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> Jerric's Story, A Nord's Adventures in Cyrodiil
Destri Melarg
post Dec 15 2010, 10:39 AM
Post #21


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Joined: 16-March 10
From: Rihad, Hammerfell



QUOTE
"Well you see," began Velwyn, "It's not so much what I gave you as what we should do about it." He paused. "Last night I got a potion from that Argonian. It worked well enough, but now I'm not sure she is a real alchemist."

So Velwyn gets his revenge for Jerric's matchmaking!
QUOTE
Velwyn dug in. “I may be guilty of misjudging you,” he said.

I absolutely loved this sentence! Such an understated way of showing us the friendship developing between these two.
QUOTE
"Give a fellow some warning next time," he said by way of apology.

Another great character defining moment!
QUOTE
Jerric let go of some wind and treated himself to a leisurely scratch. Clearly Benirus was touchy this morning. As he turned toward him to speak there was a twang, and an arrow plowed a bloody furrow across Jerric’s chest.

Your 'one arrow shot', coming when it does, is wonderfully effective! Strictly as a matter of style, you may want to think about describing the furrow opened on Jerric's chest, and then the arrow that left it. If I may:
As he turned toward him to speak there was a twang, and a bloody furrow formed across Jerric's chest. There was a sound beyond them, and they both turned to see an arrow quivering in the grass. The shaft looked to be made of iron, and fresh blood dripped from the fletching.
QUOTE
The bandit stopped and made his choice. Without a word he turned and ran.

Like SubRosa said, the discretion of the last bandit was refreshing.
QUOTE
Pity for Benirus that he went on ahead, Jerric thought. I would hate to miss any of this.

Oh no! I was really starting to like those two together. I hope this isn't the last we see of Velwyn.


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treydog
post Dec 15 2010, 04:17 PM
Post #22


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From: The Smoky Mountains



Well, I have had time to read now, and all I can say is- “Please don’t stop now!”

If I quoted everything I liked, that would be- well… everything. So let’s just select a few outstanding moments. First, using Arnand to describe Jerric was absolutely brilliant- and brilliantly done. Throughout you provide a wonderful lesson on “show, don’t tell.”

QUOTE
"I feel just like a loaf of bread," Jerric said to the sky.

"Felen is waiting for these pods," Arnand said irritably. What is he doing in the Mages Guild, anyway? Arnand wondered. You don't get arms like that from turning pages.


QUOTE
"How do you know these things?" Arnand demanded. "You don't live here."

"How do you not know them? Don't you ever talk to people?"


The brief introduction of Faustina provides a nice plot hook, especially after we find out what Arnand thinks of her (“face like a weasel.”)

QUOTE
He makes more noise than a Billy on a wooden bridge, thought Arnand.


A wonderful Oblivion-specific metaphor.

Adding Velwyn’s flight is also inspired- I wonder who bought his house?

The scene with the wolf tells us a lot about Jerric.

QUOTE
"Of course not," said Jerric. "You're not paying to get into her bed, you're paying to get back out of it."


The description of Jerric’s reaction to Rutila- and to the food- is hilarious. Even more so is his “solution.”

Velwyn's revenge was brilliantly understated- well, actually the description of his revenge. Jerric would disagree the the vengeance itself was anything of the sort.

QUOTE
“I thought you said breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Velwyn took the wine back.

“It is. So is dinner.”


The fight scene was wonderfully choreographed and had plenty of tension. And the banter between Jerric and Velwyn was first-rate again.


Not caught up yet, but enjoying every minute of it.

Oh- and to save D. Foxy from asking when he wanders by (which I have a feeling he will)- does it happen that your hair might be or once have been at any time the color known as "red"? whistling.gif

The reason for the question is buried in the mists of the other forum, but a number of our writers here can explain it to you if explanation is needed.

This post has been edited by treydog: Dec 15 2010, 06:30 PM


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Grits
post Dec 25 2010, 05:41 PM
Post #23


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From: The Gold Coast



I’ve been on a road trip, but now I’m back. smile.gif

Acadian: Thank you for your kind words, and for drawing attention to those sections. I certainly share Jerric’s view of which meal is the most important; it’s the one that’s coming up next! Frost first seems like a natural for Jerric, I’ve tucked an explanation away somewhere and we’ll eventually get to it.

mALX: I’m glad you enjoyed the Gnoll’s Meeting antics, this chapter was fun to write. I did a lot of snorting at inopportune moments, as most of it came to my wandering mind while I was pretending to listen to other people *blush.* It could have been worse, though: “Hold on a minute, officer, I just have to write this down.” There is a sad lack of hilarity in the next chapter, I hope you’ll bear with me!!

SubRosa: Thank you for your comments, I am trying make some things from the game make more sense but still keep my characters alive, which is tricky. Thank you for your support, it means a lot!

Destri Melarg: I changed the arrow shot, thank you so much for the suggestion. I like it much better now! We’ll see Velwyn again, after all there is the Manor mystery to sort out eventually. I like Velwyn and Jerric together, too, I wish I could have come up with a way to drag him through the next chapter without it being silly. Thank you so much for your advice!

treydog: Thank you so much for your kind words! We’ll find out about Velwyn’s house, but not for awhile. Your comments are very encouraging to me, and I have needed the encouragement to get through the next chapter! Oh, and I’m not a redhead, I’m afraid. My hair is and always has been the color known as “yellow.” If anyone would care to explain, I’m curious!!

So, it’s Last Seed 3E433. Let's see what happens next.


Chapter 3 : Welcome to the Imperial City Part 1

Jerric stepped out of the Gilded Lily feeling refreshed and considerably lighter in the coin purse. For a man who is not in love there is no substitute for true professionalism, he reflected. He spied his brother waiting across the street and headed toward him with a smile. The long shadows were a surprise, it must already be time for dinner.

Rothmund watched his approach with crossed arms and a face full of disapproval. Jerric knew that his brother resented his promotion to the Imperial City crew, but he had earned it through years of working the Anvil route. Rothmund was old enough to be Jerric’s father, and he had campaigned heavily to give his own son the position. Rothmund scowled as Jerric reached him. “We’re late,” he fumed. “No one needs to take that long in a brothel.”

The two men headed down the busy waterfront toward The Bloated Float. Nothing he could say would appease Rothmund, so Jerric stayed silent and made his plan to enjoy what was left of the day. He was excited to see an inn that was actually a ship, and he had already made friends with the rest of the team who awaited them there. He anticipated an eventful evening.

___

Jerric woke to the Dunmer's voice from the cell across the hall again. His headache was improving, but the voice still grated. Sleeping one off in the drunk tank was not a new experience for him, but he had been in this cell long enough to be sick, feel better, then start feeling hungry. "My, my, you're a big one. A Nord, so strong. But you can't bend steel, can you boy? You can't do anything to get out of here. And those big muscles? They're going to waste away. When the end comes, you won't even have the strength to cry for your mother." Jerric had heard this speech from the Dunmer already, more than once. He suspected that serving a long sentence in the Imperial Prison did not have a positive effect on the mind.

He sat up and reviewed the situation. His wrists were still shackled together, and the blood on his knuckles reminded him that he had earned it. Why hadn't Rothmund paid his fine, he wondered. The caravan must be back on the Gold Road by now, along with all of his gear. The Imperial Watch had taken everything that he had on him at the Float. I’ll catch up with them on the road, Jerric thought. I have a lot to say to you, brother.

"Fah, you stink more than the last one!" the Dunmer was saying. "He soiled himself even before they started the torture. That's right, I'm sure you'll be getting some special attention before long." Jerric couldn't argue about the smell. There was some mildew on the walls and filth on the floor where others had missed the sewer drain, but the reek was mostly Nord. He regarded his rough prison garb and pitied the next fellow who would have to wear it. "That's right. You're going to die in here. You hear me, boy? You're going to die in here!"

I doubt it, thought Jerric. No one gets a death sentence for brawling, even in the Imperial City. He rose and stretched experimentally. The scrapes and bruises didn’t bother him, but he was stiff from sleeping on the stone couch set into his cell wall. His nose was definitely broken, and his tongue was thick with dried blood. He had a crusty knot on the side of his head that his fingertips couldn't resist exploring. He couldn't use his healing spell, and he suspected that the wrist irons were enchanted to silence him. He wondered how the guards had known he was a mage, since he hadn’t cast any spells. The fight outside the Bloated Float had been a fairly friendly scrap until the Watch got involved. Next he checked the water jug and found it still empty. He stepped to the bars of his cell for some entertainment.

The Dunmer was waiting for him. "I'm getting out soon," he confided."Maybe I should visit your wife. She must be so lonely. Don't you worry, eh? I'll take care of her long after you're dead." The Dunmer’s smile did not match the look in his wide red eyes.

Excellent topic, Jerric thought, I don't have a wife. He lounged against the bars. "You should visit her, Dunmer," he said amiably. "My wife will open her legs and eat you for breakfast." He received no reply, so he tried again. "What's that perfume you're wearing?" He sniffed and leered across the passage. "Maybe the guards will put us in a cell together." Scaly jewels of Akatosh, he thought, my nose hurts.

There was a commotion at the top of the corridor. “Hey, you hear that?” said the Dunmer. “The guards are coming for you!” His unhinged laughter made the guards’ talk unintelligible. Jerric stuck his sore face between the bars and looked toward the noise. Three armored soldier types surrounding a white-haired man in a rich robe were approaching. Those are not guards, he thought.

“My sons… they’re dead, aren’t they, Captain?” the old man said as they drew near. His voice was far more deep and resonant than his aged frame should allow.

“We don’t know that, sire. The messenger only said that they were attacked.” Jerric could hear that the Captain was a woman.

“No, they’re dead. I know it.” The old man’s voice sounded resigned and heavy with grief.

“My job right now is to get you to safety,” the Captain said briskly. The group stopped outside Jerric’s cell. He recognized their armor from his childhood picture books. They were Blades, the personal bodyguards of the Emperor. Part of him wanted to believe that this was some elaborate prank, but dread crept through the rest of him. “What’s this prisoner doing here? This cell is supposed to be off limits!” the Captain demanded.

“Must have been some mix-up with the Watch,” answered one of the Blades.

“Never mind, Glenroy. Get that gate open. Stand back, prisoner. We won’t hesitate to kill you if you get in our way.” Jerric believed her, and he backed up to the wall under his high window. He began to think that the Dunmer had been right, and he was going to die here shackled in a cell over some careless oversight.

Glenroy opened the cell door and moved aggressively to stand in front of him. “Stay put, prisoner.” His voice betrayed his tension, and Jerric did not want to add stress to the situation. He stood still and did not meet Glenroy’s eyes.

“No sign of pursuit, sir,” the other man called from the corridor.

“Good. Let’s go. We’re not out of this yet.” The Captain entered the cell and walked over to the stone couch, followed by the old man. His robe was royal purple trimmed with ermine, and the jewel at his neck could only be the Amulet of Kings. Awe and fear crawled over Jerric’s skin. Emperor Uriel Septim was standing in his prison cell. He dropped to one knee and bowed his head. The Emperor’s heirs were dead? His mind raced, and no single thought rose to direct him.

“You … I’ve seen you. Let me see your face.” Jerric looked up when he realized that his Emperor was speaking to him. “You are the one from my dreams. Then the stars were right, and this is the day. Gods give me strength.”

Jerric was too stunned to reply. The Emperor spoke again. “Assassins attacked my sons, and I’m next. My Blades are leading me out of the city along a secret escape route. By chance the entrance lies here in your cell. Perhaps the gods have placed you here so that we may meet. As for what you have done, it does not matter. That is not what you will be remembered for.”

“Please, sire, we must keep moving,” said the Blades Captain. She opened a doorway in the blank stone wall, and the stone couch raised a cloud of dust as it slid into the floor. “Better not close this one. There’s no way to open it from the other side.” She led the Emperor through into darkness.

“This doesn’t concern you, prisoner!” Glenroy warned, and then he followed the Emperor.

Jerric still knelt on the stone floor. The Blade from the hall shot him a look as he passed. A Redguard, Jerric noted. “Looks like this is your lucky day. Just stay out of our way.”

He followed the others, and Jerric was alone again. He looked down the passageway where a faint blue light shone from below. They had locked his cell door behind them, and there was no way he was going to wait around for the Watch to collect him now. He rose and followed the Blades into the secret passage, down a set of dark stairs, and into an open corridor of dressed stone. A dim blue light shone over the columns and arches that held up the ceiling, but Jerric could not find its source. He concentrated on not tripping over his rope sandals as he followed, staying back far enough to avoid Glenroy’s attention but not so far that he would get lost. Part of his mind turned over the Emperor’s words and tried to make sense of them.

Jerric usually relied on landmarks and the sky to tell direction, and he was easily confused indoors. All of the passageways looked the same to him. Once he stumbled too quickly down a set of stairs only to find the group paused at the bottom, listening. He earned a glare and a snarl from Glenroy. “Don’t try anything. I’m watching you.” Jerric waited as they went far ahead down the darker corridor.

As they moved into the lighted room beyond, Jerric heard the unmistakable song of swords being drawn. “Protect the Emperor!” called the Captain. Shouts and the clash of metal rang back to Jerric, and without thinking he ran toward the fight. It was over before he got there. Three red-robed figures lay dead on the ground, and he was standing over the Captain’s body. Her katana lay beside her and she wore a short sword at her side, but he didn’t see the assassins’ weapons. “The Captain is down,” he heard Glenroy say. “How could they be waiting for us here?”

“Don’t know, but it’s too late to go back now,” said the Redguard.

“I’ll take point. Let’s move,” said Glenroy. The Emperor followed him through a metal gate.

“You stay here, prisoner. Don’t try to follow us.” The Redguard took up the rear and secured the gate behind him. Jerric watched the Emperor disappear into darkness guarded by only two of his Blades, and he felt sick with worry.

He went to the gate and tried it, but of course it was locked. He took a moment to think and search the robed figures. He came up with two potions marked with the symbol for healing and a handful of coins. He pulled the hoods from the dead assassins and used them to make a bundle that he could carry.

Jerric resisted looting the Captain’s body, but the situation required it. He unbuckled her short sword, and holding the scabbard between his knees he drew the steel blade. He felt much better with it in his hand. He itched to try the katana, but there was no way he could use it. He held the scabbard in one hand with the belt rolled around it and the sword in the other. He felt ridiculous, but at least he was armed. He fiddled with the hoods to find the best way to carry everything, and ended up rolling the scabbard into a bundle with the hoods. He practiced putting down his bundle and using the short sword two-handed. His mind did not want to address the problem of getting out of the Imperial Prison in irons carrying a dead Blade Captain’s sword, and he tried not to think about what might be happening to the Emperor.

Two rats gave him his solution when they ran at him, scrabbling on the stones and squeaking. It was easy to dispatch them even with his wrists shackled together, just like playing Legion and Bandits with his nephews when they were all children. There was no way the rats came through the locked gate, so he looked around for the rat hole. When he discovered it and poked his head inside, he saw that it opened into a broad dirt-floored substructure. The dim light came from pale greenish spots on the walls. He really did not want to go in there, but explaining the secret passage in his cell to the Watch sounded even less appealing.

He tossed his bundle into the hole and then squeezed his shoulders through. His graceless entry cost him some skin, but at least now he had somewhere to go other than his cell.

This post has been edited by Grits: Dec 25 2010, 09:22 PM


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SubRosa
post Dec 25 2010, 06:21 PM
Post #24


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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



Jerric was on a road trip, so it makes sense you would be on one too! wink.gif

So Jerric was thrown in the klink for brawling. I like it. I think it was a very good decision to start that scene in the prison, and have him reflect upon how he got there, rather than walk us through the entire thing in a linear fashion.

And now we are getting to the meat of things I see. You added some nice little bits to Jerric's meeting with Valen Dreth, which lend some freshness to the story. Jerric also kneels, which I thought was good. The guy is the Emperor after all!

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 26 2010, 03:47 AM


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Acadian
post Dec 25 2010, 08:57 PM
Post #25


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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



QUOTE
My hair is and always has been the color known as “yellow.”
Thank the Nine. Buffy is dancing around like a, well, elf over this news that she is not alone here. Another blonde!

Opening scene: Fresh from a brothel and thinking of dinner. That sounds like our Jerric! tongue.gif

QUOTE
He couldn't use his healing spell, and he suspected that the wrist irons were enchanted to silence him.
This is a very clever and reasonable touch!

QUOTE
just like playing Legion and Bandits with his nephews when they were all children.
Very setting specific and so in keeping with what we know of Jerric.

I like all your decisions here, ranging from using flashbacking to describe how he got in prison, to how much detail of the tutorial to provide. I like how you are using the tutorial more to show Jerric's reactions to things than merely relay the details. Well done!

In fact, all your descriptions and the tone throughout was great. Jerric's character is distinct and his delightful attitudes and manner permeate this wonderful episode.


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mALX
post Dec 26 2010, 12:49 AM
Post #26


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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



I think Jerric is from East Tennessee, he [censored]'s all day and brawls all night outside the clubs ...

Great Write !! Gaaah, though - A shocking change of pace!! It was like getting a glass of ice cold water thrown in the face to go from the scene on the wharf to the jail cell - and drinking and brawling - it probably felt that way to Jerric as well.

I think that shock enhanced the feeling of what Jerric was going through, at least to me it did.

I absolutely loved how you handled the scene between Jerric and Valen Dreth - the dialogue between them was perfect !!!

This post has been edited by mALX: Dec 26 2010, 12:51 AM


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treydog
post Dec 26 2010, 03:36 PM
Post #27


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Joined: 13-February 05
From: The Smoky Mountains



QUOTE
Jerric woke to the Dunmer's voice from the cell across the hall again.

And BAM- we are into the main quest- perhaps.

QUOTE
He suspected that serving a long sentence in the Imperial Prison did not have a positive effect on the mind.

That is the sort of dry, understated humor I love.

Wonderful descriptions, including some expansion of the opening scenes. You provide the characters with lots of personality to make them 3-D.

QUOTE
Jerric usually relied on landmarks and the sky to tell direction, and he was easily confused indoors. All of the passageways looked the same to him.

Like right there. That is a great bit of characterization.

QUOTE
It was easy to dispatch them even with his wrists shackled together, just like playing Legion and Bandits with his nephews when they were all children.

Still very impressive- I look forward to more.

As to the question in re hair color… D.Foxy discovered some time ago, on the other forum, that a high percentage of the excellent female writers were redheads. So, when we get a new, excellent, female writer- it almost becomes a required question.


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Grits
post Dec 27 2010, 06:09 PM
Post #28


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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



SubRosa:The tutorial dungeon has been a grind, and I’ve really tried to make it worth reading. There might be some people in Cyrodiil who would sass the Emperor, but Jerric is not one of them. smile.gif

Acadian:I’m glad to hear that Jerric’s character is coming through in the tutorial chapter. The next section with no dialog at all made me want to give him a pet rat to talk to. blink.gif

mALX:Jerric would fit right in with a work hard/play hard crowd. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him tailgating at hockey games. This chapter is a big change of pace, especially from the romp through the West Weald. Since this is a story about a life that gets interrupted, I wanted to show a little of the “before” picture, but I didn’t want it to seem like two different stories. Fair warning, more glasses of cold water ahead. So, you know, towel. smile.gif

treydog: Yes, we are main-questing, mostly. I’m not sure yet how I am going to deal with some issues. This whole plot thing is new to me. smile.gif Thank you so much for your kind words, they are very encouraging!!


Chapter 3 : Welcome to the Imperial City, Part 2

Jerric picked up his gear and moved over to the wall. The light was coming from some sort of slime on the stones. He would have to duck in some spots, but there was enough head room for him to walk. He couldn’t think of a way to leave a trail, so he would move forward and try to scratch a mark in the dirt if he came to a crossroad. He moved as quickly as he could through the substructure.

When he turned down one dim corridor he smelled something large and rotten even through the wreck that used to be his nose. A soggy groan told him it was a zombie. As his eyes adjusted he saw it shamble toward him picking up speed, so he dropped his bundle and braced himself for disgusting. He ducked the zombie’s swing and hacked at its knee with the sword. He didn’t need to kill it, just keep it from catching him. He ducked another blow and chopped again. Then he took a step and brought his heel down hard at an angle against the damaged knee.

The zombie’s knee caved in with a wet crack, and it toppled toward him. Jerric dodged and scrambled away. His stomach convulsed, and he vomited bile into his mouth. His sinuses started bleeding again, and the blood trickled over his lips and down his throat. He bent over to spit and look for his bundle, and he saw it behind the groping zombie. He retrieved it with a jump that jarred his nose and brought tears to his eyes, then he moved on, careful not to touch his dripping sword. The conjured zombies he had fought never left such scum on his blade.

Jerric made his way through the substructure until he came to an area with a higher ceiling and light coming down from a high grate. He got some of his questions answered when he found a fresh goblin carcass and some skeletal remains. Some who left their loot in the crates and boxes here never came back for it, he reasoned. One body had rotted away inside its leather armor, and the other lay tangled in rusted plate. He considered his sackcloth with regret. There was no way he could use the armor, or the axe and bow that he also found there.

He did find a key on the goblin, and a potion with the symbol for restoring magicka. He also found two scrolls, which he tucked with the potion into one of the red hoods. He used the key to open the door he found behind the body. Maybe the goblin had retreated behind this door and then died of its wounds. He wondered if he was about to meet whatever had killed the goblin, or if the assassins had possibly come this way.

Jerric stepped through the door and saw that the stone piers were replaced by wooden braces in this part of the substructure. He shuffled along in a crouch to avoid hitting his head. Roots had broken through the ceiling in some places, and he wondered if he was reaching the surface. He thought of the high grate, that light had to come from somewhere. He felt like he had been descending further underground. He took a moment to think. The Imperial Prison sat high above Lake Rumare. He could be going deeper underground and toward the outside at the same time. That would explain the wooden supports instead of stone. He began to feel hopeful.

Then he passed into hewn tunnels linking a natural cave system. Jerric moved cautiously through the near darkness, following the firelight he saw reflected on the stone walls. When he turned a corner he found a small unattended fire in front of a closed door decorated with hanging skulls. Maybe goblins, he thought. Someone was close by, the fire was burning too briskly to have been left for long. He had gotten some practice fighting goblins by the entrance to Derelict Mine only days ago outside Skingrad. Those goblins had also featured skulls in their decorations.

Jerric knew that when he went through the door the fire behind him would make him an easy target. He listened at the door, and then he opened it onto total darkness. He jumped quickly through and pressed himself against the wall. The fire light shone past him enough to show natural rock walls and floor. Nothing attacked him, but his skin wanted to jump off his body just the same. He left the door open for light and moved as carefully as he could down the stone tunnel. He did not consider himself to be an excitable sort of person, but the silence and darkness had worn his nerves thin.

As he reached the point where the floor leveled out, he saw more firelight ahead. The cave opened up a little, and he tasted more than smelled roasting meat in the smoky air. His dry mouth began to water. Jerric crept through the cave as quietly as he could, hoping that his scuffling feet made less noise than the fire. He could see a shadow ahead, and when he turned the corner he saw the goblin that cast it. The creature was unarmed.

His bundle went softly to the ground, and he made his plan. He ran at the goblin holding his sword low, then when it leaped to claw at him, he plunged it up into the goblin’s midsection and pulled it out with a twist. The goblin fell clawing and screeching. He placed his sandaled, zombie-slimed foot on the goblin’s neck and pushed the sword down through its chest. The scrabbling arms fell away from his leg, and the creature’s harsh cries ended.

Jerric took a moment to let his pulse slow. He wiped off the sword and his wet hands as best as he could on the goblin. His scratches began to sting as he investigated the fireside, where he was surprised to find a mortar and pestle on a rough table along with plant material and vials. He could tell by the stinkhorn and wisp stalk caps that it had been making poison. A goblin alchemist? He always thought that they stole everything they used. Jerric began to question some of his assumptions about goblins. He packed the mortar and pestle in his bundle, but he left the poison. Then he dropped everything beside the fire and got to work on the main prize.

There was a large rat sizzling on a spit over the fire. The smell made his stomach rumble. He looked around in the goblin’s things and came up with some coins and a small knife. Thank Akatosh, he thought, I don’t have to carve up my dinner with my zombie sword.

He had to use his teeth as another hand and he nearly stood in the fire, but Jerric managed to feast on some of the rat roast. He thought it was the best thing he had ever tasted, even with the tang of goblin blood still clinging to his fingers. Now if only he could find some ale. Jerric decided to press on instead of searching. He felt an urgent need to get out under the sun.

More tunnels, some so dark he had to feel his way along the wall with his elbow. His fresh scratches were burning and his already sore head was beginning to pound, but he didn’t want to use up a potion on discomfort. Burning torches stuck into the ground lit some of the way and informed him that the tunnels were in use. He began to think about traps and proceeded more carefully.

He killed more goblins and picked up some deeper cuts. None of them was armed, yet every one attacked him furiously. He was feeling lucky, as he had managed to kill the only two goblins that had weapons with their own log trap. He had watched the dust settle on them as he devoured two apples he found amongst their supplies. The apples were withered but sweet, and they helped his raging thirst not at all. If they were guards, he wondered what they were guarding.

Then he reached the open entrance to a large cavern with a high domed ceiling, and he began to understand. Small fires burned at intervals around the walls. He could hear rats and see two goblins very close to his tunnel. He had reached some sort of dwelling place, and he realized that to them he must be the foul marauding creature. They were doing the same thing his own sister would do if she found a stranger with a sword wandering through her house. There were areas of the cave that he couldn’t see, so he assumed that there would be more goblins. He knelt down and dropped his hood-pack while he considered his options.

He had to get through that cavern or turn back. The middle appeared to have a large pit right in the center. He could see light from a fire in the pit, but he couldn’t tell how deep it was. He had to assume the bottom was accessible and could be concealing more of them. If they attacked he would engage the nearest goblin then draw the other one back into the tunnel so that the rest couldn’t surround him. He hoped that they would be slow enough getting around the pit so that he wouldn’t have to fight them all at once. If he was lucky he might be able to run through without them chasing him. He decided that if he had to run for it, he would try for the tunnel that he saw across the cavern and hope for the best rather than back into darkness the way he came, since he could not remember any places behind him that would conceal a Nord from cave-dwelling goblins. He earnestly hoped that he would not have to kill any of their young.

Jerric put his bundle against the wall with his potions ready on top. If he could get through without a fight he wouldn’t mind leaving them behind. He crept into the cave. A loud prolonged clatter echoed through the cavern as the rock he accidentally kicked skittered across the stone floor and fell into the pit, bouncing off the rocks all the way down. The two goblins looked around at him, and one let out a squawk and reached for an axe. Another goblin stepped out from behind a pile of rocks on the far side of the cavern and Jerric could see that it was wearing a sword. A goblin’s head popped up and looked at him from within the pit. Jerric realized that the stealth part of his plan was over.

He let out a howl and lunged for the goblin closest to him, gutting it before it could finish its swing. Lightning cracked around him, knocking him back and stunning him for a moment. He saw that the second goblin had picked up a staff, and she was backing away from him. More lightning crackled through the air, but this time it rushed into Jerric as he absorbed the magicka. He ran forward and drove his shoulder into the goblin witch’s midsection, sending her flying back and down into the pit. He threw himself to the ground to avoid falling in after her, and he landed on the staff.

The third goblin was still making its way around the pit. Jerric turned his attention to the one climbing out right beside him, slowed by the axe in its hand. The goblin looked surprised to see Jerric’s new position, if Jerric could judge such a foreign expression. He rolled onto his back and kicked it in the face with both feet. He kicked it again, and the goblin let out a series of harsh cries but did not fall. He felt the staff under his back. Jerric dropped his wet sword and levered himself up with the staff, then he fired lightning at the goblin as it swung its leg over the edge, knocking it back into the pit. He turned and shot more lightning at the last goblin as it ran toward him. He hit it with lightning from the staff until it fell.

There was a lot of noise coming from the pit, and Jerric looked in. One side appeared to be a rat corral, and the goblin witch had fallen among the captive rats. She was unable to rise, and the rats were taking their revenge. The other goblin lay with its leg twisted under it. Jerric considered the staff. He couldn’t think of a way to carry it, and he didn’t want another goblin to pick it up and chase him with it. He used it to finish the goblins in the pit, and then he tossed it in with the rats. He was not inclined to let the rats go, but at least he had given them a meal.

The goblin by the tunnel was kneeling quietly in its own guts, breathing rapidly through its open mouth. Its deep set eyes were fixed on him. Jerric picked up his sword and approached it. Somehow the thing had pulled more of its own insides out, probably trying to rise. Jerric thrust his sword through its open jaws and up into its brain. He had trouble getting the blade back out. He had always wanted to try that.

When he bent to pick up his bundle Jerric noticed that some of his gashes were bleeding quite freely. He drank one potion and the bleeding stopped. As he made his way through the cavern he cast his eyes around for goods that he could use. Something to get the shackles off was a top priority, followed by liquid of any kind. He stopped at an oval leather shield. He had found bows and quivers filled with arrows, but he had yet to encounter an archer. If he did, the shield would be better than nothing. He picked it up along with two more healing potions and an iron dagger. It never hurts to have a second blade, no matter how humble, he thought.

Jerric went to one of the goblin’s tables to get his gear situated. He carried the shield upside down on his outstretched arms like a basket with the bundle and the dagger resting in it. He held the short sword in his hand. He thought he must look like a battered, filthy washerwoman. He headed down a tunnel out of the cavern, and when the firelight faded behind him he saw a dim blue light ahead. With a sinking feeling he realized that he was back at the same kind of stone chambers that he had left under the prison. Had he gone in a circle? He went to the opening and looked down.




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SubRosa
post Dec 27 2010, 09:28 PM
Post #29


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From: Between The Worlds



We see Jerric thinking to leave marks at intersections so he does not get lost, musing on the light source, and best of all, using real tactics to fight the zombie. Your descriptions of his broken nose jarring him, the bile in his mouth, etc... Also bring his plight to life in a way saying "At 80% health" just cannot do.

You gave us a most harrowing journey through the tunnels and caves. I could feel Jerric's raw nerves at every jumping shadow. Not to mention the brutality of his battles with the goblins. Very exciting stuff!


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Thomas Kaira
post Dec 27 2010, 11:27 PM
Post #30


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Oh, my. If Mr. Foxy wanders in here, he's going to have a ball.

QUOTE

Sharing the common quarters at the Mages Guild with Jerric was a trial. He was noisy, his gigantic boots were always in the way, and he treated every day like Jester's Day. Just last night while Arnand lay in bed reading, Jerric had slipped under the blanket with him. He had let loose some wind, then held Arnand's head under the covers, making him smell it. The visiting mages had laughed like a pack of teenagers. One of them had wet herself.


Jerric! Tasteful! Dear! blink.gif blink.gif blink.gif nono.gif nono.gif nono.gif

Your Journey of the Dynamic Duo had me in stitches. rollinglaugh.gif

Then we get to IC, and BOOM! Nice touch on getting him into prison there.

Then we get into the Prison dungeon and shift from uncouth humor to gritty action, and a very well written dungeon crawl. Just don't forget that humor. That was the best part, I don't want to see it evaporate into a pure dungeon-crawl atmosphere, that joking around gave your story (and Jerric) an incredible personality.

Oh, and if you are needing someone to talk to when no one's around, just do what I do and talk to yourself!

Wait did I just say that? Err... Scratch that! No talking!

I'm really enjoying the lighthearted humor oozing from every orifice of your writing, you've had a great start, so don't stop now!

nit:

Chapter 2 Part 2:

QUOTE
Jerric let go of some wind and treated himself to a leisurely scratch. Clearly Benirus was touchy this morning. Jerric let go of some wind and treated himself to a leisurely scratch. Clearly Benirus was touchy this morning.


Duplicate sentence here.


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Acadian
post Dec 28 2010, 02:11 AM
Post #31


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It is wonderfully entertaining to see this dungeon from the perspective of a big ol' Nord that is tall enough to scrape his head and have to duck! tongue.gif

'Jerric began to question some of his assumptions about goblins.'
Yes! We are quite convinced they are some form of cave mer. kvleft.gif

'More lightning crackled through the air, but this time it rushed into Jerric as he absorbed the magicka.'
Forgive me if I may have missed it earlier, but I was quite delighted to realize that Jerric is born under the sign of the Atronach. It suits him so perfectly.

You're doing well here. I think your pacing is right. You covered some good ground and action, but you are wisely focusing on Jerric's reactions and observations. His unique charm is coming through clearly, despite the tense and dangerous dungeon crawl. It is quite refreshing seeing a character that is not too wimpy to eat rat meat. laugh.gif

You have a fine talent for humor, rich character development and effective action scenes. If I were you, I would feel free to use those talents as Jerric's circumstances require. One scene may require backslapping and good natured teasing, another scene may require carving up a (ugh) zombie, and yet another scene may tug on our heartstrings. Life has variety, and so does your story.


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Jacki Dice
post Dec 28 2010, 04:31 AM
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What I love about Jerric (other than him being a constantly near-nude Nord, of course) is that he's very believable. He doesn't rush into killing people willy-nilly and wakes up next to strangers after blacking out after too much drink...he throws up at zombies... Speaking of, good job with their description of the zombie. It was appropriately nasty smile.gif


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Grits
post Dec 29 2010, 03:07 PM
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SubRosa: Thank you, I tried to make the dungeon as much about the character as possible, since many of us could run through that part of the game in their sleep. Whew, I’m glad it’s over! When you notice things in the story, it makes me happy that I put them there. Thank you so much for your support!

Thomas Kaira: Hello, I’m glad you’re enjoying Jerric’s adventures, thank you for your comments! The dungeon chapter has been a grind, and I don’t expect I’ll develop a taste for writing down every step Jerric takes underground. There’s more funny up ahead, but first some more darkness. Please bear with me! smile.gif Check Chapter 4 when it comes, Jerric takes your advice. Thanks for spotting the nit, I have the keyboarding skills of a bear and a bat’s eye for proofreading, so I appreciate it!

Acadian: Thank you so much for your advice and support. This is a real learning experience for me, and when I’m jumping between high jinks and life threatening events I don’t have a guide other than the character. Your words mean a lot to me, both your gentle suggestions and the reassurance. smile.gif I have very little game playing Jerric, so I think the Atronach part will be more evident when I have more experience with it. At this point I’m still saying “arrgh, he’s going to die” during all of the fights then later, “wait, did he absorb that?” It’s the element of his character that I think shapes his story the most, at least it’s what puts a sword-wielding prankster Nord in the Mages Guild.

Jacki Dice: I’m glad you find Jerric to be believable as well as entertaining! Thank you so much for your comments! I couldn’t work stripping down into the defense of the Emperor’s life, but Jerric seems to rarely go for a full day without some sort of wardrobe malfunction. When winter comes if you find him in any random hot springs, you’ll know I put them there just for you! biggrin.gif




Chapter 3 : Welcome to the Imperial City, Part 3

Jerric scrambled through the hole in the wall and landed with an awkward tumble, but at least he didn’t stab or slice himself. Immediately he heard Glenroy’s voice. “We should find a defensible spot and protect the Emperor until help arrives.” Jerric felt a surge of hope. If he had caught up with the Blades he was still in the middle of trouble, but at least he was on the way out of it. He stayed out of sight since he expected that they would be surprised to see him.

“Help? What makes you think help will get here before more of those assassins? We need to get the Emperor out of here.” Stress bled through the Redguard’s voice.

“Here they come again!” shouted Glenroy. Jerric ran forward and saw the assassins conjure their armor and weapons. Glenroy closed with one of them, and two assassins attacked the Redguard, trying to get at the Emperor behind him. Jerric knew he would be useless with his sword against their armor. He dropped everything and tackled the nearest assassin’s legs, taking him to the ground. He saw the Redguard slash through the other assassin’s throat as he went down, then the armor of the assassin on top of him evaporated into yellow mist.

“Dammit, it’s that prisoner again! Kill him! He might be working with the assassins,” Glenroy cried. Jerric kicked and rolled away from the robed body and looked up at the two Blades standing over him with their swords dripping red. He took what he thought might be his last breath.

“No, he is not one of them. He can help us, he must.” The Emperor's voice saved him from panic. “They cannot understand why I trust you. They have not seen what I’ve seen. How can I explain?”

Jerric stood and listened. The Emperor spoke to him of the Nine and signs in the stars that foretold his death. Jerric tried to follow his meaning, but like many learned men he seemed to speak in riddles. “Sire, what is my part in this? Can you see my fate?” he asked. It felt strange to look down into the Emperor’s face.

“My dreams grant me no opinion of success. Their compass ventures not beyond the doors of death. But in your face I behold the sun’s companion. The dawn of Akatosh’s bright glory may banish the coming darkness. With such hope, and with the promise of your aid, my heart must be satisfied.”

Jerric could not doubt the Emperor, but nothing that he knew about himself could give substance to his hopes. “What will happen now?” he asked. He had no idea what he should do. The Blades were in charge, but they couldn’t agree. The Emperor was speaking in a tone that he might have used sitting safely in his chambers by the fire, yet three more assassins lay around him filling the air with the stench of their deaths.

“I go to my grave. A tongue shriller than all the music calls me. You shall follow me yet for awhile, then we must part.” The Emperor turned away and nodded to the Blades.

The Redguard had been listening while Glenroy kept a lookout, and now he stepped over and scrutinized him in a way that made Jerric feel acutely uncomfortable. He seemed to come to a decision. “Hold out your hands,” he said, and he opened the clasp on Jerric’s shackles. He could reach the magicka within him again, like remembering a name that had been just on the tip of his tongue. He raised his hand and sent a wave of healing light down his body. Belatedly he remembered Arnand's teaching, and he reached up and gingerly felt his healed but still misshapen nose. Dung heaps, he thought, now I'm stuck with it. “I’m Jerric,” he said to the Redguard.

“Baurus,” he said. “Stick close and let us do our job, and you’ll be all right.” Jerric picked up his gear and followed Baurus.

___


The men had made their way through the Sanctum and reached the entrance to the sewers. They had skirmished with assassins along the way, and Jerric had earned grudging respect from the Blades. Glenroy had let loose with his stentorian battle cry every time they were attacked, so Jerric stopped worrying that his frost spell was making too much noise.

Glenroy and Baurus had continued to argue, and Jerric had taken the time to fashion a pack he could sling over his shoulder from the robes of the dead assassins. He had fastened the sword’s scabbard and the iron dagger around his waist, and now that he had his hands free again he regretted leaving Captain Renault’s katana. Thankfully Captain Renault had been a solidly built woman and her belt was cut to fit over her armor, so it just made it around his waist. The Emperor had retreated into his own thoughts, and Jerric was not so impertinent as to try to engage him in conversation.

“Dammit! The gate is barred from the other side. It’s a trap!” Glenroy drew his sword and looked around wildly.

“What about that side passage back there?” said Baurus.

“Worth a try. Let’s go!” They moved quickly to the side passage, and Jerric took up the rear.

“It’s a dead end. What’s your call, sire?” Baurus was still calm.

Jerric heard noise back in the main corridor. “They’re behind us,” he interrupted. Fear coiled through him. They had been herded here like animals, and now they were trapped.

Baurus gave Jerric a level look. “Wait here with the Emperor. Guard him with your life.” Jerric heard their battle cries, and the two Blades were gone. He looked around the small room and made his plan. He backed the Emperor into the corner and turned toward the door to make his stand.

“I can go no further. You alone must stand against the Prince of Destruction and his mortal servants. He must not have the Amulet of Kings!” The Emperor’s voice was low and urgent, and Jerric turned back around to face him. “Take the Amulet. Give it to Jauffre. He alone knows where to find my last son. Find him, and close shut the jaws of Oblivion.” Jerric reached out with his shield arm and took the Amulet, unable to argue with the Emperor. He looked down at the great stone sparkling red over the leather grip in his filthy hand, and his heart knew that they had reached the end.

Stones tumbled down in the corner behind the Emperor, and Jerric looked up to see an assassin step from concealment. The Emperor caught Jerric with his pale blue eyes, and he seemed to stand outside of time as the assassin struck him down with his short, narrow blade. “Stranger, you picked a bad day to take up the cause of the Septims," the murderer said as he stepped over the body, and his voice was just a man’s.

Fury raced over Jerric, burning his thoughts away. He attacked the man with mindless ferocity, and it was only when he stood panting over the bodies that he fully realized that there had been two of them. He had slashed their faces until they were unrecognizable, then shredded their bodies once the armor misted away. He braced his sword arm against the stone wall and vomited. Blood dripped off his sword down onto his shoulder and shield. His hands shook and tears blinded him.

“We’ve failed. I’ve failed … the Emperor and all of his heirs are dead.” Baurus had returned, and he stood over the Emperor. His voice was soft and empty. Jerric dropped his sword and shield and walked to Baurus. He waited until the Blade looked up, then wordlessly he held out the Amulet of Kings. “He gave it to you? Strange. He saw something in you, trusted you. They say it’s the Dragon’s Blood that flows through the veins of every Septim. They see more than lesser men.”

Jerric’s head felt odd, almost light. He dropped to his knees and then slowly down to sit on the floor. His right hand found the small hole in the left side of his chest. He looked up and saw Baurus speaking, but he didn’t hear him. His gaze went to the low ceiling, and his jangled emotions quietly slipped away. His eyes began to close.

Glass against his teeth and a sour taste jerked him awake again. He was still sitting on his knees, and Baurus held a fistful of his hair while he poured a potion down his throat. He dropped the empty vial with a clatter and let go of Jerric. He stood with his hands out slightly, as if ready to catch him. Jerric blinked. “I think I almost fell asleep,” he said.

Baurus uncorked another potion and handed it to him. “These are pretty strong. Take this one, too. I got two in you while you were, ah, sleepy.” Jerric drank the potion and decided to stay on the floor for now. Baurus waited until Jerric looked up. “He must have given the Amulet to you for a reason. Did he say?”

“He said I must take it to Jauffre. He said I must find his last son, and close shut the jaws of Oblivion. Does that make any sense to you?” Jerric’s head felt clear again.

“The Amulet has power,” Baurus explained. “Only a true heir of the Blood can wear it, they say. I’ve never heard of another heir, but Jauffre would know. He’s the Grandmaster of my order, though you would not think so to meet him. He lives quietly as a monk at Weynon Priory, near Chorrol.”

Jerric nodded. He could picture the map of Cyrodiil that he had pored over since he was a child, whispering aloud the names of all the places he wanted to see. “I can find my way to Chorrol,” he said.

“First you need to get out of here. Through that door is the entrance to the sewers, past the locked gate. Take this key, and keep Captain Renault’s sword, you’ve earned it. Watch out for rats and goblins. You handle yourself well, you shouldn’t have much trouble.”

Jerric began to realize the responsibility he had taken on, and he rose to his feet. He felt fine now, strong and steady. “Baurus, I’m no soldier. Maybe there’s someone else who should do this.”

“The Emperor charged you with this himself. He trusted you, and I have to believe that his trust was well placed. I don’t know who betrayed us; it could have been one of our own. You must get the Amulet to Jauffre. I’ll stay here and make sure no one follows you. You’d better get moving.” Baurus gripped Jerric’s shoulder in farewell. “Talos guide you.”

Jerric tucked the Amulet away and entered the sewers.

___


Baurus had been right; Jerric had little trouble getting through the sewers. He stood at the open grate and looked along the long, straight drain at daylight, and then he sloshed his way through the stinking ankle-deep ooze to the end.

It was over, he was free. He blinked in the warm light, taking in gulps of fresh air and coughing out the filth and grief that lay behind him. The sun felt better on his skin than water would have felt on his cracked tongue, and every green tree seemed like its own miracle. He walked along the shore away from the sewage plume, then he dropped his gear and slipped into the clear green water of Lake Rumare. He submerged himself and created a cloudy ribbon of his own rubbing the blood and grime away. It looked clean, but he knew better than to drink lake water this close to a city.

Jerric walked back up onto the shore and looked around while the water ran off of him. Being wet had not improved the fit of his sandals. Belatedly he remembered the Amulet, but his frantic grab found it still there tied around his waist under his shirt. He saw a dock with an old boat pulled up beside it right in front of him, and across the lake were tumbled structures of white stone. A few complete arches rose gracefully above the ruin, but he guessed that his curiosity would earn him trouble if he headed in that direction.

Lightly forested hills rose up beyond the ruin, and he could see terraced fields and mountains in the distance beyond. He walked around the shoulder of the hill behind him and looked back up at the city. He looked west where he knew the Black Road would climb up to Chorrol and Weynon Priory. He could tell that he had come out of the sewer north of the city, but he wasn’t sure how far east he was. He had to decide whether to cross the lake here and take the longer path along the Red Ring Road or to follow the island’s shoreline and cross just north of Fort Nikel and Weye. In addition to the usual bandits and predators, he also had the Imperial Watch to evade for awhile. His heart lifted despite the obvious difficulties of his situation.

Motion along the shore at his feet caught his eye, and he spotted a good-sized mudcrab. He nailed it with a ball of fire and cracked it open while the steam was still hissing out. He felt starved, the rat hadn’t stayed down long enough to stick. He looked up at the late afternoon sun and blew on his scorched fingers. Close enough, he would call it lunch.

Filling his stomach made Jerric even thirstier. He looked over at the ruin. Sometimes old wells still held water, and there might even be an Ayleid Well. He scratched at the stubble on his face. His prison clothes were still torn and stained, although not so obviously now by blood. He might not attract bandits since he looked as if he’d already been beaten and left for dead. He would cross to the ruin and look for water, then follow the opposite shoreline to avoid the Legion riders as far as he could until he had to take the road where it rose up into the hills.

He didn’t want to steal someone’s boat. He gathered his gear and started swimming.

This post has been edited by Grits: Dec 30 2010, 02:20 PM


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Acadian
post Dec 30 2010, 02:28 AM
Post #34


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From: Las Vegas



Very nicely done! smile.gif A pleasure to read, and much to like. Jerric gives his own style to the tutorial dungeon.

“Hold out your hands,” he said, and he opened the clasp on Jerric’s shackles. He could reach the magicka within him again, like remembering a name that had been just on the tip of his tongue.'
Wonderfully put! Yay, no shackles! biggrin.gif

'The Emperor caught Jerric with his pale blue eyes, and he seemed to stand outside of time as the assassin struck him down with his short, narrow blade'
To stand outside time - magnificently said!

'Fury raced over Jerric, burning his thoughts away. He attacked the man with mindless ferocity, and it was only when he stood panting over the bodies that he fully realized that there had been two of them. He had slashed their faces until they were unrecognizable, then shredded their bodies once the armor misted away. He braced his sword arm against the stone wall and vomited. Blood dripped off his sword down onto his shoulder and shield. His hands shook and tears blinded him. ' viking.gif
The gritty real deal here. I'm not surprised that only later did he discover he had been wounded here:
'His right hand found the small hole in the left side of his chest.'

'Glass against his teeth and a sour taste jerked him awake again.'
This is one example where you 'show' us something - and we think we know you are describing a potion. Then, within a sentence or two, you confirm it for us and make us feel very clever. I think this is brilliant!

'and every green tree seemed like its own miracle.'
Aww. Lovely. happy.gif

'A few complete arches rose gracefully above the ruin, but he guessed that his curiosity would earn him trouble if he headed in that direction.'
Yes, but even here I suspected Jerric would ignore his own advice. Within a couple paragraphs, you proved me right!

'He looked up at the late afternoon sun and blew on his scorched fingers. Close enough, he would call it lunch.'
That's our Jerric. tongue.gif The most important meal of the day is the next one.

Questions on this passage:
'They had skirmished with assassins along the way, and Jerric had earned grudging respect even from Glenroy. The Imperial let loose with his stentorian battle cry every time they were attacked, so Jerric stopped worrying that his frost was making too much noise.'
1. I'm thinking the Imperial here is the Emperor?
2. I'm thinking 'his frost' refers to Jerric using frost spells (as would make good sense for a Nordic mage).
If I am right on both counts, then ignore me. If I am wrong, can you set me straight?

Nit:
'Baurus had been right, had little trouble getting through. Jerric stood at the open grate and looked . . . .'
There seems to be something missing after your first comma. Perhaps: 'Baurus had been right; Jerric had little trouble getting through the sewers. He stood at the open grate and looked. . . .'


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Grits
post Dec 30 2010, 02:15 PM
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Acadian: Thank you so much for your detailed and encouraging comments. I am so happy to be out of the dungeon! Whew.

QUOTE(Acadian @ Dec 29 2010, 08:28 PM) *

Questions on this passage:
'They had skirmished with assassins along the way, and Jerric had earned grudging respect even from Glenroy. The Imperial let loose with his stentorian battle cry every time they were attacked, so Jerric stopped worrying that his frost was making too much noise.'
1. I'm thinking the Imperial here is the Emperor?
2. I'm thinking 'his frost' refers to Jerric using frost spells (as would make good sense for a Nordic mage).
If I am right on both counts, then ignore me. If I am wrong, can you set me straight?


The Imperial is Glenroy, and that phrasing is a relic left over from when I was writing as if Jerric didn’t know their names. Eventually I just had Captain Renault address Glenroy as they come into the cell, but I wanted to have Baurus introduce himself. Glenroy looks like a Redguard but sounds like an Imperial, so it was too confusing. Thank you so much for pointing it out! I changed the passage to this:

”They had skirmished with assassins along the way, and Jerric had earned grudging respect from the Blades. Glenroy had let loose with his stentorian battle cry every time they were attacked, so Jerric stopped worrying that his frost spell was making too much noise.”

Even though the Emperor carries a sword, my vision of this scene has him accepting his imminent death, reflecting a little on his life now that he knows it’s over, and pondering when to hand over the Amulet. Shouting out battle cries and attacking the assassins is not in the picture, so I really appreciate the chance to clear that up!

Thank you for the nit, and for helping me overcome my fear of the semicolon. smile.gif I see Newton’s Third Law of Proofreading at work: every edit produces an equal and opposite edit.


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mALX
post Dec 30 2010, 05:46 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



Chapter 3: Part 2


I don't know how long it had been since Jerric had eaten, but there is a touch of realism to this:

QUOTE

He thought it was the best thing he had ever tasted, even with the tang of goblin blood still clinging to his fingers.


My son was among the Bradleys that led the charge into Bagdad. They outran the supply trucks and were without rations for three days when they came across a nomads tent with a small tended garden outside of it. The only thing they were growing in it was onions.

My son would never eat an onion - ever. But he pulled one from the ground and bit into it like it was an apple - and said it tasted better than a steak. When you are starving, it is surprising what you will eat, and how good it will taste to you.

QUOTE

Jerric ... felt an urgent need to get out under the sun.


Being an (obviously) outdoor type - this is such a perfect detail you have added that really shows what he is thinking and feeling as he goes through the darkened tunnels - your story is filled with these little details that are HUGE in their simplicity, but make the story come alive to the reader.

Here is another example of detail that make it all feel so real:

QUOTE

With a sinking feeling he realized that he was back at the same kind of stone chambers that he had left under the prison. Had he gone in a circle?




*


Chapter 3: Part 3


WHEW !!! What a change -


QUOTE

this is a story about a life that gets interrupted



You are doing an AWESOME job of showing that!!! I held my breath through this whole last chapter, and I know the story !!!

There were too many great places to quote, but I have to do this one:

QUOTE


He scratched at the stubble on his face. His prison clothes were still torn and stained, although not so obviously now by blood. He might not attract bandits since he looked as if he’d already been beaten and left for dead.



AWESOME WRITE !!!!!!

This post has been edited by mALX: Dec 30 2010, 05:59 PM


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SubRosa
post Dec 30 2010, 07:14 PM
Post #37


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From: Between The Worlds



If he had caught up with the Blades he was still in the middle of trouble, but at least he was on the way out of it.
I think someone's in for a surprise!

Stress bled through the Redguard’s voice.
An excellent phrase.

yet three more assassins lay around him filling the air with the stench of their deaths.
As was this. goodjob.gif

I liked your bit of world-building, where because Jerric had not straightened out his nose before his healing spell, it healed bent. So it would be that way forever. Or at least until it gets broken again...

It looked clean, but he knew better than to drink lake water this close to a city.
This is a good touch of reality too. It would be have sewage from the city.

All in all, another good episode of the Jerric Show. I bet you feel a great sense of relief now that you are out of the prison sewers! The game's storyline there is extremely rigid, like riding on a rail. Now you will have more opportunity to stretch and add variety once more.


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Grits
post Jan 2 2011, 02:24 AM
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From: The Gold Coast



mALX: Thank you for sharing your son’s story about the onion – I was thinking along those lines. I don’t think a starving person would look at a rat and say yuck. Thank you so much for your comments!!

SubRosa: It is a relief to get out of the sewers. I hadn’t been able to really plan much ahead until I wrote about Jerric looking at the trees, and then I knew what I wanted to do next. I have a pretty good idea how I want healing magic to work, definitely not as simple as it is in the game! Thank you so much for your comments.

In Chapter 3 Jerric escaped from prison and swam across Lake Rumare with the Amulet of Kings and little else in his possession.



Chapter 4: All’s Well in Aleswell, Part 1


Jerric crouched behind the white stone wall and watched the two people move about their camp above the ruin. The swim across the lake had been easy, as the water was calm and nothing had risen from the green depths to chew on him. Now the sun was behind him, so he was careful not to cast a long shadow. He needed water he could drink, and he suspected he would find it convenient to this camp. He did not want to receive an arrow in his back, so he had decided to learn if these were friends or bandits before he started to crash around in the bushes. The leather-clad Dunmer female was practicing her archery by shooting at heads of lettuce along the top of a crate, and her accuracy encouraged Jerric to wait until she put down her bow before he announced himself. The Khajiit wore a leather cuirass, and he was fussing with a pot that hung over their cook fire. Jerric waited as the sun dropped lower until the Dunmer finally placed her bow with her quivers on the crate and walked over to the fire.

Charging up to a stranger with his sword drawn would certainly make him the villain. He cast his Woad spell to give him some protection in case things became unfriendly, then he stood up and stepped around the wall with his shield over his arm and his sword still in its scabbard. “Hail the camp,” he called, and he held his empty hand open and out to the side.

The Dunmer went straight for her bow, and the Khajiit picked up a mace and started toward him. Jerric ran to cut off the Dunmer, and as he went he summoned a scamp between himself and the Khajiit. He hoped that the scamp would go for the right target, he did not want to get crisped by its fire spell when he closed with the archer.

The Dunmer was fast, and she reached her bow well before Jerric reached her. He had not drawn his sword yet to give himself a little extra speed, and he cast a handful of frost at her to keep her busy while he closed the distance. He could hear the scamp and the Khajiit, but his attention was on the archer. He missed with his frost attack, but her dodge had cost her the time it would have taken to bring an arrow to nock. She held her bow out in front of her and jabbed with her arrow, but his momentum behind the leather shield pushed her to the ground. He had kept his weight low and stayed on his feet, and as she flipped nimbly onto her stomach and jabbed at him again it flashed through his mind that the arrow might be poisoned. He grabbed her hair and wrenched her head back as he slammed his heel down into her neck. He dropped her and turned toward the Khajiit.

The scamp had vanished, and the Khajiit stalked toward him with smoke rising from his scorched cuirass. His ears were flattened back, and his tail lashed the air with fury. They circled for a moment, and when the Khajiit struck with his mace, Jerric dodged and pushed it aside with his shield while he slashed at the unarmored leg. Jerric suddenly remembered that his own armor was on a wagon instead of on his person, so he quickly adjusted his thinking.

They circled some more, and Jerric aimed a clumsy thrust that missed the Khajiit’s middle. He deliberately lowered his shield as he regained his balance. A moment later he repeated the strike, and as the Khajiit raised his mace for a fatal blow, Jerric angled his blade up and thrust it in under the furry chin. The mace clipped his shield again on the way back down, but it was only falling under its weight with no strike behind it.

Jerric shook his sore arm and looked through the bandits’ camp. They seemed to have two of everything, including separate tents. They were well established in their camp, and he thought it would be unlikely for anyone else to come up there that night. He decided he could stay without worrying too much about his sleeping skull meeting a heavy object.

He went to the cook pot and lifted the lid. It looked like he would be having some kind of meat stew for dinner, and he identified carrots, onions, and potatoes in the mixture. He tasted it with the nearby spoon and corrected the seasoning with the salt he also found there ready to his hand. He picked up their water pitcher and drained it in one long, rapturous guzzle. They were not boiling any water, so he was confident that he would find a stream or well nearby.

He selected one of the bedrolls by the process of smell and covered it with a gentle cloud of frost to kill any vermin that might have found refuge there. He scooped up a plate of stew and dug through their crates and barrels while he waited for it to cool. The contents were sobering. The bolts of cloth probably came from a merchant, and the assortment of garments had clearly once belonged to a number of different people. He hoped that the former owners had simply given up their goods and gotten away with their lives. He found no armor or weapons other than a few daggers and knives that anyone might carry, and he thought that these two fetchers must have specialized in the weak and unarmed.

He found their chests locked and simply walked away from them, then he realized that the bandits probably had the keys on their bodies. They did, and he took the opportunity to drag them away from the camp to prevent scavengers, ghosts, or a dreadful creeping feeling from finding him. He stripped off their leather armor for future trade. The Khajiit’s would need some cleaning first.

When he returned to camp and looked in the chests he discovered a number of silver household items, a few books, some jewelry, and the bandits’ coin purses. He picked up the first book and found that it was titled The Battle of Sancre Tor. That sounded promising, so he tucked it under his arm. The second book was enticingly titled Mace Etiquette, and he thought it might provide him with some good advice for using his new mace. He tucked it between his knees and reached for the last well worn book, a play titled The Lusty Argonian Maid. Jerric stood reading it until the orange light reminded him that the day was ending. He helped himself to the coins and books and left the rest. Looting the bandits’ bodies didn’t bother him, but when he held the jewelry all he could think about was the pain and fear someone must have felt when they gave it up.

He headed back to the clothing with the idea that he might find something of use, but the only trousers that would fit him were made for a shorter, portly man. He found a tunic that probably came from the same unfortunate person, but instead of riding out on the other man’s belly it flapped around Jerric’s middle. At least it was clean, and it covered the Amulet where he still wore it wrapped now in a linen shirt and tied around his waist. He could have carried a bedroll in the extra space in the crotch of the trousers and they were ridiculously short, but they fit over his thighs and gave him room to move. He found no replacement for his rope prison sandals, and he cursed them as he healed the sores on his feet yet again.

When he returned to his meal he found that it had cooled too much, so he added another scoop and wolfed it down appreciatively. It didn’t even touch the sides, his Ma would say. He decided that the meat was mutton, and he silently thanked whatever shepherd was scratching his head over his loss. The bandits’ tableware and cookware were heavy iron and clay, and not very portable. After his meal he wiped the plate and silverware, then laughed at himself for keeping the dead bandits’ camp tidy. He packed up the silverware and the knife and cutting board they used for cooking into one of their packs, then he picked up the pitcher and headed down a narrow path in the grass looking for the well.

He returned to camp as the fire died and the sun slipped down. He had swallowed enough well water to almost gurgle when he walked, and he had a full pitcher for the morning. He quickly went back to the chests and took out the jewelry. On his walk he had decided that he did not have the luxury of squeamishness. It was a good distance to Weynon Priory and then home, and he was not going to get the whole way on the coins he could get for a bow and two well-used leather cuirasses. As he rolled himself into what he guessed was the Dunmer’s bed he scratched his face and regretted that a woman and a Khajiit had no use for a shaving kit. He checked the Amulet with his hand and dropped immediately into sleep.

___


The pitchers of water that he had enjoyed the night before woke Jerric well before dawn. He had found no kahve, so he made a quick breakfast of cold stew directly from the pot and prepared to get on his way in the dark. These people had no kahve, no ale, nothing much to read, and separate bedrolls. He wondered what secret joys motivated them to rise every morning, and he doubted it was the love of Khajiit mutton stew.

After a stop at the Ayleid Well he had passed the day before, Jerric made his way along the lake shore in the pre-dawn, swinging the Khajiit’s mace in his hand for fun. The moons had set, but there was enough starlight to walk by. The sound that the small waves made rolling up onto the beach kept him from straying into the water. He could hear mudcrabs in time to avoid them, so he walked along waiting for the sunrise in peace. His feet found the firm place where the grass overtook the sand, and he followed it along the shoreline. The sun rose behind him and touched his bare head like a friend. It made him think of the Emperor’s words, and then of the Emperor lying on cold stone somewhere in the Imperial City. News of his death must be racing through Tamriel on fast horses, and he imagined the grief and confusion that it would bring.

Walking in silence between the city and the road he felt very alone. It had been days since he had spoken to someone he knew, or even looked at something that was familiar. He relished the adventure, but his heart tugged him toward home. He saw the sun gleam on white stone ahead to the north, and he thought he must have almost reached the place where the Silver Road split off to Bruma and the Red Ring Road rose sharply up into the hills. He couldn’t remember the name of the ruin from his map at home, but something that big had to be it. He had to decide if he would continue along the shore or head up to the road. He stood in indecision for a moment, and the Amulet felt heavy against his waist. He decided to stick to the shoreline to avoid the ruin and the Silver Road junction, then walk up over the dunes through the lower hills and pick up the Red Road before it really started climbing.

This post has been edited by Grits: Jan 2 2011, 02:27 AM


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SubRosa
post Jan 2 2011, 03:26 AM
Post #39


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I'll have another bowl of grits thank you. Ahhh, that hits the spot! smile.gif

Jerric shows excellent situational awareness, as he considers the position of the sun, and how it will cast his shadow. Another gritty battle follows, with nice touches of description, with the Khajiit's ears being pinned back.

Using a frost spell to kill lice and bedbugs on the bedroll was an especially thoughtful touch.


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Acadian
post Jan 2 2011, 03:34 AM
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From: Las Vegas



I must agree with SubRosa about another bowl of Grits. tongue.gif This was a delight to read! Some excitement, camp life and path choosing. smile.gif

Alas, target identification - always a problem. Fortunately, Jerric has the stones to deal with an unhappy result, as he had to here. Speaking of fights, this one was well done. The pacing was effective, and you had a good balance of action vs what Jerric was thinking. His tactics (right down to considering his scamp's position vs field of fire) were logical and the fight was easy to follow.

You really do have a gift for interesting, clever and simply wonderful turns of phrase or descriptions that are either very Jerric, humorous or simply delightful to read. Some examples:

'His ears were flattened back, and his tail lashed the air with fury.'

'He decided he could stay without worrying too much about his sleeping skull meeting a heavy object.'

'He selected one of the bedrolls by the process of smell and covered it with a gentle cloud of frost to kill any vermin that might have found refuge there.'

'As he rolled himself into what he guessed was the Dunmer’s bed he scratched his face and regretted that a woman and a Khajiit had no use for a shaving kit.'

'His feet found the firm place where the grass overtook the sand, and he followed it along the shoreline.'

'News of his death must be racing through Tamriel on fast horses, and he imagined the grief and confusion that it would bring.'



I'm guessing from the title, where Jerric will be next. wink.gif


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