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> Interregnum, 854 of the Second Era
Destri Melarg
post Mar 22 2010, 09:32 PM
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From: Rihad, Hammerfell



To the Reader


This story takes place over the course of one year, 854 of the Second Era. It details the end of interregnum and the founding of the Septim line of Emperors. Inspiration for this story is drawn from two sources. The first is a one line entry in the timeline for the Second Era:


2E 854 - The Emperor was assassinated by a High Rock nightblade who also burned the Imperial Palace to the ground and attempted to kill General Talos.

I have come to believe that history is merely the propaganda of the winning side. This entry tells you what happened, but it doesn’t tell you how or why it happened. I have attempted to address those questions in this story.

For the second source of inspiration I express no embarrassment in saying that the form is blatantly lifted from my favorite of the in-game books, Carlovac Townway’s remarkable
2920: The Last Year of the First Era

Some of the characters you will encounter in this story have been lifted from the in-game books. Others are the product of the author’s imagination. I do not claim to have mastered the lore so if I stray too far from it, please don’t hesitate to call me on it. That said, there are a few ‘liberties’ that I have taken in this story which I feel I must draw to your attention:

- Tamriel is a much larger place than the game world. A day’s journey in game takes a week (weather and terrain permitting) in the story.
- Cities are larger and far more populated than they are in the game.

My deepest gratitude goes out to RemkoNL, mALX, Acadian, hauteecole rider, Winter Wolf, SubRosa, and treydog for their steadfast support of this story. Without you I doubt that it would exist.

As always any comments, criticisms, or suggestions are most welcome.



* * *



Table of Contents


Book One: Morning Star
Book Two: Sun's Dawn
Book Three: First Seed

This post has been edited by Destri Melarg: Aug 14 2010, 12:15 AM


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SubRosa
post Mar 22 2010, 09:35 PM
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Yay!

QUOTE
burned the Imperial Palace to the ground

How do you burn a stone building? laugh.gif

Are you going to be doing any reworking of Interregnum? Or just straight reposting it? I suppose we shall see, won't we? Do you plan to continue working on Song of the Sword at the same time?

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Mar 22 2010, 09:37 PM


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mALX
post Mar 22 2010, 09:37 PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOT !!!!!! PA-CHIIIIIIING !!!!!

This post has been edited by mALX: Mar 22 2010, 09:38 PM


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 22 2010, 09:42 PM
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INTERREGNUM

854 of the Second Era



Book One: Morning Star


1ST Morning Star, 2E 854
Direnni Tower, Isle of Balfiera
Dusk


Lattia Direnni knelt before the four square table and continued to intone the rites from the Book of Law. Around her, the white stone that formed the walls and ceiling shimmered in the fumes of the ether and void salts that she had used to purify the chamber. Her golden knees rested on black tiled floors upon which four censers burned a combination of gorvix and harrada. The sigil stone resting in a silver dish on the table glowed with an ebon light as she spoke.

Aran watched from the doorway behind her and marveled, as he always did, at his sister’s focus. She has become a true Direnni Elf, he thought, she has already surpassed Emero and, in time, may come to rival Raven Direnni herself. He already felt that he was smarter than Ryaim and stronger than Aidan, and neither of them had a spy like Varla. Clan Direnni will be reborn, stronger than ever. His generation would make the Alessians pay.

Patience Aran, he told himself, nothing can happen without the help of the Daedra. The sun was setting far above them. Lattia’s invocation was nearly complete. If the Daedric Prince was out there, he would answer her. Aran waited for a sign from Oblivion, and was not disappointed.

The air around Lattia formed into a mist and began to swirl around her naked body. A dark . . . absence formed above the table, anchored to this world by the censers. All of the air in the room seemed to be sucked into it. Aran found it hard to breathe. Lattia never faltered, she remained a willing supplicant. Aran had never loved her more than at that moment.

The void imploded in a blinding flash of light. Flames filled the emptiness above the table and were swiftly carried throughout the room on the ether. A faint sound emanated from behind the flames. Aran could hear it getting louder, closer. An Oblivion Gate, he thought, she’s done it. Lattia stood amidst the flames and pulled on her robe to hide her nakedness. She held a silk purse to her breast, the gold heavy within. The flames around her dissipated and were drawn into the gate. She looked back once to Aran. Then, with a nervous intake of breath, she stepped into the flames. From behind the gate the sound grew loud enough for Aran to identify it as the anguished bark of a hound.


_____



???
Nameless Realm, Oblivion
???


Lattia emerged into a land of eternal summer. Lush green rolling hills spread out toward the horizon, blinding in the glare of the sparkling blue sky. Well-tended fields of Columbine, Belladonna, and Morning Glory caught the sunlight from overhead and shimmered like a mirage before her. Lattia’s eyes felt heavy, she wanted nothing more than to lie down in the grass and rest.

The incessant barking pulled her back into the moment. The weight of the purse in her arms reminded her of the mission she still had to complete. She closed her eyes to block out her tranquil surroundings. I am in Oblivion, she thought to herself, and I am not safe.

There were no signs or markers that she could use to find her destination. No castle or structure of any kind that she could move towards. Which way should I go? She thought.

The sound of the barking grew closer, its source appeared on a low slope near the horizon to Lattia’s left. A great black Hound galloped toward her, shrinking the distance between them with each bound.

Lattia stood her ground. She prepared a demoralize spell that she hoped would give her the time to escape should the great beast prove hungry. As it grew closer the size of it made Lattia doubtful that anything short of a dragon could demoralize it.

The great Hound stopped some ten paces from where Lattia stood. He was a male, easily measuring 18 hands from where his paws met the grass to the tips of his hunched shoulder blades. He was at least half that wide, with a sloped wedge of a head that housed two glowing red eyes that regarded Lattia with both curiosity and contempt.

“You have entered the realm of Lord Clavicus Vile,” said the Hound, “I am Barbas, the Hound of Clavicus Vile. What business have you here?”

“I am Lattia Direnni, I seek an audience with your master.”

Barbas came closer, Lattia remained perfectly still. He sniffed the air around her and then smelled her from head to toe.

“You smell of dead things,” said Barbas, eyeing her purse, “and the lightning clings to you. A mage is it? Your gold will secure an audience, but I warn you to return from whence you came.”

“I will not.”

“So be it,” Barbas sighed, “But don’t say you weren’t warned.” He lay down in the grass at her feet. “Come.”

She understood, but the thought didn’t thrill her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and swung onto that great back of his. He stood and with a great bound that nearly threw her back to the grass they were off.

It was nothing at all like riding her Chestnut, Mallari. Barbas was thick and rough with hard, coiled muscles where Mallari was smooth and supple. She could ride Mallari using just her legs, the two of them joined into one. For Barbas she needed both arms and both legs just to hold on.

The fields formed a green blur that rushed past her and brought tears to her eyes. Each step that Barbas made over the uneven terrain caused another part of her body to ache. She buried her face into his neck to avoid the snapping of her jaw that attended every leap over a rock or felled tree. The world lost focus, the only thought that she could identify was don’t let go.

It took her a moment to realize that Barbas had stopped. It took a moment more for her eyes to regain focus. They were in a clearing, surrounded by trees thick with red and yellow Cinnabar growing on the trunks. She could hear the sound of rushing water nearby.

“What have you brought me, Barbas?” A sharp voice asked.

Lattia lifted her head painfully from the groove her chin had formed in Barbas’ neck. Barbas lay down to make her dismount easier, if not more graceful. She landed on her backside in the tall, cool grass. Both of her legs were numb and useless. I must look ridiculous, she thought.

Clavicus Vile loomed over her. He was seated on a white marble throne in the center of the clearing. Barbas had taken his place at his master’s feet. Lattia managed to rise to her knees, but no further.

“Well, does it speak?” Clavicus Vile asked.

He was so . . . short, Lattia thought. His dirty bare feet dangled from the edge of his throne. A pair of curved horns protruded from the temples of a misshapen head too large for the rest of his body. His small pink hands were steeped under a bulbous nose in front of a large mouth well appointed with sharp teeth. He wore a dirty brown vest and soiled green trousers.

“Greetings, Lord Clavicus,” said Lattia collecting herself and ignoring a wave of revulsion, “I am . . .”

“Ah, it does speak. Pity that. I know who you are Lattia Direnni of Clan Direnni. I also know why you think you came here. Do you imagine you’re the only mortal with a spell book and a spare purse of gold who has sought my favor?”

“I . . .”

“Save your words, Lattia Direnni. I allowed you through the veil because you present something of a conundrum to me. Mortals usually summon me to your realm to gain wealth or power for their own use. You enter my realm seeking power for another. It makes me wonder what one such as you would offer were I to grant such a boon?”

Lattia pushed the purse forward.

“The gold got you this audience,” said Clavicus Vile, “it will not get you what you seek.”

Lattia painfully regained her feet. “Then what do you suggest?”

The Daedric Prince smiled, it was not a pretty sight.

“Souls are my usual currency,” he said, “and while your soul holds great value, I fear that it would be given too freely. No, for one such as you I must exact a special price.”

Lattia waited, the Daedric Prince smiled. I am in Oblivion, she thought, and I am not safe.

This post has been edited by Destri Melarg: Mar 23 2010, 07:54 AM


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haute ecole rider
post Mar 22 2010, 09:55 PM
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@SubRosa: to answer your question how can you burn buildings made of stone? Limestone and marble will burn if the fire is hot enough - that is how the ancients obtained lime.

Back to Destri's story - it's good to review the beginning of Interregnum. It reminds me why this is one of my favorites on the Unnamed Forum. I'm glad to see it here!

One question:
QUOTE
The fields formed a green blur that rushed past her
And brought tears to her eyes.

It reads like it was supposed to be a single sentence (in which case and is capitalized); but if it is supposed to be two, the period after her has run off. Maybe Barbas scared it?


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mALX
post Mar 22 2010, 10:19 PM
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I can't wait to re-read this story!!!!! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH !!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOT !!!!!


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treydog
post Mar 22 2010, 10:26 PM
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Yes! Yes! Now I can read from the start (even though I am about 53 pages in already).

Burning castles- the stone "can" burn in some cases- more often, the furnishings and (wood) interior and framing burns and the stonework collapses. Towers (or keeps) especially, were very like chimneys.

This post has been edited by treydog: Mar 22 2010, 10:29 PM


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Zalphon
post Mar 22 2010, 11:04 PM
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Clavicus Vile? Really? He is the second most unused Daedric Prince (that I've seen)! Very nice!


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Winter Wolf
post Mar 23 2010, 05:58 AM
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Oh baby, let me pull up my chair closer for this one.

Ahhh, Interregnum, an epic tale like no other!! Awesome!!!!

There is something about this story that just sits 'right' with me. From the first line I am hooked right in. The best part is that I have an idea where you are heading, but I have no idea how we are going to get there.

Treydog gave me that same feeling when his character discovered the letter from Athynae on the ground and he didn't want to read it, the motes swirling around the room. I remember that he let the story linger over that moment.
Your writing has that same very epic feel.

I can't work out what happened to Barbas since Maxical met him??
Oh yes, he is no longer fat. Perhaps the stress of that situation has thinned him out!!!!!!


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haute ecole rider
post Mar 23 2010, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE(Winter Wolf @ Mar 22 2010, 10:58 PM) *

I can't work out what happened to Barbas since Maxical met him??
Oh yes, he is no longer fat. Perhaps the stress of that situation has thinned him out!!!!!!


Since pets tend to gain weight and not lose it (speaking from clinical experience here), I would say that Lattia met Barbas first, then Barbas found himself gorging on sweetmeats in Janus's private quarters, and taking baths in his very own gold tub. Yes, I think that makes sense!

Of course, if you're talking about wormholes and quantum leaps, then I'm going to shut up and bow out of this discussion!


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Olen
post Mar 23 2010, 11:38 PM
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Nice, there seems to be a bit of excitment over the return of this by those who have read it and I can see why. The first part makes me wander about many things which would bring me back if the quality didn't have me staying.

I haven't seen anything written in this 'bit' of the TES universe before which makes me doubly excited. I'm looking forward to this.

The final line is excellent.

As far as burning castles go - stone won't burn but it cracks when it gets hot and stone buildings have a habit of falling down when they burn.


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Winter Wolf
post Mar 24 2010, 06:31 AM
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QUOTE(haute ecole rider @ Mar 23 2010, 06:11 PM) *

Since pets tend to gain weight and not lose it (speaking from clinical experience here), I would say that Lattia met Barbas first, then Barbas found himself gorging on sweetmeats in Janus's private quarters, and taking baths in his very own gold tub. Yes, I think that makes sense!

Oh no! That means that poor Barbas is destined to be fat forever. Shame on you mALX. laugh.gif


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 24 2010, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Mar 22 2010, 01:35 PM) *

Are you going to be doing any reworking of Interregnum? Or just straight reposting it? I suppose we shall see, won't we? Do you plan to continue working on Song of the Sword at the same time?

The best part about moving this story over to Chorrol is the fact that I get to go back and rework some of the chapters that I was not completely happy with the first time. The first chapter is a perfect example. In the original version Lattia opened an Oblivion Gate through sheer magicka and ‘will’ alone. That never really sat right with me. So this time I borrowed the ritual outlined in the book Liminal Bridges, which details the opening of an Oblivion Gate using a sigil stone. You can expect expanded chapters, new chapters, and reworked chapters in this new incarnation.

As for Song of the Sword, I will continue to update it, but at a much slower pace than Interregnum. The problem with using memory stones, newspaper accounts, and journal entries to tell the story is that it can quickly degenerate into a gimic. I have to figure out how best to tell the story in such a way that the telling of it remains fresh into the later chapters.

QUOTE(haute ecole rider @ Mar 22 2010, 01:55 PM) *

Back to Destri's story - it's good to review the beginning of Interregnum. It reminds me why this is one of my favorites on the Unnamed Forum. I'm glad to see it here!

And, as always haute, this story is glad to see you. And thank you, another pesky nit smited thanks to your eagle eye.

QUOTE(treydog @ Mar 22 2010, 02:26 PM) *

Yes! Yes! Now I can read from the start (even though I am about 53 pages in already).

53 pages! Sorry for making you go all the way back to the beginning, trey. I'll try to make enough changes to keep it interesting for you.

QUOTE(Zalphon @ Mar 22 2010, 03:04 PM) *

Clavicus Vile? Really? He is the second most unused Daedric Prince (that I've seen)! Very nice!

That seems a shame to me. In my opinion Clavicus Vile and Hermaeus Mora are the two most interesting Daedric Princes.

QUOTE
How do you burn a stone building?

I had the exact same question when I first read the entry in the timeline. I think I have come up with a very interesting solution to the problem that incorporates a lot of what haute, treydog, and Olen(thanks for dropping in BTW) have said. Stay tuned.

On the subject of Barbas' girth:
Nope, not going to touch that one. tongue.gif


_____



2nd Morning Star, 2E 854
Unmarked Cavern, Somewhere along the Western Reach
Evening


“Quiet!” Nolquinn whispered, his breath visible in the cold still air.

“Huh?” Lorian tried to lift his head but the effort was too much for him. He went back to counting the empty bottles in the snow in front of him.

“I heard something.” Nolquinn grabbed a torch and lit it with a flare spell. He left the mouth of the cavern and wandered toward the underbrush.

“It’s probably a wolf . . . or a bear.” said Lorian chuckling. “Maybe it’s a spriggan, what I wouldn’t give for one of those to warm my bedroll tonight.” He grabbed his stomach as fits of laughter caused him to roll in the snow surrounded by the empty bottles.

Imbecile! Nolquinn thought to himself. He hated third watch with Lorian. The man had none of Nolquinn’s Altmer dignity. Less than two hours of their watch gone and the Breton was already into his cups. Why does the Master keep him around? He was not useful in any way that Nolquinn could tell, and he was so loud that whatever was in the underbrush had probably fled, ruining their chance at a hot meal. At least he’s stopped laughing, Nolquinn thought.

He walked back to the mouth of the cave. Lorian lay on his side. A pool of liquid began to spread, darkening the snow around him. He’s wet himself again, Nolquinn thought, I should let him lie in his own filth. He walked closer.

He stopped. In the torchlight Lorian’s eyes were wide with a mixture of shock and surprise. A smile still lingered on his unmoving lips. A thin line of blood trailed from his mouth and dripped into a small red pool in the snow. His lifeblood ran from a gaping slash across his throat, and the red skull on the front of his black robe glistened.

Nolquinn drew his dagger and summoned a headless zombie from the nether realms. He backed into a position between it and the cavern door. Whatever killed Lorian did not leave footprints. Breathe, he told himself, breathe. He felt a hand grab his forehead from behind. His head was drawn back and tilted up, but no one was behind him. He felt a sudden pressure, like a finger being drawn across his neck. There was a rush of warmth on the front of his chest that ran down his robe and legs. He grew light-headed, his vision began to blur at the edges. The torch dropped from his limp hands and sizzled in the snow. He was on his knees, though he didn’t remember kneeling. The hand on his forehead was gone. His zombie dissipated like a puff of smoke. I’m going to die in the snow, he thought. The last thing he saw was the smile on Lorian’s face.


_____



The Nightblade Arnand Desele materialized and crouched over the dead man and elf whose blood stained the evening snow. He wore a thick brown cloak over his leather armor. His elven dagger still dripped. Ten years since I wielded a blade, he thought to himself, the old skills had atrophied, but they were still there. He examined the bodies, Necromancers, he thought, the Witchmen were right about this place. He felt a moment’s regret for the two lives he had stolen. For Elissa’s sake, I’d kill a thousand more just like them. He cleaned his blade in the folds of the Altmer’s robe and turned toward the entrance to the cavern.

Well guarded, the Witchmen had said. Inside there is a sorcerer of great power. One who has mastered the power of life and death. Arnand felt a chill that was more than just the cold and pulled his cloak tighter. For Elissa’s sake, he thought. He cast a combination spell of nighteye and life detection before he stepped through the door of the cavern.

The rock wall formed a tunnel that went down at a steep angle. He started downward, crouching to limit the noise his boots made against the slick rock. On the tunnel floor torchlight provided dim illumination. Two more tunnels branched off from the walls to his left and right. He clung to the shadows. The pink blots that he could see through the floor told him that the cavern went deeper . . . and that he was not alone. He counted more than a dozen blots before the spell ended and they faded from view. He remained in the shadows while his eyes adjusted to the darkness.

I’m so close, he thought. These enemies are all that stand between me and this sorcerer. He can help me save Elissa, he must help me. He studied the lie of the shadows along both tunnels before casting his combination spell again.

Two enemies were coming toward him from the tunnel on his left. He drifted left, into the shadows near the opening and waited. The two necromancers passed through the opening talking to each other. Arnand cast a paralyze spell at the taller of the two necromancers farthest from him. He sprung from his hiding place and took the nearest necromancer from behind. His dagger found the man’s throat and drank deep. He moved past the necromancer holding his throat and grabbed the hair of the taller one still in the act of falling from his paralyze spell. He hesitated for a split second. She was an Altmer. She looks so much like Elissa, he thought. He heard the other necromancer hit the ground behind him. He slit the woman’s throat and let go of her hair. She fell and bled out on the slick stone floor. Neither had made a sound.

He pulled the bodies back into the shadows. He recast his combination spell and went down the left tunnel. Using the cover provided by the shadows, he was able to sneak past three skeletons and two zombies. The tunnel curved downwards through several turns before ending in a small chamber. There was an empty coffin placed into a niche hacked out of the rock wall. Arnand was sweating and his hands were shaking. Seeing the coffin was too much of a reminder. My wife is a vampire, he thought to himself staring at the coffin, this could be her coffin if I can’t save her.

He wiped his brow and calmed his shaking hands. By the time he carefully retraced his steps out of the tunnel he was calm, his resolve strengthened. He would reach this sorcerer if he had to go through all the minions in Oblivion to do it. He recast his combination spell and walked down the other winding tunnel.

Two more skeletons guarded the other tunnel. They wielded iron war axes and stood too close together in the confines of the tunnel to sneak around. Arnand remained in the shadows. Behind him the tunnel was clear. He could not afford to waste his magicka on another combination spell. I’ll have to trust that the tunnel ahead is the same, he thought. He waited until both skeletons had their backs to him before moving. He cast a bolt of command creature at the nearest skeleton. While the purple globe of energy was still airborne he rendered himself invisible and sprinted after it. The spell found its mark, engulfing the skeleton in a pale purple aura that provided brief illumination in the tunnel. The skeleton set upon its counterpart with a vicious overhead slash. By the time the other skeleton turned to defend itself, Arnand had slipped past them like a puff of smoke. His luck held, the tunnel beyond the skeletons was empty. By the time his invisibility spell wore off, the sounds of battle had faded far behind him.

Three necromancers were grouped together in the large chamber at the end of the tunnel. They stood in front of a heavy oak door set into the rock. Two men and one woman. The two men were facing the woman with their backs to Arnand. Mercifully the woman looked nothing like Elissa. Child’s play, Arnand thought.

He cast two spells in succession. The paralyze spell hit the first necromancer in the back and caused him to fall over. The command humanoid spell hit the woman. As the third necromancer turned and lifted his hand to form a summon, the woman blasted him with a fireball that sent him careening across the cavern. He hit the ground hard. His summoned ghost appeared next to the woman, drawing her fire. The third necromancer tried to regain his feet, but Arnand was behind him. His blade extinguished both his life and his ghost. Arnand disappeared behind an invisibility spell.

The paralyze spell on the first necromancer wore off. He tried to rise and the woman turned her attention to him, hitting him with a hefty drain life spell that staggered him. Before he could recover the woman drew her dagger and plunged it into his heart. The frenzy spell wore off, she still held the bloody dagger. “What?” was all she managed before Arnand materialized behind her, ending her life with a single cut.

He walked over to the oak door and opened it with a spell. He stepped across a threshold into a darkness that made him feel as if he had slipped off the face of the world. The void closed in around him, yet he did not fall. It held him up and carried him on cautious footsteps until it moved aside for him, like the parting of a veil.

He found himself inside a large room with oak paneling on the walls and red carpeted floors. A fire burned in the hearth bracketed by high-backed leather chairs. Lamps in sconces along the walls illuminated thousands of books that dominated the room, and candles burned on the well-stocked dinner table.

Arnand thought to go for his dagger, but he couldn’t move. A paralysis spell stronger than any he had ever known had him in its grip. A figure rose from one of the leather chairs and turned to face Arnand.

Mara! It might have once been man or mer, but it had long since shed easy classification. A cloak of a deeper scarlet than all the blood that Arnand had spilled to reach it covered the figure and pooled on the ground around him. The heavy hood that cast its face into darkness deeper than the void could not contain the blue points of light that hinted at unspeakable power and command of the dead. It spoke with the voice of an Altmer, in calm and cultured tones that belied, or perhaps underscored, the power of its presence.

“Seven of my people, taken out in minutes,” he said, “most impressive.”

A trap, thought Arnand, I’ve been deceived. He was waiting for me.

“Do not struggle. The effect will last as long as I will it, so let us be civil.” He walked over to the dinner table and filled two glasses with wine. He toasted Arnand with one.

“Though the title is a bit macabre,” he said, “I am known as the King of Worms, and you come highly recommended.”

This post has been edited by Destri Melarg: Mar 24 2010, 08:52 AM


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mALX
post Mar 24 2010, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE(Winter Wolf @ Mar 24 2010, 01:31 AM) *

QUOTE(haute ecole rider @ Mar 23 2010, 06:11 PM) *

Since pets tend to gain weight and not lose it (speaking from clinical experience here), I would say that Lattia met Barbas first, then Barbas found himself gorging on sweetmeats in Janus's private quarters, and taking baths in his very own gold tub. Yes, I think that makes sense!

Oh no! That means that poor Barbas is destined to be fat forever. Shame on you mALX. laugh.gif



ROFL!!! Lattia def met Barbas first, since Maxical is in the 3rd Era - (Hauty - you had me rolling with this!)



It doesn't matter how many times I read this chapter, the scene with Mannimarco always makes my heart race - oh, and reliving the deaths of Nolquinn and Lorian - knowing what happens later - SWEET!

This post has been edited by mALX: Mar 24 2010, 02:55 PM


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SubRosa
post Mar 25 2010, 12:03 AM
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Ahh, it is our old friends Lorian and Nolquinn. Or new friends that is. I suspect we will not be seeing the last of them? biggrin.gif

There were some things about this chapter that never made sense to me. How was it that Arnand did not leave footprints? It was something you made a point of, but I did not catch the explanation of.

The other thing was it seemed very strange to me that Arnand was the only one to use a Detect Life. It would seem the most obvious thing for Nolquinn to cast when he realized there was an attacker whom he could not see. Not to mention it also seemed very strange that Nolquinn never tried to raise an alarm, even though he had ample opportunity to shout out for help, when as a guard that is his first duty.

I think that entire scene would be more believable if Arnand had used the same m.o. he did with several other necromancers within: Paralyze Nolquinn, then kill Lorian, and finally come back to finish Nolquinn before the paralysis wore off. It would also still allow you to paint the scene from Nolquinn's point of view, as he would see it all, yet be unable to act.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Mar 25 2010, 12:08 AM


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Destri Melarg
post Mar 25 2010, 06:02 AM
Post #16


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Joined: 16-March 10
From: Rihad, Hammerfell



First, thank you for the wonderfully detailed critique! bigsmile.gif

QUOTE
There were some things about this chapter that never made sense to me. How was it that Arnand did not leave footprints? It was something you made a point of, but I did not catch the explanation of.

I can see how that might have been confusing. Allow me to share my own thoughts in the writing of it. My own view of the situation was that Arnand took Lorian from above, while the Breton rolled about in the snow. I imagined Arnand on the lip of the cave while Nolquinn went and searched the underbrush. I probably should have put something in to make that fact clear to the reader, but since the scene played out from Nolquinn’s point of view I thought that his confusion lent an almost supernatural overtone to his growing sense of panic. By the time Arnand materializes and we learn that he is a man I thought that the methods he used to take down the two guards were irrelevant and didn’t warrant explaining. Perhaps I should revisit that section and add in some form of explanation to keep it from being an issue.

QUOTE
The other thing was it seemed very strange to me that Arnand was the only one to use a Detect Life. It would seem the most obvious thing for Nolquinn to cast when he realized there was an attacker whom he could not see.

Thankfully for Arnand, it was he and not you guarding that cave. My sense of Nolquinn and Lorian is that they are a kind of tip of the cap to the necromancers found in the game. In my experience, the first action of a necromancer when he/she detects an intruder is to form a summon. Given the timeframe (Nolquinn sees Lorian dead, forms a summon, positions himself between it and the cave entrance, and is taken from behind), I don’t think there was ample time for him to cast a detect life spell. Especially considering that, at the time, he was having to will himself to simply breathe.

QUOTE
Not to mention it also seemed very strange that Nolquinn never tried to raise an alarm, even though he had ample opportunity to shout out for help, when as a guard that is his first duty.

Here I think you might be mistaking a guard for a lookout. The first duty of a lookout when confronted by a threat or intruder is to sound an alarm. The first duty of a guard when confronted by an intruder is to neutralize the intruder, sounding an alarm only if the intruder proves to be more than the guard can handle.

QUOTE
I think that entire scene would be more believable if Arnand had used the same m.o. he did with several other necromancers within: Paralyze Nolquinn, then kill Lorian, and finally come back to finish Nolquinn before the paralysis wore off. It would also still allow you to paint the scene from Nolquinn's point of view, as he would see it all, yet be unable to act.

The reason that I didn’t want to use the paralysis spell on Nolquinn or Lorian is that I knew that I would be using it at least twice inside the cave, and I didn’t want the effect to suffer from the repetition. I have to admit that the idea of paralyzing the point of view character then describing the scene as he sees it is an excellent one and that it is something that I am going to have to give serious thought to.

Ultimately if these scenes didn’t make sense to you then that is my failing as the writer. I only wished to give you an idea of the thought process I went through in coming to the decisions that I did about this sequence of the story.


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Winter Wolf
post Mar 25 2010, 06:38 AM
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From: Melbourne, Australia



Great explanations of your thought process Destri.

The chapter plays out great to me because we have yet to be introduced to the character and it leaves me with Wow, who is this?
The part about the footsteps is not entirely clear, but as you said it is from the dead one's POV, so it doesn't really matter. You could add a comment or thought from Arnard when he couches over the dead bodies, but it really isn't needed.

SubRosa's idea about paralyzing the man and killing the other one is my sort of thinking. Go girl!
Teresa might turn into a bloodthirsty killer after all. Move over Eyja. biggrin.gif





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mALX
post Mar 25 2010, 02:04 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



QUOTE(Winter Wolf @ Mar 25 2010, 01:38 AM) *

Great explanations of your thought process Destri.

The chapter plays out great to me because we have yet to be introduced to the character and it leaves me with Wow, who is this?
The part about the footsteps is not entirely clear, but as you said it is from the dead one's POV, so it doesn't really matter. You could add a comment or thought from Arnard when he couches over the dead bodies, but it really isn't needed.

SubRosa's idea about paralyzing the man and killing the other one is my sort of thinking. Go girl!
Teresa might turn into a bloodthirsty killer after all. Move over Eyja. biggrin.gif



Lol !!!


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Fiach
post Mar 25 2010, 05:57 PM
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From: Eire



Wow this story is amazing biggrin.gif

Lettia seems like a great character to start with, if a little ambitious tongue.gif

You also gave a great representation of Clavicus Vile, although I'm sure he'll get the better end of this deal blink.gif

Arnand sounds like a classic rogue, I can't wait to read what happens next smile.gif
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SubRosa
post Mar 25 2010, 06:32 PM
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From: Between The Worlds



QUOTE(Destri Melarg @ Mar 25 2010, 01:02 AM) *

First, thank you for the wonderfully detailed critique! bigsmile.gif

QUOTE
There were some things about this chapter that never made sense to me. How was it that Arnand did not leave footprints? It was something you made a point of, but I did not catch the explanation of.

I can see how that might have been confusing. Allow me to share my own thoughts in the writing of it. My own view of the situation was that Arnand took Lorian from above, while the Breton rolled about in the snow. I imagined Arnand on the lip of the cave while Nolquinn went and searched the underbrush. I probably should have put something in to make that fact clear to the reader, but since the scene played out from Nolquinn’s point of view I thought that his confusion lent an almost supernatural overtone to his growing sense of panic. By the time Arnand materializes and we learn that he is a man I thought that the methods he used to take down the two guards were irrelevant and didn’t warrant explaining. Perhaps I should revisit that section and add in some form of explanation to keep it from being an issue.

QUOTE
The other thing was it seemed very strange to me that Arnand was the only one to use a Detect Life. It would seem the most obvious thing for Nolquinn to cast when he realized there was an attacker whom he could not see.

Thankfully for Arnand, it was he and not you guarding that cave. My sense of Nolquinn and Lorian is that they are a kind of tip of the cap to the necromancers found in the game. In my experience, the first action of a necromancer when he/she detects an intruder is to form a summon. Given the timeframe (Nolquinn sees Lorian dead, forms a summon, positions himself between it and the cave entrance, and is taken from behind), I don’t think there was ample time for him to cast a detect life spell. Especially considering that, at the time, he was having to will himself to simply breathe.

QUOTE
Not to mention it also seemed very strange that Nolquinn never tried to raise an alarm, even though he had ample opportunity to shout out for help, when as a guard that is his first duty.

Here I think you might be mistaking a guard for a lookout. The first duty of a lookout when confronted by a threat or intruder is to sound an alarm. The first duty of a guard when confronted by an intruder is to neutralize the intruder, sounding an alarm only if the intruder proves to be more than the guard can handle.

QUOTE
I think that entire scene would be more believable if Arnand had used the same m.o. he did with several other necromancers within: Paralyze Nolquinn, then kill Lorian, and finally come back to finish Nolquinn before the paralysis wore off. It would also still allow you to paint the scene from Nolquinn's point of view, as he would see it all, yet be unable to act.

The reason that I didn’t want to use the paralysis spell on Nolquinn or Lorian is that I knew that I would be using it at least twice inside the cave, and I didn’t want the effect to suffer from the repetition. I have to admit that the idea of paralyzing the point of view character then describing the scene as he sees it is an excellent one and that it is something that I am going to have to give serious thought to.

Ultimately if these scenes didn’t make sense to you then that is my failing as the writer. I only wished to give you an idea of the thought process I went through in coming to the decisions that I did about this sequence of the story.



I would suggest not basing the behaviour of your characters on what you see from the NPCs in the game. To put it simply, the AI is stupid. NPC mages never cast a detect life to find you even when you turn invisible right in front of them. They never think to cast a calm or dispel on someone who is obviously frenzied, etc... When I fought Mannimarco at the end of the MG questline I was expecting a real epic battle. Instead he was a pushover, because he attacked me with a dagger.

This is entirely dependent on how real you want your story to appear of course. Many writers want you to know that the story and its characters are in a game. Take Acadian and Buffy for example, he has people turning green when you poison them, which would not happen in a real world. Or Rales digging through crates in front of a guard to get money and other loot. I do not criticize that, in fact, I think it makes for a very interesting story.

But I was not under the impression that was what you were going for. I know you said you wrote the two guard necromancers as sort of an homage to the game necros, but your writing usually seems to go more for realness rather than gameness (of course I may be totally off there, doh! on me if I have not picked up on it).

If you really do want to weigh more heavily on the realness side, then I would put yourself in the shoes of all the characters, and ask yourself "what would I do?" Then ask yourself "Ok, is this person really that smart/professional/experienced?" The more you think critically, the stronger your characters will come across. Some people really are stupid, and will not do the obvious thing (I work with many of them!). Some are just inexperienced (look at Teresa in many aspects). Some can be just plain arrogant, which makes them sloppy (there are plenty examples of that in military history).

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Mar 26 2010, 01:54 AM


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