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> The secret of Thaldorn Manor
Lopov
post May 13 2020, 10:59 PM
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What I first intended to post as separate snippets / texts in the Where are you? thread, alongside with screenshots in the Screenshots thread, I now decided to post as a full story instead. Mostly, because it will be easier for me to post stories and screenshots at the same time. At first I didn't intend to make a story out of it, but lately I've been getting some ideas, so I decided to flesh them out.

It'll be sort of a horror story and will revolve around Rieltar Brunos Thaldorn, the mage and the former necromancer, who returns to his home - Thaldorn Manor.

I don't know how long will the story be, but definitely as long as I'll feel inspired to write and as long as I'll have time - I'm estimating anything between one to three months. I'll post one or two stories per week, in the beginning just one. For now I'll just copy the first entry alongside with screenies and with the comments, and with some added extras at the end.

---

I

Not many Cyrodiilians want to talk about the Thaldorn Manor. Five years ago it became publicly known, that in the noble house east of Pell's Gate, horrific deeds have been going on for years. Myraan Thaldorn, the high-ranking battlemage in the Legion, and his wife Deurexia, the respected teacher at the Arcane University, have been keeping a group of young maidens imprisoned in the manor basement. By sheer luck, one of them one night escaped and on her way to Pell's Gate, ran into a group of patrolling legionnaires. Before Thaldorns even found out that one of their captives was no longer chained, the patrol already stormed the manor and rescued two more maidens. As soon as they realized that their scheme has been exposed, Myraan and Deurexia committed suicide. The house was locked by the Legion and since that day nobody has stepped inside.

Myraan and Deurexia had one son - Rieltar Brunos - who was at that time a student at the College of Winterhold. News of his parents' death reached him a few weeks later, along with the key to the manor, he was after all the only heir.

*five years later*

Conjurers that have been occupying Sardavar Leed, the Ayleid ruin close to the manor, saw tonight for the first time light inside it. But not the light of candles, but of someone casting spells, they assumed.

The only heir returned home.


---

"You cannot walk on water or move mountains without faith. Or at least without a proper spell. I bought my water-walking spell from Trayvond in Cheydinhal. The bridge was probably intentionally collapsed after...deeds of my parents were revealed."

"South of the Imperial City, between Pell's Gate and Fort Alessia, lies the Thaldorn manor, in old records mentioned also as Thaldorne manor. It's where I spent my youth. I like the surname of my ancestors - Thaldorne - better. "

"Welcome home, Rieltar. Please, make yourself at...home. Your father is upstairs, polishing his armor. Go and greet him, right son? Except that there's no one to greet."

"This door is forbidden to open, Rieltar. It must remain locked at all times. Beasts lurk below. Ugly, abominable beasts! Beasts from all planes of Oblivion. They'll burn you alive and your mother won't be able to help you!"

"Pieces of the past, secrets of my parents."

---

Extras:

The abandoned manor in my hometown, that served as an inspiration for the Thaldorn Manor. The manor as such is the work from another author, but I edited a lot of stuff to my own liking, both outside and inside.

The name of the protagonist is a nod to Baldur's Gate I, specifically to the leaders of the Iron Throne organization. Their names were Rieltar Anchev, Brunos Costak and Thaldorn.

---

First comments from the other thread, so the authors don't need to repeat themselves. biggrin.gif

QUOTE(Acadian @ May 11 2020, 12:22 AM) *

A new adventure begins in 3rd Era Cyrodiil it seems?

QUOTE(SubRosa @ May 11 2020, 01:44 AM) *

The scowling necromage has returned!

QUOTE(Renee @ May 12 2020, 09:29 PM) *

indifferent.gif Oh noes!!! panic.gif Well now we know how he got that spooky manor. Picutres!


QUOTE(Renee @ May 13 2020, 02:10 PM) *

Goodness, what were his parents up to? Those poor maidens.

I love his shorts! biggrin.gif That's a first for me.

QUOTE(Acadian @ May 13 2020, 06:30 PM) *

Thaldorn Manor looks extremely appropriate - overgrown, cobwebs, mysterious doors, chains. . . .

Now, that mysterious door he is never supposed to open. I'm sure he never will. Nope. Not a chance. . . .

QUOTE(SubRosa @ May 13 2020, 07:01 PM) *

Thaldorn Manor looks like the kind of place the Scooby Gang would visit. I wonder if there are any ghosts! They would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that meddling Rieltar...

When do we go through that door! biggrin.gif


This post has been edited by Lopov: May 13 2020, 11:00 PM


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Acadian
post May 13 2020, 11:05 PM
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I'm so pleased you're graduating Rieltar into a full thread devoted to his dark tale! This thread would be a welcome addition to the fan fiction section of the forum. Let me know if you'd like it moved there. smile.gif


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Renee
post May 14 2020, 05:14 PM
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I concur with the man from New Las Vegas. I always get to that point with some more detailed stories. "Should this get its own thread, or will the Today thread suffice? Should this actually be in the Fan Fiction section?" For me, I feel like I'm not ever going to be ready for FF. nono.gif

It's also good that you put pictures & stories in the same thread. This makes it MUCH easier when you're going back in time, years after you've written. It sucks having to find all the pictures which go with the story, if they're in separate threads.


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macole
post May 14 2020, 07:47 PM
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Hoarding maidens in the basement can mean only one thing; unicorn poaching.


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Lopov
post May 17 2020, 09:15 AM
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@Acadian - thanks, for now I'll let the thread here, if I change my mind in the future, I'll let you know. smile.gif

A new adventure begins indeed! Since I need to take into account that my time for gaming and writing varies, from a lot to almost zero, I'm estimating around ten chapters for this adventures. It's better that I don't plan too many things ahead and for a too long time, besides having a short story in mind lets me keep more focused.

@SubRosa - I may have written it in a confusing way, the last pic, with the shackles, is from the basement. In the one pic above that Rieltar is casting an Unlock spell on the door.

@Renee - Rieltar's parents were up to no good. As for his pants, they're a very rare item, he found his at Cadlew Chapel.

@macole - you might be on to something here. wink.gif

---

II

“I am weak, mother.

I tried…but I failed…I didn’t know what to do once we were close to the manor…how to overpower her.

I wanted to make you both proud but I failed. I am weak, mother.

I went to the camp, the Crestbridge camp, I was a priest to them, Brother Brunos, I helped them deal with goblins, then I hired Her – Mirisa – I hired her and told her that I need her help with bandits that overtook my, our house. But as we were walking to the manor, I felt fear. Fear! I didn’t know how to gain control. I let her go. She found me mad, but I don’t care. I can’t do it…”

“Hush, my son.”

“I can’t…what?”

“Mommy’s here, Rieltar Brunos. Everything will be alright, mmm?”

“Mother….is that…is that you?”

“It is I, sweet son. Come now…embrace your mother.”
.
.
.
*two days later*
.
.
.

When young Branwen woke up, the Sun was already high in the sky. How odd, she thought, why didn’t Saliith wake me up?

She turned around in her bedroll, but the bedroll next to her was empty.

“Saliith?” Branwen stood up. Where was her sparring buddy? He was nowhere to be seen. An Imperial legionnaire was loudly marching down the main pathway leading around the Arena, while another one was firmly standing by the door to the Arboretum. Except them, there was no one else to be seen.

“Saliith?” No answer. Most odd. It’s never happened before that her beast buddy wasn’t around. He was the one that got up before her, usually by the dawn, and would always wake her up. But not this morning.

This morning Saliith was gone.

And he was never coming back.

---

Brother Brunos in the Crestbridge Camp

Goblin Cave

Letting her go

"I am weak! Weak, weak, weak!"

"Embrace your mother."

...

Beneath the Arboretum


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"Horrible creatures - I avoid them whenever I can."
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Renee
post May 17 2020, 05:08 PM
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Uh oh. ohmy.gif Maybe that ain't his mother. indifferent.gif Whoa. Yikes Lopov. I am intrigued. What the heck did you write over the past week? hehe.gif

Those pictures ... wow. They're all disturbing. Even the Crestbridge Camp one. What is happening in Letting Her Go? Or is that not been revealed yet?

This post has been edited by Renee: May 17 2020, 05:37 PM
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SubRosa
post May 17 2020, 06:15 PM
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Uh oh, Rieltar is taking over from Jason Vorhees. Now I can hear that theme music in my head when he stalks his next victim...

Great final pic of the Argonian taking a tumble!


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Acadian
post May 17 2020, 06:49 PM
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Lots of mystery here. Disturbing exchange with Rieltar’s mother. Then neat to ‘show’ us the missing Argonian form Branwen’s perspective. If I have the right of it (which I may not), it seems Rieltar’s objective may be to refill his home’s basement with maidens for necromantic purposes. But he is perhaps struggling with a. . . a. . . conscience?


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Lopov
post May 24 2020, 09:00 AM
Post #9


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@Renee - in Letting her go Rieltar is "letting Mirisa go", he probably lacked power or willpower to overpower her.

@SubRosa - I use a mod that adds torches to NPCs in dark places and Saliith was firmly holding his one even while falling.

@Acadian - "If I have the right of it (which I may not), it seems Rieltar’s objective may be to refill his home’s basement with maidens for necromantic purposes" - you might be on to something here. wink.gif

I'm glad you all liked the mystery, so today is the time for the next chapter, which I assume will bring even more mysteries but also an explanation behind certain events.

---

III

“Drunk? Saliith is drunk? Are you sure?” Branwen could barely believe words of the Imperial stranger, who introduced himself as Terliar, the sewer cleaner.

“Yes, I saw him earlier today while exterminating rats close to the southeast tunnel entrance. He could barely walk. He kept repeating one name – Branwen. When I asked the guards, they told me that there’s only one Branwen in town – you.”

“Unbelievable. Something serious must have happened for him to get drunk. I’ve never seen him even trying a drop of alcohol.”

“I felt obliged to tell you…” humbly said Terliar,” but now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take my leave…”

“Wait! I’d get lost in the sewers. Can you lead me to Saliith?” plead Branwen.

“I’m afraid I’ve got work to do, young one. But you won’t have difficulties finding him…down the stairs, turn right in the winding hallway, rotate the wooden handle in the room, in case the second door on the left is closed, walk through…”

“Please, please, please,…” Branwen interrupted him. „I’m already lost by now. Can you please lead me to Saliith? I must help him. I’ll pay you.”

“Hmm…” Terliar shook his head, as if pondering whether to help her or not. In truth, he already knew the answer.

“I’ll lead you but you’ll need to pay me because I've got work to do...elsewhere.”

“Thanks.” If necessary, Branwen was prepared to give him the valuable bands of Kwang Lao. Terliar reminded her of someone, but couldn’t remember of who. Not that it mattered in this moment.

.
.
.

“Saliith! My friend, what have you done?” Branwen rushed to her friend, lying on the cold floor among the crates in the sewers beneath the Arboretum. As she touched his head, it felt to the side with the tongue falling out.

“By the Nine!” she shrieked and jumped back. “He’s dead!"

Having said that, red aura encircled Branwen and she felt like someone was slowly sucking her entire energy out of her. She fell to her knees, feeling completely powerless.

“What…is...going...on?” Red aura became denser. She tried to stand up but couldn't.

She felt chills. Cold chills.

“No, this can’t be happening! No! No! No! Help me! Help me!”

She knew this spell.

She knew it all too well.

Branwen passed out.

Behind her, Rieltar Brunos Thaldorn put off the shabby clothes which he took from some crate in the Market District, and put his fine clothes on – a quilted doublet, rugged pants and blue suede shoes.

“We’re coming, mother”, he whispered. "You will be proud. This time I did it right."

.
.
.

The pain woke her up.

The pain around her neck.

She could barely swallow.

She could barely breathe.

She wanted to yell, but couldn’t, the pain was too strong. There was a collar tightened around her neck. Her arms and legs were in chains, she couldn’t move an inch.

Branwen couldn’t believe that it is happening again.

The frightful basement didn’t change much from before the five years. The only difference was that the Daedric altar, that served some unknown vile purpose, was destroyed. Apart from it everything was as it had been. The minotaurus' head on the wall left from the stairs, the upper class dresser right of the stairs, some tossed crates here and there. Cobwebs in corners and barely lit candles.

And chains.

Damned chains.

Five years ago she was working as a cleaning lady at the Arcane University. One night, when returning home, she felt the spell of utter powerlessness. Red aura encircled her and she lost consciousness. As she woke up, she was chained in this basement. She spent in this very basement three months. The three most horrible months of her life.

As she found out, the spell of powerlessness was cast upon her by Deurexia Thaldorn, the trainer of Mysticism at the Arcane University. Apparently the only reason for her capture, had been because she was a virgin at that time. She had no clue how Deurexia knew this, but her magical powers seemed immense. It was never revealed what her intentions with Branwen and others were, but it was obvious that Deurexia was attempting to perform something vile, and it involved the now destroyed Daedric altar and virgins. Marie, another captured virgin, claimed that Deurexia was trying to summon some powerful lord from the depths of Oblivion.

Sounds of the creaking door above the stairs shifted Branwen's thoughts back to the present day.

He came down the stairs, carrying the jug in one hand.

The man who led her to Saliith.

The man who reminded her of his mother, if she had only realized this in the Imperial City. Like her, he knew, how to cast the spell of utter powerlessness.

Without a word, he slightly released the neck collar and tilted the jug to pour the water out. Branwen shook her head forcefully, knocking the jug out of his hand, so it fell to the floor and shattered to pieces. She expected to get a slap like Deurexia would do if they disobeyed, but the man did nothing…. he actually looked as if not knowing what to do. After a few seconds he leaned down and began to pick up pieces.

“Why are you doing this?” she asked. With her collar slightly released, Branwen could at least talk.

“Don’t…do this again!” He tried to sound strict but his voice was weak, she noticed.

“You…you’re Rieltar, right?”

The man stepped back and stared at her.

“Yes, you are.” Despite the graveness of the situation, Branwen managed to smile.

“She’d often mention you. Why are you doing this? What have I done to you? Why…”

“Shut up!” Rieltar put both hands to his ears. “Just shut up! I don't want to hear this! I'm not hearing! I'm not hearing! I'm not hearing! I'll be quiet, mother. I won't talk back, mother!”

Before she could say more, he tightened the neck collar back but not as strong as it had been before.

“Behave, Branwen. I….I have nothing against you. I really don't. But I can’t disappoint my mother. I disappointed her many times but this time…this time I will do something right. Behave or she’ll come down and punish you herself. You don’t want to be punished by her, believe me. I know how it is...being punished.”

Branwen’s eyes almost fell out. Not because of the collar, but because of what Rieltar said.

Deurexia will come down? But she was dead. Ves said that she had drank a deadly poison in front of his eyes, just like her husband, as soon as their deeds had been revealed.

“Just behave! And you...might live.”

Rieltar picked more pieces of the broken jug, then went up the stairs, his head bowed down, as if ashamed.

The door creaked as he had closed them.

It can’t be…thought Branwen. This must be a nightmare and I’ll wake up soon enough, I know I will. But she knew this isn't going to happen.

There was, however, another difference from before the five years. Back then she was the third captive but now she was the first. Jolie and Marie were chained before her. But she was the one who escaped, and that’s why Rieltar got her first, she assumed.

But how did he know about them? Ves told Branwen that Deurexia's only son was in Skyrim at the time of their captivity. How could he know of them? Did his mother send him letters of her deeds? Did she write a diary? Now this sounds possible...

Creaking sound again. Door is opening. Creaking again. Closing.

Branwen waits, her eyes turned to the stairs but nobody is coming down.

Deurexia couldn’t be alive. Ves assured her that she’s dead.

Rattling noise from behind the ruined altar.

Branwen can’t move her head but she moves her eyes in that direction. It is very dark there, darker than in other part of the basement. No candle light in that corner. And there's fog. How odd. There hasn't been any fog before. But now the fog seems to be emanating from the floor. As the fog becomes denser, Branwen sees someone standing in the fog. The mysterious figure makes one step forward. She’s still very far away but Branwen feels…

…chills.

.

And more chills.

.

Cold sweat.

.

It can’t be.

It can’t be.

Her slim figure.

Her long elegant robe.

Her shining blue amulet.

Branwen closes her eyes. It must be a dream… an illusion! Yes, it must be an illusion.

She opens her eyes.

Darkness swarms the room.

The fog is now even closer.

And so is she....Deurexia! With her hands raised she's stepping towards her...

Branwen passes out.

---

"Here she is. Branwen. She looks just like described. I'll need to lure the Argonian away...or use him as a bait."

Stalker

"The bait is ready."

"The spell of utter powerlessness, as taught by my mother, when I was still a child."

In chains

The figure in darkness

Deurexia!

This post has been edited by Lopov: May 24 2020, 09:05 AM


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SubRosa
post May 24 2020, 07:52 PM
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Well that was deeply disturbing.


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Acadian
post May 24 2020, 09:02 PM
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Wow, this is turning out to be quite the tale of horror. You did a great job with Branwen of describing her fear and revealing her history with Thaldorn Manor. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Rieltar's reluctance to fully embrace his role in these evil plans.


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macole
post May 25 2020, 04:51 AM
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Oh, that was tense. I had to turn the lights on. panic.gif


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Renee
post May 26 2020, 01:18 PM
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Good lord, scoundrel! indifferent.gif This is creepy. It's supposed to be, I get that, but wow.

I feel bad for her. I hope she somehow makes it through this. The one thing about Rieltar though is that he was right about his self-assessment. He IS weak. He is dangerous, but he is also insane. I think Branwen might know this already, and take advantage of this somehow.

At least I hope so. indifferent.gif

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