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Renee
post Sep 22 2019, 02:40 AM
Post #41


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From: Ellicott City, Maryland



Aw, you folks make me smile. smile.gif I am glad this is bringing back memories for y'all. Too bad Grits is missing.

Rosa: Yes, the Grey Wizard was my CoC basically. He was based on my very first tabletop character of all: the Blue Wizard, who I rolled long ago in high school (summer of 1983). Back then, I wasn't so creative with names yet. laugh.gif

I wish I could pull a picture of my Grey Wizard character now, but he's entombed in the mess which is Photobucket.

Acadian: Thanks a bunch! You shall see in future chapters how things will unfold. This story is quite a lot of work. Very unlike my Kahreem days, when I would literally just game & write at the same time. Whatever happened back then actually happened, warts and all.

dog: I walked to work one morning, and as I was walking, my mind started going into overdrive. The whole entomological tangent came basically as I was walking past Volvos and Subarus, kempt lawns and suburban houses. I got to work and was hoping I'd remember it all!

scoundrel: Yes, I imagine you especially were surprised, since we write PMs nearly everyday! hehe.gif It's not easy keeping all these secrets from you!

This next chapter was supposed to be all one chapter, but again it'll have to be broken up. Mostly because I have to write a quest surrounding this portion of the story (which I still haven't finished yet).

This post has been edited by Renee: Sep 22 2019, 03:51 AM
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Renee
post Sep 22 2019, 03:32 AM
Post #42


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Chapter VIII: The Imperial City


The blonde-haired elf awoke and rose early, early for her, that was. She yawned. She stretched her legs, and rolled her back.

Over the years, she'd become accustomed to life in Cyrodiil. 'Cyrodiilized,' she jokingly called it. For her, being Cyrodiilized meant several unexpected changes. She'd become more tolerant of the province's cosmopolitan surroundings, for instance. She'd become more social, even made a few friends. She'd broadened her knowledge of magic immensely. But one of the greatest ways she'd changed over the years? She rarely got up before mid-morning, anymore. Mornings were for sleeping in, especially mornings in such quaint and peaceful surroundings.

She put on some clothes: common tans and browns. Bustled outside her small cottage. Grabbed a toadstool from the ground (a summer bolette, her very favorite) and so began her first meal of the day. Bitter, yet slightly buttery. Others might gag, while she only savored.

Many of her ilk had seen fame and fortune. Had retired. Gotten wealthy. Or gotten themselves killed. Though she had survived and seen great riches herself, she was never so content as to settle in her cottage, reading Barenziah books, engaging in endless, insipid conversation. No, this elf was one who preferred to roam. Ever seeking that great next challenge in life. And nowadays, her past Third Era lifestyle was often sought by those who needed her skills, and service.

She grabbed another toadstool from the ground, then unrolled the sheaf of paper she'd been handed the day before.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~



"Hello there!"

"What's going on with you?"

Two voices: one Breton, one Redguard. One male, the second female. To Jayne Goodfall, who'd arrived into The Feed Bag not so long ago, she barely registered these two voices, as she sipped her second taste of Cyrodiilic beer.

"I saw a mudcrab while walking by the water," the Breton said ominously. "Ugly creature!"

"Awful creatures," the Redguard agreed. "But you want to know my opinion?"

"What?"

"Their meat is rather tasty!" the Redguard lady scream-whispered.

"You don't say!"

At this, the Redguard got herself into some sort of coughing fit, while Jayne sat moping at her table.

It had been so long ago, that last joyous night she'd had in this very establishment. It seemed as if all the work she and her research faction had pored over the years might just change the world, in many positive ways. They had toiled so hard. Yet it had all come to naught, because she'd spent that one final night here, in The Feed Bag, instead of with her charges. All their libations and revelry seemed so foolish now, but how could they know what would happen?

So... why did I come here then?

"Because there is still work to be done," she whispered aloud. "And ye must pick yerself up, transform from the ashes. For the good of those many fallible creatures."

And also, coming here was (in its own way) an odd sort of healing. For she was often one who chose to face her fears and demons head-on.

That was how it all started, of course. Her desire to understand Tamriel's many faunas: imps and hounds and other such creatures from the lands had always been good-natured, but often led to her overcoming some sort of fear. Overall, her attitude was of preservation and understanding, not destruction and eradication. For some reason though, it was the goblin tribes of Cyrodiil which captured her attention the most, and goblins could be some of the most fearsome of all.

Everyone saw them as monsters! And perhaps it was because she too originally saw them this way, yet was never too jaded to not be surprised. Never too close-minded to not wonder if long-established norms within her chosen field of study could not be challenged, then overturned. And for awhile, it looked as though the citizens of Cyrodiil might someday all agree with her. Members of the Elder Council had been convinced, after all.

Her thoughts wandered. She ordered a second beer; starting to feel its effects. Which was fine, and fair. Her mind was working, that feeling of abjection was beginning to abate. This was how it all started, long ago.

"What do you want, ashborn?"

"Something on your mind, fur-licker?"

Two voices: one Khajiit, one Dunmer. Both of them males.. Jayne took a sip from her second beer, which was half-gone by now.

"I saw a couple goblins by the lakefront the other day," said the Dunmer, catching Jayne's attention. "I steered clear away from them!"

"Goblins, BLECCH!" the Khajiit burst.

"Awful, disgusting creatures!" It was Delos Fandas, owner of The Feed Bag, who was speaking.

"Filthy creatures! This one hopes to never see another!"

"...string 'em up when we see them!" Delos raised his mug. "Despicable green-skinned menaces, unfit to dwell heartily within our--!"

"How dare you make slight words against them, how DARE YOU!" Jayne exploded, knocking miscellaneous things from her table. "They are sensitive and amicable beings! Sensitive and amicable! ... Much less intrusive than the rogues and roustabouts who have forever hunted them in their very homes!" She was yelling, unable to withhold. "How would it be if one of THEM raided into yer home, eh? Yet they'd never consider the thought." Jayne glared all around. "And ye shall see ... ALL OF YE shall see! ... All of ye here, and now, shall see what 'tis the future! ... Awful, filthy, disgusting creatures are ya all! ... ALL of ye here!"

She smashed her beer against the counter. She was not in control, and knew it. Faces were aghast and glowering, it was time to go. As she rushed out The Feed Bag, she tried to slam its door. But it was made of heavy oak, like many city doors, and she could only thud it heavily shut with that usual, dull clunk.

She was angry, but she also felt good. It was good to be angry! Being angry was certainly better than being forlorn, that was for sure. As Jayne Goodfall stalked off into the night, eventually her ire cooled. She began to wonder if anybody here in the city might just remember who she was. Would she be able to locate any of her previous mates? Most importantly, what had become of her research organization? Was any of it even still intact?

"Tomorrow. I always have tomorrow," she muttered.

This post has been edited by Renee: Sep 22 2019, 03:48 AM
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Lopov
post Sep 22 2019, 06:16 PM
Post #43


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Is that Lady Saga you're writing about in the beginning?

Uh oh, looks like Jayne got seriously pissed off. I doubt it that she has something "nice" in store for residents of the Imperial City.

I like it how she tried to slam the door, but couldn't.


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"I saw a politician the other day."
"Horrible creatures - I avoid them whenever I can."
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Acadian
post Sep 22 2019, 06:39 PM
Post #44


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Yes, who is the mysterious mushroom-eating elf in the opening? I wonder if she will cross paths with Jayne.

Well. We know how to get Jayne fired up now. Insult mudcrabs? No problem. Insult goblins? Them's fightin' words! tongue.gif


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SubRosa
post Sep 23 2019, 07:16 PM
Post #45


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Is that blond elf with the summer bolette Lady Saga I wonder?

Jayne is facing her daedra by returning to the Feed Bag. That takes a lot of grit. Good on her!

Don't hold back Jayne, tell us how you really feel! laugh.gif I loved her near Mad Scientist rant. It reminded me of Bela Lugosi in Bride of the Atom.

Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen goblins which will conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Well, there is always tomorrow to conquer the world.


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Renee
post Sep 29 2019, 03:02 AM
Post #46


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Yes Lopov, Acadian, and SubRosa, that is Lady Saga in the beginning. smile.gif

I apologize for Jayne's behavior in that chapter, she was getting drunk and has been under a lot of stress.

Ha, that Bela Lugosi rant is awesome! I like it! That entire rant was stream-of-consciousness for me (as the writer). Sort of like automatic writing without the spiritual connotation. I just tap into what my toon would like to say. Sometimes it does surprise even myself.

Well let's see where this all goes next. Hmm. The Imperial City stuff is getting more expansive than expected. I might have to break it up again. Because I don't want to task myself just yet, plus I know everyone's busy.

cake.gif

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

Chapter IX: The Beggar

IPB Image


"Excuse me kind lady. Are ya Jayne Goodfall?" asked the old woman with the cracked voice as she plucked at Jayne's shoulder.

"Why yes, yes I am," Jayne answered, rather surprised. She closed the book she'd been poring through. "What can I do for you?"

After waking up to embarrassed thoughts about the night before, Jayne spent the day walking slowly through Imperial City's Market District, marveling at all the changes it had gone through. Gigantic multi-colored banners hung proudly from walls and columns. Barrels and crates were placed all over the plazas, probably due to an overstock of goods. A bathhouse and a bank had been added to the district's northern end.

But the most significant change were its people, confidently strutting about, engaging in light-hearted conversation on this sunny day. This final fact alone made the most difference to Jayne. Not that there were people in the market's courtyards, but that there were more of them. Some, she recognized, but most of them she didn't.

Jayne walked from shop to shop, seeking familiar faces, and was happy to see there were still plenty of them. Jensine of Jensine's "Good as New" Merchandise had maintained her shop. Jensine's main competition Thoronir was also happily in business. Wherever she went though, she wasn't being recognized. Which was maybe a good thing. She got a "Hello again" from Claudette Perrick of The Gilded Carafe, as though Claudette knew Jayne from all the times Jayne had come to buy herbs and mushrooms for one of her expeditions. This was all.

Jayne then sauntered into her favorite shop of all: First Edition Books. It was here that she was interrupted from a quick read of Goids and Worship.

"Might we go outside?" the woman, a beggar, asked of Jayne. The woman/beggar then nodded over toward Phintias, who was glaring. "Ah don't think he likes my kind," she whispered.

Jayne nodded. Carefully put the book back on its shelf, and both women left the shop.

"I remember you, though not your name," Jayne started once they were both back under glorious sunshine.

"I am Simplicia, they call me 'the Slow,' and I remember ya too! Saw ya walk on by in the market earlier. Might ye 'ave a moment of time to spare?"

"Well surely," answered Jayne. Now that she was back safely in the city, it seemed she might have all the time in the world, until her money ran out, of course. "My, the city has changed,"

"Yep. And I'm still livin' here, as ya can see. They 'aven't kicked me out yet, anyhow!" Simplicia cackled. "What are ya keepin' up to these days? 'eard about yer terrible tragic fleeing of the city some years ago, ya know."

"You .... you remember those days?" Jayne asked cautiously. "Yes. Well I had to flee. The Oblivion Crisis was all over, and folks were saying we'd all be under siege pretty soon. I panicked," Jayne said, knowing it was not exactly telling the whole truth. "I fled to Morrowind. I had no choice."

Jayne started to say something else, but then stopped. Where was the beggar going with her inquiry, here?

"Oh how awful! ... So ya lived in Morrowind all those years? ... Yes I had been wondering might 'ave happened to ya."

"Did you, now?" Again, Jayne being cautious. Unsure. A well-dressed man walked by Simplicia and Jayne, keeping his distance, probably glad he wasn't about to get hit up for 'a single coin,' since the beggar was engaged in discussion.

"There was such a stir about the 'ole goblin thing. Oh yes, I know who ya are. Jayne Goodfall, the Goblin Lady, oh yep I do know."

Jayne did not answer. Instead, she glanced around with slight worry, wondering if anyone was eavesdropping. Again, where was Simplicia going with this? Was Jayne about to get accused publicly for the mayhem she'd caused?

"It is so good of ya to 'ave returned," Simplicia answered with a genuine smile, erasing any doubts then and there. "Most people 'ere might have forgotten all about that night. That day. Not I. I was 'ere, like I am usually. I saw some of what 'appened, how those goblins and guards rampaged the district!"

"Yes," Jayne replied sadly. "I ... I do not know what to say about that. There were many things and events at the time which I surely wish I could change. You understand?"

Simplicia nodded. "I do. We all 'ave our moments. Even magic cannot cure them, eh?"

"Yes. Yes," Jayne shook her head slowly. "Uh, listen. While I have you here, might you have any idea why I haven't been arrested? For I left the city with a definite bounty upon my head."

"Oh, well I suppose ya'd have ta inquire over in the Prison District, per'aps. Or if ya fear goin' there, and rightfully so, I hear the Office of Imperial Commerce keeps records on all that. Usually folks go there if they've got themselves a complaint, a'course, but ye haven't no complaint then, have ye? Vinicia might then be happy to assist."

"I see. Thank you, Simplicia. Well, you say you were here on that fateful night. What exactly did you see?"

"Bruises and mayhem, that's what! It was all a flurry. From what I know, yes there was a death because of it all, one of the merchant's lackey's, I recall. But who's to say whether it wasn't some guard who'd caused that death by accident? ... Ye know? ... Who is to say?"

"I appreciate all your help, Simplicia. Uh, have a coin. I haven't much to spare, unfortunately."

"Thank ye kind lady!" the beggar's face lit up.

Jayne looked around the market again, nervously. Their conversation had been long, and (again) she feared maybe somebody had listened to it. But no one was even paying attention.

Their talk then turned to other things: Simplicia told Jayne she hadn't a clue what happened to her former office, but she was certain at least one of her former workmates was still in the city. "I know fer sure a fellow, a Bosmer, by the name of ... err .. Ignatiq? Is that 'is name? ... is still around. And might be the one in charge of yer former organization, even."

"Ignytiq?" Jayne's said in horror. "He's in charge?"

"As far as I know, he surely's still here. Can't say fer sure though whether he's as capable as you were... err... are. Ye might try looking for him over at the White Gold Tower itself. Or per'aps the Talos Plaza District. Seems to 'ave quite a liking for the Tiber Septim Hotel."

"I see. Well thank you." Jayne Goodfall said, sounding not very pleased.

"One more thing. 'ave a look down at the Waterfront, Jayne Goodfall. Ya might be surprised; there's a real live goblin living down there, amongst all the peoples!"

"You don't say!" Jayne smiled, and that smile felt good. "A ... goblin living down there? Why, this is good news! Really good news indeed!"

"Blessings of Anu upon ye!"

The day's light was fading. As a Black Horse Courier cryer began hawking at Jayne to take one of his free publications, Simplicia the Slow wandered off, to wherever she wandered off to when the day's light began to fade.

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

Simplicia the not-so-Slow

Stealing a horse -- (this happened after meeting the guard a couple chapters ago. Take that you smug road patrol).

She apparently got away with it

There is a goblin who lives on the Waterfront peacefully with all the riffraff down there. This goblin gets added by the Better Cities conglomeration. Unfortunately he was nowhere to be seen during this session, so no pic.

This post has been edited by Renee: Sep 29 2019, 03:43 AM
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Lopov
post Sep 29 2019, 06:52 PM
Post #47


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Neat story. I like it how you still continue to unfold events from Jayne's past, this time told from wise Simplicia the Slow.

I have a feeling that Ignatiq will play a rather important role in what's to come.


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"Horrible creatures - I avoid them whenever I can."
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SubRosa
post Sep 29 2019, 07:06 PM
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Ignite It is in charge? That does not sound good at all...

Jayne is definitely taking after Khareem with all these stolen horses.



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Acadian
post Sep 29 2019, 07:18 PM
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Like Lopov, I'm enjoying watching this story unfold. smile.gif

It was wonderful that you included Simplicia here to catch Jayne up on things in the IC - who better to know than a beggar? Simplicia played a small but important role very early in Buffy's fiction, and played a much larger, enduring role throughout Teresa's wonderful fiction by SubRosa.


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treydog
post Sep 30 2019, 11:46 AM
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Mysterious late-sleeping elves.... Alarm bells are ringing already.

The mudcrab conversation had me snorting my morning tea.

Indeed, Simplicia is far from slow. It is amazing how much one can pick up when they are “part of the scenery” or, as is the case with the beggar, people pretend to not see her at all.

Another excellent addition to this intriguing story.


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The dreams down here aren't broken, nah, they're walkin' with a limp...

The best-dressed newt in Mournhold.
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Renee
post Oct 6 2019, 04:21 PM
Post #51


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From: Ellicott City, Maryland



QUOTE(Lopov @ Sep 29 2019, 01:52 PM) *

I like it how you still continue to unfold events from Jayne's past, this time told from wise Simplicia the Slow.


Thank you my friend. Hope you had a good bday. cake.gif This story is getting longer than I thought, mostly due to dialog. It's looking like my birthday perhaps, not yours, that it'll near conclusion!


QUOTE(SubRosa @ Sep 29 2019, 02:06 PM) *

Jayne is definitely taking after Khareem with all these stolen horses.

Hee hee yeah. So tempting. She was following the patrol for awhile, for safety's sake. The patrol rushes off at some point to deal with some baddies. The horse is free. Next thing we know.... emot-ninja1.gif

QUOTE(Acadian @ Sep 29 2019, 02:18 PM) *

It was wonderful that you included Simplicia here to catch Jayne up on things in the IC - who better to know than a beggar? Simplicia played a small but important role very early in Buffy's fiction, and played a much larger, enduring role throughout Teresa's wonderful fiction by SubRosa.

Yes, I remember Simplicia and Teresa had quite a bond. smile.gif Good to know she also played a part in Buffy's tale as well.

QUOTE(treydog @ Sep 30 2019, 06:46 AM) *

Indeed, Simplicia is far from slow. It is amazing how much one can pick up when they are “part of the scenery” or, as is the case with the beggar, people pretend to not see her at all.


Yes! I just figure she'd probably be outside late at night. Maybe she stayed into the Market well after her bedtime, for whatever reason.

Thanks all. I am a little hungover this morning, yet I just managed to write the next chapter, somehow. cake.gif

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Renee
post Oct 6 2019, 05:02 PM
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Where we left off: Jayne spoke to Simplicia the Slow. Simplicia was able to inform Jayne that she can find out more about her past crime charges by speaking to Vinicia of the Imperial Office. Simplicia also informed that (as far as she knows) there is only one remaining member of Jayne's former team left in the Imperial City.

Or, here's the in-game quest update.


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



Chapter X: Sussing Things Out


"If you've got a complaint, you've come to the right place. It's what I do. Listen to complaints. All ... day."

The afternoon had remained fair. Late-summer weather at its finest. Glorious sunlight was accelerating toward evening as Jayne entered the Office of Imperial Commerce. Jayne remembered Vinicia Melissaeia from long ago, when perhaps she did have a complaint.

"Ehm, my name is Jayne Goodfall, that's G-O-O-D-F-A-L-L. Ehm, I do not have a complaint. I understand nowadays you keep record of past crimes incurred, and I am curious if you have anything regarding my name?"

Vinicia explained that yes, her office did keep track of past crimes nowadays, but only for those criminals who had been pardoned. Jayne was expecting Vinicia to go bustling off into some back office perhaps, where she'd then look up any pertinent documents. The process would take some time, after which the office lady would come back harried, and in a fouler mood than usual. But to Jayne's surprise, all Vinicia had to do was tap a small cube upon her desk, then speak the names 'Goodfall, Jayne.' She dove under her counter, and then stood up holding some sort of magical, metallic tablet. After a few awkward moments, a message apparently printed onto this tablet. Vinicia then recited the message.*

"Turns out, some time during the aftermath of the Oblivion Crisis, a fair number of statutes were reviewed, amended, revised, and so on. Most criminals were deemed wretched scum! Rotting away in their cells, and we'd hope to NEVER see them returned!" she said, with real venom in her voice. But then her face, and tone, softened. "You, on the other hand..." the office lady tapped her tablet, and blinked. "Well, you were one of a handful which were looked up, then deemed unnecessarily unlawful."

"My, well this is good news." Jayne tried to keep her face neutral; would not allow herself to smile.

"For awhile, your bounty was high. Over 5,000. But this was dropped to a mere hundred as the Elder Council shifted seats, for a mere resistance charge. But then after the Fourth Era was conceived, even this charge was dropped. Seems you might have some friends in high places," she said with a wink.

"I .. err... I see. Well no. I mean yes. I must have some friends in high places. Well I thank thee, I suppose."

"Is that all?" Melissaeia asked abruptly, sliding her magical device away. "Any other questions? I must get back to all the usual complaints which have been filed."

Officially relieved, Jayne had nothing more to say. She nodded, then left Vinicia to her supposed tasks.


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


The wind had picked up at some point, as the day's slumber was about to occur. All around, light had changed from a brilliant gold, to rosier in color. Late summer weather at its finest. Jayne made her way from the Market District to Talos Plaza. Inside the Tiber Septim Hotel was the elf she'd wanted to find.

Draynas Pertrucio, also known as 'Ignytiq' for reasons Jayne had long forgotten, was standing right there, in the center. "Juh...Juh.... Jayne??? ... Jayne Goodfall? Is it really you standing before me?"

"Yes, it is me," Jayne answered. Quickly, she observed Ignytiq's decor: a finely-tailored blouse and trouser set whcih could easily have cost over a hundred gold. His shoes were also of the type frequently worn by nobles. "Looks as though you've done well for yourself," she said with a smile. Inside, however, she was definitely not smiling.

"Oh how delightful!" the elf answered with a smile of his own. He took a sip of mead. "I'd been wondering.... we'd been wondering what happened to you?" he said awkwardly. "Things got worrisome you see, quite so, for quite a while after you left."

"Yes, well, 'tis a long story. If you care to hear it."

"I... I thought you were dead!" he explained. "We all did! So yes, I do certainly care to hear it."

Over the next two hours, she told her tale, allowing Ignytiq to buy her a beer, but only one. Her coin had almost run out, after all, and she was not about to splurge. The Bosmer was genuinely shocked, as Jayne revealed her past. She told it all in great detail, and surprised herself that she did so in a rather cold manner. As though she were now speaking of someone else.

But she could not get her head past Ignytiq's attire: A finely-tailored blouse and trouser set which could easily have cost over a hundred gold. Back in the days of the Third Era, none of them would allow themselves to appear in such a garish way. They were employees of the State, for Akatosh's sake!

"What of our bureau, Ignytiq?" she finally asked. "I want to know what has happened to our illustrious department here?"

"Yes, it still exists. Simplicia told you right. However, the actual grouping has been whittled down to just one."

"Oh? It has?"

"Yes that's right. I am the only one left. I am the only one who's been left in charge of the entire Imperial Inquest Field Office, as it is now termed."

"But..." Jayne started, fighting her emotions, really glad she'd only had one beer. "But as I knew you back in the days, you were purely an academic." Her voice took on a haughty tone. She did not particularly like this tone, but there was nothing she could do about it. The man before her, who had once spilled a jar full of flying, stinging gnats he'd been so careless and uncomfortable around wildlife (causing the entire room to require magical extermination), was now stomping around in clothes fit for a gentleman. "And as I can see from your manner of dressing, and your skin tone, it's obviously been some time since you have even been outside the city. Am I right?"

"Hey, don't you judge me, Jayne!" the Bosmer snapped. "I do plenty of research in the field! In the muck and the mire and...and roaming around on horseback and..."

It was Jayne's raised eyebrows which perhaps stopped this lie right in its tracks.

"Drats. Yes, you are right. I am solely one for the books, just as I was in your time. But it's not my fault Jayne, it is NOT! ... They merely stripped down our entire posse, sent them off to other provinces. Some of them merely left, and found other work outside, in other counties. Until I was left. Only me! ... It all came down to the Elder Council itself, I had nothing to do with it!"

He was getting loud, his voice beginning to carry. Unlike Jayne, Ignytiq had already a couple meads by now, maybe more. Though not blatantly intoxicated, he was losing his temper, his drink now having its say. Which in her opinion, was a good thing. She could certainly relate.

"Easy, my friend. Calm down," she grabbed his wrist. "Easy there. I realize there are circumstances which are beyond yer control, Draynas. And truth be told, I certainly blame myself most of all."

The elf seemed not appeased though, at Jayne's consoling, or otherwise. He was angry. His face was all scrunched up with ire.

"Listen. Maybe we can begin anew. Maybe, you know, once I have announced my official return to the Elder Council, changes can be made, and things can then--"

But the elf wasn't hearing any of this. "Begin anew? ... You mean, the entire research team, built back up again, from where we left off? .... Oh no, no, no, I am afraid not. You don't know of the edict which was presented down from Chancellor Ocato himself. HE disbanded the entire inquest team, except for me. All the funds, the backings, the requests for exploration, all of that was canned."

"All of that was canned," she repeated. Why am I not surprised?

"I'm sorry to say, but they won't have you back. Of this, I am sure. Even if your criminal proceedings have been overturned, your name is like poison amongst the council, now."

Jayne pouted, taking this news in. But what were my expectations? What, exactly? She could not really think clearly now. Middle-aged and coinless. So poor, she'd have to sleep outside again. For she was not going to ask this elf, now pompous-looking and now so well-to-do, if she could stay in his place. "Yes, but maybe..."

"No Jayne. There is no 'maybe.'" He took a moment, finishing his mead. "Go speak to any of them tomorrow once council has convened, and you shall see. Your name is like poison now. Nothing can be done about this." He then furrowed his brow, seeming lost in thought for a moment.

Jayne glared. Not at Ignytiq, but at all the Tiber Septim patrons who were blabbing carelessly about this and that. Whose lives hadn't been ruined by their own (very large) careless mistake.

"I have an idea," the Bosmer said after a few moments' thought, tapping the table he was now sitting upon. "Yes. Perhaps I can arrange something for you here."

Jayne's gaze turned back toward her former workmate. Long ago, it was her who was constantly arranging things for him. Bookish things, of course.

"Meet me in Luther Broad's Boarding House at midnight. Yes, I think I can arrange something special for you indeed! And do not tell anyone. This shall be our own little secret."

Jayne couldn't answer verbally at first, so instead she nodded. "Luther Broad's Boarding House. Sure, I can do that. But what have you in mind?"

"No, I cannot say that here," he was now whispering. "THEY might be listening, you know. But here, take this gold," Ignytiq furthered, handing Jayne some coin. "It's a little something for you. You can use it to stay at Luther Broad's if you like. Looks as though you are indeed doomed to fall into a nice, warm bed, eh?"

"Thank you."

"Do not forget our date though, and don't oversleep. Luther Broad's at midnight," he said, still whispering. He then rose, tipped her a wink, and stalked off.

Jayne watched him go, wondering if it wasn't too late to order that second beer.


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

Meeting with Vinicia (my character's face looks really nice in that soft candle light)

Lovely Market Scene

"But it's not my fault, Jayne. It's NOT!!!"


* I've been watching too much Black Mirror lately.

This post has been edited by Renee: Oct 7 2019, 03:41 PM
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Acadian
post Oct 6 2019, 10:15 PM
Post #53


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I love how Vinicia has modernized her bookkeeping. It is the Fourth Era, after all! laugh.gif

And a nice resolution to Jayne's criminality concerns. Whew!

An interesting meeting with Iggy. So the Council is holding their goblin-grudge against Jayne. Hmm, I wonder what sort of proposal the elf has for her at midnight?

Gosh you are very right about that meeting with Vinicia screenshot – Jayne really looks lovely there! happy.gif


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Renee
post Oct 7 2019, 03:27 PM
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Meh... so many mistakes! I was hungover though! laugh.gif

I think I got 'em all now. I hope. Enjoy.
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SubRosa
post Oct 7 2019, 04:32 PM
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It sounds like Vinicia Melissaeia works the service desk for the Empire...

Vincia has a cool magical computer for looking up cases.

I wonder who her friends in high places might be? Apparently they are not on the Elder Council though, according to Ignite It.

He wants to meet at Luther Broad's at midnight? That does not sound sketchy at all!


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Lopov
post Oct 7 2019, 10:20 PM
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Jayne can now sleep in peace, knowing that she won't need to rot in the Imperial prison. She won't be labeled as a criminal scum either.

Meeting an old acquaintance and seeing him clad in fine clothes obviously made Jayne angry.

There's quite a lot of anger in this old lady, I wonder, where this will lead.

She looks great by candlelight and I like the market scene, as she's passing the very same inn, where she's going to go soon.


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"I saw a politician the other day."
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Renee
post Oct 13 2019, 01:13 AM
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Acadian -- I've been watching too much Black Mirror. emot-ninja1.gif This is a show on Netflix, every episode features a different cast, different plots. They're very well done. Mostly themed with the latest tech, or ideas which could become true in the future. And so if they have magic in Cyrodiil .... bluewizardsmile.gif

SubRosa: Sketchy! emot-ninja1.gif Interesting word.

Lopov: Just imagine losing your job, and then some guy you used to work with who you know is not qualified now holds that position. mad.gif

This post has been edited by Renee: Oct 14 2019, 12:57 PM
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Renee
post Oct 13 2019, 08:04 PM
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Hello. So, I keep thinking of more stuff I want to add to this story, which is causing me some stress, because I really wanted to get it done before Halloween / my birthday. The Imperial City stuff was only supposed to be two chapters, for instance.

So what I am going to do is divide the entire story into two parts. So there'll be two books. Book one is what is being written now. That'll get done by the end of October (assuming no breaks). Then maybe I'll take a long break. I'll write the second book some time in 2020. smile.gif

Book one's ending is going to be fabulous, I feel.

Those who are pressed for time can skip the dream sequence below. smile.gif I kept going back and forth, whether I should add that or not. It has nothing to do with the story's progression.

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

Chapter XI: The Plan


IPB Image

Middas, 1:55 am

Jayne left the Tiber Septim Hotel, then rented a room in Luther Broad's, just as Ignytiq had recommended. Ten gold out of the fifty the Bosmer had given her. Since she'd started the evening with just ten, this left her with exactly fifty.

She had every intention of following his advice further. Don't oversleep. But once actually in her rented room, a room with four actual walls made of stone and mortar, an actual ceiling, and a sturdy oak door to close safely behind her, a room in which the dirtiest thing was a mere spoof of dust inhabiting one far corner, well, she simply could not resist at least a nap. Over the past few years, it'd been nothing but bedrolls and hammocks if she were lucky.. More often, she'd wind up sleeping on the ground itself.

She sat upon the room's bed, a single bed fit for one person. Its pillow case made of some material she hadn't laid her head upon in years: silk. Encased within this pillow were plenty of feathers. She could feel them all in there, bundled just for her comfort. Blankets and sheets to cuddle within. She spent a few moments wresting those sheets into a suitable shape for her body.

"Just a nap" she said aloud.

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



The skies were red and black, twisting high above with storm. Lightning bolts relayed across the platitudes, answered by the recoil of frequent thunder. Jayne Goodfall was somewhere within the Imperial City's Green Emperor Way, afraid for her life. Afraid, but at least not alone. There were several others about, as the frightening storm commenced. Most were running in fear. As she looked upward, she could see White Gold Tower there, in the center. And to her left, the sound of its main doors, opening.

There she is! ... She can help us! said a blue-robed man with dark eyes, and dark hair. Juh-Juh- Jayne Goodfall? Come with us NOW.

Though the man was commanding, and the soldiers around him formidable, Jayne felt only relief that she was being recognized, and sought.
Of course, how can I assist? I shall do as I can, she answered.

The group roamed quickly through Green Emperor Way, rushing past stones and mausoleums, finally passing through a large door which led to the city's Temple District. Jayne looked around in fascination and fear, as the blue-robed man suddenly morphed into a very large creature, a dragon in fact, then facing what she knew was Mehrunes Dagon himself! The soldiers began doing all they possibly could to help the blue-robed man-turned-dragon, shooting silver arrows, swinging silver swords, but their input was of little help.

Jayne! Martin is failing! somebody called out. Martin is failing! We need your help!

MY help? she shouted.

Call your goblins! Call them NOW! We need them here, NOW!

By mere thought, the plaza was quickly filled with dozens of the green-skinned humanoid creatures, zipping this way, and that. Beside her, the temple began to crumble as Mehrunes spotted Jayne, then began pounding upon its walls! Jayne stood steadfastedly, though. But..... the goblins weren't attacking Mehrunes! NO! They were going for the soldiers themselves! Dozens of ancillary fights broke out, axes, blades, and staves swinging! Arrows and varieties of spells zipping this way and that! Up above, the tall man who'd become a dragon was now on his knees, struggling on the other side of the district, knocking over an entire house as he stumbled.

BREAK THEM UP!!! somebody called. BREAK THEM UP!!! BREAK THEM UP!!!


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



Middas, 2:55 am

"Wake up Jayne, Wake UP!"

"Uuuh... Uhn!" she flailed. Nearly flung her pillow at the shape before her, "Oh. Draynas! My goodness! My apologies!" She sat up quickly, embarrassed.

"Hee hee, oh Jayne, if you could see your face right now!" It was Ignytiq standing before her, with a wooden box in his hands. "I told you not to oversleep! Been waiting downstairs now for over an hour, before I'd gained the foresight to ask Luther if someone matching your description showed up earlier, then rented a room."

"My," Jayne's embarrassment continued. "Such a potent dream." She clawed for the water she'd left on the room's nightstand. Took a sip. Congratulated herself silently for not buying any beer.

"Well, listen," Ignytiq said, speaking quietly. "I have several ideas which can help you, so listen close."

"Yes, surely I am listening." She had a seat upon the comfortable bed, her newest friend in all the world of Tamriel.

He was smiling. "I think I've found a way to get you back into White Gold Tower, and ultimately back into your position as head of the Inquest Team."

"You... you have?"

"Yes. Well, this will take some time, Jayne. Keep this in mind. It will take some time. Now, first step. You might be surprised to learn this, but over all these years, your precious tome of research notes has survived. Still within White Gold Tower, still within your old quarters."

Jayne smiled. "You kept my tome!"

"Yes. Of course I have!" he spoke a little louder. "You deserve all due respect for all your service to the Empire, after all. And as I said, they are safely within what used to be your office."

"Well, how lovely." Jayne was grinning now. "I cannot wait to repossess those. So, what of this plan, then?"

The elf fidgeted open the wooden box he'd brought in. "Now, in this box I have brought several items: Three keys, and some special garb for you to wear. My idea is thus: you are going to go into White Gold Tower, where you can return to your office. Your research notes are there, as well as a few documents you can sign.."

"Documents to sign? .... What sort of documents?"

"The genius of my plan comes now. I cannot just have you brought back into the city itself, back into White Gold Tower, and back amongst the Elder Council. As I said previously, this is something which cannot be done. However, what I can do is locate you into another town. Whichever town you'd like, be it Chorrol or Cheydinhal. Your choice. But my suggestion is Weye. Since the conclusion of the Oblivion Crisis, Weye, just outside of the city itself, has seen a surprising array of development."

"You would locate me in Weye. But why? I do not understand."

"I need you Jayne!" the elf suddenly burst, a little too loudly perhaps, for he then hushed his voice. "I need your direction and influence! You don't know what it's like! All day long, I manage inquests for research, yes, but it's all books! All I deal with are books.. I haven't got any real-world experience to draw from!"

Jayne nodded. Thought a moment.

"It would be as though you'd be back within your old position, but in a rather silent manner. At least for awhile. The council would not know it was you. They'd only know of my request for inquest expansion, which is where those documents come in. We could build back to where we were, day by day. Especially if you were in Weye, which is not too far to travel. Do you see?"

Jayne nodded again. She was liking this plan, seeing where he was going with it. "Yer saying you'd have me continue on just outside of the city, eh?"

"Yes, for awhile, at least. We'd be partners, you and I. Under payment and employment of the city, itself, if I can pull this off. And nobody within the council would know."

"I see. But why have me forge some documents within the tower? Why not just bring them to me in the morning?"

"Oh, I couldn't do that! We're after-hours right now," he explained. "And I cannot be seen mucking about within the Council chambers too much. Keep in mind, it will take at least a day before I can even find a moment to slip in and out of the chambers, unseen, once those documents have been signed. My request will be official you see, but I am not waiting for any sort official answer. I am merely going to prepare the proper documents, then shove them into the desk of the proper council member. It would be as though a vote had commenced at some time, and this vote was mostly 'Ayes'. There will be no actual vote however, but nowadays the council has become so scattered and flummoxed, the proper official I mentioned won't have time to gather this notion."

"Sure. But you are saying I can somehow just walk into White Gold Tower, where you've cautioned me about visibility, sign these documents, grab my research tome, and you'd basically handle the rest?"

"Exactly. Brilliant, isn't it?"

Jayne looked doubtful. "Well, I suppose." She moved her hands in silent thought, from one side of her lap to the other, weighing an unspoken decision "Well. Well, what have I got to lose, eh?"

He was handing her three keys. "Now, these will get you into the tower itself, and obviously, one of them fits what used to be your office," he gave her the keys, then handed her the clothes. "What I have here are a robe and hood set. They will disguise you, especially if you go in at night. Everyone will simply assume you are part of the Religious Council subset. It's a new faction of monks and scribes, allowed to roam freely within the tower. But especially at night."

Jayne pocketed the keys, then took the clothes. Donned her head within the hood. Looked around.

"Do not succeed in getting caught," Ignytiq warned. "Keep to yourself. Do not speak to anyone. Nobody will question you then."

"Do ya assume I'm that daft?" She narrowed her eyes. "Of course I shall keep to myself."

"May the Aedra of the sky speed you along!" He lifted his box, then motioned for her to follow him.

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

Jayne's frightening dream

Ignityq's Plan

This post has been edited by Renee: Oct 14 2019, 01:16 PM
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Lopov
post Oct 14 2019, 11:55 AM
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I love the dream sequence, very-well written. I wouldn't recommend anyone to skip it.

I have a feeling that Ignytiq is up to no good...


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"I saw a politician the other day."
"Horrible creatures - I avoid them whenever I can."
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SubRosa
post Oct 14 2019, 01:07 PM
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Sketchy is a trendy term these days, meaning anything that looks less than legal.


Renee's storytelling is gone out of control! laugh.gif Seriously, write as much as feels right.

After reading about Jayne's comfy bed and feather pillow, I am ready to go back to sleep!

That was quite a nightmare. Jayne's hopes turned to horror as her goblins became the enemy.

This Igniter guy is definitely suspicious.


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