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Entry 54: A Troubled Past


EnragedBard

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Hello audience.  This is Damien.  In the hopes of thwarting Viranir, I followed her into the past, casting a very complex spell and arriving in Daggerfall in 3E 405.  I decided I would go along with what was in front of me: a mission from Uriel Septim VII to Daggerfall, only to find her in the same predicament I now found myself in, but as a ghost.  I also found as part of my transportation here I've been reduced in power similar to that of a day 1 adventurer.

 

It makes me wonder who the Emperor thought he was talking to?  He's known for his prophetic visions, maybe he knew who I was.  On another note, I'm pretty sure Viranir was alive at Summerset in this time period.  Couldn't she just go see herself and give herself all the cheat codes to win all the wars?  Food for thought.

 

Anyway, I found myself mudslided in a cave with only a few items and a Flames spell.  Before I could find my way home, before I could complete this mission, before I could regain my power, I would need to get out of this cave.  I crept forward to find a long tunnel.  Behind a door to the left was a bat, which I blasted with Flames.  Easy.  I grabbed the valuables, then ventured on.  From there I found a room with an Imp, and tried double-handing Flames.

 

"For real?  Can't even manage a level of power to cast a twohanded Flames...?" I muttered.  I peeked my head around the corner and blasted him, taking a couple firebolts but ultimately succeeding.  I traversed bare corridors until I turned a corner, a guard in leather armor shouting, "Shouldn't have come here!"

 

He shot an arrow, but I ducked behind cover.  This forced him to close the distance.  I popped out and used Flames again, finally pulling out the Ebony Dagger and ending it.  Whew.  It's not fun being weak again.  I sat down for a second, resting.  When my magicka came back I experimented with double-handed Flames until I got it.  

"Bingo," I said, then I stripped off the man's slightly better armor and put on the pieces that helped me.  He was an Argonian.

 

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I traversed a little while longer, finding fodder and treasure in equal amounts, until I heard a bear.  I sidled up to a door down a side hallway.  Who keeps a bear just in a room?  

Unlocked, I peeked in, and the bear was fiddling with something on the opposite wall.  I double-handed Flames until he turned towards me, then I shut the door.  He burned for a few seconds.  I cracked the door, blasting him with Flames again.  I repeated this until he was dead.  

 

Though I don't have the skills of mom or Runa with skinning and hunting, I know the basics.  I used my dagger to skin the bear and take meat.  

 

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In the next room was a stash of loot including Chainmail.  I'm not usually an armor guy, but beggars can't be choosers.  The Coif was ultimately worthless because nothing fits over my big stupid horns.  I ventured forth, finding a large chamber with stairs, and a throne with a lever.  When I pulled it, the platform with the throne moved up to a secret loft.  The passages herein looped around to other, nearby places.  Interesting, but not really useful.  

 

I kept going and finally found what looked like the in-use part of the fort, near the surface.  I found a crossroads with a couple rooms and two thieves guarding a treasure.  I waited til one walked into a door, I snuck up behind the first one, getting a quick backstab on him.  Unfortunately, even at my best I was not a backstab type.  He turned, sword swinging.  I pulled the door shut so I could isolate them, then I finished the guy in front of me off with Flames.

 

I realized I had a basic Healing spell, and healed up before the other guy emerged.  At the same time, I was running around the corner.

"Huh...?  What happened here?" The man said.  I chugged a magicka potion from the loot I'd gotten, took out a bow (longer range) and shot the man in the chest.  I ducked behind the corner so he couldn't just fight back with a bow, then I blasted him with Flames when he turned the corner.

 

Whew.  I ransacked the room, which included a healthy cache of weapons, gold, and spell tomes: Mark, Recall, and Levitate.  This was before flight spells became extremely rare.  I realized that with the spell tomes in hand, I could learn them right away.  Like my brain was hungry for magic again.  One last room at the end of the hall had a trio of skeletons and I used opening and shutting the door to the thief's cache room to annoy and kill them.

 

And then, there was my exit.  The bunker looked like it was an ancient dungeon that'd been used by this small band of thieves and was tucked away a small distance from town.  I looked on the countryside, which I'd heard was a little sparse even in these days, but it seemed downright bare.  This was the island the royals stayed on, so maybe they clear-cut the area.

 

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By the time I made my way into town, it was night.  I'd heard from the Emperor King Lysandus was leading a ghost legion at night, so I popped into the Inn, The Dwarf and Huntsman, as soon as I got there.  When I stepped inside, I noticed the unbelievable lack of people.  Only a few Daggerfall guards and the barkeep.  Then again, I would flee a town if there were rampaging ghosts every night too.  

 

I stepped up to the bar, knowing there should be something for me from the Emperor's contact here, "Hey, my name's Damien.  Do you have any messages for me?"

"Indeed.  I hope this helps you," he said.  

"Times are tough, eh?" I asked.

"Yeah, damn ghosts," the barkeep replied, "You'd be doing me a blessing to buy anything."

"I'll take a room for the night, and I'm going to need supplies for the road," I said, and proceeded to sell a lot of the random items I'd found in the Thieves' Den and buy waterskins, a backpack, a tent and bedroll, soup and various trail rations.  I settled on keeping the Ebony Dagger and Chainmail (though I kept wearing the robes I found until I could disenchant them).

 

I read the letter in bed once I got settled in.  

To summarize, Lady Magnessen is the Emperor's agent and her position has been compromised.  She wants me to come see her at the earliest opportunity in Whiteford just across the straight.  She'll only be here a month before she needs to return to Cyrodiil.

I slept the night.  

 

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In the morning I asked the barkeep if there were any boats going to Whiteford.

"Sorry, shipping lanes are abandoned these days I'm afraid," he replied.

"Damn, this is a real problem," I said.  I walked to the cliffs and casted Levitate, walking across the straight.  I headed into the Inn there to find more guards, a lady barkeep and my contact.  I ordered drinks and sat down across from her.

 

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"Hello.  I'm glad to see the storm didn't lay you low.  I am Lady Brisienna.  Let me bring you up to date on affairs," she said, and I couldn't help but stare.  It'd been days since I'd had good human interaction.  I was used to being constantly surrounded by people in Skyrim.  Also, the way she'd started absorbing the High Rock accent was attractive.  I love High Rock accents.

 

"The spectre of King Lysandus haunts the streets of Daggerfall at night.  Trying to communicate with him is futile.  He will occasionally moan 'vengeance.'  If you are ever in Daggerfall, do not wander the city at night."

"I've killed ghosts before," I said.

"These men are under a curse and would return after but a few days.  It would be more gainful to investigate those who've wronged Lysandus to end his torment.  The royal family of Daggerfall may merit questioning.  Or perhaps the powers of Illiac Bay, Sentinel or Wayrest."

"That's a large area," I replied.

"You could perhaps begin by visiting Queen Aubk-i at Castle Daggerfall.  She's looking for a mercenary to find out what has become of Nulfaga, the King's grandmother.  It would be an opportunity to ingratiate yourself with the royal family.  Oh, and do not mention my name.  It would do more harm than good."

"Thanks.  Any idea what happened to the Emperor's letter to the queen?" I asked.

"At the time, a war was on.  A local courier was hired, but we don't know his name.  The Agent at the time has long since passed.  Obviously, not very helpful.  I will contact you if any new information should surface.  I am leaving Daggerfall soon.  My life is in danger.  Feel free to use Windmaison, a modest house within the city walls, for as long as you like."

"Thank you.  I hope our paths cross again," I said.  Thinking in the back of my head, I would like to get to know her better... but then a counterthought, I should not do that.  Would it change history?  I just smiled stupidly.

"Good luck, watch your back," Brisienna said, then she got up and walked away.  

 

I traveled back to the coast, enjoying the large clover fields on the smaller island, then I Levitated back to the main Daggerfall island.  I went and checked out her house, and there was a bed, a place to cook, an arcane enchanter and an alchemy table.  I cooked all the bear meat I'd gotten from that bear, then I set to work disenchanting and realized I only had one soul gem.  So I put what I could on chainmail chest piece and venture to Castle Daggerfall.

 

A guard blocked me at the door, "All are free to petition his highness at this time.  Do not stray from the audience chamber lest you have royal blessing to do so.  Always speak politely to the king and queen, and above all, cast no spells while within these walls.  Do you understand?"

"Yes," I replied.  They let me through.  I walked past some musicians playing at the bottom of a long staircase, then I approached the royal dais.  The king was a Breton, which is expected, and the queen was a Redguard.  Interesting.  I'm half Redguard, half Daedra, though I don't look it.  Reminds me of mom.

 

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"Greetings," the queen said.

"Your majesty, I understand you are looking for a mercenary."

"Yes!  My husband's poor grandmother, Nulfaga is in frail health, once brilliant mind almost utterly destroyed.  She's locked herself in her castle in the Wrothgarian Mountains and experiments in magical studies with no regard for her own safety," Queen Aubk-i said, "I would know of her condition, but few possess the bravery to face the horrors of her castle and speak with her.  My reward is an enchanted elven dagger.  Would you champion me in this?" 

"I'd be pleased to do this," I said.

"By the gods, I am glad to have found a champion!  Her castle's named Shedungent.  Be very careful and may Mara and Kynareth protect you," the queen said.

I bowed, walked out the door and set off.  Still before noon, it took me until nightfall over the straits, then over the plains of the mainland. 

"This land is cursed," I said to myself.  I didn't see an animal the whole day, except birds keeping their distance.

 

I was in sight of the castle, but getting an ominous feeling I decided I would camp the night on the flats.  Before I slept, I meditated on all the magic I used to know.  After several moments, I found myself thinking on the principles of specific spells.

 

I reached out my hand, picking one at random, and cast High Alchemy.  I tried it on a random trash item in my inventory, and turned it into gold.

 

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"Oh!" I shouted, "Thank the gods!  Thank whoever!" 

But that was all I could access today.  It seemed like this drip-feed access to my old magic was the only way to access it.  I mentally formed a plan.  If I could only access one spell a day, I would need to start with the low level ones to build back up my power, and get a diverse repertoire of spells while I was at it. 

 

I went to sleep.  During the night, I dreamt of a blood moon, wolves howling, and a horned figure beckoning me forward.  I knew it was Hircine, so I forced myself awake.  When I opened my eyes it was nearly morning, a beast just a few inches from my face.  I leapt out of my tent, charging up to a ruined wall nearby and climbing it.  It was a solid 15 feet tall, and I used the height to shoot spells at the thing.  When it was dead, it turned back into the form of a Breton.  It'd been a werebear.

 

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I finally breathed out.  Apparently the only things that lurk here at night are already cursed.

I entered the castle with no fanfare.  I didn't see a soul, so I took the initiative to explore.  The first thing I remember seeing was a dragon flag who... whispered to me.

"Command me and entry shall be yours..."

 

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And anything I tried saying led it to tell me I was unworthy.  Whatever.  So I walked around the labyrinthine castle, being attacked by seemingly random creatures, some mages (who attacked me on sight) and a dragonling.  And the mages had staves!  I grabbed them, and it seemed like when I had spells in staves it was much easier to copy them (assuming I'd known the spells before).  So I learned Crackle and Sparks.  After killing an Imp in here, a Daedric Helmet dropped out of nowhere and when I tried to pick it up, it vanished just as quickly.  Dad?  Is that you?

 

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Anyway, killing creatures became easier with Crackle and Flames.  I'd just open a door, put the two DoTs on them and shut them in while they died.  I eventually found Nulfaga, the late king's grandmother.  Surrounded by undead encased in crystal and a miniature dragon, she seemed really powerful.

 

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"Hey, Lady Nulfaga.  Are you well?"

"United thoughts and counsels, equal hope and hazard in the once glorious enterprise joined with me, now misery hath joined in equal ruin!" Nulfaga replied.

"Wow.  Alright.  That's certainly whatever it is you just said," I replied.

"Eternal, eternal, eternal ruin.  I tell the door to my soul to shut up.  Oh, my child!  Why wouldst thou not listen!  The misery!  Verses frame which with and other spell like terrible curse!  Heaven!  Curse Oblivion!"

 

What is this lady rambling about?

 

"My boy is dead and let Tamriel tremble until he and I find peace denied.  Shut up the door to his tomb and my home."

Now that made sense, I said, "Sorry for your son."

"I search the underworld, the afterworld..." I zoned out a little bit while she kept going. 

Seriously, I'm sure mom feels like this when crazy quest givers talk to them about their problems.

 

She talked for several more minutes.  When she stopped, I said, "I have been sent to find out what happened to your son."

"You - I thought I'd killed you!  How did you not drown in the storm I conjured?"

"Wait what?" I blinked, "I'm actually not even mad.  How did you conjure a storm?  That's some serious power.  I did nearly drown though."

"But wait... no.  You are not responsible for my son's death.  Please find whoever killed my son!" 

An apology would be nice.  

I could see she was just chanting, "...my son..." now, so I looted the chest next to her.  The door at the entrance whispered to me like the banner.  Thinking back to the old lady, I replied, "Shut up, door."

"You are worthy.." It said, and opened.

When I got back to Daggerfall it was dark and snowing, and I saw the ghosts in the distance, so I gave them a wide berth and went to the castle.

 

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I approached Queen Aubk-i, "Your majesty, Nulfaga is alive, though she seems stricken with grief."

"Oh!  I confess I doubted I would ever see you again.  Your news does my heart good.  Here is your reward," she handed me an enchanted elven dagger, "If you're up for it, I need your assistance once more.  If you agree, you must swear to the utmost discretion."

"Of course," I replied.

"It concerns my mother-in-law, the dowager queen and widow of Lysandus, Mynisera.  She's been paying for upkeep of a fortress called Necromoghan.  I need you to go to there, find out what she's been doing, and retrieve a parcel of letters she took with her.  Do so before she returns.  Good luck."

 

Rather than deal with the ghosts again, I used Levitate to get out of the castle walls and made camp outside the walls.  I slept the night and meditated again, concentrating on a hands-free Fast Healing.  Also, of note, I'd learned Cure Disease and Freedom of Movement from tomes.  

 

I set out early in the morning, and reached a hidden bunker as the sun was coming up.  This dungeon was built a lot like the last one, but it also had a fair share of elevators.  I could see a common building theme.  Just as Skyrim's builders loved their matching puzzles, High Rock's builders seemed to like winding passages, lever puzzles and elevators.  I found a Staff of Conjure Familiar, so I learned it.

 

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I fought my way through a large number of giant spiders, rats and bats, finally finding the letters.  They were between the King and another woman.   Later that day, I made it back to Castle Daggerfall and gave them to the queen.

 

"How sad.  To be honest, this is not what I expected the letters to contain. Poor Mynisera.  Everyone at court knows the late king preferred the form and face of another woman to hers, but she still attempts to cover it up.  Her loyalty to Lysandus is almost as great as his foolish loyalty to the Emperor.  Please, accept this gift as a small token of my esteem," she handed me another enchanted weapon.

 

I felt a note slip into my pocket and when I walked away, I fished it out.

From Morgiah, Princess of Wayrest, she wanted me to come find her in Castle Wayrest.  I Disenchanted, High Alchemy'd, restocked on food and water, and set out again.  

 

It took me about a full day to get there and I rested at the Inn.  In the morning, I noted there were actual people in this town.  Though not as populous as Skyrim, it was a nice sight after seeing Daggerfall.  I approached Castle Wayrest, passing an ornate fountain and a row of trees.  It was a white palace.  

 

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I passed Wayrest guards, and a strange child.  No guards accosted me here.  I walked past several members of court and a princess (not the right one) and approached the royal dais.  The King and Queen were paying no attention to me as I approached Morgiah.  She emphasized the elven side of the Breton bloodline, with reddish eyes.

"Ah, it's you.  You're trying to track down the Emperor's letters, yes?" She asked.

I nodded.

"There are few scandals in Illiac Bay I'm not aware of.  I could give you information, but nothing is without a price," Morgiah smirked.

 

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"I need a Champion who doesn't fear the fires of Oblivion.  Still interested?" She asked, still smirking.

"Funny you should say that," I said, remembering my years in Oblivion, "I'm game."

"Oh Mara, that is a relief.  Get this letter to a certain high level sorcerer at the necromancer's crypt.  Scourg Barrow, towards the Dragontail Mountains.  Avoid the rift.  If you see it, you've gone too far.  They won't be expecting you and will not wait for introductions. The necromancers feel that death is a reward for the living.  Once you have delivered the letter, they would feel no need to guarantee your safety.  I need the letter and response from the King of Worms.  The risks are very high.  Please, do not fail," Morgiah explained.

 

I smiled nonchalantly.  This was a tall order.  I certainly don't want to die.  But meeting a powerful necromancer could help me regain some of my magic.

I set out, reaching Scourg Barrow by nightfall.  I meditated and recalled Telekinesis this time.

 

And actually, the Crypt wasn't very difficult to get into.  A few zombies attacked me on the way in, but then I pushed buttons to slide away coffins and found my way into the King of Worms' court.  

 

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Why oh why did the princess want this man's help?

"Princess Morgiah of Wayrest has asked me to deliver this letter to you," I handed it to him.

"Very good," he nodded, and scrawled a response on the back of the note after he read it, "If you're not rewarded with death by the loyal servants of the Barrow, give this note to the Princess."

"You're Mannimarco, King of Worms, right?" I asked, taking the letter back.

"Yes.  You seem to be a spellcaster yourself," he replied.

"Believe me, I am severely reduced in power.  I was wondering if you might help me regain my full power," I said.

"Hmm... come see me again.  I may be able to do something for you," he said.

 

I sighed, leaving the barrow.  I traveled back to Castle Wayrest and presented the letter to the Princess.  

"It's done!  He agreed!" Princess Morgiah said excitedly, "I'm going to be queen of firsthold."

Deal with the devil?  I smiled.

"Now, I promised you information.  Gortwog, Warlord of the Orcs has it.  The Thieves' Guild of Daggerfall stole it from Queen Aubk-i and sold it to him.  I confess I don't know why the Emperor sent her the letter.  She's virtuous to a fault.  You should get in good with Mynisera if you want more information," she said.  

 

I sighed again.  This was ending up being a lot of 'run around for the royals,' I sat at the bottom of the long staircase.  The other Princess, Elysana, approached me holding a book in her hands.  

"Here to ask me to do something for you?" I chuckled.

Princess Elysana smiled, "Of a sort.  My sister isn't the only one who has interest in adventurers, like yourself.  Would you come with me?"

I shrugged, "Sure."

She led me to a side room with shelves of books, a telescope, and an arcane enchanter, among other things.  

"Now, take off your clothes," she said.

"Say what?" I asked.

She undid something in the back of her dress and it fell to the floor. 

I turned my head away, "This is a bad idea."

 

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"Am I not as beautiful as my sister?" Princess Elysana asked.

"Well, yes," I replied.  She dropped to her knees and undid my belt with one deft motion, taking me into her mouth.

 

I blinked.  This is very wrong.  Almost like magic, she seemed to work my clothes off as she worked on me.  What the... hell...

 

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And then, thank Sanguine... I came in her mouth.  She seemed satisfied by that.  I got dressed and got the heck out of there.  Can't throw the last/next two hundred years into a universe destroying paradox if you finish in the mouth.  

 

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I went to the Inn, my head still spinning, and the Innkeeper handed me a letter from Sentinel, from the Prince.  He'd heard about my recent investigation and wanted to offer me information for a job.  Of course.... same thing as before.  

 

Sentinel was far, so it took me two days to get there.  In that time I camped twice and I decided I was going to ramp it up.  I meditated and recovered Elemental Bolt and Rage.  When I neared, plains turned into desert.  As I approached the castle, a zombie popped out of nowhere and I blasted him with my newly regained elemental bolt.  On his body was a letter from Mannimarco.  

 

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It read:

'It would be an honor if you visited me in my demesne at your convenience.  I have a small matter that you are ideally suited for.  As always, my servants will test your mettle.  Feel free to dispense with them.  They can always be raised again.  

-The King of Worms

 

I would head there later.  For now, I ventured inside to speak with Prince Lhotun.

 

 

Spoiler

Dang nonsensical 90's dungeon design.  Reminds me of old D&D campaigns.

 

This may not have been very interesting.  I know the pacing is kind of slow in this mod/the original game, and a lot of it seems like fetch quests and dungeon crawling.  I'm trying to gloss over a lot of the uninteresting parts (including the LONG labyrinths that come up soon, which were driving me nuts).

 

After this I added Enemy Encounters, since the world seems a little unpopulated.  I figure running into Bandits every now and then would make a lot of sense.  Of course, it did cause me the first crash of this mod.  BLAH

 

I'm changing my armor and equipment often, because Damien is still only somewhere around level 15 by the end here.

 

Mods Added

Spoiler

Cathedral Weather and Landscapes (To get better and farther grass draw distance)

Skygerfall

 

6 Comments


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Granted, this world may not be as sophisticated as Skyrim, but it let's you appreciate, how far video-game design has come since Daggerfall. Aside from that: We have had plenty of high-octane action recently, so a calmer entry is just fine. And since you managed, to make Damien "sound" like D.'s son, that in itself was entertaining as well.

The sceen with princess Elysana was... abit out of the blue. And probably not part of the original Daggerfall. But fitting regardless. For a son of Sanguine and Destana it only seems appropriate, that he would get "dragged" into just such encounters.

 

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There were some pretty adult situations in Daggerfall. If anything, Sexlab brings Skyrim back to TES' roots. (See screenshot of youtube video).

 

Of course I the Princess thing was me adding flair. Random Sex and all my SL mods are turned on. Sadly the brothel is inaccessible in Skygerfall. 

 

Expect more temptations, moral dilemmas and random encounters (sexual and combat) in the future. 

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Edited by EnragedBard
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Also, I'm almost dying to rats and bats. It's action packed for me!  I know it's tedious to the audience though. 

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Alright, I stand corrected. Like I said, I am not familiar with the older TES games. About the almost dying to the creepy-crawlies part: That I know well enough from Skyrim. Looking at you, Giant Frostbitespiders, Poisonous Skeevers and Chauri. Far too often it's not "almost" but "completely and utterly". So, hope you are enjoying the nostalgia and don't worry about it being boring. For me it's not. 👍 When I read the part about the mud-slide at the very beginning, it reminded me of the beginning of the first Eye-of-the-Beholder-game. I think from 1991. So, some nostalgia for me too.

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Ok, time for the silly comment of the day:

It has come to my attention, that Redguards, not Dunmer, have the most remarkable degree of resistance against fire in Skyrim. So, the next time Destana, Jura and (to a lesser degree) Damien or Fenrir are confronted with a powerful Fire-Mage: Fear not! For nothing bad could possibly happen.🙃

How do I know this? Thanks to my Redguard Follower of course:1673173312_fireproofredguards.jpg.77675a1a071ae374dd99fb3cbdeebdd4.jpg

 

p.s. No, I had nothing to do with this. I was busy looting treasure and when I turned arround I was confronted with the above sceen.

Edited by HM1919
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Ah well, yes like the good old times. You gotta give Daggerfall though it's graphics and game play are pretty amazing. IF you compare them to say Ultima III and IV, Bards Tale, Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds ... which is pretty much what I started on back on the 'ol C64. ^^
I guess it gets shoot out of the water by Baldurs Gate and certainly by BG2, well perhaps not as far as graphics go but the game play of the BG series was a lot better and more immersive IMO.

But honestly my (A)D&D campaigns were a lot more sophisticated than that even in the 90's. I still got several shelves full of folders with old adventures we played to prove it. ^^

Poor Damian, not only is he reduced to a beginner again, he can't even "relief his stress" without causing himself more causes to be stressed out. ^^

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