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> An Argonian's Account, Haa-Rei's adventures in Cyrodiil
hazmick
post Feb 6 2015, 11:46 PM
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Mouth
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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Chapter 1

The room was furnished as most high ranking Imperial offices were – dragons everywhere. Dragon curtains (red), dragon floor mat (red), dragon banners (red). I wouldn't be surprised if the guards outside were wearing socks (red) with little dragons on them.

“So we just need to go over a few things here,” the clerk’s piping voice interrupted my thoughts. He studied the notes in front of him “you were born 3E 408?”

“Yes.” I wasn't half as nervous as I thought I’d be, but my mouth was almost too dry to speak.

“Our first official record of you is not until 19 years later. An Imperial prison transport fished you out of the Inner Sea of Morrowind and took you to the port of Seyda Neen. Yes?”

He didn’t look up from his notes, instead arching an enormous grey eyebrow. There was more hair on those brows than on the rest of his head.

“Yes.” Though my mouth was still dry my hands were now clammy. Please gods don’t make him go in for a handshake when this is done.

“Your occupation is listed here as ‘adventurer’. You also seem to have aided the Twin Lamps organisation, among others.” He licked a bony fingertip and turned the page. “This is around the time that you officially joined the Imperial Legion, rising to the rank of Agent.”

“That’s right.” My face reddened slightly when he looked up at me. Apparently a ‘yes’ would suffice.

He took a sip of his drink, a dark gold substance, and winced slightly as it went down. How anybody can enjoy that sort of thing was beyond me. I much prefer tea.

Looking back to his notes, the clerk continued listing various people I’d met who were considered important enough to have an opinion. Mainly guild leaders and Imperials.

I managed to steal a glance at the page, most of which was concealed with black ink.

“Well this seems to be in order. On account of your previous work for the Empire and the skills you have at your disposal, I have no doubt that you will do some good with us.” He stamped my file for approval with an official looking dragon stamp (red).

I grinned widely (any display of emotion towards humans must be greatly exaggerated) and thanked him as he shook my hand firmly.

“Welcome to the Blades, Agent Haa-Rei.”

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:03 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 Feb 7 2015, 02:09 AM
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Welcome back to the world of fanfic - to both you and Haa-Rei!

What a fun introduction as you show us quite a bit about Haa-Reis perceptions and sense of humor.

Dragon socks! laugh.gif

'I much prefer tea.' - - Made from Nightshade no doubt.

Welcome to the Blades, indeed! goodjob.gif


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McBadgere
post Feb 7 2015, 10:02 AM
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QUOTE(hazmick @ Feb 6 2015, 10:46 PM) *


Welcome to the Blades, Agent Haa-Rei.



Funny... biggrin.gif ...

I like... wink.gif ...Excellent start...

Look forward to more...

Nice one!!...

*applauds heartily*...
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hazmick
post Feb 13 2015, 10:03 PM
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Mouth
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Acadian - Thanks! Hopefully this foray into fanfic will be more successful than the last one tongue.gif

McB - Cheers mate, glad you can join us! laugh.gif


Chapter 2

An agent of the Blades. This is where my adventures in Cyrodiil began.

I hasten to add that I wasn't a Blade in the traditional sense, with their fancy armour and willingness to die for The Emperor at a moment’s notice (Blades helmets aren't made to accommodate Argonian horns and head spines). I was now one of the spies of the Blades. The eyes of the Empire.

It would be my job to make sure any threats to the Empire were quietly dealt with, all while blending in as a normal citizen. It would most likely be things that Imperial guards couldn't handle, like assassins, Daedra or undead.

All Blades swear an oath to protect this, defend that, and generally make sure old Emperor Uriel is happy and safe. Blades warriors have a huge ceremony after their induction, presumably with a buffet and lots of handshaking. I didn't even get to meet The Emperor, and my katana would be kept at a Blades fortress for safe keeping. No ceremony, no speeches, no buffet.

The final perk of being a Blade is that I also get a free room at Luther Broad’s Boarding House. I set off immediately after my induction, feeling equal parts excited and anxious.

The Imperial City was enormous, with towering grey walls and a labyrinth of snaking alleyways, full to the brim with merchants, adventurers, guards and beggars. I’d been to towns and cities before of course, but the capital of Cyrodiil was always so busy it made my scales itch.

It was late in the afternoon when I finally found my way to the Elven Gardens district, so I planned to stay in the Imperial City for the night, then head off to Leyawiin the next morning. I had people to see and places to be, after all.

A sign on the door of the inn said that it was closed, except to residents (such as myself), on account of Luther’s absence. I’m pretty sure he was a Blades agent and was probably off on an important mission. This meant that the inn would be blissfully quiet, which was perfect.

It was in fact almost empty, with a grand total of three people sitting in the common room. They were deep in discussion when I entered so I chose the furthest table away and took a seat, setting my gear down on a separate chair.

I’d left most of my things in Morrowind rather than lugging them across Tamriel like a pack mule. All I had was a dwarven sword, my (rather poor) leather armour, some basic alchemy equipment, and a handful of gold coins. Getting a bow and some good quality armour was at the top of my priority list.

Luther had left a kettle and some nightshade plants over by the fire. Whoever invented tea should be made into a tenth Divine. I’d happily worship them every day.

As soon as I sat down with my steaming brew, the three strangers rose and started walking towards me. I hadn't really looked at them on the way in, but they appeared to be adventurers (the only armed people you usually see in cities are mercenaries, adventurers, or soldiers). An elf and two Nords.

The Elf, an Altmer, looked decidedly normal. Clearly a mage, his blue robes shimmered ever so slightly with an enchantment. He carried no weapons and his tangled beard suggested he also carried neither a brush nor scissors. He smiled warmly as they approached.

The largest of the Nords was perhaps that biggest man I’d ever seen. He was dressed in fur armour, with bits and pieces of iron armour here and there. His brown hair fell over his broad shoulders, and he too had a large beard. In traditional Nord fashion his beard was braided and any skin that showed was covered in intricate tattoos. He had left his weapon, a claymore as tall as myself, at their table.

The other Nord was the only woman in the group. She was shorter than the others, and very slender. Her red hair was cut just above her shoulders, and she had several braids. She had no beard (thankfully) and her pale skin was a stark contrast to her green eyes. They were dark green but still bright and alert, like sunlight filtering through pine trees. Her armour seemed to be a mix of leather and iron, though her arms and legs were mostly free to aid with movement. She had two knives on her belt, and a bow poked over her shoulder. A hunter, perhaps? A hunter of what?

When they reached my table they seemed to be inspecting me, and simultaneously passed their eyes over my equipment. Great, I was going to be robbed before I’d even finished my tea.

“Allow me to introduce myself” the Altmer offered another smile. “My name is Olorin, and these are my companions; Sjfn and Jtnar,”

The two Nords nodded, though only the woman, Sjfn, smiled. Jtnar’s scowl suggested that he wasn't pleased, had never been happy before in his life, or was in fact carved out of stone. I returned their nods with the friendliest smile I could muster. Olorin continued:

“Judging from your outfit and equipment you are an adventurer. Correct?”

“Yes, though I’m mainly a hunter. My name is Haa-Rei.” It’s always best to be polite and friendly when talking to armed strangers.

I indicated the free seats in front of me, which Olorin and Sjfn accepted. Apparently Jtnar would prefer to stand.

“Excellent. Well, I have an offer of employment...if you are interested.” Olorin continued to smile his warm smile.

“Go on.”

“We are looking for someone to share in an adventure…”

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:04 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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mALX
post Feb 13 2015, 11:31 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN





Welcome back Haa-Rei and Hazmick!

I really hope my recovery keeps improving so I'll be able to catch up on the great stories on here and once again hear about all my favorite characters, which most def includes Haa-Rei! Still have some huge issues trying to read/retain, but it seems to improve with time, so my hope is high that I'll be reading all these stories again!


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Acadian
post Feb 14 2015, 01:46 AM
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Not just an agent, but a Secret agent!

Love the big feel you gave here to the Imperial City. And busy enough to make poor Haa-Reis scales itch. tongue.gif

Neat way of showing us how much Haa-Rei likes his tea. Earl Gray for Divine #10!

You did a great job of using only a small amount of space to impart wonderful detail to Olorin and his two Nordic companions. Even better, the descriptions let plenty of Haa-Reis dry humor to come through.

An adventure is it to be then?


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McBadgere
post Feb 15 2015, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE
Her red hair was cut just above her shoulders, and she had several braids. She had no beard (thankfully) and her pale skin was a stark contrast to her green eyes.


I am quite definitely in love...The fact that she even has no beard is a bonus!... biggrin.gif ...

Excellently done...Found myself giggling at his disappointment at the lack of buffet... laugh.gif ...

Brilliant writing, I very much like the humour...Very much... smile.gif ...

Moaarrrr!!!... biggrin.gif ...

Nice one!!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
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hazmick
post Feb 20 2015, 06:02 PM
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Mouth
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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



mALX - Good to be back, and all the better to have you along for the journey. I wish you a swift and complete recovery. It wouldn't be the same without you. happy.gif

Acadian - The most secretest of secret agents! Yes, an adventure it is. What else is there to do in Tamriel? wink.gif

McB - Indeed, 'no beard' is always at least number 3 on the priority list. tongue.gif I'm glad you're enjoying it, your request for more has been approved!


Chapter 3

An adventure? I admit that it sounded interesting, but I’d never been invited on an adventure before. It was usually a case of wandering into one.

“I still say we should keep looking. What use is this scrawny lizard going to be?” Jtnar apparently had no issues about speaking his mind. Nevertheless I felt quite insulted – I’m quite useful in certain situations.

“Well I-” My explanation was cut short as the burly Nord strode forward, grabbing my sword.

“Who even uses this Dwarven rubbish? Looks like he just found it in a ruin!”

I had actually found it in a ruin, but I refrained from explaining to him that dwarven weaponry is often underestimated (since it doesn't look as deadly as iron or steel) and remained silent as he swung my sword around like a playground bully.

Well I can’t talk my way out of this, and I certainly can’t use strength to get my sword back. I’ll need some help.

Bringing a spell to the front of my mind, I made a small gesture with an (admittedly clammy) clawed hand. A storm atronach thundered into existence, dwarfing the massive Nord.

“Thiazzi,” the atronach turned to face me “could you please retrieve my sword. Gently.” Confidence comes much easier when you have a mountain on your side.

Thiazzi did as he was bid, letting out a thunderous roar. The lightning on his body was bright white, and crackled with a cold heat.

Olorin seemed mesmerised by the atronach. He had that look in his eye that many scholars get when they see other people’s work. The professional curiosity that only comes with years of experience.

Sjfn was also smiling, but she was entirely focused on me. A storm atronach is enough to get anyone’s attention, and I’ve never been anything special to look at. Have I spilled tea on myself? I was beginning to blush, so I turned back to Thiazzi just as Jtnar held out my sword and a large stone fist retrieved it. He handed it back to me.

“Thank you, my friend.” I sheathed the blade and dismissed my ally with another gesture. He vanished back to Oblivion with another rumble.

Jtnar moved forward again, but made no attempt to grab anything. He was…smiling?

“It’s not often anyone impresses me so quickly, lad. You’ll be a fine addition to our crew.” He clapped me on the shoulder and let out a booming laugh. He had a strong northern accent to match his strong northern grip.

Ah, so it was a test! Are all my adventures in Cyrodiil going to be like this?

“My apologies. We just needed to make sure you could be of use,” Olorin’s smile had returned.

“It’s fine. Now about this adventure…” I’ve never been good at small talk, and if I was joining this expedition I’d need to know more.

“We’re going to a ruin to get an object. There’ll be things to kill, locked chests, traps. All the fun stuff.” Jtnar was positively beaming now. How had he managed to keep that cool expression for so long?

Olorin explained further;

“The ruin is called Atatar, it’s Ayleid. It lies to the North of Leyawiin. We’re not entirely sure what we’ll find inside but we’re looking for a certain statue.”

“When will this adventure take place? I have business in Leyawiin.” I was anxious to return, it had been far too long since I'd seen everyone.

“That depends. How good are you at stealth and spotting traps?”

“Quite good, I guess.” After exploring most of the Dwemer ruins on Vvardenfell I was actually very good at that sort of thing, but modesty is important to a professional such as myself (and confidence had never been my strongest suit).

“Then we can set off tomorrow. We have a buyer for the statue and everything is prepared. If we’re all in agreement?” He turned to his companions.

“If he’s as sneaky as he looks then it’ll be a breeze.” I took that as a vote of confidence from Jtnar.

“I’ve always liked Argonians. They have the most beautiful eyes.” Finally she had spoken. Sjfn’s voice was like snow on a still day. She had hints of a northern accent, but not nearly as strong as Jtnar’s. A swarm of butterflies took flight in my belly.

When most people see an Argonian they just see the scales, or the tail, or the horns. There is an old saying about eyes being the gateway to the soul, and it’s true. Argonians have very expressive eyes (which is why we don’t use as much facial expressions or body language as humans).

My eyes also revealed another part of me, which I would very much like to remain a secret – especially from beautiful women and business partners. Sometimes they were blue, like the rivers of Black Marsh, but sometimes they flashed yellow – like moons on a dark night. Had she seen? No, surely she’d say something if she knew…

“Do you need anything?” Olorin interrupted my momentary lapse of concentration and ignored my increasingly intense blushing.

“I need a bow and some lockpicks. I could use some better armour too.” I indicated my current outfit, which was rather worn and would be worth little in a fight.

“Consider this an advance on your salary. It’ll come out of your cut of the profits.” The mage handed me a large bag of coins. More than enough to buy what I needed.

“Thanks. I’ll get everything first thing tomorrow.”

“Excellent! We’ll be waiting at the Wawnet Inn. In the village of Weye.” Olorin stood, and turned to leave. Shaking my hand as he did so.

Sjfn and Jtnar followed, grabbing their gear on the way. The redhead threw me a smile as she shouldered her pack. I reddened again, and suddenly felt very warm. Was I ill? Some sort of disease that can affect Argonians?

No matter. It would take more than an illness to quench my excitement.

An adventure! Leyawiin! Sjfn! No, wait, scratch that last one. (Though to this day I’m not sure which option was the most interesting at the time.)


Alone at last, I finished my tea and headed to my quarters. It was exactly what you’d expect from a free room. Four walls, a bed, a bowl and a tub.

I heated the bath with a weak fire spell (the extent of my destruction abilities), stripped off my gear, and slid into the warm water. My busy day had worn me out, and I sank deeper into the bath and fell asleep.

My dreams were full of snow and pine trees.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:04 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 Feb 20 2015, 08:22 PM
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A most impressive display from Haa-Rei as he recovers his sword. So, it was just a test the treasure hunters orchestrated to evaluate their new potential hire.

Ive always liked Argonians. They have the most beautiful eyes. - - Sjfn is exactly right! And . . . our scaly pal seems rather smitten by the beardless redhead. happy.gif


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hazmick
post Feb 27 2015, 05:43 PM
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Mouth
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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Acadian - What's the point of magic if you can't use it to impress your friends? Conjuration is always popular at parties. And yes, we both have a weakness for redheads (and tea). happy.gif

Chapter 4


Even for someone who can breathe underwater, waking up in a cold bath is not a pleasant experience. I numbly climbed out of the tub, dried myself off and got dressed. It would be a few minutes before my body warmed up and I got some energy, so I prepared some tea to speed up my morning.

The sky over the city was grey and cold as I left the Boarding House to gather all of the necessary equipment. By the time I’d purchased some new leather armour, some lockpicks, a steel bow and some iron arrows I was thoroughly fed up. Apparently the wealth of the Empire comes from the ridiculous prices of the capital city - most of my money was now gone.

I crossed the bridge leading away from the city just as it began to rain. My armour was waterproofed and I stowed most of my gear in my bag (an enchanted one I’d picked up in Morrowind – impossibly bigger on the inside to allow adventurers to carry more gear easily). The one thing I’ve never missed about Cyrodiil is the rain.

My fellow adventurers were waiting at the centre of the village. It was actually more of a ‘collection of buildings’ than anything else, with a couple of thatched houses and an inn. The entire place smelled like slaughterfish, which was probably the main food source for anyone around Lake Rumare. I’d rather eat my own boots to be quite honest.

“Good morning!” Olorin waved, his beard already beginning to look bedraggled in the rain.

Jtnar and Sjfn greeted me with a smile and a nod, the latter from beneath a large hood (presumably to keep her hair dry). I suddenly realised that I’d completely forgotten to purchase a hood of my own. Not to keep me dry of course but more as a fashion accessory. Not to mention camouflage (my horns and head spines caught the light especially well, kind of like a human with a bald head).

“Everyone ready to go?”

“Yes, here’s a map of Cyrodiil if you don’t already have one. This is our route.” Olorin handed me a cloth map and indicated our route with a wrinkled finger. Everyone huddled closer to keep the rain from ruining the material.

We were to follow the Red Ring Road South and East around Lake Rumare, before turning South on the Green Road to Bravil and Leyawiin. Then it was a short journey from Leyawiin to the ruin. If everything went smoothly we would only need to make camp three times. The first location was an old fort near a village called Pell’s Gate.

It was refreshing to be with people who had planned everything so well – Olorin was quite the leader. Planning was never something I bothered with, mainly due to being lazy and deciding that everything would work out eventually. Fortunately I have since learned my lessons, but that comes later in the story.

We made good time on the road, with no bandits or wildlife to give us trouble. Say what you like about the Empire but the Legion patrols do a good job. I spent most of the journey scouting ahead, marvelling at all the new flora and fauna. Even the weather was on our side and soon the rain stopped and the sun began to shine, the greens and browns of the forest likewise bursting into life.

Every so often I’d backtrack to check on the others. Olorin and Jtnar were following the road while Sjfn was acting as rear guard about half a mile behind. The two men were slower and less agile due to age and heavy armour (you can guess which was which) but Olorin’s calculations were correct and I spotted the village in the distance just before sunset. The village was not our destination however, so I crossed over to the north side of the road to investigate the fort.

To call it a fort would be an overstatement. At one point it might well have been an impressive structure but most of the walls were now just rubble, with only the main structure left standing. The pale grey stone of the large round tower was covered in moss and ivy, glistening from the recent rainfall as the last rays of the sun dipped below the horizon. But even in its ruined state the fort was not abandoned. A lone figure stood guard, barely visible in the shadow of an old doorway.

I dropped to a crouch and edged carefully to a low wall. Bandits? Fellow adventurers? It would be safer to just shoot them now, or avoid the fort altogether, but I wasn’t working alone anymore. I slowly retreated to inform the others.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Bandits, most likely.” Jtnar’s look of distaste was clear, and I had no doubt that he wanted to clear the fort. Olorin remained calm:

“We need to be sure before we just run in. I’ll approach the fort alone to gauge their reaction.”

“Are you mad? What if they attack you?” Sjfn had caught up with us.

“Well then it’ll be a good thing I have two fine young archers to cover me.” Olorin winked at her and gave me a nod.

“Okay. If you’re sure.” It was quite a good plan, even if the two Nords didn’t agree.

We would either find some friendly adventurers and have a peaceful night, or we would find some bandits and be forced to clear them out. It’s not unheard of for such people to live so near a settlement, they could easily resupply there and keep robbing people on the road without moving very far. Fighting them was not what worried me – protecting Olorin was much riskier. If there were more bandits hiding nearby or if they had bows too...

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“Good evening!” Olorin’s voice was friendly as ever when he addressed the lone Redguard sentry. She, however, was not so courteous and began to charge.

The bandit, for that was what she was, wore no proper armour. Just some dark hunting breeches and a dark green shirt. Her weapon was more professional - a large steal warhammer that was polished to a high shine. The weight of it slowed her advance, allowing me plenty of time to attack.

I was crouched behind a fallen tree slightly to the right, my leather armour blending in with the dark bark. I had three arrows stuck in the ground before me (just in case) and one in my hand. I steadied my breath and tightened my grip on my new bow.

Knock. Draw. Loose.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:04 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 Feb 27 2015, 06:24 PM
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I agree with Haa-Rei about archers being the big worry. A mage may have reflect spell, and reflect damage active when he approaches the unknown enemy, but there is no reflect arrows! They also do a lot more damage than melee weapons, at the expense of having a chance to miss.

I was torn between whether Olorin or Jtnar would be the best to make the opening gambit here. Does the one in heavy armour look most threatening, or least likely to over-react? But since the reaction was to attack, we'll find out the real answer next time.



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Acadian
post Feb 27 2015, 08:19 PM
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Ive always liked how you acknowledge Haa-Reis Argonianness in many subtle ways like falling asleep under water, needing some time and warmth to bring his body up to speed, being immune to the poisonous effects of nightshade tea and how his horns reflect the light.

I also enjoy the thought you put into some of the details of adventuring from Haa-Reis magic bag to use of a cloth map (instead of fragile parchment) to noting how his companions had planned out the logisitics of their expedition in good detail.

Ah yes, the old shoot now ask questions later vs declare yourself dilemma when approaching strangers in Tamriel. I see they chose a reasonable but prudent plan.


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Grits
post Mar 1 2015, 02:50 PM
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Yay for Haa-Rei, and yay for Cyrodiil adventures!

I already love the party of adventurers, especially the enchanting Sjfn.

My dreams were full of snow and pine trees. wub.gif

Like Acadian I enjoy Haa-Reis Argonianness, particularly his expressive eyes. Ive always thought that Argonians had beautiful eyes.


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hazmick
post Mar 13 2015, 05:30 PM
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Mouth
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ghastley - yep, need to keep an eye on those those pesky archers. As for the plan, I'm going on the premise that not everyone in Tamriel is an enemy so the friendly old man was more likely to work out. Then it turns out these people actually are enemies. *sigh* such is life.

Acadian - The Argonianness is always something I'm thinking about. Yeah they can breathe water and resist disease and poison in the games but how would that come in handy IRL?
I'm afraid that Haa-Rei probably wouldn't be as prudent if he was alone, so it's nice that he has friends for a change. tongue.gif

Grits - Yay for Grits! Good to have you along. happy.gif And you've picked up on the important-but-hopefully-kind-of-subtle Sjfn references! Hope you continue to enjoy the story.



Chapter 5


I instantly regretted not getting in some practice with my new bow before engaging bandits. My arrow glanced past the Redguard’s shoulder, leaving a thin cut. The wound would be painful, but a Redguard pumped full of adrenaline can shrug these things off.

Before I could fire again the sentry fell, one of Sjfn’s owl-fletched arrows buried deep in her chest. I nodded my thanks and readied another arrow. A cool breeze rustled through the damp trees. The sun had set, but the moon had bathed the area in an eerie white light. More movement in the fort caught my eye.

An archer dressed in huntsman leathers appeared at the top of the central tower, bow drawn, her large eyes fixed on her fallen comrade. She looked pale in the moonlight.

I tried to remain still, hoping that she would turn away and give me a shot. Between her and me was a knee high wall, but she had the height advantage. Fortunately on one side was a taller wall which shielded her from Sjfn and Olorin. It was just her and me.

The Bosmer’s arrow thudded into the fallen tree, a few inches from my head. I guess I’ve been spotted.

I had time before she fired again and made sure to aim properly. Now or never.

Nock. Draw. Loose.

She fell from the tower and landed in the mud below. I let out a shaky breath which I didn’t realise I’d been holding.

Olorin sounded the all clear and dispelled his shield enchantment as we regrouped.

“Good start. Let’s hope there aren’t too many inside.” I nodded my agreement with the mage and followed him into the ruin.

The fort was much bigger than I first thought, with various underground passages disappearing off into the gloom. Olorin cast a couple of spells - what looked to be detect life and something similar.

“There are three sections. Eight Marauders in total.” The Altmer’s eyes seemed to pierce the very stone around us. I found myself wishing I wasn’t so inept at non-conjuration magic.

“I assume you have a plan, old man.” Jtnar was impatient to get started.

“Haa-Rei shall accompany me on this level. You two clear out the lower passages. Report back as soon as you’re done.”

With a final ‘good luck’ from the Nords, we parted ways. I nocked an arrow and started along the hallway, with Olorin following behind.

I wasn’t used to having people with me in these situations and I found myself wincing at every loud step he took. When we neared the first couple of marauders I drop into a crouch and motioned for my companion to stay where he was.

The first marauder proved no trouble, and fell with one of my arrows in her neck. The second was equally unarmoured and unprepared, but his hammer clattered to the ground and echoed through the tunnel, accompanied by a loud (albeit short) scream.

“Xhuth!” I swore loudly and dropped my bow as the third and final marauder dashed round the corner. A large Orc, with green skin so dark it was almost black. Unlike his allies he wore armour, though it had seen better days. I could see several gaps in the iron plates. My bow would be useless at this range.

I drew my sword to meet him, remembering too late that I had no shield. The steel hammer hit me in the side with all the force the Orc could muster. Were it not for my armour’s shield enchantment my ribcage would have been crushed.

Instead I was flung into the tunnel wall, winded but alive. Speed, not strength. The voice in my head sounded like a parent wearily scolding a child.

I got to my feet in time to dodge another hammer swing. And another, and another. Even an Orc of his size would tire eventually. Patience is key. I took any opportunity to jab my sword through the gaps in his armour, the dwarven metal slicing through his tough, green hide with ease. His blood looked almost black in the dimly lit tunnel.

Finally his frustration got the better of him and he brought the hammer down in a mighty overhead swing. I skipped to the side and drove my sword through a gap in his armour, deep into his neck.

A look of surprise washed over his face as he crashed to the ground. I retrieved my sword and used a piece of the Orc’s tunic to clean up. The metallic smell of blood stung my nostrils and I felt my chest tightening. No! Not now. I steadied myself on a wooden tunnel support and reached into the potion bag at my waist.

The medicine was bitter and made my eyes water but it did the job. I shuddered and put the empty vial back in the bag.

I glanced back along the tunnel, double-checking that Olorin was still there.

The old wizard was smiling widely, if he was concerned he didn’t show it;

“Very well done my young friend, very well done. Let’s search the rest of this level and then set up camp, hm?” It was more of a request than an order, his friendly tone was full of encouragement.

It turned out that the bandits were as poor as paupers, which would explain their lack of equipment. We found a small amount of gold and a single health potion. I swigged the potion and felt instantly better, it even healed a cut on my head that I didn’t know I had. Most likely sustained in my dance with the Orsimer.

It wasn’t long before the others re-joined us. Jtnar was covered in blood (none of it his own) whilst Sjfn looked clean and refreshed as if she’d just had a relaxing bath. Their loot was only slightly better than ours.

“Well we came here to clear the ruin, not make money.” Olorin split the profits into four separate bags and handed it out between us all.

“Still, it wouldn’t hurt to have more.” Jtnar’s take looked especially small when he held it in his enormous hand.

“It’s enough for a room and some food at an inn. What more do you need?” Sjfn’s comment was met with an ambiguous grunt by her brother.

She vanished into the tunnel for a moment and returned with an armful of wood. The marauders apparently had a well-stocked log pile.

After Olorin had lit the fire with a handy destruction spell he produced a large pot and various ingredients – including but not limited to; water, a rabbit (dead, skinned), carrots, potatoes, and onions. He had a pack similar to mine, though he apparently had an entire kitchen and pantry in his. Mine was full of books and tea.

Not one to complain though, especially when free food is on offer, I helped prepare some of the vegetables to go with the rabbit. This all went into the pot and produced a rich and delicious broth. The chunks of rabbit meat practically melting into it.

Once we had eaten and cleaned up we set up the sleeping area. I unrolled my sleeping sack a few feet away from the others, who were all set up around the fire. Sjfn would take the first watch, and wake me after a few hours. I’d most likely be awake anyway but for now I was tired and sore.

The adventurer’s life was as satisfying as it was difficult.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:05 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 Mar 13 2015, 07:50 PM
Post #15


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From: Las Vegas



Nice job clearing that bandit fort. Archer vs archer can be a deadly dance, so Im glad Haa-Rei managed to prevail quickly. Even more dangerous is an angry orc with a warhammer eep! Once again, Haa-Rei did well. During the orc fight, I did have visions of his Altmeri mage pal hiding behind a column leaving the fighting to Haa-Rei. Speaking of that mage, very neat how you described his divining magicks from Haa-Reis perspective to learn more of the inside of that fort. And the wizard even has a magic bag like Haa-Rei. Love that our Argonians bag is filled with books and (of course) tea.

Yum, rabbit stew! This little crew does know how to camp!


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ghastley
post Mar 13 2015, 08:20 PM
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I find myself agreeing with Acadian about the passivity of the Altmer. Couldn't he have thrown some kind of spell against the Orc? But then, we don't know what kind of magic he can do, other than detect life.

One nit: My arrow glanced passed past the Redguards shoulder,


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hazmick
post Mar 20 2015, 07:29 PM
Post #17


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From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Acadian - Haa-Rei much prefers it if his companions keep out the way. The last thing he needs is to think about dodging spells from behind. Glad you like the magic bits, I'm always trying to explain game stuff (like inventories, maps, compasses) to make it seem more realistic. Not sure UESP was around back then to help adventurers out biggrin.gif

ghastley - As I said to Acadian, the last thing anyone wants from a companion is to be hit in the back by rogue spells. I'm not even sure Olorin can use many destruction spells now that I think about it tongue.gif Thanks for spotting that pesky error, those nits sure are sneaky smile.gif



Chapter 6


I’d managed to keep the fire going all night while I was on watch duty, but even still the stone fort was freezing cold by the time morning came and the others woke up.

As Olorin and Jtnar prepared breakfast I was half-led, half-dragged outside by Sjfn, my body feeling sluggish from the cold. She walked me over to a low wall and sat me down, vanishing back into the fort. She returned a few moments later with a steaming mug of tea which she pressed into my hand.

I attempted to thank her, but I instead made an odd croaking noise. Apparently my tongue had gone numb from the cold too.

“Have a drink and try again,” The Nord let out a burst of musical laughter, almost sounding like the wildlife which had begun to come to life around us. “I know how hard it is for you Argonians to get moving in the morning.”

I took a sip of tea before I tried again, the warm liquid immediately loosening the knot in my tongue;

“Thank you. So…have you travelled with Argonians before?” I’m usually terrible at small talk, especially when my brain is still asleep, but the words practically fell out of my mouth. There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea if you want to make friends.

“Yeah, it was a few years ago now. Back up in Skyrim. She was a mage friend of Olorin’s so she could use destruction magic to warm herself up, but it was still a struggle sometimes.”

“I can imagine. I visited Solstheim a while ago and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.” I could almost feel the intense cold from the snow. Had it not been for some enchanted gear, I’d most likely have frozen to death as soon as I got off the boat.

“Solstheim? That’s nothing on the northern part of Skyrim. Even the sea freezes up there!” She flashed me a smile and turned to look at Lake Rumare. The fort was only a few feet away from the water. Probably why it’s so darn cold in the underground sections.

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.

The heavy door of the fort creaked open as the others joined us. Jtnar was a better cook than he looked, replacing my empty mug with a plate of sausages and fried egg. I wolfed it down and wandered down to the lake to help wash up.

Once everyone was ready we set off again, this time heading south.

It was a beautiful morning, perfect for a walk. I was acting as rear-guard today so I could take it relatively easy. I found myself stopping every so often to gaze at a waterfall or distant ruins, promising myself to come back this way and explore when I had the chance.

After a few hours I saw the others stop up ahead and jogged to catch up.

“There’s an inn just down here, we’ll stop there for a while. We should make it to Bravil just after nightfall.” Olorin gestured in the general direction of the inn and then Bravil. We weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere so a break would be nice.

The inn in question was named the Faregyl Inn. It looked like something from an old story book, with a thatched roof and pale smoke rising from a stout chimney.

The interior was larger than I thought it would be, with a large common room on the lower floor. A square counter surrounded the fireplace and a Khajiit greeted us from there.

“Well met travellers! Welcome to Faregyl. My name is Abhuki.” Her voice had only the slightest hint of an Elsweyr accent. Her smile was similar to Olorin’s – undoubtedly friendly and sincere, as if our mere appearance brought her unbridled joy.

Olorin moved to the bar to order food and drinks while the rest of us sat down. Besides us there were two other people – a human and another Khajiit. That man introduced himself as Alix Lencolia. The other Khajiit was called S’Jirra.

As we ate the other residents joined us, apparently they don’t get many visitors out here. Olorin and Abhuki were having a conversation about alteration magic, apparently something they were both adept in (other than smiling), while Jtnar and Alix were deeply engrossed in a talk about farming.

I was quite content to sit in silence, slowly but surely devouring a piece of roast lamb as I tried to listen to everyone else’s conversations. It didn’t last long, however, as Sjfn dragged me into her conversation with S’Jirra;

“Well Haa-Rei and I would love to help you out. Wouldn’t we?” We would? The Nord’s red eyebrows were raised in a way that suggested ‘no’ was not a possible answer.

“Help out with what, exactly?” It almost sounded as if I hadn’t been listening to their conversation about potatoes, some of which had apparently been stolen from S’Jirra earlier this morning.

“Can you help me find my lost jumbo potatoes? Please, you must help me find them! My potatoes are like my children!” Her feline eyes were as wide as dinner plates. Ever the hero, I accepted the quest and set off with Sjfn in pursuit of the potato thief. The other half of our party were still engrossed in their respective conversations.

“According to the map there are no settlements, forts or ruins in the direction of our thief’s last location. So it was likely an animal that S’Jirra saw.” I stowed the map in my pack and glanced around. The forest was bright and warm, no signs of any other people. Why would a human steal potatoes anyway? The woods were bursting with edible plants and animals.

“Thanks for helping out by the way. I can shoot pretty well but my hunting skills aren’t that great. You’re more of the ranger type, right?” My fellow potato detective paused to ready her bow.

“Yeah, I was trained to be a Marsh Ranger back home.” I followed Sjfn’s lead and readied my bow. You can never be too careful when hunting for potatoes.

“You’re from Black Marsh?”

“Originally, but I-“ Questions would have to wait. I dropped into a crouch and motioned for Sjfn to do the same.

“What have- Oh” She’d seen it too.

Our potato thief was an ogre.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:05 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 Mar 20 2015, 10:31 PM
Post #18


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From: Las Vegas



Have a drink and try again, The Nord let out a burst of musical laughter, almost sounding like the wildlife which had begun to come to life around us. I know how hard it is for you Argonians to get moving in the morning. - - I love this little passage for how elegantly it reminds of Haa-Reis reptilian nature as well as how taken he is by the red-headed Nordic beauty. happy.gif

What a nice respite and description of the Faregyl Inn and its residents.

Oh noes, not the great jumbo potato caper! ohmy.gif


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ghastley
post Mar 23 2015, 06:31 PM
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OK, nit first - although "half-lead" probably describes the way he feels quite accurately, you probably meant 'half-led" biggrin.gif

So she brought him a nice hot cup of tea? She must be British, old chap. Don't get confused by that name of hers. Historically good archers, they are, so don't worry about the ogre. Mind you, I can't find any record of British archers defeating ogres before, but that's just a detail.




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hazmick
post Mar 27 2015, 03:03 PM
Post #20


Mouth
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Joined: 28-July 10
From: Northern England, Southern Tamriel.



Acadian - If there's one thing Haa-Rei and I enjoy, it's a respite biggrin.gif

ghastley - Tea is universal, my friend. laugh.gif I'm sure I heard something about ogres in my GCSE history lessons. Something about ogres getting stuck in the mud and defeated by Welsh longbows? I forget.



Chapter 7



After being born in Black Marsh, living in Lleyawiin, and adventuring in Morrowind, I’d encountered many weird and wonderful creatures. From mundane creatures like alligators and nix hounds, to magical beings such as atronachs, and everything in between. Ogres are something entirely different.

Ogres are just human enough to be scary, with the added savagery and brutality of a wild beast. It had the basic shape of a man (albeit a particularly large man) with long, muscular arms and legs. The torso was like a huge grey barrel, impossibly large as if it had just swallowed a wheelbarrow whole. The tiny head looked most out of place and primarily served as housing for a huge mouth – full of grotesque teeth which were clearly visible even at this distance.

Sjfn and I were crouched behind a large blackberry bush a few metres away. The wind blew the scent of the ogre straight at us. It reeked of sweat and general uncleanliness.

“There, the bag.” Sjfn’s barely audible whisper pulled my attention to the task at hand.

A large satchel was slung across the ogre’s shoulder. Dark leather to match his sandals and loincloth. The height of fashion for barbarians and beasts alike. More importantly however was the size of it – perfect for carrying several large potatoes.

We both fired at the same time, our arrows hitting the ogre with a light thud. With a growl and a wave of its massive hand the ogre brushed the arrows off as if they were mosquitoes on a hot day. By the Hist, its skin must be centimeters thick!

Sjfn was much faster than me and fired again in the blink of an eye, this time her arrow glanced off of the ogre’s head. The beast was less than pleased, and turned its gaze to meet mine.

It had been a while since I’d been that scared. It was the eyes that terrified me. They were small and beady but held a small degree of intelligence. Enough intelligence to be dangerous, but not enough to use predictable tactics.

Sjfn swore under her breath in Nordic. We needed help.

Raising my hand, I cast the spell. The storm atronach appeared moments later. Thiazzi had gotten me out of more tough situations than I could count.

The floating rocks formed the basic humanoid shape that would allow him to fight. Two massive arms pointed forward, sending an arc of lightning at the ogre. A direct hit left the beast with a large wound on its chest.

Roaring in what could have been pain, anger, or both, the ogre lumbered forward. Thiazzi also moved forward, floating a couple of centimeters off the ground to move faster.

The two proceeded to exchange blows with their large fists. The occasional rumble of thunder from the atronach made the fight seem like something from an old song. Every blow from the ogre was met with a small electrical discharge - it was practically punching itself.

Finally, after several minutes, the fight was over. The ogre staggered back, swaying on its feet, before crashing to the ground. Thiazzi roared triumphantly and turned to me, awaiting my next command.

“Thank you, my friend,” Over the years I’d developed quite the friendship with my atronach. The conversations were rather one-sided but it always made me happy to see him. Atronachs are hugely complex creatures, with thoughts and feelings like any living being. Most of the time Thiazzi seemed happy to just be there.

“Friend?” Sjfn had joined us after making sure the ogre was truly dead.

“Oh, I don’t think you’ve been properly introduced. Thiazzi, meet Sjfn. Sjfn, this is Thiazzi. My most trusted ally and oldest travelling companion.” I’m sure I sounded quite ridiculous, but as always my confidence was boosted tenfold whenever one of my atronachs was around.

Sjfn barely suppressed a giggle (yep, definitely ridiculous) before turning to Thiazzi and greeting him with a nod. The atronach let out a low rumble and likewise nodded. I always imagined that he would be quite eloquent and polite if he could speak.

I raised my hand once again and thanked him a final time as he faded back into Oblivion.

“So that was fun,” my Nord companion grinned as she held up the vanquished ogre’s satchel, “all potatoes accounted for”.

“Excellent. I’m just glad that it’s ogre.” I glanced at her sideways to see how well received my pun was.

She rolled her eyes but the smile never left her face;

“Good grief. You and my brother are going to get along perfectly. C’mon, let’s head back.”

We chatted a bit more on the walk back, mainly about the ogre. I made a mental note to purchase a book on native creatures at the next opportunity. I didn’t relish being in a situation like that again.

The inn was still as quite as ever when we returned. Olorin was dozing in a chair by the fire. Jtnar was still in the same seat as before, still engaged in conversation with Alix. The topic had apparently changed from farming to travelling. Had he even noticed our absence?

S’Jirra approached us as we entered;

“You have them! I can sense they’re with you!” I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little odd, but she looked beyond happy as Sjfn handed over the satchel. “Oh my goodness! You found them! I could kiss you!”

I took a quick step back to avoid her attempt at a hug, leaving Sjfn to be pulled into an embrace.

“That’s not necessary,” she could barely get her words out, the Khajiit’s happiness was practically suffocating her. I made no move to intervene, I’m not a hugger. Or a toucher at all. Or much of a speaker most of the time.

After an uncomfortable amount of time S’Jirra released my fellow potato detective;

“As promised, I owe you a reward for your efforts. I present you with my first batch of Famous Potato Bread! More valuable than gold!” She handed over four loaves of bread, before returning to her room upstairs with her beloved potatoes.

“More valuable than gold?” Sjfn sounded as unimpressed as I felt.

“It does smell good though…and I am quite peckish after our adventure.” My stomach grumbled to prove my point. Slaying monsters is hungry work.

We sat down at the table in the corner, splitting a loaf between us.

The bread was soft and warm, and the potatoes were almost like butter. I glanced at Sjfn to get her reaction;

“By Kynareth, this is delicious!” Sjfn must have noticed the smile in my eyes, bursting into more musical laughter.

S’Jirra was right, this is more valuable than gold.

This post has been edited by hazmick: Jul 9 2016, 01:05 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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