The Count’s eyes sought Caelia’s. “What says my guard commander?”

“Sir Flavius has the right of it, Milord,” she replied. “Our citizens still need protecting from day-to-day crime and the nearby roads must be kept free of Black Bow Bandits and other brigands. The political instability brought on by this crisis, and Leyawiin’s unique geography, leave us vulnerable to cross-border raids from Elsweyr or Black Marsh if we are perceived as under-defended. It is now clear why Guildmistress Vilena Donton ordered Leyawiin’s Fighters Guild to Bruma. With most of our knights gone as well, retaining the guard force here is most prudent. I gratefully accept Sir Flavius’ generous offer of two knights to augment my soldiers’ ability to close an Oblivion Gate if required.”

“So be it,” pronounced the Count. “Sir Flavius, return to your knights. Convey my appreciation for their valiant recent efforts. May the Divines speed your preparations to ride north and protect the Knights of the White Stallion as they assist Bruma.” He then addressed Caelia, “Thank you, as ever, for your wise council. Please advise my bodyguard on your way out that I would have words privately with Dame Buffy.”

This post has been edited by Acadian: Apr 9 2020, 08:15 PM


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