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About this blog

thoughts on modding and snippets of stories

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Aithne’s story part 10 – The Other Side of the Equation

Aithne was woken by a touch on her shoulder. She blinked and looked up to see her master standing over her. A warm feeling ran through her body and she smiled at him, the first genuine smile she could remember. He looked momentarily startled – or she might have imagined it – but then his visage shifted to his usual gruff stoicism and he motioned and she pushed herself to wobbly feet.   He watched with an expression that told her that he carried the same concern she was feeling. She wil

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Aithne’s story part 9 – Stolen Property

She was awoken by a roar that filled the air and made the ground vibrate. She gasped as pain lanced through her arms and shoulders. She struggled to put weight back on her legs, though they had their own share of complaints.   The roar sounded again as the first tingling of feeling began to sweep over her limbs, and she twisted her head in every direction she could manage even as the refugees began to drag themselves from their tents. Soon the area was filling with muttering and cries

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Aithne’s story part 8 – Stonehill

The sun had dipped partway into the distant horizon like a satisfied man in a bath when they arrived at what appeared to be a mine, except there were a number of ragged tents staked out around it. HE inquired and discovered it to be a makeshift refugee camp.   “Just our luck,” HE muttered as she set up their own small camp on the outskirts, somewhat away from the refugees. “I had hoped to make some money tonight but these cowards don’t have a septim to split between them. Finish settin

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Aithne’s story part 7 – The Well-Traveled Road

It was the warmest, most comfortable bed in the world, fit for kings or emperors.  Delicious heat stroked her skin, cocooned her in its embrace like a mother’s womb, and she smiled and snuggled deeper into…   “Attention.”   HIS voice cut through the warmth like a shard of ice and her body fought to comply without hesitation. For some reason, it would not move as quickly as…   “Attention!”   A sharp smack on her thigh, and she cried out as she struggled wit

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Aithne’s story part 6 – Broken

There was no sea. There were no ships. There never had been. It had been an illusion, a dream born of fever and nightmare, best left on the shoals of sleep, where all dreams founder upon waking.   Bright sunlight. The sound of the surf crashing and gulls calling and horkers shuffling their massive bulks across the shore. She noted them all in a distant part of her mind, but they weren’t for her. HE turned and began walking, HIS hand holding the lead to her collar in a negligent grip. S

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Aithne’s story part 5 – Receding

Her first time on a Navy Sloop of War had been a revelation. The tight rigging, the prow as sharp as a knife, everything in exactly the right place. Every inch of space was built with purpose – not a hair’s width was underutilized. It was, as far as she was concerned, the peak of specieal knowhow. It moved through the water like it was…   “You’re doing it again.” A sharp crack and her right breast burst into flame. She cried out as the cave rushed back into focus, along with the ten-in

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Making of a Mod: Simple Slavery part 4

On January 29, 2015 (oh, those innocent times!), the third mod connection was made – Doc Clox gave me permission to add Quick as you Like, a fun mod that was, alas, never quite finished. I also learned how to randomize things in Papyrus, so auction messages, bidding scenes, and the slavery outcomes themselves no longer had to go in a set order.   Content Consumer also brought in more slave banners which I am placing here for posterity’s sake:         I tho

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Aithne’s story part 4 – The Cusp

Aithne huddled at the end of her chain as she watched the door. Master had found a town some days or weeks ago. She wasn’t sure – she had lost track of time in this enclosed space, where the only hints of the world outside came when He opened the door to leave or return.   She heard His footsteps crunching outside and hastily pushed herself to her knees, then poised as she had been taught, with head bowed and hands open on her thighs. She heard the door open and peeked up as much as sh

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Aithne’s story part 3 – First Lesson

When Aithne woke again, she felt a little like she had in the water – cocooned in comfortable heat. She was still laying on her side, but the fire was banked to a low glow. She couldn’t see the sky beyond, so she figured it must be the dead of a cloudy night. Which was fine – she didn’t want to move. She had never felt so comfortable. She sighed and snuggled back against the hard stone wall behind her.   The wall shifted with her and she froze as a giant green arm wrapped itself around

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Making of a Mod: Simple Slavery part 3

Once again, a few things happened around the same time.   First, Slaves of Tamriel handed me this lovely code snippet that checks for a quest before it tries to call it:     This was in the time before ModEvents were prevalent in nearly everything, so hooking onto quests was the only sure way to connect. Well, that I knew of, anyway. With this in my pocket, I could connect to any mod in existence as long as I had a quest name and, as a bonus, I could check to make s

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Making of a Mod: Simple Slavery part 2

The Creation Kit is, at the same time, an extremely useful, powerful, and fairly easy to grasp tool AND a confusing mess that makes one wonder how anyone manages to accomplish anything within its confines. After going through the tutorials (which are actually very well done and very helpful for getting the very basics), I learned three important things that became the combined cornerstone of all of the mods I have made. They are these:   1 – Dialogue trees are easy to make. 2 – Qu

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Making of a Mod: Simple Slavery part 1

Someone thought it would be interesting to know about the history of Simple Slavery and suggested a blog post about it. Since I, being a complete narcissist, love talking about myself and, more specifically, about all of my limitations as a mod-maker and a person, I decided to give it a go. So here is the history behind Simple Slavery.   Picture it: the dead of winter, 2014. Was it only six years ago? Feels like so much longer.   Anyway: the dead of winter, 2014. I had stumbl

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Aithne’s story part 2 – Out of the Freezer, Into the Drink

The orc heaved a large bag out of the water and flopped it on the ice with a jarring metallic clank without looking away, then spoke in exactly the sort of deep grumbly voice that she had imagined. “I have one more load to get. Sit tight – I won’t be long.” Aithne couldn’t have responded had she wanted to but he didn’t seem to expect a response – he turned and jumped back into the water. Aithne spared a moment to marvel at the orc’s ability to swim in such icy water as she clambered to her

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Aithne’s story part 1 – Death on Ice

It made no sense, Aithne thought. The crow’s nest was the highest point on the ship, which meant it was the closest to the sun. That should make it the warmest spot, shouldn’t it? She glanced off-port at the distant mountains of Skyrim. They stared back, their icy crowns glittering in the bright light of day. They were even taller than the crow’s nest – they should be the warmest spots on the planet. Instead, they were the coldest.   It made no sense.   She sighed and re-focu

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Sloan's Story part 22 - A Way In

“This is going to take forever. No wonder we haven’t won the war yet.”   “They can’t get everyone through at once. Be patient.”   “Patient? I’ve been standing out here for three days!”   Sloan winced at the words. The courtyard was stuffed with people, hopeful recruits in the fight against the Empire and the Thalmor. There seemed to be neither rhyme nor reason, no neat queues or order. Once in a while the door leading into the fortress would open and the entire pres

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Sloan's Story part 21 - Borrowing a Home

Windhelm was much as she remembered it – cold, worn, ugly. It squatted by the river like a giant toad, complete with warts. She shivered at the memories it stirred. She had not been back since that night, not even to tell Aventus of her deed. Just a quick letter sent by courier (“You can rest now”), a faster and safer method of passing on the news, at any rate, even if she had been inclined to leave Riften ever again.   Ever again. And yet, here she was. She shivered, only partially fr

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Sloan's Story part 20 - Anakath and the Long Road Ahead

"And then Dargon said that my parents might not be dead and that 'they' were back and to find you." Sloan ended her story in a rush and waited with bated breath as the Breton seated across the table raised an eyebrow.   "Did he, then? We'll have to have a long chat, he and I." Anakath had seemed amused at the beginning of Sloan's story. She did not appear amused any longer. "Look, I can see that your hopes have been raised but...well, they shouldn't be. Just come to grips with the fact

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Sloan's Story part 19 - Is Anyone Home?

She had walked right by it without knowing. She hadn't needed to go to Falkreath at all. Or even get shot at by the Bridge Gang, as the guard at the gate had called them. Her parents' house was tucked in the hills about halfway between Helgen and Falkreath. In her defense, she told herself as they stepped out of the trees into a large clearing that seemed to cradle a ramshackle hut, there had been no way for her to know there was a house anywhere in the area, so hidden in the hills and trees was

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Sloan's Story part 18 - Hope Springs Eternal

Sloan threw her sword down the hill then jumped after it,  sliding through slewing rocks and dirt on her butt as another arrow arched through the air above her. When her body finally stopped, she laid back and took in deep gulps of air for a bit before heaving herself to her feet. As she had expected (and hoped), the archers had not been keen on leaving their roost to chase their quarry, especially when the walls of Falkreath were now in sight.  It took a few moments to retrieve her sword and on

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Sloan's Story part 17 -Rubble and Ruin

Her eyes had not deceived her. And yet they had. There was, indeed, smoke rising from Helgen, but it was not from chimneys, it was from woodfires. Aside from surprisingly sturdy looking walls, the entire city had been reduced to rubble through some calamity so large that Sloan's imagination balked at her attempt to conceptualize it. It was as if someone had picked up the entire city and shook it in giant hands and then cast it like dice back to the ground. And then lit it on fire - the remains o

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Sian's Story part 47 - Cut to the Front of the Line

Solitude was very much like I remembered it, although I was a little surprised to enter just in time for a beheading. Public execution is generally not a thing in Skyrim. I left Lydia at the inn and headed up the ramp to Castle Dour and presented myself to the guards as a new recruit. They grunted and jerked their heads toward a table. Or, rather, toward the extraordinarily long line of recruits queued up at said table. The courtyard was huge, easily the length of a football field (except round,

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Sian's Story part 48 - A Fort Night

Things didn't go exactly how I wanted on my first official assignment as a member of the Imperial army, but as these things go, it wasn't too bad. Because getting captured and raped by only one man counts as a nearly pleasant experience. First, let's talk about armor. Here's the thing I discovered about the armor in this Skyrim: it has been enchanted by illusion magic. No, really. I was pleased when they handed me my official armor. It seemed to be a full set - no gaps, no holes, no biki

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Sian's Story part 46 - Lydia and Delphine

Lydia was hilarious. She didn't know it, but she was. She had one of those dry senses of humor that would pop up at unexpected times. For instance, after killing a bandit who had decided to attack two armed horse-backed people, I was rifling through his belongings to see if there was anything useful or valuable. I came across a small bag of gems, so I held it out.   "Hold this for me, will you?" To which she responded, completely deadpan, "I am sworn to carry your burdens."  I literall

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Sian's Story part 45 - You've Heard This All Before

Once again, I find myself covering the ground that probably everyone has heard about a million times, so once again I’ll skip the minute details. There were a few differences between the first go round and the second:   - I changed my combat style during my trek through Bleak Falls Barrow to better suit my new philosophy of “try not to let anyone with a weapon get near me.” To that end, I used my bow and my fire a lot more than I had in the past, to good effect. The final piece was pic

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Sian's Story part 44 - Now Where Were We?

By rights, I should have died. Or at least have broken a limb or two. But whether it was because Sanguine wasn't ready for another visit so he protected me or just because of sheer dumb luck and just enough ledges and rocky outcroppings to keep my fall from reaching terminal velocity, I landed in a pained heap at the bottom of the cliff with nothing worse than a few more bruises. I laid still after I landed, hoping that my captors would see my body and assume that I had died. Even if they though

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