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> Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Jacki Dice
post Jan 13 2011, 02:14 AM
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Hello again. Thank you all for reading my previous thread, Champion of Madness. As I posted before, I felt the story was in need of a lot of work. First off, titles are one of my weakest points. I have to admit, it took me hours to come up with "Champion of Madness" (sad, I know) but it just didn't feel right, not to mention the fact that it didn't work with the upcoming Oblivion Crisis. Other than that, there were characters issues, plot holes, and world building issues that I felt could only be dealt with by starting fresh, with a better idea of where I was going.

That said, I'd like to welcome you to the revamped version. I hope you all enjoy it ♥

PS....I made a typo in the title... I sure feel silly now -_- Please ignore it.


~~~~~♥~~~~~

Prologue



Wrothken didn't even flinch as a deafening roar erupted from the arena. He remained in his seat at the bar, his head slumped over a cup of tea that had long since gotten cold. He sat listening to the dull buzz of quiet conversations, his ears searching for specific words. He knew he shouldn't. If he happened to overhear something that he didn't want to hear it would send him into an even deeper pit of despair or rage, like when that jerk the other night asked Kirsty if Wrothken's "Uncle Flo" had been in town. Wrothken knew what that implied as did the rest of the bakery. And many people found it hilarious up until Wrothken nearly beat that man to death with a chair.

Chop. Chop. Chop.

He could tell Kirsty was right in front of him. He could smell lavender lingering under the scent of fresh bread, cinnamon, and ham. He heard her sigh softly. He knew she wanted to help. She even tried getting him rip roaring drunk and then taking him to a brothel. Oh, what a fiasco that had been. The drink only magnified his sorrow, causing him to bawl like a baby in the middle of the street and then once he was with the working girl his body wouldn't cooperate, no matter what she did. Though the girl had shrugged it off, claiming to have seen that a thousand times, it wasn’t exactly something that a man ever quite lived down, drunk or not.

Kirsty sighed again. "You're only letting them win."

Wrothken raised his head slightly. Behind his curtain of Bravil-water blond hair, he saw her tiny hands holding a large knife and slicing up some ham. He brushed the hair from his face and looked up all the way. She was such a mess, but cute in a way. When she opened up that morning she had been wearing a nice, clean turquoise blouse. Now, even though she wore an apron, it was covered in white and brown powder. Her dark brown hair wasn't long enough to braid, so she wore it in a simple ponytail, though as the day went by the short locks that were once bangs escaped. Her cool brown eyes were on the meat, though she occasionally glanced up at Wrothken.

Wrothken stared at the ham, its scent the most captivating thing in the world and his stomach announced it loudly.

"What was that?" Kirsty asked, setting the knife down. The bright blush across his face told her the answer. "What have you eaten today?"

Wrothken shrugged. He hadn't been feeling hungry lately but when he had, the thought of food sickened him. The very act of chewing and swallowing seemed like just too much effort.

Kirsty huffed and set a cinnamon apple muffin in front of him. The crumbly top beckoned him, the sweetness he knew he would find seducing him. Yet the smell and the thought of eating turned his mouth sour. Still, if he didn't eat it, Kirsty would probably jump over the counter and shove it down his throat. He bit into it, trying to catch the crumbles before they hit the floor.

"That's better," she said, continuing to chop up the ham. "You look like you've lost weight actually."

Wrothken grunted. Awour had been pestering him to lose weight for years. He wasn't fat, just broad-shouldered and a bit "snuggly," as Kirsty put it. It was almost funny how the pounds began to shed after he caught her in bed with another man. A thigh slapper really.

"Great," he finally said. "Now if I could just lose all my body hair, maybe I could win her back."

Kirsty crinkled her nose. "No, don't do that. That's just...weird. Men shouldn't be hairless. And besides," she looked at him, wagging her knife as she spoke. "If you take that girl back, so help me, Wrothken, I will beat you with my rolling pin until the sense comes back in your head."

He believed her. She didn't like Awour much before but now it was full on hate. The feeling was mutual. Not that she ever admitted it, but he knew Awour was insanely jealous of Kirsty. She had good reason too. Kirsty built herself up from a grape picker for Tamika to a little pastry cart by the markets to an upscale bakery. Kirsty also had the most alluring curves and Wrothken happened to work late with her most nights. Not that anything happened. He had honor. He was faithful.

"Have you given any thought to my idea?" She asked.

He had, but he didn't really want to go through with it. "I won't run away," he said. He would rather drop dead than give them the satisfaction of knowing they ran him out of town, tail between his legs.

"I never said to run away," Kirsty said. She glanced back at an hourglass atop the oven. The pink sand was almost all the way at the bottom. She swore under her breath and began chopping faster. "I said take a break. Go on a trip for a while to help clear your head. Maybe meet some new people while you're at it."

"But they'll think I ran away!" He protested. He could imagine them laughing about it after a good romp in the sack. His stomach went sour at the thought.

Kirsty set her knife down again, exasperatedly saying, "Who gives a flying guar what they think? Some tramp and as for Bacchus, screw him too! Why are you going to let them control your well-being?" She chopped furiously. "Do you really think it’s healthy to just hang around here forever? Or avoid places because you're afraid to run into them?"

She had a point. Kirsty always had a point and she would nag and push and prod until the point was not only seen, but agreed with.

"Where would I even go?"

"Well," she looked at the hourglass. It was empty. She opened the oven and pulled out a batch of flaky croissants. "You're from Bruma. Why not start there?"

Wrothken's eyes widened. "I'd sooner hunt mudcrabs while skyclad!"

Kirsty giggled a bit.

"I'm serious!" Wrothken said, shoving the rest of the muffin in his mouth. "If I set foot there, my ma will bludgeon me with 'I-told-you-so!' No way am I going back there like this!"

"Okay," Kirsty said taking out a bread knife. She took each croissant and cut it on half before slathering on creamy butter. "How about the Imperial City? There's lots to offer there. In fact, I'd like to move there one day..." She trailed off for a moment as a slight smile grew on her lips.

He agreed on that point. The Imperial City was the center of everything. A man could make his fortune there just as easily as he could lose it. It was a melting pot of the richest in the empire as well as the poorest.

"And I'm not saying forever, either." She continued, placing the sliced ham on the bottom halves of the croissants. "Just a week or two. Just enough time to clear your head."

"But what about you?" He asked.

"I'll be fine," she said as she started to slice bright tomatoes. Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Wrothken was amazed that she never sliced a finger off with how quick she was with her blade. "If I could get from Valenwood to Skingrad on my own, I'm sure I can handle a few drunken oafs. Besides, it’s just for a little bit."

Wrothken could see that she wasn't going to let up. As much as he wanted to just go back upstairs and sulk in his bed, she would just push it later, over and over, and over until he went mad. Women. Why did they have to be such nags?

"Fine, fine," he said, getting up. "I'll get my gear then."

"Hold it," she said. "It's not enough to just go. This is a chance for a new beginning. Once you leave those gates, I want you to think of it as the first day of the rest of your life. No thinking of her. No thinking of him. Now, you are going to reclaim your dignity. Just promise me that."

He nodded. He didn't remember ever seeing her so serious before. "Alright, I'll do my best."

"Good! Now, come see me before you leave. I'll pack a lunch for you. And write to me once you get there."

"I will."

"No, promise me. I know how you are. You'll forget the moment you find something interesting. In fact, I'll even write a little reminder for you."



This post has been edited by Jacki Dice: Jun 30 2014, 11:24 PM


--------------------
Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Nemesis

Standing on the cliffs that kiss burning winds
We are rising together
Brazen, exalting, a hiss of triumph rings
I am yours
...Yours immortally
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SubRosa
post Jan 13 2011, 02:40 AM
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Oh my, you retool you certainly did. Whatever writing elixir you tapped for this, please send some my way! Your descriptions in just the first few paragraphs alone are simply magnificent! The roar of the crowd, the sound of Kirsty chopping, the smell of her lavender, mixed in with that of the bread and other sweets, etc... All combine to pull me right down there to the stool next to our poor Nord snowman.

It was almost funny how the pounds began to shed after he caught her in bed with another man. A thigh slapper really.
I love how this drips with bitter sarcasm!

I also see in this version, Wrothken is not blind to Kirsty's curves. That is interesting, and adds a new dimension to the story.

"I'd rather hunt mudcrabs while skyclad!"
Such a wonderful phrase, not only ES friendly, but pagan-friendly as well!

Why did they have to be such nags?
Could it be because men are to lazy to get off their sorry asses until women nag them to? wink.gif Seriously, an excellent example of man-think.

I am so looking forward to seeing the rest! Both the completely new episodes, and the old ones. Story, Good, More! smile.gif

btw. I never thought Champion of Madness was a bad title. I always liked it. Sometimes the simplest and most direct titles are the best, imho.


nits:
He agree on that point.
Looks like that beyotch Awour swiped the "d" from Wrothken's agreed.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jan 13 2011, 03:42 AM


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D.Foxy
post Jan 13 2011, 02:55 AM
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Am I seeing double now? Oh, Mad Nell, Hep me enslave my elf!!!

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Grits
post Jan 13 2011, 10:47 PM
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She had a point. Kirsty always had a point and she would nag and push and prod until the point was not only seen, but agreed with.
Sheís not bossy, she just knows what he should be doing. smile.gif

I love Wrothken and Kirsty!! I canít wait to read more!!

This post has been edited by Grits: Jan 14 2011, 01:03 AM


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Jerric's Story * Darnandex * Morning Star Screenshot: Cyrodiil Meadow
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Jacki Dice
post Jan 15 2011, 05:30 AM
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SubRosa~ I love how this drips with bitter sarcasm! Lol that's me! It gets me in a lot of trouble (mostly with Wrothken tongue.gif) but this is such a good outlet for it all smile.gif

D. Foxy~ Yes tongue.gif It's not just Sheogorath messing with your head wink.gif

Grits~ She’s not bossy, she just knows what he should be doing. Exactly. smile.gif Its best to just listen and accept it


~~~~~♥~~~~~

Chapter One: A Door in Niben Bay




"Your money or your life!" The Khajiit snarled with one hand on her steel mace. It was well worn, making it obvious that it was no bluff.

Just this morning, Wrothken would have simply walked by, hoping the bandit would end it quickly. Bow it was different. He promised Kirsty that it was new beginning. It had to start now.

"Why don't you take that mace and shove it up your tail?"

The Khajiit growled. "You know what? I'll just take both!" She swung the mace at him. Wrothken knew what he would take from her after the fight.

He dodged her blow and punched her in the face. She reeled back, grabbing her nose with her free hand. Her eyes were on fire and Wrothken knew he had to be quick. She roared, swinging the mace as hard as she could, barely missing his shoulder. Wrothken noticed her overstep, and he grabbed her wielding arm with one hand, pulling her in, and he thrust his knee hard into her stomach. As she cried out, Wrothken was able to wrench the mace from her hand. In one quick move, he slammed it against her side. She moaned in pain, clutching it. Wrothken wasn't sure if it was in his head, but he swore he heard a crack on contact.

"Jekosiit!" She hissed. Quickly, she ran from him.

Wrothken's heart thudded as he watched her take off, cursing at the top of her lungs. It felt good to get some of his aggression out. He almost wished the fight would have gone on longer. However, he was wasting precious sunlight standing out there so he hurried away.

As he walked, he looked south to Valenwood. He briefly considered heading in that direction instead of the Imperial City, to start his new life but then he remembered all Kirsty had told him. The government was in ruin. They were distrustful of other races, so a Nord would be unwelcome and likely alone in the society. Oh, and she said something about them eating other people occasionally. That indeed was a dealbreaker. After all, he could easily feed a family of four and then some. He also didn't know if Bosmer had a preference toward "white meat." Shaking his head, he continued on the Gold Road.

With a sigh, he realized that he didn't think about the loneliness factor when he allowed Kirsty to talk him into his journey. He was by nature a very chatty person. He looked back, barely able to see the faint outline of Castle Kvatch. He wanted desperately to go back and convince Kirsty to go with him, but he couldn't. For one, the afternoon was slowly giving away to evening and she hated traveling by night. The other thing was that she would never leave her bakery. Not after all the blood, sweat, and tears she poured into it. Kvatch would burn, and she would remain, rebuilding with her own tiny hands if she had to. Trying to accept his isolation, he turned to his own mind for conversation.

He looked around as he crossed Skingrad. "I wonder what it would be like here in Wine County..." He envisioned himself in a house with cultured friends over, sampling the latest Surilie Brothers concoction with fine cheeses. He laughed out loud. That was no place for him. He was more the type to guzzle ale in a loud, seedy tavern.

Soon he saw a woman standing in the middle of the road. She was a Dunmer, wearing only simple clothing. When he got closer, he noticed dirt stains on her knees and leaves in her hair. Her stubby fingers were caked with soil. He smiled. "Afternoon," he said, longing for a decent conversation.

"A perfect tomato... one taste, and it is gone forever. And then... a lifetime of searching for the next one," she said sadly. "Undena Orethi. I am a pilgrim in search of the perfect tomato. It is my grail, and I shall follow it all my life."

Wrothken didn't know what to say. He wanted someone to talk to, but really? Tomatoes? He gave her a nod and continued on his way.

As the path took a sharp curve, a thought came into his mind suddenly. Kirsty was right! I haven't thought about Awour all day! Then he stopped. "Dammit!" he shouted, stomping his foot. Those thoughts were always counter productive, as his mind always became flooded with memories of the Altmer. Anytime he closed his eyes, he swore he could feel her golden, hip length hair on his cheeks. He could still see her pale green eyes staring at him, though he was miles away from her. He still smelled her flowery scent--

"Stop it!" he said aloud. He forbade his mind to bring her up again. Obviously Skingrad wasn't far enough.

He glared at the ground as he walked until a round stone caught his eye. It was white and smooth, just laying on the path. Curiously, he nudged it with his foot. It rolled over, greeting him with empty eye sockets and a malicious grin. A skull. He instantly felt a chilling numb throughout his body. He nudged it again, turning its gaze elsewhere. Only a few minutes passed when he came across another. He ignored it, forcing himself to keep his head held high, though it was hard resisting the urge to slink back to Kvatch.

"Stop it," he repeated, this time in a harsh whisper. "She is not worth it. I'm stronger than this. Kirsty was right, I can beat this on my own." His heart pounded angrily in his chest. "Traitor," he growled.

He stomped up the path until he came across two headless skeletons in front of a cave. On either side of the cave was a stake with three skulls impaled on them. More skulls hung from ropes alongside the rickety door. Contrasting them were heart-shaped leaves with budding violet flowers, wrapping beautifully around the door and even on the poles.

Curiosity was almost overwhelming him. He put his hand on the knob, pressing his ear to the door. He could hear shuffling and throaty grunts and whispers. He couldn't make out any words. As he twisted the knob, a saying popped into his mind: Curiosity killed the Khajiit. He considered skipping it and heading back to the path, but he remembered that Kirsty always added: But satisfaction brought it back.

He took his hand from the knob and took his torch from his back. He concentrated hard, feeling warmth in his heart. The warmth blossomed within him and felt as if it was trailing down his left arm and bloomed in his hand. He used the small flame to ignite the torch. He didn't know what exactly was in there, but with his mace drawn and a pounding heart and quivering legs, he burst in.

A pair of goblins were a few yards ahead of him, apparently arguing over a fresh rat corpse. However, Wrothken's arrival brought them a new source of food, or so they thought. They both ran at him, one holding a rusted dagger, the other a wooden club. Wrothken had heard of people getting extremely sick from rust-infected wounds, so he focused on the bladed one first.

He was thankful for his steel cuirass. Even though it had seen much better days, it reduced the pain of the whacks he got from the club, as he attacked the first goblin. After it went down, he turned quickly, giving the second goblin a well-earned beating. The goblin chose to remain and take it until Wrothken's final blow. As it fell, Wrothken heard a clinking noise. A few gold coins and a lock pick fell from its rags. Seeing as how the goblin no longer had use for either, Wrothken picked them up and continued inside.

The first room was quiet. Most likely the two goblins were in the area before the rat came along. The first thing Wrothken noticed was a large mound in the corner with bright silver veins wrapping around it. Excited, Wrothken searched the area for a pick. Maybe if I harvest enough silver, I can convince Awour to come back! he thought. "No, no, no!" he shouted, hitting himself on the head with each exclaim. He wasn't going to allow himself to crawl back to her. But the silver... oh, yes, he would show her. If he could get enough silver, he could show her exactly what she lost. If only he could find a pick!

In his hunting, he stumbled over a small, wooden chest. He knelt down, setting his mace down in front of him, and tried to open it. He sighed in relief as it opened without the objection of a lock. However, he was disappointed to find no pick axe. He was rewarded with a few more lock picks and a handful of gold. "Least it's something," he muttered. With a forlorn glance at the tempting silver, he continued on.

He was caught by surprise when a goblin smacked him in the stomach with an iron mace. It must have heard him in the next room. The blow caused him to stumble a little, but when he got his bearings back, he retaliated, burying his mace in the goblin's gut. The goblin squawked angrily and tried to bite Wrothken's arm with his noticeably sharp teeth. Wrothken quickly withdrew, since his arm was unprotected and he slammed his mace into the goblin's forehead.

He wasn't sure if it killed it or just knocked it out, so he didn't take his sweet time surveying the room. It was a dead end anyway. The only thing of interest was another silvery vein and a chest. Wrothken looked at the goblin and poked it with his foot. It didn't stir. If it was alive, it wouldn't return to consciousness for awhile. Wrothken went to the chest, dismayed to find out that it was locked. Lock picking was never his strong point. Just as he predicted, his first and second attempt failed. The third attempt, he got lucky and the chest opened up. It contained a little more gold, two lock picks, a head of lettuce, and a filthy fork. He wondered why goblins would bother locking hat up, but he figured it was silly to expect reason from those creatures.

Wrothken headed the other direction and entered what looked like a primitive kitchen. An empty pot sat over an open flame. Nearby, there was a table with disgustingly dirty utensils. Some sort of meat sat on the table along with a few potions. He was wary of anything created by goblins, but he figured there would be no harm in selling them. There had to be a mage somewhere who would want them.

He was in the middle of gathering them up when a pot whizzed by his head. He turned and saw a goblin wielding a ladle with suspicious looking fuzz sprouting from the spoon. The goblin angrily picked up a chair and threw it hard at Wrothken. He fell back, crushing the potions and dropping his mace. The goblin recognized the weapon and dashed, snatching it up before Wrothken could get back up. The goblin hit him while he was still down, creating large dents in the armor.

He couldn't tell where it was going to hit next because he was trying to shield his head with his thick forearms, though he could feel the goblin moving down near his legs, still swinging as hard as it could. Wrothken roughly kicked it and it landed right in the fire pit, the fire quickly engulfing it. It squealed loudly in unimaginable pain. Wrothken looked at it and felt sorry for the poor creature. He picked up his mace and used a well-placed hit to put it out of its misery. The room was already filling with the stench of roasting goblin. Wrothken felt ready to leave when a larger goblin strolled in.

It held a staff with a goblin head attached to it and wore a feathery head dress. It looked at the carnage and then at Wrothken, then back again. It gave Wrothken a look of fury, then turned on its heel and ran. Wrothken was bewildered. Surely that was the chief! Why was it running away? He thought about going after it, but he didn't know how much time he'd spent in the cave. Since he wanted to be in bed at a decent hour, he let the goblin run away and he headed to the door.


Twilight greeted him with such an eerie silence that he wouldn't have been surprised if the headless skeletons rose up and came after him. Paranoia encouraged a quick glance at them, and thankfully they remained on the ground.

White-Gold Tower was glowing like a pearl in the distance. Wrothken knew there was no way he was going to make it to the Imperial City before nightfall. His best bet would be to find an inn and set off in the morning.

He felt as if a dark cloud loomed over his head as he continued on his way. He couldn't figure out what he did wrong. She never mentioned any problems. He didn't know if he should take it as a warning and be happy it ended before things were too serious, or if he should try harder to get her back, despite Kirsty's threat of beating him up. He was so conflicted. His thoughts were so consuming that he forgot about the path and just headed straight.

He longed to hold her cool, soft figure against his once more. He wanted to bask in the glow of her amber skin. He needed her silken hands-- A fireball zoomed past his head, interrupting his mind.

The imp let out chirping sounds, which Wrothken interpreted to be laughter. Did it understand? Was it mocking him? With a guttural growl, Wrothken tried swatting it with his mace. It dodged each blow, tweeting joyfully. It is laughing at me! he thought with clenched teeth. It fueled his rage and he began swatting harder and faster. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, he landed a good hit. The imp fell to the ground, though still alive and alert. Before it could do anything, Wrothken picked it up by the legs and threw it. It took him a few minutes to feel the slightest bit guilty about it.

"Great," he said, looking around. He was deep in the forest and it was already dark. White-Gold Tower was no longer easily seen. The night was growing chilly. Wolves howled in the distance. Wrothken was tired and he knew that would be a hindrance if confronted by a hungry pack, be it wolves or bandits. "There has to be an inn somewhere..." he said, looking around. Then again, he wasn't sure if he wanted to spend the rest of the night looking for one. He decided to head back toward Skingrad to get his directions straight.

"Hmmm..." He stopped. After about a half hour walking, Wrothken stared at the Ayleid ruin ahead of him. He turned to a stone fort, which wasn't too far away, and said, "Now, I vaguely remember that...but this wasn't here before, was it?" How he wished Kirsty was with him. She was much better with directions. Sadly, he was left to his own instructions. "Maybe if I head this way..." he said, walking where he thought was southeast.



He knew his feet hated him. If they could, they'd probably jump off his ankles and run away. With each throbbing step, Wrothken knew they'd pay him back tenfold in the morning. He trudged along until he caught a buttery scent. He could tell it was something baked. His stomach growled loudly, scolding him for not eating since gobbling up the sandwiches Kirsty had packed. He no longer cared about the inn. All he wanted was a taste of that food. He followed his nose until he was able to see a point of light.

It didn't flicker, like a campfire. Instead it was steady, telling him it was likely a building. For the first time in ages, his heart rose. Ignoring the burning protests of his feet, he broke into a run. Even when his torch finally blew out, he didn't stop. He followed the light as if he were a moth.

A modest building soon came into view. Two windows were lit. A single horse sat outside the door, under a swinging sign. It read: The Inn of Ill Omen. Suddenly Wrothken was a little put off. Ill Omen? Did the owner want to scare off customers? Still, it was late and the scent was stronger than ever. He opened the door, almost wanting to sleep right there on the entrance floor.

"Well, I'll be a spotted Snowbear," the man at the counter exclaimed. "A customer!"

Wrothken nodded wearily. Awour used to refer to him as her "snowbear," but he pushed the thought away before it could distract him further. He sat at the counter and asked, "What is that smell? Whatever it is, I'd like some."

The man paled. "Oh... you mean S'Jirra's potato bread?"

Wrothken gasped. "Potato bread? Sounds wonderful!" His mouth watered just thinking about it.

"Ahh..." the man rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Well, the thing is, I don't sell it here. It's actually the inn up the road..." He trailed off.

Wrothken groaned. It was so tempting, seducing him with not just fresh bread, but potatoes... He loved potatoes! But he was so worn out. "You know what, I'll just eat here. What do you have?"

The color flushed back in the man's face. "I can fix you up some crab's meat! Just add some spices and it'll be the best crab you've ever had!"

"Fine, and I need a drink."

The man nodded, heading to his stove. "Name's Manheim, by the way." He didn't give Wrothken a chance to answer. "And as you probably saw, this here's the Inn of Ill Omen. Funny name, I know." He took out a leek and chopped it up. "But it's too late to change it now." He put the leek in a pan, along with some crab meat and a sprinkling of cheese. "You know, it's pretty late. You wouldn't happen to need a room, would you?"

Forcing his eyes to stay open, Wrothken answered, "Yes, actually I do."

"Great!" Manheim set the food on a plate and gave it to Wrothken, along with a bottle of ale. "I have one upstairs for ten septims. You interested?"

"Yeah, I'll take it." He took a fork and began shoveling the food in his mouth. He was done in seconds.

Manheim laughed. "Now that's what I like to see! A man with an appetite! Now, let's see... with the meal the total will be about... eighteen septims."

Wrothken was glad he explored the cave earlier. He took the amount from his coin purse and set it on the counter.

"Great..." Manheim examined them, seeming to suspect they might be fake. Satisfied, he pointed up the stairs. "Alright, first room on your left. The washroom is down the hall to the right."

Wrothken nodded and walked up the stairs.

The room was no bigger than a closet with a bedroll on the floor. He stripped out of his armor and his shirt, then he sat on the bed. He swished the bottle around for a few moments as he thought. No going back now. Tomorrow, I'll begin anew. He wasn't sure what, but the Imperial City had to have something for him. He raised the bottle up, as if toasting to himself, and chugged it down.

He crawled into the bedroll, clutching the pillow tightly. Almost instantly, he drifted to sleep.

This post has been edited by Jacki Dice: Jun 30 2014, 11:28 PM


--------------------
Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Nemesis

Standing on the cliffs that kiss burning winds
We are rising together
Brazen, exalting, a hiss of triumph rings
I am yours
...Yours immortally
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SubRosa
post Jan 15 2011, 07:39 PM
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From: Between The Worlds



A fight with a bandit that ends with them running away rather than fighting to the death with suicidal intensity? Yaay! It is so nice to see a touch of realistic behaviour from the characters in a fan fic. It shows us that Wrothken's world is a real place, and not a game.

However, he was wasting precious sunlight standing out there so he hurried away.
This reminds me of an old John Wayne cowboy movie (The Cowboys?) "We're burning daylight!"

He also didn't know if Bosmer had a preference toward "white meat."
laugh.gif

Kvatch would burn, and she would remain, rebuilding with her own tiny hands if she had to.
This feels prophetic, given the circumstances...

Undena Orethi was a cunningly placed piece of foreshadowing. Very thoughtful of you to place an encounter with her on Wrothken's path. She is a harbinger of the madness that waits for him.

A wonderful description of Wrothken's spellcasting!

a ladle with suspicious looking fuzz sprouting from the spoon
Ewwww! wacko.gif

All in all, lots of fun to see my favorite spotted snowbear back!

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jan 16 2011, 08:18 PM


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mALX
post Jan 17 2011, 08:18 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



QUOTE

Well, I'll be a spotted Snowbear," the man at the counter exclaimed. "A customer!"



I went into Manheims one day and he got stuck on that line, just kept repeating it over and over again - I thought it was funny the first time, but after a while it drove me nuts! It was either leave or kill him and reload the save, lol.

Now ... GAAAAH!!! Why are you stopping Champion of Madness? GAAAAAH!!!! You can't improve on perfection !!!!

Great Write ... but .... GAAAAAH !!!!


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Thomas Kaira
post Jan 17 2011, 09:52 PM
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Man man man man manly man man man...

Wrothken sound so much like your typical male... burly, scruffy, and always thinking with the stomach or... you know... that other thing. I like him already. hubbahubba.gif hubbahubba.gif

As the path took a sharp curve, a thought came into his mind suddenly. Kirsty was right! I haven't thought about Awour all day! Then he stopped. "Dammit!" he shouted, stomping his foot. Those thoughts were always counter productive, as his mind always became flooded with memories of the Altmer. Anytime he closed his eyes, he swore he could feel her golden, hip length hair on his cheeks. He could still see her pale green eyes staring at him, though he was miles away from her. He still smelled her flowery scent--

And down the slippery slope you go! Start thinking about a woman and there's almost nothing in the world that can make you stop.

He wasn't going to allow himself to crawl back to her. But the silver... oh, yes, he would show her. If he could get enough silver, he'd be as rich as the emperor himself! Oh, he how he would rub her nose in it, like dog after soiling the carpet. If only he could find a pick!

Bad breakup?

"A perfect tomato... one taste, and it is gone forever. And then... a lifetime of searching for the next one," she said sadly. "Undena Orethi. I am a pilgrim in search of the perfect tomato. It is my grail, and I shall follow it all my life."

Sounds like this girl's a bit mad, don't you think? tongue.gif


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Jacki Dice
post Jan 18 2011, 12:44 AM
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SubRosa~ That's always been a picky thing for me in TES. Why wouldn't bandits (and even some animals) run so they could fight (steal) another day?

mALX~
QUOTE
Now ... GAAAAH!!! Why are you stopping Champion of Madness? GAAAAAH!!!! You can't improve on perfection !!!!

Aww that's sweet of you to say. Basically, there are some things big and small that I really thought could use some improvement. You'll see what I mean once I hit Kirsty and Lilitu wink.gif

Thomas Kaira~ Meeeeeeen!!! (not a bad show tongue.gif) The thing with Undena Orethi was so convenient. In my Wrothken save, I actually had him walk from Kvatch all the way to the gate. Undena was just the first person I came across. Must have been fate tongue.gif


~~~~~♥~~~~~

Chapter Two: It's Raining Cheese! Hallelujah!


Wrothken woke with a horrible taste in his mouth. There was nothing quite like the combination of morning breath and sour ale. He stood up a little too fast, clutching his head to try and stop the room from spinning. When things slowed down a bit, he picked up his armor and shirt and headed to the washroom.

Like the bedroom, the washroom was nothing special. Just the basics in a very small, yet clean, space. When he realized that he wasn't craving a bath, he knew his misery-wallow had gone too far. Sure, he wasn't obsessive about cleanliness, but he did enjoy a bath daily. He felt almost as if a grimy cocoon was forming over him otherwise. The fact that he spent part of the previous day in a cave should have given him that "I-need-a-bath-now" feeling. Stripping his pants off, he ran the water in the tub.

When he got out, he felt like a new man...almost. He could feel scruff on his face. He looked in the mirror, rubbing it. It was scratchy and he noticed that when the light hit it, it was actually bright red, instead of blond like the rest of his body hair.

I'll have to take care of this soon, he thought. Ever since the first hair sprouted on his face at the age of fifteen, he was vigilant about keeping his face baby smooth. He was about to get dressed when he caught a glimpse of his full body in the mirror.

He was tall, even taller than most Nords. He wasn't tanned at all. In fact, he was almost ghostly. And as people said about most Nords, add just two more hairs and he'd be a bear. Okay, maybe not a bear. He saw men whose body hair was more like a fur coat. His wasn't that bad, thank goodness. Just manly, or at least he thought so. He got dressed and headed downstairs. It was around midday, so he still had time to eat before heading out.

"...just appeared right there in the bay!"

Wrothken heard an excited voice coming from downstairs.

"Yes, yes, but what about that orange sludge coming from the sky?" Manheim asked.

The other man laughed, but not in amusement. "Cheese! Can you believe it? It was raining cheese!"

Wrothken saw them sitting at the table. Next to Manheim was a Redguard woman and an Imperial man. He was the one reporting the raining cheese.

"No!" The woman exclaimed. She looked out the window, as if she wanted to see for herself.

"I swear on my grandmother's grave," the Imperial said with his hand over his heart.

"What's going on?" Wrothken asked, taking a seat by the woman.

"A strange door opened up in the Niben Bay a few hours ago," the Imperial said.

"And it rained... cheese?" Wrothken asked.

"It did! By Mara, I wouldn't have believed it if I hasn't tasted it myself!"

Wrothken looked out the window as well. As hard as it was to believe, the Imperial seemed serious. "The Niben Bay?" He asked.

"Yes! See for yourself!"

Maybe he would. After all, raining cheese wasn't an everyday occurrence.

"Alright, where do I go?"

"It's straight down the path. Just don't stay too long. Who knows what'll happen next..."

He walked out the door, expecting to be able to smell it. Instead, the air was as crisp as ever. He strode down the path, almost breaking into a run when he finally saw it. Oily orange clumps decorated the water and some of the shore. A poor mudcrab was covered in it and had a hard time moving. He had to know. He took some from the mudcrab's shell and sniffed it. It smelled like cheese. It felt like it, too. Only one way to be sure, he thought.

He put the clump in his mouth. "Cheddar!" he exclaimed. He grabbed some more and began eating, wishing he brought some bread with him.

He sat on the shore as he snacked, looking to the strange island ahead of him. That had to be the door. Curiosity sparked in him again. It wasn't too far off, though he wished he had a water walking spell. He was reluctant, but in the end he couldn't skip it. He just had to know what was there, otherwise it would drive him crazy. He'd check it out and then come back. He took off his armor and set his torches down on the shore before jumping into the water.

The water was cool and surprisingly free of slaughterfish. Maybe it was the cheese, he thought, as some clumps of cheese were slowly sinking into the water floor. One in particular that seemed to change shape as it went, caught Wrothken's eyes. He stared at it falling until he noticed something strange. The island was not exactly an island. It didn't start at the ground, it just floated there. It made him a little wary, but, still, he was so close, a lot closer than he was to the shore. He decided he'd check it out quickly and then get back to the path. Like the Imperial said, who knows what would happen next.

As Wrothken climbed onto the island, he was amazed by the plant life, though it too sported cheesy decoration. There were bright red mushrooms large enough for him to sit on. In a little pond, strange green pods bobbed with the water. Long, thin stalks rose even taller than he was. He saw lavender, pear-shaped fruits hanging from a bush. However, all the plants were nothing compared to the stone figure at the top.

It had two pairs of eyes and formed three faces. They were the same bearded man bearing different expressions. On the left, he seemed to just be staring outward. The right on was grinning, though Wrothken thought there was something malicious in his smile. The center face had his mouth gaping open and glowing bright blue.

Two other people stood outside. A guard with his hand glued to his hilt and a Khajiit, muttering incoherently. Wrothken was about to ask the guard what was going on, when he was cut off.

"Can't talk now," he said. "That door has been making noises again. No telling what's coming out," he said, turning toward the door, which in fact had started making gurgling noises.

Within seconds, a dark elf came out, wearing a shirt with overly puffy sleeves and discolored pants. He was laughing hard, yet crying at the same time. Wrothken stared in his eyes. Something was very wrong with him.

"It’s not right. Madness...why? WHY? Everything is wrong," he said. He grasped his head firmly. "It can't be done!"

Wrothken's stomach churned with pity for the poor man. Obviously something went wrong in there. He took a couple steps toward him, when the elf shouted, "Stay away from me! I won't go back. You can't make me go back! I'll kill you all! You’re all going to die!" The elf pulled out a dagger from his belt and started toward Wrothken.

Wrothken instantly put his hand on his mace, though he wasn't sure if he could do it. The elf wasn't right. He probably didn't even know what he was doing.

"Stay back! This one's violent," the guard commanded. With only a few swings of his sword, the elf was freed from madness.

Finally able to talk, the guard approached Wrothken. "I say steer clear of that door. Nothing good to be found on the other side of it. Of that, I'm certain."

With a glance at the slain elf, Wrothken was about to head back when he heard a booming voice. "Unworthy, unworthy, unworthy! Useless mortal meat! Walking bag of dung!"

Wrothken looked around. The Khajiit was huddled in a ball, still rambling to herself and the guard was watching her like a hawk. There was no one else on the island, so who said that?

"A nice effort though," the voice said, as if he was taking back what he just said. "A shame he's dead. These things happen."

The voice was coming from the door. He turned at stared at it, wondering if the statue was actually alive.

"Bring me a champion!" It commanded. "Rend the flesh of my foes! A mortal champion to wade through the entrails of my enemies!"

Wrothken's brows furrowed. A champion? He wasn't... he couldn't... Then why were his feet leading him closer to the door?

"Really! Do come in! It's lovely in the Isles, perfect time for a visit."

He found himself right in front of the blinding light. No, I can't go in there, he thought. Look what happened to that guy! What if it happens to me? He looked up at the teeth, wondering for a second if it was a trap and the teeth would crunch down and eat him up. "What if I just take a quick peek? I'm sure I'll be fine. Just a peek," he reasoned.

He tentatively raised his foot and stuck it through the door. When he quickly pulled it out, it was still there, same as always. He tested it with his hand, and as before, it came back normal. With his eyes squeezed shut, he took the plunge and went in.



The area was not what he expected at all. Then again, he didn't know what to expect. The room was dark. The only light came from a single candle, only illuminating the immediate area. Physically, it was warm, but the dark stone walls and floor made him feel colder. In the center of the room, by the candle, a man sat at a table. He looked like he was middle-aged, due to the loss of hair on top of his head and worry lines in his face and bags under his eyes. A metronome on the table ticked loudly. The man had a book in his lap and he set it down, looking as if Wrothken had interrupted him at a cliffhanger.

"Was that you doing the hokey-pokey?" he asked.

Wrothken's cheeks flushed brightly. He didn't think anyone would see that.

"Just take a seat," the man said, motioning to another chair.

Wrothken sat down, looking around. What could have possibly driven those people mad?

"What can I do for you?" He asked Wrothken.

"The door leads here?" Wrothken asked.

"Yes, you have entered the door and now you are here. Amazing, truly."

Wrothken narrowed his eyes a little. Was he being sarcastic?

"What is this place?" he asked, trying to ignore it.

"You approach the Shivering Isles. Through the door behind me lies the realm of Sheogorath, Prince of Madness, Lord of the Never-there. I am Haskill, chamberlain to His Lordship."

"Why did the door show up in the Niben Bay? And what was with all the cheese?"

"Because my Lord wills it to be so. It poses no danger to Mundus; no compact has been violated. It is a doorway, an invitation. Perhaps you will accept it for what it is." He paused, then added, "The cheese was merely a special touch. Surely you can't expect the arrival of Sheogorath's doorway to have gone on unnoticed. He was sure the cheese would catch someone's attention."

It sure did, Wrothken thought. Then he remembered the people outside. "What about that dark elf and the Khajiit?"

"They entered this realm and were ill-prepared. Their minds are now the property of my Lord."

"But, can't they be cured?"

"Cured?" Haskill seemed almost insulted. "You speak as if they are diseased! They live now in another state of being. Perhaps it is you that needs a cure."

He sure did, but he doubted Haskill could help with that. "When I was out there, I heard someone say 'Bring me a champion!' What was that about?"

"My Lord seeks a mortal to act as His Champion. As for His intent... to attempt to fathom it is a foolish endeavor. His will is His own; His reality follows suit. You are here because you chose to enter; you were not summoned."

Was he not? Wrothken remembered the pull the door had on him, the way he moved forward even as his mind protested.

"So, what now?"

"You do as you will," he said disinterestedly. "You may leave the way you entered. Your life will be none the worse for your time spent here. Or, you may continue onward, through the door behind me. If you can pass the Gates of Madness, perhaps the Lord Sheogorath will find a use for you."

"And if I go back?"

"Who is to say? There are always choices to be made. The Realm of Madness is no different in that regard. Your choices are your own. Enter or do not, but make your decision. I've other duties to which I must attend. Speak with me again when you have made up your mind. The anticipation is almost too much to bear." Once again, he sounded sarcastic.

Wrothken sat in the chair, and thought deeply. A Daedric Prince might have a use for me? I wonder what... But this is ridiculous! People come out of here warped out of their minds! What if the same happens to me? Oh, who am I kidding? I'm already mad! ....wait, if I'm thinking that, then I can't be mad. A crazy person never doubts their sanity... His head had begun to hurt.

Haskill cleared his throat loudly. "Well? Have you made up your mind? The tension is almost palpable."

"I'll do it!" He said. Even as the words left his lips, he didn't know what he was thinking. He had a thousand questions for himself, but for once he put them to the side. Today was the start of his new life, after all.

"Fine," he said, almost sounding disappointed. Wrothken had a feeling that Haskill was going to be a royal pain in the behind. "I'm sure my Lord will be most pleased, assuming you ever manage to see Him. You'll want to pass through the Gates of Madness. Oh, and mind the Gatekeeper. He dislikes strangers to the Realm. Enjoy your stay."

Haskill stood up and walked to the door. The moment he touched the handle, butterflies materialized from the walls. Thousands of them flew up into the air, revealing the Isles to Wrothken. He was breathless.

"That was amazing!" He said, but Haskill was gone. Wrothken was alone on the hill. "Well, so far, so good."

This post has been edited by Jacki Dice: Jan 18 2011, 02:38 AM


--------------------
Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Nemesis

Standing on the cliffs that kiss burning winds
We are rising together
Brazen, exalting, a hiss of triumph rings
I am yours
...Yours immortally
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SubRosa
post Jan 18 2011, 02:20 AM
Post #10


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From: Between The Worlds



He just had to know what was there, otherwise it would drive him crazy.
And it might just do that anyhow! wink.gif

Once again I loved the rain of cheese that heralded the arrival of the strange door in Niben Bay. That was a good touch. So very Sheogoraic. Also again I liked how Wrothken is drawn to the door like a lodestone. He makes excuses to just go look, but it is clear that something deeper is drawing him in.

Well, Wrothken sure knows how to start a new life! But I don't think this was quite what Kirsty had in mind! laugh.gif


nits:
Wrothken was about to ask the guard what was going on, when the guard cut him off
You have a repetition of guard here. You might want to replace the second instance with something like soldier, or swordsman, other man, etc...


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mALX
post Jan 19 2011, 11:29 PM
Post #11


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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



I'm so glad you kept the cheese in there - that was one of the first clues to me that your story was going to be AWESOME !!!


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Jacki Dice
post Jan 21 2011, 03:00 AM
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The cheese rain was a huge thing since I thought the arrival of the door was just too plain for Mr. Rain-of-flaming-dogs. And Wrothken does love his cheese... smile.gif


~~~~~♥~~~~~

Chapter Three: We're All Mad Here



Wrothken felt like a child filled with wonder as he walked the path in the Isles. Even though it was daylight, the sky was littered with golden stars. Sometimes when he walked, shimmering bursts would appear, swirl around in the air and the vanish. Of course, he knew it couldn't be all stars and sparkles. The plane of Madness had to have a few undesirable things about it, which made him happy that the door leading back to Cyrodiil remained, just in case he had enough.

It wasn't long before he came across... something. It was short and green. It looked like the result of a love affair between a goblin and a slaughterfish. Wrothken noticed it had pants on. Maybe it's a resident? It looked appropriate given the area. The creature didn't seem to notice him, so Wrothken walked over to it. "Good day," he greeted, hand extended for a shake.

The creature replied by taking out a primitive-looking dagger and growling. Wrothken felt a flutter in his heart as he realized he left his armor back in Cyrodiil. He still had his mace, so he took it out and swung. The creature was quicker than him. It spun and slashed his arm deeply. He didn't feel it at first, so he kept swinging, eventually hitting it mid-spin. When he finished, he started to feel the stinging in his arm.

He closed his eyes, focusing on a cooling feeling in his heart. It wrapped down his arm, and he soon felt it heal. He sighed. First thing he needed to do was get some armor.

He winced, staring at the blood oozing from his arm. He cursed himself for not bringing along a health potion. He focused his magicka again, just the way his grandma had taught him so many years ago. Feel love in your heart. Think of all the love I have for you and grab it! As soon as you have it, I want you to release it, like I'm giving you a big kiss! The memory made him smile and he did so, only until it stopped bleeding. If it scarred, it was fine with him.

The path was long and winding. On both sides there were broken pillars. When the pillars were new, it must have been majestic, he thought. At night it must be really beautiful... It brought to mind evening walks, which reminded him of strolls with Awour after a date. He sulked, remembering how she used to swoon over some of the actors when it was Theater Night at the arena. There was the first sign of the issue that he just didn't seem to notice. It wasn't that he objected to her finding other men attractive. It was natural. The problem was that she would do it so blatantly, and then proceed to describe just how handsome and perfect they were. In fact, he recalled her going through a similar phase when meeting Bacchus for the first time. "There's nothing sexier than a man in metal," she had said, batting her long eyelashes. He felt so stupid. He should have known...

He stopped in the middle of the road. It didn't matter. He was in a new place. Time for the new life to begin. He took a deep breath, picturing in his mind a small figure sweeping out a large pile of garbage, symbolizing his memories.

Now that he stopped that destructive thought process, he started remembering what Haskill had said. In order for him to see Sheogorath, he needed to go through the Gate of Madness. In order to do that, he had to get through the Gatekeeper, who apparently disliked strangers. Perhaps he can be reasoned with, he thought.

He entered a small settlement. There were only a handful of tumbledown shacks, all round a larger building. So many people were around it that he figured it to be an inn.

A Redguard walked up to Wrothken with a big smile. "Hello, I'm Shelden. I've been here the longest. That's why I'm mayor of Passwall. That, and because I'm the best at being in charge. Welcome to my town! The place was pretty deserted when I got here. Of course, once I was here, others followed. Can't say I blame them."

"Oh, you're the mayor?" Wrothken asked. "So you'd know about the Gatekeeper, right?"

"The Gatekeeper?" A dark elf asked. He was a few feet away, so he had to raise his voice in order to talk to them. "He's pretty scary, isn't he? He's actually about to destroy a group of adventurers right now. Let's watch him in action."

"Wait, what?"

Sheldon and the dark elf ran up the hill. Wrothken ran to catch up with them. He froze when he saw the Gatekeeper. It was two, maybe three times his size. It had no face. Just soft tissue where the eyes, nose, and mouth should have been. Instead of a right hand, it had a large bloody sword attached to its arm. It wore a metal collar that connected to a piece going down the center of its chest and then wrapping around its stomach. In its chest, Wrothken could see scabs shaped like large keys.

A group of adventurers clad in steel armor, stood by the Gatekeeper, barely reaching his knee. The Orc leader commanded them to fight and they obediently did so. Wrothken was horrified as the Gatekeeper threw them around like rag dolls. He had to help. He rushed in, beating the Gatekeeper's leg with his mace. The Gatekeeper didn't even seem to notice. It continued to crush the adventurers until they were motionless. Only after they were dead, did it look down at Wrothken. He didn't wait for it to attack. He ran down the stairs, stumbling over his legs. The Gatekeeper followed him only to the last stair. It grunted, standing as if to show where its territory begun.

Wrothken panted hard, trembling.

"Pretty scary, huh?" The dark elf said. "Jayred Ice-Vein's planning on killing him. I don't know how... the Gatekeeper looks indestructible to me."

"Well, good luck to him!" Wrothken said. He didn't want anything to do with it. It was unbeatable!

He entered the inn, taking a seat at the counter. The publican was an Altmer, who also happened to be blond. Wrothken pretended not to notice, though it made his heart sink.

"Hello, I'm Dredhwen," she said. She had large bags under her eyes. "No one was running this place when I got here. They left plenty of things behind, though. What do you need?" She asked with a loud yawn.

"Nothing, now," he said, attempting to gather his thoughts. As he looked around the room, his eyes were caught on a bust of a mustached man and the piles of lettuce and yarn around it.

"Hey."

Wrothken turned to see a brown haired Nord standing behind him. The Nord knelt down to whisper to Wrothken. "I haven't seen you 'round these parts. You here about the Gatekeeper?"

This must be Jayred, Wrothken thought, recognizing the last name as of Nordic descent.

"I was," Wrothken said. "But after seeing him--"

Jayred placed his finger over Wrothken's lips. "Before you get scared, let me tell you something. The Gatekeeper had a brother."

Wrothken slapped his hand away and folded his arms. "Oh? And what does that matter?"

"Well, he's dead now. His bones have spoken to me," he put great, almost seduced, emphasis on "bones." "And they've told me how to kill the Gatekeeper!"

"....his bones spoke to you?" Wrothken shook his head. "Are you--" He was about to ask if he was insane, but then remembered where he was. "I mean, how can the bones help?"

"They say the Gatekeeper is magical. I don't believe in magic, but I do believe in bones. And the best way to kill something is with the bones of its own. I can see the bones of a dead Gatekeeper in the courtyard of the Gardens of Flesh and Bone. Come with me and I'll show you how we can kill him."

Wrothken stared at him hard. Any other day, if a crazy person would have asked him to accompany them anywhere, especially with a name like "Gardens of Flesh and Bone," he would have run, not walked, away. However, there was something about Jayred that seemed sincere, if not extremely creepy.

Finally, he asked, "Why are you willing to include me in this? Why not do it yourself?"

"Because I'm an archer. The Gatekeeper doesn't allow for long-range combat, so I would be unable to take him on by myself. But you!" he grabbed Wrothken's large arm. "I know this isn't just bone! With the two of us, I bet we could take him easily! So what do you say?"

"Alright then, show me this garden."



"Here we are!" Jayred announced. It wasn't much of a garden. It was a large fortress with skeletons piled up in the enclosed yard.

Jayred ran up to the gate, reaching toward the bones. "I know, I heard your calls. I'm here now. Shhhh...." He said under his breath. He turned back to Wrothken. "Hurry! Pick that lock open. I can hear them in there! "

"Pick? You never said anything about it being locked!"

"Well, of course it is! If it wasn't, I would have had the bones already! Think logically, man!"

Wrothken fumed. A man with a bone fetish was telling him to think logically? Still, he needed his help. First he tested it, shaking the gate hard. The gates remained shut. He reached in his pocket, hoping he had not lost his lock picks while he was swimming. When he felt them still inside, he breathed deep. He stuck it in the lock and forced himself not to rush through it. He found that it was a relatively simple one, so it only took him two picks to get through it.

"Here I am!" Jayred cried, rushing past Wrothken. He sat by the large skeleton, rubbing his hands all over it. "Yes, yes, you knew I'd come, didn't you?"

Jayred spent plenty of time delicately gathering up the bones. Before adding each one to the pile in his arms, Jayred would coo to it and occasionally giving one a kiss. Please don't let me turn out like this, Wrothken thought.

"Alright," Jayred said, acting as if his behavior was the most normal in the world. "From these bones, I can make the arrows. Just give me a few hours and I'll be ready."

Wrothken closed his eyes, trying to force away the hideous image of what he suspected Jayred might be using the "few hours" for. "Right," he said. "See you in a few hours."

Jayred headed back to Passwall. "I've been waiting so long for you. Let me get you in my nice warm house..."

Wrothken shuddered. If this was just the fringe of madness, he was almost afraid to see what would happen once he got to the heart of it all.

This post has been edited by Jacki Dice: Jan 21 2011, 03:01 AM


--------------------
Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Nemesis

Standing on the cliffs that kiss burning winds
We are rising together
Brazen, exalting, a hiss of triumph rings
I am yours
...Yours immortally
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Thomas Kaira
post Jan 21 2011, 11:30 AM
Post #13


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From: Flyin', Flyin' in the sky!



Jayred headed back to Passwall. "I've been waiting so long for you. Let me get you in my nice warm house..."

Come on man, it's just a bone... err... I think it is at least.

Wait, that totally came out wrong... huh.gif

Umm... he's... boned?

Oh gods, get out of my head, Dhertee Innu-Enndo! rollinglaugh.gif

Haskill was always my favorite character, simply because he is so used to the Madness of the realm he's bored of it. Such contrast always got a good grin from me whenever I spoke with him.

I especially look forward to when Wrothken starts having fun summoning him. biggrin.gif wink.gif cool.gif


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Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?
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D.Foxy
post Jan 21 2011, 12:01 PM
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See? I told you I was catching!!!

:meh:
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Grits
post Jan 21 2011, 04:19 PM
Post #15


Councilor
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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



He was about to get dressed when he caught a glimpse of his full body in the mirror.
hubbahubba.gif

Wrothken felt like a child filled with wonder as he walked the path in the Isles.
Exactly how I feel reading this story. I havenít been to the SI yet, and your descriptions make me see it in my mind! smile.gif


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Jerric's Story * Darnandex * Morning Star Screenshot: Cyrodiil Meadow
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haute ecole rider
post Jan 21 2011, 04:47 PM
Post #16


Master
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Joined: 16-March 10
From: The place where the Witchhorses play



TBH, I found the Shivering Isles and the whole Madness questline to be quite disturbing. I've only played it twice, as it's hard for me to swallow my own moral constraints and give myself up to the game. Both characters that I've played SI with were amoral folks who just didn't care. Probably for that reason, I didn't care so much about them.

I know many people find this place a wonderful world, and the plants (especially on the Mania side) are so amazing. Yet the undercurrent of insanity that marks Sheogorath's realm makes me very uncomfortable. My hat's off to the game developers for pulling this off so well, and I have only respect for those who make it as interesting as you do. As the only sane person in a world full of insanity, it's mostly incomprehensible to me. Yet it's ironic, really - isn't that exactly how insane people feel?

I enjoyed Wrothken's confusion with Jayred's bone obsession. To continue in TK's and Foxy's vein, I suppose there are women who share the same obsession for bones. Heh.
*ducking and running*

That scene with the Gatekeeper really recaptures my feelings the first time I saw the creature. I remember thinking now HTF am I supposed to get past that? Then someone tells me Jayred has an idea, so I go to see him. I found him in his house, and yikes, is that creepy or what? Bone decor?? I ask him about his idea, and he starts talking about bones. WTF?? Yes, you brought back plenty of memories in a pretty vivid manner, all right.

Sometimes I think Haskill is the only sane person in a world full of insanity. Makes me wonder if that makes him abnormal by SI standards? I do wish I could have his blasť attitude toward the goings-on in this world.


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D.Foxy
post Jan 21 2011, 04:56 PM
Post #17


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Joined: 23-March 10



To continue in TK's and Foxy's vein, I suppose there are women who share the same obsession for bones. Heh.

Well, mah deah, your own avatar is swallowing his tailbone...


...


blink.gif


EEEEEEK!!!


He's GAY!!!

panic.gif

This post has been edited by D.Foxy: Jan 21 2011, 04:58 PM
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mALX
post Jan 21 2011, 05:03 PM
Post #18


Ancient
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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



EW! Kisssing the bones! Blech !!! I'm still laughing at Wrothken's getting seen doing the "hokey-pokey"


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SubRosa
post Jan 21 2011, 05:33 PM
Post #19


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Joined: 14-March 10
From: Between The Worlds



I really enjoyed your description of Wrothken's healing. Using his grandmother's love as a symbol for it was truly inspired. you not only gave one of the most basic acts in the game a real measure of depth and interest, but you also showed us a little bit about Wrothken in the bargain.

His later musings about Awour were also a good bit of realism. When you have a bad breakup like he did, it is not something you just forget overnight. Once more, his concentrating on the symbol of cleaning up the garbage was an excellent touch! Your own knowledge of Witchcraft really shines in this segment. smile.gif

if a crazy person would have asked him to accompany them anywhere, especially with a name like "Gardens of Flesh and Bone," he would have run
Sounds look good survival instincts there!

Wrothken fumed. A man with a bone fetish was telling him to think logically?
biggrin.gif


nits:
Not really a nit, but instead of saying that Jayred has a fetish, you might want to go with another word, like fixation or obsession. Fetish often means something sexual, a meaning I can see some of the other commenters are fixated upon themselves... wink.gif

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Jan 21 2011, 05:34 PM


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Jacki Dice
post Jan 21 2011, 10:01 PM
Post #20


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Joined: 18-March 10



Thomas Kaira~ I think there was a show or a movie in the 90's where someone would say "Bonerific" I believe Jayred would describe it that way tongue.gif And I love writing Haskill. His sarcasm and seriousness in the Isles is pretty hilarious.

Foxy~ Dirty Mind? Clean it up with Orbitz! -fanfare- For a good clean feeling, no matter what! tongue.gif What shall we call the outbreak of dirty thoughts? Maybe Foxy-flu?

Grits~ I'm glad you can imagine it clearly. I often wonder if I'm descriptive enough but your comment is assuring smile.gif

Haute~ I thought the same thing when I first saw the Gatekeeper. I expected a person or something not a giant orange thing... That'll teach me to expect something reasonable while in the Isles...

mAlx~ Well, I was going to have him do worse with the bones.... but I decided to leave it to the imagination wink.gif

SubRosa~ Aww there you go making me blushy... happy.gif I've actually done the imagery with the lady sweeping garbage away when I can't sleep. It really helps! And the fetish thing...well, Wrothken does suspect something funny going on when he says he'll need a few hours alone with the bones ohmy.gif



~~~♥~~~
Wrothken <---New picture smile.gif

~~~~~♥~~~~~

Chapter Four: Gatekeeper Gets Boned



While Wrothken waited for Jayred to finish, he stared up at the sky. It was pitch black, spattered with clusters of stars of every color imaginable. He wished the sky in Cyrodiil looked that way. If only he could have shared it with-- No, her name is not allowed, he reminded himself. A deeper, uncontrollable part of his mind retorted with, Yes, but you can't stop me from showing you...

He saw her again. She didn't have that gracefulness that Altmer were supposed to possess. Actually, she tripped and stumbled into anything and everything. But Wrothken thought it was adorable, just as long as she didn't hurt herself. He remembered shortly after they met, she tripped and he caught her. Cliche, but the look in her eyes at that moment made him blush several shades of red. In fact, it was that moment that gave him his first kiss...

He grunted, violently shaking his head. He didn't want to remember! He just wanted to forget it all and be done with it! Jayred's taken long enough, he thought.

After getting directions from Sheldon, who bragged that he knew where Jayred lived because he was the mayor, Wrothken headed straight to Jayred's house. He banged on the door.

"Uh..." Wrothken heard a rushed shuffling. "Who is it?"

"It's been hours," Wrothken snapped. "Are you done yet?"

"Oh, sure, sure!" Jayred opened the door and let him in.

Wrothken expected some sort of strangeness, but not to the extent it really was. Skulls, rib cages, and all sorts of other bones sat carefully arranged in bowls and on shelves. His table seemed to be constructed entirely of bones, along with a set of matching chairs. When he looked closely, Wrothken noticed that the bowls were actually skull caps, the dishes carved bone. When his eyes drifted toward what he assumed to be the bedroom, Wrothken wondered if he would find a complete skeleton, lying in the bed. He shuddered.

"The arrows are ready," Jayred announced, holding two bundles of them. "Here are some for you, and I'll keep some."

"Actually," Wrothken said, handing the arrows back. "I don't have a bow and I'm a lousy shot anyway. I think you should keep them instead."

Jayred shrugged, sticking them in his quiver, on which Wrothken saw tiny bones forming a design of a larger bone. "Then let me give you something else," he said, heading to a large chest in the corner of the room. He opened it and motioned for Wrothken to look inside. The chest held a full set of steel armor. "I was going to use it to model some bone armor, but since you'll be up close, I think you'll need it more."

Wrothken looked it over. It was in good condition. He wanted to ask where Jayred had gotten it, but something told him it would be better not knowing.

"Now, let's go kill the Gatekeeper. We might die. But there's worse things."

If Jayred died, at least he would eventually become his obsession,
he thought.

"Just remember to keep the Gatekeeper off me. The key to killing him are these precious bones."

Jayred led the way up the hill, just as a Dunmer in an extravagant black dress was walking the opposite way. She was sobbing softly into a napkin. Wrothken wondered if she had lost her husband to the Gatekeeper. She glanced at him and her molten eyes clearly said, "Stay away." He did so, continuing up the path with Jayred.

The moment they crossed the invisible line that separated the town from the Gatekeeper's territory, they heard a roar. The Gatekeeper rushed toward them.

"I'll take your bones!" Jayred yelled, as he started shooting his arrows.

The Gatekeeper bellowed as the arrows sunk deep into it's flesh. It was a disturbing muffled noise, as he had no true mouth. As it turned toward Jayred, Wrothken struck its knee with his mace. Unlike last time, the mace made a difference. The Gatekeeper grabbed its leg, howling miserably. Before he knew it, Wrothken was hurled into the air. As he hit the ground, he saw the Gatekeeper running after Jayred. He dragged himself up, trying to focus. Thankfully, even with blurred vision, he was easily able to make out the giant orange mass.

Wrothken stood behind the Gatekeeper, beating its legs. He learned to duck underneath it anytime it turned. Eventually, he scored a lucky hit and shattered one of its kneecaps. The Gatekeeper let out a piercing cry, so loud that all of Passwall emerged from their homes to watch.

Wrothken knew he had to hurry. He had no idea if Jayred was running low on arrows. He looked around, and suddenly had an idea. He ran to one of the trees and started climbing.

"What are you doing?" Jayred shouted.

"Just trust me! I need you to get it over here."

Jayred growled, but did as he was asked. He walked backwards, shooting the arrows at the Gatekeeper, until it was close to the tree Wrothken sat in. When it was close enough, Wrothken jumped from the tree, grabbing onto the Gatekeeper's collar. He pulled himself up and used all his strength to whack the Gatekeeper on the side of the head repeatedly. As the Gatekeeper was falling, Wrothken realized that he didn't think it through enough. He had nowhere to go, except down with the giant.

The ground sent a flash of pain throughout his body. He sat up, throbbing. He desperately wanted to heal himself, but couldn't focus enough magicka.

"We did it!" Jayred cried. He slapped Wrothken hard on the back. "Congratulations! I was afraid it would be your bones coming out instead of his. Don't worry, though. I would have taken good care of them..."

Wrothken didn't answer, for fear of snapping at the Nord for hitting him so hard.

"Anyway, the honor of taking the keys from his corpse is yours."

Wrothken looked at the dead Gatekeeper. "Actually," he said to Jayred. "There are two keys. Why don't we each take one?"

"Sounds like a plan to me!" With gusto, and probably some bone fondling, Jayred ripped out a large turquoise key.

Wrothken was a little more hesitant, and even more so when the crying dark elf from earlier threw herself on the monster's body. She held its head to her breast, stroking its cheek."My baby!" She sobbed. "My poor, poor baby!"

He tried to be discrete as he reached in to drag the other key out. "You monster!" The dark elf fumed. "You'll rue this day, I swear it!"

"Um..." Wrothken wasn't sure how to respond when she burst into tears again, cradling the Gatekeeper's head against her chest. He picked up the red key and looked at the two doors. He was about to go through one of the dark walkways when Haskill appeared behind him.

"So, you've managed to kill the Gatekeeper. Pity," he said, looking at the slain beast. "Well, you'll now be able to enter the Realm proper. You'll notice there are two doors. One leads to the lands of Mania. The other to Dementia. Your key leads to Mania, which is the door on your left. The lands are quite distinct, but both are Sheogorath's domain. You'll want to seek out Lord Sheogorath. I believe He has plans for you." He looked Wrothken up and down, adding, "Try not to disappoint Him. You will find Him in New Sheoth, in His palace. It is best not to make Lord Sheogorath wait. His whims are fleeting, and should He decide you are no longer necessary, it would be to your detriment."

Wrothken felt the urge to punch him, but he resisted. "Where can I find New Sheoth?"

Haskill sighed exasperatedly. "Must I do everything? Here, take this." He handed Wrothken a map. Passwall was on the western part of the Isles and New Sheoth was far to the east. "I'm sorry that it isn't colored. It's all I have."

Wrothken thought he saw a very slight smirk as he growled. He turned and entered the gates to Mania. It was time to see what Sheogorath had in mind for him.

This post has been edited by Jacki Dice: Jun 30 2014, 11:36 PM


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Madness Helps Me Save Myself
Nemesis

Standing on the cliffs that kiss burning winds
We are rising together
Brazen, exalting, a hiss of triumph rings
I am yours
...Yours immortally
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