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> An Argonian's Account, Haa-Rei's adventures in Cyrodiil
Acadian
post Mar 27 2015, 07:12 PM
Post #21


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From: Las Vegas



This was simply a delightful treatment of the Nirn-famous Great Potato caper. I simply loved your use and treatment of Thiazzi! Being attached to and caring about one’s summon seems as natural as breathing in the magical land of Tamriel. And he did indeed change the tide of that battle!

Nice ending – one could interpret Haa-Rei’s assessment that the bread was indeed worth its weight in gold due to its famous taste. . . or romantics like me might conclude that the bread’s true value can be found in the musical laughter that it inspired from Sjöfn. happy.gif


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ghastley
post Mar 29 2015, 06:38 PM
Post #22


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The bread's certainly easier to eat than gold. Didn't King Midas starve to death?

Now, it just needs another pot of tea to wash it down. tongue.gif

Nit: Sjöfn swore under her breath in Nordic. - lost a word somehow.

This post has been edited by ghastley: Mar 29 2015, 06:40 PM


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Grits
post Mar 30 2015, 04:04 PM
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We sat in silence for a while, the morning sun creeping over the trees to reflect on the lake like a thousand sapphire crystals. I was tempted to go for a swim, but I was quite content where I was.

Sjöfn’s charms must be considerable to keep an Argonian out of that lake! Beautifully done. happy.gif

I’m not a hugger. Or a toucher at all. Or much of a speaker most of the time.

Lol. What a charming potato adventure in the Great Forest!


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hazmick
post Apr 17 2015, 05:58 PM
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Acadian - I'm glad I managed to do the quest justice, and I'm glad you picked up on the romance. I'm not good at that sort of stuff so I'm happy that it seems to be working.

As for Thiazzi, you're absolutely right. Haa-Rei has known him longer than he's known most people so it's only fair that they're friends. It'd be like having a horse or ancient spirit guardian as close companions. That's actually not a bad idea for a story... wink.gif

ghastley - more tea? Well if you insist... tongue.gif

Grits - Argonians can swim wherever they like, but it's not everyday you can find a charming companion to share some tea with laugh.gif


Chapter 8

In the name of brotherhood, friendship, and kindness, Sjöfn and I decided to share the bread with the others. We kept a loaf each for ourselves and gave Jötnar and Olorin one to share. There’s such a thing as being too kind, after all.

After we’d shared out the bread rations and thanked our hosts, we set off South in the direction of Bravil. Once again Olorin’s plans were right on time, even after taking a detour with the potato investigation.

I took the lead, scouting ahead of the others, with Sjöfn acting as rear guard. The roads were still quiet, with most travellers opting to take boats up the river to the Imperial City rather than risking attacks from bandits or wildlife. The only person I saw was an Imperial ranger, who greeted me with a wave before disappearing back into the wilderness.

As for wildlife it was an equally quiet day. I spotted a large black bear in the distance, but as long as you respect their privacy most animals won’t bother with you. A boar illustrated my point after wandering into the same clearing as me. After a few moments of staring at each other he grunted and wandered off.

The afternoon sun was warm and bright as the light filtered through the trees. Birds flitted through the branches, calling out to each other in songs.

I stopped for a quick snack at a large blueberry bush. The berries popped in my mouth, bursting with flavour. I made sure to pick the ones that were still slightly unripe for their sourness. I resisted the urge to devour every berry in sight (with great effort) and instead reached into my bag. I took out my journal and tore a strip from one of the blank pages, which I then attached to the bush. Proud of my handiwork, I continued onwards along the Green Road.

Just as I was trying to decide which road in Cyrodiil was my favourite, I heard an odd noise. It was like a low growl, but nothing I’d heard before. I could feel in my head spines that something was near. That distinct feeling of danger that had saved me countless times in the past. I froze on the spot as the creature came into view.

“By the Hist…” I whispered to myself. I’d seen my first minotaur.

I’d read about them, and always thought they sounded interesting, but the creature before me was nothing short of magnificent.

The beast’s great hooves supported two muscular legs, and a long cow’s tail swished this way and that at any lazy fly that dared get close enough. The torso was that of a huge, muscular man. Rippling muscles shone in the sunlight, and two equally large human arms hung by its sides. An iron warhammer was being carried effortlessly in one hand, as I would carry a quill. The head was the most striking part. It was the head of a mighty bull, broad and thick, with two huge horns reaching upwards. As a creature with horns myself, I could fully appreciate their majesty. And weight.

My bow was already in my hand, but I didn’t want to fight this creature if I could avoid it. It might sound strange, an adventurer that doesn’t want to fight monsters, but there was something about this minotaur (and indeed every minotaur that I’ve encountered since) that made me pause. I wasn’t especially scared…it was more of a respect. It wasn’t until later in my adventures that I really understood the feeling. For now, I was in for a fight.

The beast’s large hazel eyes finally fixed on me. Although I was crouching, I was doing so in the middle of the road and as such wasn’t difficult to spot. The eyes reminded me of the ogre. There was intelligence in them. Not quite wisdom, but intelligence nonetheless.

My hesitation vanished and my body reacted without having to think. Nocking and firing an arrow in one swift movement.

The minotaur roared out as the arrow struck its chest. Raising the large hammer, it charged forward, determined to close the distance between us. I managed to fire another arrow before having to dive out of the way.

“Xuth! That’s faster than I expected.” I’d left my bow in the road. I wouldn’t need it.

The minotaur turned at an impossible angle, charging again. I drew my sword just in time to deflect a hammer swing. Despite its natural ability the attacks weren’t too difficult to deal with. It was as if he’d just picked up the hammer for the first time.

Regardless of skill, a single blow would hurt a lot and potentially do some damage. I was managing to avoid the attacks but couldn’t find an opening to retaliate.

Then at last I saw my chance. A poorly timed swing allowed me to knock the hammer away and drive my sword deep into the minotaur’s torso. It roared in pain and lashed out with its free arm, hitting me squarely in the chest and knocking me back several feet. My sword came with me, leaving a large wound just below his ribs. The minotaur staggered, then swayed, then fell. I was victorious.

I was also winded, and had to take a few moments to catch my breath. I tried to stand, and shakily walked over to my adversary. The hazel eyes were dimly staring into the sky. I bent down and closed them. Then, for no discernable reason, I used my sword to cut off one of his horns. It was about the length of my forearm, a pristine bone colour. It ended in a dull point, and I silently thanked the Hist that he hadn’t used his horns as a weapon. I stowed my trophy in my pack and went to retrieve my bow.

Leaving it in the road had been a mistake. All it had taken was one large hoof to snap it in two. I put the pieces into my pack, hoping they could be repaired in Bravil. Will there be a decent weaponsmith in such a small town?

Looking up, I could see the city in the distance. The setting sun flooded the forest with pink light as I continued along the road.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:06 AM


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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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Acadian
post Apr 17 2015, 08:22 PM
Post #25


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This continues to be simply a delightful tale. I love the slower pace, allowing Haa-Rei to share some of his delightful observations with us, for your descriptions are wonderful. happy.gif

Yum, blueberries! Why did he attach a strip of parchment from his journal to the bush? To mark it for his return trip or for those traveling behind him perhaps?

He is wise to let most of the forest’s inhabitants just go on their way. An exciting fight with the minotaur though!

Too bad about his bow but, yes, I think he’ll find a very skilled bowyer who can repair it in Bravil. wink.gif


Oops: ‘Just as I was trying to decide which road in Cyrodiil was my favourite, I heart an odd noise.’ - - I’m sure you meant ‘heard’ not ‘heart’ here. smile.gif


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Grits
post Apr 21 2015, 03:03 PM
Post #26


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It was nice to see that wildlife in your story isn’t as rabidly aggressive as the game presents. I loved the mood you set as the road passed through the forest. Yikes, minotaur! Excellent explanation of how Haa-Rei managed to prevail. Haa-Rei’s respect for the majestic creature made me like him even more. smile.gif


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hazmick
post May 29 2015, 03:10 PM
Post #27


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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Acadian - I'm always conscious of rushing through things, so I'm glad you're enjoying the slower pace. New bow soon, and where else but the AP would one go to buy it? biggrin.gif

Grits - Glad you enjoyed it! I love Minotaurs, they look so impressive. As for the wildlife, yeah it always annoys me when you play a game which makes everything (except deer) attack you on sight. I get that it's more exciting but sometimes I just like going for a nice walk laugh.gif

EVeryone - apologies for the inconsistent writing releases. It's partially because I don't want to force myself to write stuff when I don't feel like it, and partially because I'm lazy. tongue.gif Your continued support is much appreciated, and I'll definitely keep writing as long as there are people to read it.


Chapter 9


It was dark by the time I arrived at Bravil. The water around the city was reflecting the moonlight, casting beautiful patterns on the high stone walls. I took a seat on the edge of the drawbridge leading to the city gates, in order to wait for the rest of my companions. Two guards stood watch, the leaping deer symbol on their chests illuminated by the torches they carried.

Jötnar and Olorin arrived several minutes later, with Sjöfn a couple of minutes behind them.

“We saw the minotaur back there. Your handiwork?” As I’d guessed, Jötnar was always wanting to hear, and tell, stories of battles. Not sure one Argonian fighting a single minotaur counts as a battle, but it was nice of him to show an interest.

“I’d never seen one until today. Are they all that big?”

The Nord let out a rough laugh before answering,

“That one wasn’t anything special. I’ve seen minotaur lords that were twice as big!”

I tried to imagine something that size in my head, but I wasn’t sure if I’d seen anything big enough to compare it to. Maybe a house? Or a small fort?

“Shall we continue this discussion somewhere a little warmer? And perhaps with a little wine?” The moonlight on Olorin’s face made him look much older, and I was also suddenly aware of the cold breeze blowing in from the water. With that, we entered the city.

If I had to describe Bravil in one word, it would be ‘damp’. If I had to use two words, it would be ‘damp’ and ‘brown’.

The entire city was built around the water, with several buildings perched on wooden stilts on the water’s edge. It was very different from the uniform stone buildings of the capital, but I liked it more. The ramshackle array of shacks felt much more comfortable, even if some looked in need of repair.

My companions immediately headed for the nearest inn, named ‘Silverhome on the Water’ just inside the gates. I later learned that this was one of two such establishments in the city, the other was located on the other side of the small river (or is it a canal? Or an inlet?). The patrons of Silverhome were mostly travelers and off-duty guards, with a few locals perched in prime place at the bar.

Olorin selected a booth for us to sit in and motioned at a passing barmaid. After a lengthy discussion about the best available wine, Olorin finally ordered food and refreshment for the rest of the group. Wine for Sjöfn, ale for Jötnar, and tea for myself.

The ‘tea’ turned out to be little more than hot milk water which may or may not have had some sort of leaf briefly dipped into it. The meal was much better. A chicken and potato stew, accompanied by a large slice of creamy yellow cheese and thick bread.

Once we’d finished, the group dispersed among the crowd. Olorin chose a seat by the fire, and immediately fell asleep. Jötnar joined a rowdy discussion about fishing, sharing his own tales of the time he caught a ‘horker the size of a carriage’ with his bare hands (much to the amusement of the local fishermen). Sjöfn hadn’t moved 5 steps before a gentleman approached her, but he moped away a few minutes later looking considerably downcast. I decided against trying to speak to her myself and instead chose to go for a walk. I’ve never enjoyed loud places, and with every mug of ale or glass of wine the inn was just getting louder.

The city streets were much more peaceful. The only sound being the muffled revelry from the inn and the water of the river lapping gently against the wooden docks.

On my walk I discovered that Bravil had more to offer than I first assumed. There was a fighters guild, a mages guild, some sort of suspicious looking magical shop, a chapel, and (to my great surprise) an archery shop. The Archers Paradox. It was closed for now, and I made a mental note to visit in the morning to see if I could repair or replace my current bow.

Pausing on a bridge, I watched the water for a while. The city water gates had been closed for the night, and with no boats to disturb it the small canal was moving slowly, the twin moons reflected in its smooth, dark surface.

The light scent of fish drifted by on the breeze, the source of the scent was a heavyset Imperial, carrying an armful of nets. I watched him walk down to the docks, readying his small fishing boat for the next day.

I could hear some light footsteps behind me, and tuned to find Sjöfn approaching, cheeks slightly flushed from the wine.

“How is it that I can sneak up on a deer close enough to use a knife, but I can’t get within ten feet of you?” She was smiling, but I had the impression that it was a serious question. Playing it safe, I chuckled and turned back towards the water.

The Nord joined me, leaning over the side of the bridge to peer into the murky canal. We stood in silence for a few minutes before she spoke again.

“What do you think of Bravil?” Oh dear. Small talk.

“It’s nice. A bit damp, but it looks like there’s lots of places to see.”

“It’s the furthest South I’ve been. Olorin says that Lleyawiin is much nicer. You been there before?”

“I used to live there. It’s not that much bigger than Bravil, but more spacious.” The cramped shacks of Bravil were a far cry from some of the larger houses of Lleyawiin, with their brightly painted facades. Even Deeh’s house was spacious in comparison to the average Bravilian home.

“Really? You don’t sound like you’re from Cyrodiil…” Her eyebrow was raised again. She would make a great interrogator for The Legion.

“I’m originally from Black Marsh, but moved to Lleyawiin when I was younger.” I didn’t want to say more, especially to someone I’d just met. Thankfully she didn’t press the issue, and changed the subject.

“We should be getting back. The place will have quietened down by now.”

I nodded and followed her back to the inn, which had indeed settled down. Everyone had either gone to bed or passed out.

“Oh! Before you go,” Sjöfn reached into her pocket and produced a slip of parchment, stained in several places with blueish-purple fingerprints. “thanks for the blueberries.”

“You’re welcome. Good night.” I chuckled to myself as I headed to bed. Apparently she hadn’t been able to resist eating every berry on the bush. Folding the parchment carefully, I slid it into my pocket.

I was sharing a room with Olorin, meaning I would be sleeping on the floor. The old mage was snoring deeply when I arrived, and I didn’t dare wake him. Sliding fully dressed into my sleeping sack, I slowly fell asleep. Thinking of Lleyawiin, and home.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:06 AM


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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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Acadian
post May 29 2015, 06:35 PM
Post #28


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From: Las Vegas



So nice to see you continuing this. Don’t worry about the slow posting pace; it is a lizard’s prerogative to take long breaks between spurts of movement. That said, one thing that can particularly help when posting a story slowly is to begin each update with a very small ‘in our last episode. . .‘ type summary. Normally, that only needs be a sentence or two to bring us right up to speed and ready to jump right into the current episode.

Welcome to Bravil! The beautiful forest City of Mara, caressed by the Niben. Damp and brown sounds perfect for Haa-Rei. After a nice dinner (but weak tea), Sjöfn and Haa-Rei enjoy some small talk by the river on a beautiful night. Ahah. One of my guesses about the strip of parchment was right – marking that blueberry bush for those who followed.

I hope Daenlin can take care of Haa-Rei’s archery needs in the morning. smile.gif


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mALX
post May 30 2015, 03:35 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN





It kills me to have Haa-Rei's story finally getting posted and I can't read it; and I've always loved your writing and roleplay! You will always have my support, and one day hopefully I'll find a work-around so I can read about the characters and stories I love again; and finally catch up on Haa-Rei.




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hazmick
post Jun 6 2015, 04:34 PM
Post #30


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Joined: 28-July 10
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Acadian - Thanks for the tip, and (as always) the encouragement.

I've always liked Bravil - there are some really nice people living there. (and some not-so-nice people, but we don't concern ourselves with them) biggrin.gif


mALX - Thankyou so much for stopping by. Your writing has always been one of my inspirations for fanfiction, and it's such a shame that I can't repay the favor. I hope you can read it one day, but if not I'll always keep updating everyone with Haa-Rei's adventures in other parts of Chorrol. laugh.gif




Previously:
Haa-Rei, Olorin, Jotnar, and Sjofn arrived in Bravil. The next stop on their journey to the Ayleid ruin of Atatar. Leaving the others to their festivities, Haa-Rei took the opportunity to explore Bravil and located an archery shop which he plans to visit in order to find a new bow.

Chapter 10

There was a chill in the air when I awoke the next morning. I decided to forgo the poor excuse for tea that Silverhome offered and made my way towards the archery establishment I’d seen earlier.

My progress was slow as the early morning was made considerably worse by a shower of freezing rain, meaning that I was even more sluggish than usual. I would have preferred an extra hour or two (or three) in bed, but our party was heading out soon. The life of an adventurer is truly full of trials.

After a rather embarrassing amount of time I finally made it to The Archer’s Paradox – a mid-sized shack perched on the far side of Bravil. Were it not for the sign outside it could be easily mistaken for another home.

It was warm and inviting inside, with a roaring fire on the far side of the room to stave off the damp. The main feature of the shop was a low counter, showing off an incredible range of bows and arrows. Behind the counter was an old Bosmer, dressed in hunter’s leggings and jerkin. The latter was open and sleeveless as if to show off his surprisingly muscular arms and chest. He smiled warmly as I closed the door behind me.

“The Archer’s Paradox. Because a perfect arrow flies forever, and that’s impossible. I’m Daenlin, and I have no perfect arrows.” The speech was obviously rehearsed, but he was so cheerful that it sounded as if he’d just come up with it and I was the first person he’d rushed over to share it with.

“Hello. Haa-Rei.” My brain struggled to conjure up the strength for a proper greeting. By the Hist, I must sound like a complete moron.

“Ah don't worry, my boy. Here.” He disappeared towards the fireplace for a moment and returned with a steaming cup.

Oh no, not Bravil tea. Please let it be ok.

Clearly Silverhome had cornered the market on poor teacraft. If Daenlin’s bows were as good as his beverages, I was about to be a very happy lizard.

The Bosmer waited patiently while I sipped at the tea. I could feel myself warming up, and after a couple of minutes I was ready for conversation.

“Ah. Thank you. I’m still getting used to early mornings. My name is Haa-Rei.”

“I know the feeling. Rain plays havoc with my knees these days as well. Anyway, what can I do for you today Haa-Rei?” For a moment I felt as if we’d been friends for years.

“Oh right. I’m looking for a new bow.” I retrieved the pieces of my current bow from my pack, and laid them on the counter.

“Poor thing,” The aging Bosmer ran his hands over the ex-weapon, as one would to comfort a dying animal. “I could repair it in a couple of hours, but you’d be better off getting a new one – this one isn’t quite the right size for you.” Right size for me? Is this a Bosmer thing?

He reached under the counter and presented me with an iron bow. It was perhaps an inch longer than my previous weapon, and had spots of rust here and there.

“How does that size feel? A bow isn’t just a weapon, it’s a companion. If you’re not compatible with it you won’t be able to unlock its true potential. Size is a good starting point.”

“It’s good. I think. It feels…right?” Compatible? True potential? Is he adding a little something to his tea?

“Excellent. Now that’s just a training bow to gauge the right length. The bow I have in mind for you…” He vanished into an adjoining room, and returned a few minutes later with a bow-shaped cloth package.

He placed it reverently on the counter and carefully removed the cloth.

“I’ve had this bow for a while, but never found the right customer. This is-“

“Hist!” I couldn’t believe my eyes.

For those that may be wondering why I was so surprised, Hist trees can’t be harvested like other plants. First; they wouldn’t allow it. Second; local Argonians wouldn’t allow it. Third; they’re incredibly tough.

Sometimes though, on rare occasions, every so often, a Hist would gift some wood. They might ask someone to take some, or drop a branch onto the ground for someone to take. This was the only way to acquire proper Hist wood. Even then, it takes a master craftsman to make something out of it. Of all the places to find some…

“Exactly. It was given to me years ago. Here, try it.” He handed me the bow like it was a newborn baby.

The dark wood felt almost warm to the touch, and the weight was perfect. It was just heavy enough, and fit my hand as if it had been made specifically for me. It even smelled like Hist. An indescribable scent that made me feel calm and comfortable. The wood must have been treated with Hist sap and was flexible, but strong.

Daenlin began to explain that the innate magic of The Hist kept the wood in shape, (meaning that I wouldn’t have to faff about with stringing and restringing all the time) when it suddenly dawned on me that such a magnificently perfect bow would most likely cost the same as a small house. I had just enough gold for a decent quality hunting bow, but it would take me years to afford this.

The old Bosmer seemed to read my mind:

“It would be quite pricey in any other shop. To be honest though I make enough money to keep me going, and it would be an insult to the bow to put it back in the other room to gather dust. I’ll give it to you in exchange for this broken one you brought in.” He held out his hand to finalize the deal.

A Histwood bow in return for a broken pile of junk? I’d made my decision.

“Sorry Daenlin, but I can’t do that. I can’t take something so valuable from you without paying for it properly.”

The Wood Elf let out a laugh:

“My dear boy, you are definitely the right man for this weapon. Very well, as payment for this bow I will take your broken one now, and the next time you’re in Bravil you will clear out the ruin of Anutwyll and visit me again for a cup of tea and a chat.” He held out his hand again, and this time I shook it.

“Deal.”

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:07 AM


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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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ghastley
post Jun 6 2015, 04:59 PM
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I suspect that will be a more interesting chat than Haa-Rei currently imagines. biggrin.gif The tea will probably be exactly as expected.


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Grits
post Jun 10 2015, 12:36 AM
Post #32


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Ooo, what a marvelous bow for Haa-Rei! Great scene with Daenlin. He’s one of my favorites. smile.gif


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Acadian
post Jun 11 2015, 01:40 AM
Post #33


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I love that the freezing rain slowed the chilled Argonian down. He should only adventure in sunny warm places. tongue.gif

How wonderful to see dear Daenlin again, and I love how you have captured him. happy.gif After all, as the old elf said, a bow isn’t just a weapon, it’s a companion. And Daenlin matching Haa-Rei up with a Hist companion is brilliant!

Thank you, for you had me smiling all the way through this episode. smile.gif

Oh, your opening synopsis was perfect and very helpful. goodjob.gif


Hmm, some minor editing nits:
’The latter was open and sleeveless as if to show of his surprisingly muscular arms and chest.’ - - I think you want show off vs show of.
“ah don't worry, my boy. Here.” - - You probably want to capitalize the first word of this paragraph.
“Ah. Thankyou.” - - Oops, thank you is two words of course.


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hazmick
post Jun 12 2015, 04:22 PM
Post #34


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ghastley - I think you might be right, on both counts. smile.gif We'll have to wait and see.

Grits - Glad you liked it! biggrin.gif I always go to him for anything bow related.

Acadian - Chilly weather is quite nice when you're inside with a cup of tea, but having to battle through it on an early morning is the toughest part of any adventure. tongue.gif

So glad you enjoyed it, and that I did Daenlin justice. Those Bosmer sure know a thing or two about bows happy.gif





Previously
Haa Rei had an early start, visiting Daenlin the Bosmer bowyer. To the Argonian's surprise and delight he was given a bow made from Hist wood, in return for clearing out a nearby ruin when he's next in town.

Chapter 11

The rain had almost cleared up by the time I left Daenlin’s. The freezing downpour was just a slight drizzle as I made my way back towards Silverhome.

The rest of my companions were emerging from the inn as I arrived. Inns seemed to agree with Sjöfn and Olorin, the two looked cheerful and well rested as they greeted me.

Jötnar looked only slightly worse for wear, and in the subsequent conversation I learned that he’d spent the evening with one of the musicians at the inn. A gentleman whose name he ‘didn’t quite catch’.

“There’s nothing like a strong drink and a good bedding after a day’s travelling. Isn’t that right?” The question was aimed at me.

“If you say so.” Truthfully I would prefer a cup of tea and a good book, but the Nord had already begun telling me the (rather lengthy) tale of his sexual exploits.

“Please don’t ruin such a pleasant morning with those stories, I’ve just eaten breakfast.” Sjöfn reached up and cuffed her brother over the head. She turned to me, “Did you find a bowyer?”

I took the opportunity to show off my new bow, though it was difficult to explain the significance of Hist wood to them.

“So the Hist are like your gods, right?” Jötnar asked.

“Well, kind of…but not in the way that you think of your gods. They created us, and look after us, and we revere them, but they’re physical beings and we don’t worship them in the same way that you might worship Akatosh or something.” Great explanation Haa Rei, you could be a shaman.

“I see.” His facial expression suggested that he did not see at all.

Not to be deterred, I tried again:

“We don’t have temples or priests or prayers. If we want to communicate with the Hist then we can just go and talk to one - They grow all over Black Marsh.” Jötnar’s face hadn’t changed, and I probably sounded like I’d been punched in the face by Sheogorath. As I said, it’s hard to explain.

We set off a few minutes later, after Olorin had told us the plan for the day. We were still heading south, and would have to spend the night outside. I was to scout ahead again, looking for a good place to camp.

The road from Bravil was quiet. I encountered some fisherman near the city, but everything was otherwise deserted. The rain had made the ground soft underfoot, and all the smells of nature were amplified. A gentle breeze brought with it the scent of nightshade flowers, which grew in abundance this far south.

I stopped for lunch under the high noon sun at the urging of my grumbling stomach and found a large rock, overlooking an inlet from the Lower Niben. The sun had dried everything off so this would make a perfect picnic spot.

Sjöfn had packed our lunches with traditional Bravil trail foods. Dried, smoked salmon cakes with some sort of berry mixed in, and some tough strips of smoked venison. After I’d devoured everything I took a long drink from my water skin, wishing it were tea.

I remained on the rock for a while longer, watching various creatures go about their business. Birds flitted through the trees, plucking insects from the air with pinpoint accuracy. A mudcrab was sitting on the shore, enjoying the sun, but darted back into the water at the approach of a Spriggan.

The forest creature was barely visible amongst the trees and undergrowth. Moving without a sound, I hadn’t noticed her until now. Her skin resembled the bark of the nearby Alder trees, with a few leaves growing from her head and shoulders, and a nightshade flower blooming from her knee. Her eyes were the colour of tree sap. We regarded each other silently for a few moments before she carried on with her woodland patrol, thankfully deciding that I wasn’t a threat to her part of the forest.

I too resumed my journey, and after only a few minutes I passed into Blackwood. The feeling was instantaneous. It felt familiar, as if I was coming home. It felt like…Hist. Argonians born in Black Marsh can always feel the Hist. Not too noticeably, but they’re always there in the back of your mind. It’s a comforting feeling, but a feeling that diminishes as you get further away from The Marsh.

“Why can I feel it so strongly now? And why does it feel…wrong?” I asked the question to nobody in particular, but I’d reflexively readied my bow.

The warm wood made me relax a little, but there was still something off about this feeling. It made my scales itch. I shouldered my bow and carried on heading south, trying to think of pleasant things.

It was getting dark by the time I found a good camping spot to the North of Water’s Edge. An old wayshrine to Stendarr lay just off the road, concealed by a large tree.

I called a spell into mind and raised my hand. The Flame Atronach made a singing noise as she appeared. Floating several inches off the ground, she danced through the air like a fish through water.

“Master?” Her singsong voice was warm like a campfire on a cold night.

“Hello Eithne. I have three companions on the road behind me, could you go and tell them where I am, please.” It was getting dark faster than I’d like, so a note in the road might go unnoticed.

“Of course.” She swam through the air back towards the road, singing to herself in a language I couldn’t understand.

While I waited for the others I set about finding firewood and food. When they arrived the Mudcrab and marsh rice stew was bubbling away nicely in its shell. The original Argonian recipe also includes several other plants, but I wasn't sure which were safe for the others to eat. Better not risk killing everyone just for a tastier stew.

I thanked Eithne and dispelled her.

“How many of those things have you got anyway?” Jötnar waved his hand through the air where the Flame Atronach had been.

“Just the two. Eithne isn’t fond of fighting but she’s a good messenger. You’ve already met Thiazzi.”

“You have quite the talent for Conjuration. People usually start with Scamps and Skeletons. Where did you study?” Olorin always seemed interested in magic, and I had no doubt he was quite good at it…or at least a great deal better than me.

“Nowhere. I’ve read a lot, and sort of taught myself. I summoned Thiazzi almost by accident a few years ago, and worked from there to figure out how to summon Eithne. I can’t work out how to do much else though.” I wasn’t even sure how I did what I did now.

“Well in that case I have somewhere I’d like to visit with you in Leyawiin.” He didn’t say more, instead he took a seat on a nearby stone as Jötnar dished out the food.

After our meal, everyone else went to sleep almost immediately. I’d volunteered for sentry duty, and was to wake Jötnar in a few hours to switch out. That uncomfortable feeling from before was still there. I wasn’t getting any sleep tonight.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:07 AM


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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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ghastley
post Jun 12 2015, 04:56 PM
Post #35


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“Why can I feel it so strongly now? And why doesn’t it feel…wrong?” did you mean "why does it feel wrong?" or did you change your mind about the last word? I could see "familiar" fitting there, but you'd used that before.

I like the idea that Haa-Rei has a choice of two Flame Atronachs to summon. It's good to be able to add something to a story that the game doesn't have.

And mudcrab and marsh rice stew! There's no powdered deer parts in that recipe are there?



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Acadian
post Jun 12 2015, 06:25 PM
Post #36


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“I see.” His facial expression suggested that he did not see at all.’ - - laugh.gif

I like how much Haa-Rei notices life in the forest. Another traveler would probably have never seen the spriggan – until the living tree attacked for some perceived threat to her forest.

I love Eithne! It is so neat that Haa-Rei knows her and stormy Thiazzi as well! I’d imagine Eithne is excellent for shedding some light or starting a campfire. Perhaps even warming tea?

Haa-Rei's tale and his engaging manner of telling it makes this a joy to read. Well done!


Nit:
“So the Hist are like you’re gods, right?” Jötnar asked.
“Well, kind of…but not in the way that you think of your gods.”

- - You want the possessive (your instead of you're) in the first sentence - just like you correctly did in the second sentence. smile.gif


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hazmick
post Jun 20 2015, 08:49 PM
Post #37


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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



ghastley - Glad you liked it. Oh and deer parts are completely optional with this particular recipe, powdered or otherwise. tongue.gif

Acadian - Whenever we meet a Spriggan Haa-Rei always prefers to skirt around her rather than risk her (and her summoned bear's) wrath. Also glad you liked Eithne. Now someone needs to discover a tea atronach and we're all set! happy.gif




Previously
Our group set off from Bravil, heading south towards Leyawiin. Haa-Rei enjoyed a quiet day, at home in the forests of southern Cyrodiil. As he moved further south however a growing sense of uneasiness crept over him. Setting up camp near a wayshrine to the divines, the adventurers prepare to get a good night's sleep.

Chapter 12

I awoke, or rather ‘stopped trying to fall asleep’, just before dawn. The sun’s first rays were creeping over the horizon as the forest around us began to wake up.

I could make out Jötnar’s large silhouette a few metres away, standing on watch duty. The others were still sleeping and I decided to leave them to it, adding some more wood to the fire and grabbing some water flasks before I went.

Jötnar greeted me as I left the camp, handing me his water flask as he did so. I was on water collection duty this morning.

The Niben River was just over the road from our camp. The waters were still this morning, like deep blue glass. I filled the water flasks and set them down on a nearby rock, before finding a comfortable spot for myself. Water always helped me think (which is probably why I ended up becoming an adventurer in the arid wastes of Morrowind).

The uneasy feeling which had crept up on me yesterday was still hanging over me. It felt like a swarm of fleshflies were buzzing around in the back of my mind, just barely noticeable amongst my thoughts. I cast my poor excuse for a healing spell, but still the feeling persisted. The only thing more annoying than the feeling itself was the fact that I couldn’t explain it.

I remained at the water’s edge until I could feel the warm sun on my scales, and heard the faint sounds of conversation behind me as the rest of my party woke up.

Sjöfn was preparing breakfast when I returned, observed by her brother who had clearly decided he’d done enough sentry duty for one night. If ever you’re asked how many Nords it takes to cook a breakfast, the answer is apparently ‘two’. Olorin was doing some morning stretches nearer the wayshrine, illuminated by the early morning sun.

After a simple yet hearty breakfast of porridge and apples, we packed up camp and set off. Jötnar had expressed a desire to take point, leaving me with Olorin. After getting very little sleep and with the odd feeling hanging over me I was all too happy to have a leisurely stroll on the final leg of the journey to Leyawiin.

It was during this journey that I learned just how talkative mages can be. The aging Altmer was all too happy to tell me about his area of study – The Ayleids. It was more interesting than it sounds, but not by much. I was quite relieved when he finally changed the subject.

“I believe you mentioned that you’d recently adventured in Morrowind, yes?”

“That’s right. I spent the last couple of years there.” We walked in silence for a few moments before he spoke again.

“I’ve never been, you see. Always wanted to visit but never quite found the time. I hear there are some exquisite Dwemer ruins.” The Dwemer? Now this is a topic I can get interested in.

“Oh yes. I’ve explored quite a few actually. They’re really interesting places, and the Dwemer are something of an interest to me too.” I rested my hand on the pommel of my Dwarven sword, the cool golden metal was smooth to the touch.

“A scholar, eh? Good lad. Always nice to have an interest that you can talk about. You should visit Skyrim sometime if you’re looking for more dwarven sites. They have entire cities preserved in the snow up there. That’s where I met our companions too. A charming people, the Nords. As I’m sure you’ve noticed.” I was unsure how to respond to the last part, but I was amazed at how quickly and seamlessly Olorin could switch the topic of conversation, and continued to listen as he told me of his experiences with Nords.

He’d met Jötnar near the Skyrim border, and stayed with their family for several weeks as he studied some nearby ruins. When it was time to move on the two young Nords had offered to accompany him. While I was in Morrowind, they were exploring Skyrim. After receiving word of some Ayleid relics in Cyrodiil they’d come down south, just two days before I too arrived in the capital.

Up until now I’d assumed they’d known each other for much longer, with the way they all worked together in every aspect of adventures. Back in the bandit fort, Olorin had known exactly who could do what and trusted them completely. I’d always adventured alone and this would take some getting used to. Unaware of my thoughts, my companion continued;

“An old acquaintance of mine has found a lead on some interesting relics, you see, and has offered to purchase them from whoever finds them first. I couldn’t miss the opportunity, and our Nord companions asked to accompany me.” The tone of his voice suggested that his lengthy tale had come to an end.

“Ah, so that’s why we’re going to Atatar. What exactly are these relics?” I knew very little about Ayleids, but any valuable relic that has remained untouched in a ruin for so long has only done so by being either difficult to find, or dangerous to touch. The former I could work with, the latter was something I’d like to avoid.

“Well I’m not completely sure, but we’ll know it when we see it. Very exciting.” The sense of adventure was warming to behold, and he almost looked younger for a moment. Unfortunately such a sense of adventure often leads to people dying in an ancient crypt somewhere for adventurers like me to trip over several years later. I decided then that I’d do what I could to help the old man out. Even if the whole relic business sounded incredibly dangerous.

We stopped for lunch at around midday, and Sjöfn caught up with us soon after. The three of us eventually carried on down the road, listening to more of the Altmer’s stories, until Leyawiin appeared in the distance.

The colourful houses were still visible in the fading light, and the castle towered above them all like a silent guardian. The feeling of uneasiness was still there, but the feeling of returning home after so long filled me from scales to tail with happiness. I wanted to jump for joy, but settled for a sensible smile instead.

As we entered the city I was suddenly struck by how busy it was. There were much more people than usual, and more to the point they were all Argonians. Many had set up makeshift camps just outside the city gates, and I assumed many more had booked rooms at the inns. The Chapel of Zenithar was likewise bursting with travellers, no doubt taking advantage of the sanctuary it offered.

“Well we’d best find my brother, and then find somewhere to sleep. I didn’t realise it’d be this busy.” Sjofn was scanning the crowd, but at her height I doubted she could see much of anything.

“It’s usually quite quiet. I’ll show you where the inn is. Jötnar’s probably already there” I set off around the crowd, rather than trying to go through it. The Five Claws Lodge was cheap, and I guessed it would be the busiest, so we headed for the Three Sisters Inn, arriving several minutes later feeling considerably more exhausted than we did upon entering the city.

“I have to go and see someone first, so I’ll find you inside later. Talk to Shamada, she’s the friendliest of the sisters.” I realised how odd that sounded, but I was anxious to leave. The others seemed to understand and thanked me before heading inside.

After they’d gone I headed off, around the corner, to my destination. The house was small, only one floor, and wasn’t brightly painted like many other buildings in the city, but to me it was the most beautiful.

I took a deep breath to calm myself and pushed the rickety wooden door. The smell of tea leaves greeted me as soon as I entered. A small pot was boiling over the open fire, a familiar figure stood before it, stirring intently. I cleared my throat loudly.

“Haa-Rei?”

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:08 AM


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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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Acadian
post Jun 21 2015, 12:03 AM
Post #38


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A lovely journey the final leg down to Leyawiin. We learn a bit more of Olirin’s quest. I wonder if he is searching for the Ayleid statues for that collector up in the Imperial City.

’The feeling of uneasiness was still there, but the feeling of returning home after so long filled me from scales to tail with happiness.’ - - happy.gif

Wow, is there an Argonian convention ongoing in Cyrodiil’s most southern city?

Then, it seems, Haa-Rei has either friend or family in Leyawiin share tea with.




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hazmick
post Jul 10 2015, 06:25 PM
Post #39


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Acadian - As always, you've hit the nail on the head laugh.gif




Previously
The group moved ever closer to Leyawiin, and after spending the day chatting with Olorin, Haa-Rei finally arrived home. A familiar figure awaited him...

Chapter 13

It had been two years since I’d last seen Deeh. The old Argonian hadn’t changed at all. His scales were primarily brown, with a bright band of orange around his head like a crown. This was topped by short spines, not unlike my own. His eyes were a deep orange colour like pools of tree sap.

He was wearing dark green breeches, leaving his feet and upper body bare. A blaze of orange scales spread over his torso. His arms and chest were slightly muscular from a life of manual labour, and patches of his scales were slowly turning translucent as a sign of his age.

“It’s wonderful to see you again, hatchling.” He smiled widely, a lifetime of living among humans made facial expressions come easier to him.

I was unsure what to say. Deeh had looked after me since I first arrived in Cyrodiil around 10 years ago. He was like a father to me, but emotional displays weren’t something I was comfortable with. After a few moments I settled with a simple “Hello Deeh.”

“That’s it? You’re gone for two years, adventuring in Morrowind, and all I get is a ‘hello’?” He paused for a second, a serious expression on his face, before his smile returned and he burst into laughter. Motioning for me to sit down. Scalawag indeed.

It wasn’t long before we were chatting away again, as if I’d never left. Deeh made some tea and listened intently to the tales of my visit to Black Marsh, my time in Morrowind, of my work with the Legion, and of the reason for my return. Finally, I briefly summed up the past few days.

“Well well well. Agent, eh?” Deeh scratched his chin with a clawed hand “Do I have to salute when I see you?” He stood and performed an impressive salutation, before turning to me with a wink. I couldn’t help but laugh, and nearly choked on my tea as a result.

“I’d rather you didn’t.” I paused and looked around “Where’s Amusei?” Deeh had looked after the two of us as if we were brothers, and Amusei had developed a keen knack for getting into trouble.

“Heading to the Imperial City to join the Thieves Guild. I tried to talk him out of it but he’s a stubborn one.” If Deeh was worried, he didn’t show it.

“Well he certainly has the skills for it.” I remembered how Amusei could always sneak up on me, which was no small feat. Deeh had taught us both well, “I’ll try and catch up with him when I go back in a few days.” In truth I wasn’t surprised about his career choice, but knowing him he was bound to do something stupid.

“Just be careful on your adventures, hatchling. There’s something bad coming, mark my words. I’m sure you’ve noticed all the Saxhleel mooching about town.” He waved his hand towards the door, indicating ‘the town’.

“I was going to ask about that. What’s going on?” I poured myself more tea. A delicious blend of Nightshade flowers and tea leaves, with goat's milk to take the bitter edge off.

“Nobody is too sure,” He said with a shrug “but Saxhleel are being called back to The Marsh from all over the Empire.”

He emphasised the word ‘Saxhleel’, the term for Argonians like me born in Black Marsh. Deeh was known as a ‘Lukiul’, or ‘assimilated’, which referred to those who had been born, or spent time living, far from the Hist and had become more disconnected.

“You think it’s the Hist? I only just did the trials, surely I’d be able to feel it too.” The Trials of the Hist was an ancient ceremony, which strengthened the connection to the Ancient trees. I’d communicated with them directly, and it was they who told me to go to Morrowind, and again to come to Cyrodiil. I wasn’t sure how to feel about not being invited to this particular party.

Deeh shrugged again. “Maybe they have something better for you to do? At any rate, there’s something going on and it can’t be good.”

I made a mental note to include this in my next Blades report. Black Marsh might not be completely under Imperial control but it was still significant.

I finished my tea, and returned to my companions at the inn for a quick chat. Jotnar had found them and was eagerly tucking into a pie of some sort, while the others were sharing a bottle of wine and a selection of cheeses. The contrast between the two Nord siblings made me chuckle.

Tomorrow would be spent in town making some last minute supply purchases. Olorin wanted to meet me outside the Mages Guild bright and early.

I returned to Deeh’s house, and after more tea and chatting I retired for the evening.

My room was more or less how I left it. Books piled high on shelves along all of the walls, an oak desk stained with ink and covered in parchment, an empty armor stand, and a large armchair in the corner. It was a small room though, and all that furniture left very little floor space. Less floor I have to sweep.

A large box was the only recent addition. It sat on my bed, and was about the same size as a Bosmer’s bathtub. I recognised it as a package I’d sent from Morrowind several months earlier. Stamps of Imperial postage covered the surface, detailing its journey from city to city.

I opened it carefully. The box contained several books (Almost all of which were about the Dwemer) as well as some carefully wrapped Dwemer artifacts which I’d needed a special licence to transport - the core of a centurion, several pieces of metal, and a sturdy metal cup. (The latter would be accompanying me on adventures. The metal would be brilliant at keeping tea hot without burning my hands.)

Lastly, at the bottom of the box, was my Imperial Legion scout armor. The brown leather lay upon a long undershirt of red fabric, and it had all been reinforced by extra layers of light material. I hung it on the armor stand, and chose to equip the bracers. They were made of the same light but strong leather, but featured no fancy adornments, and no dragon motifs. My arms were protected whilst my hands remained free to move, which would make shooting easier than in a full gauntlet.

Exhausted after a long day, I crawled onto my bed. I’d never been more comfortable, and was looking forward to the rest of our adventure. The uneasiness in my mind was still there, but had been suppressed by tea and good company.

Tomorrow would be an interesting day.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:08 AM


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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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Acadian
post Jul 10 2015, 09:38 PM
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What a wonderful introduction of Deeh! Concise and efficient, but generously laced with fabulous touches that only an Argonian could tell us about – like comparing eyes to pools of hist sap and revealing that translucent scales are a sign of an aging Argonian. And Deeh clearly knows how to make tea!

Hmm, some mystery afoot with the Saxheels for sure.

’...about the same size as a Bosmer’s bathtub.’ - - Small indeed! tongue.gif


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