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Entry 71: Think Like A Thief


EnragedBard

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Hey, it's Destana.  Today I ventured into the depths of the Hall of Initiation.  This is a place fraught with puzzles, with not a lot of conflict.  I was told to think like a thief. 

 

So I walked up to the dais with a teleporter, and behind me a small opening appeared, with a Grey Fox bust.  When I touched it, a pillar of light appeared on the dais.  I ventured inside.  I was taken to a long pathway high above the countryside.  Venturing further, I found a room with treasure and a locked door.  Further than that, I found a trapped area with the key on the table.  A khajiit ring, in the chest (not sure what it does).  Of course, I don't trigger pressure plates, so I just ventured through, unlocking the door with the key.  I also found more treasure and a Clairvoyance spellbook.

 

In the next room I found a huge conflagration and a massive pit with no bridge to speak of.  Another bust of the Grey Fox offered the following advice:  Point the way, light your way, line your way, see your way, make it cl(ai)r.

"So, use clairvoyance," I said, "Pretty sure I already know it."

I called it up and used my mind's eye to look at the illuminated path.

To which I said, "That's a neat puzzle.  But suppose I just fly over it."

 

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And I did, coming to the next room, with more treasure and another teleporter.  When it came on, I put my hands on my weapons.  

"Ah, just a teleporter.  Usually in Skyrim everything's trying to kill me," I said to myself.  I collected the treasure and stepped into the next area, more dungeon.

 

I'm going to skip over part of this, instead of giving a play-by-play.  As I ran through the next part, I was thankful not only for the ability not to trigger pressure plates, but because I'm very fast.  Some of the traps were tripwires, and I was able to blow past the traps before they got me.  

 

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Most the lower level locks I can bypass without even thinking about it, but in a random part of the dungeon there was an amazing lock that I broke several lockpicks on.  After a few minutes I got it.

 

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"Must be getting out of practice," I said to myself, "Barely ever pick locks anymore."

In the next room I found a big chest and a lever.  Lots of treasure in these ruins.  Testament to the fact that nobody's been in here in 200 years.  I guess the Champion had to have somewhere to put his riches.  Can't take it with you - to the Shivering Isles or to being a vestige of sanity left behind when mantling Sheogorath.

 

I came back out and went into the other choice of room and found a cozy table with a Cyrodiil map and a table.  Ransacking the chest, I pushed a button I almost missed.  

 

I ran back and found a new passage was open onto a bridge with five doors.  In the center door was four keyholes, and it was obvious what I needed to do now. 

Commenting on the bedroll in the middle, I said, "I could sleep if I wanted to."  But I didn't need to, of course.

I decided to go left to right.

 

In the first room was a set of tables with a Blades ghost sitting down.  I made my way around the long way and decided I would see what he had on him, knowing I probably wasn't supposed to kill him.  And he caught me!  I am out of practice!  

 

I slipped away, got behind a pillar and casted Invisibility on myself.

"I still sense your presence, living fool!"

I just slipped away.  See you later, dead fool!  I went up to this treasure room and took everything of value I could find.  I looked at the chest, and found... nestled between a greatsword, dagger, 126 gold and a score of other things... a living baby!

"Uh... that's a baby," I said to myself.  I scooped it out, and it had a sling on it already.  This thing was alive!  

"H-how... in the hell...?" I stammered, "I gotta take the baby!  It's a real living baby!"

 

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"I should really figure out what to do with it," I slung it over my shoulder, "Then again... there's not really been any danger in here so far.  Nothing attacking me.  I could finish what I was doing first.  Baby'll be fiiiiine...."

 

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I moved through the rest of the rooms with a speedy ease, pickpocketing the guard and ransacking the treasure room.  In the second one I almost missed the giant chest.  I found a really nice greatsword (Runa would like) and a shield, amongst riches.  At one point the baby made a happy squeal, making me jump and nearly alerting the ghost guard.  Then when I got back to the central bridge, I found that in my failure to pickpocket the first guard and quick runaway, I hadn't actually grabbed the key, so I went back and stole it off him.  

 

Through the main door, I found tombs of Glenroy and Captain Renault.  Those guys helped the Champion of Cyrodiil escape!  Not through their own volition of course.

 

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I looked through the room for a while to find the way forward, upturning baskets and such, and finally found a pullbar on the ceiling I had to jump to reach.  I am, of course, an average-height lady. 

 

In the next room a teleporter activated.  On the platform it read, 'To Imperial City Prison.'  Hmm... seems like I won't be able to come back to Skyrim for a bit.  I reasoned I should teleport to Riften and sort this out.  I traveled to Honorhall Orphanage.  It was snowing in Riften today.  

 

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I walked up to Constance Michel, wearing a nice silk shirt today.  

"Hello, friend!" She smiled at me, eating a piece of bread.

"Hey, I, uh, have something I need to give to you," I said, "This is weird."

"What do you need me to carry?" She asked.

"I found this baby in a ruin.  Maybe the parents left it there for dead.  I don't know.  But I figured this was probably the best place for her or him now that you're in charge.  I've heard a lot of good things," I replied.

"That's.... a lot," she replied, but she took the kid from me and strapped it around herself, "That's what we're here for.  This little one will have another chance at life now."

I half-smiled, "Thanks.  I'll be sure to give a large donation when I get back.  Infact, for now, have a hundred gold."

"Thank you," she said as I handed her the bag.

 

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From there I traveled back to the teleporter and went to the Imperial City Prison.  I found an echo of the past.  Four ghosts pantomining Emperor Uriel Septim and his guards using the Champion of Cyrodiil's cell to escape. 

 

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When the vision cleared, the secret passage was gone.  I snuck around the prison, finding a Thalmor torturing a person.  I didn't know what he was doing here, but I slit his throat.  Then I elected to walk around until I found what I was supposed to by whoever was leading me on this grand journey.  And I did - a spell tome entitled, 'Ancient Visions.' 

 

So I went back to the Champion's cell, casted the spell, and found I returned to the state the cell was in 200 years ago, but it only changed the part immediately around me.  This continued with stone walls, bridges, and then a caged statue of Clavicus Vile and his dog.  Ancient visions opened it up and I found a very nice sword.  Umbra.  When I touched it, though, I was transported to an arena.  I made quick work of the two phantoms there and grabbed Umbra out of the forge.  

 

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I was taken back to the prison the same way I came.  Then I looked at the sword.  It was a very nice sword.  Better than what I'd been using.  But it seemed to have a darkness about it.  I put it away for now, not wanting to wield it now (might be cursed).

 

I ventured further, doing more Ancient Visions and uncovering a multi-layer lever puzzle.  In the big chest this time was a Chastity Belt, which I did NOT pick up.  I figured, like most torture tools in Skyrim, it was going to immediately attach itself to me.  

 

At the end of this sequence, I came to another Grey Fox bust sitting on a long table.  It had the following clue:  First comes the light of the Sun, then the light of the candle, then the light of the fireplace, and finally the light of the Moon.  I looked at the four candles, each shedding their own color of light.  

 

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Then I shrugged, "I can't tell which one's which."

So I picked an order and tried it.  Nope.  Another order.  Nope.  About five tries later I got it, through process of elimination.  Brute force puzzling for the win.  The wall slid away revealing some Ayelid construction and another inactivated portal with water below.  I looked around for a minute, both for treasure and how to activate the portal.  I came back to the cliff and chuckled, "Oh yeah, Ancient Visions." 

I casted it and found the well to the left, activating it.   

 

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Then I walked up to the main gate.  As I neared it, it transformed.

"Oh, hey, that's... an oblivion gate," I said.  Then like gravity, I started to fly towards it, "Ah gods!"

 

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When my eyes opened, I was in a different place.  A purple sky, a big obsidion tower, and a laughing voice in the sky.

"What do we have here?  A new pet for my realm?" He said, "A very peculiar pet!  Where are you from, you mortal?"

"Technically not a mortal," I said, but I knew he couldn't hear me, or wasn't listening.

 

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"Let me guess.  The trap under the Imperial City.  So, it's been triggered again after 200 years.  How foolish these mortals are!  But why are you... oh, interesting!  The Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, eh?  You're seeking the Grey Cowl!  You're here to follow who was here 200 years ago.  Hmm... it was Caio Umbranox!  He was here, and he successfully escaped from Coldharbour.  Do you wish to escape from my realm too?  I don't think so!"

"Hmm.. Coldharbour.  This place is just as bad as Serana said," I muttered, "Seems like Molag Bag just won't leave us alone.  Didn't Runa just kick your ass like a few days ago?  Probably why he's shouting at me from the sky."

 

"Let's see if you can escape.  But if you kill anyone in here, you'll be trapped forever.  Don't break the silence of Coldharbour!  How do they say it in the Thieves' Guild?  The shadow hides you!"

"Shadows hide you," I spat back.  Then I got to work. 

 

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I casted Celerity and Invisibly on myself to maintain speed and silence, then I sprinted to the tower ahead of me.  I found a portal.  Not activated, though.  Then a building.  I figured this was the place to go.  But, seeing a chest, I ransacked it, and one of the nearby Dremora started yelling something.  Guess they don't like when I steal their stuff.  I checked the building, which was locked, then I jumped off the cliff behind him, and he lost sight.

 

"Huh," I said, spying a cave down the coast, I walked in.  It was marked, "The Cave of Hollow Time."

I walked down the tunnel and found a big chest.  I opened it, and found more loot.  It also had some Slave Ballet Heels, which was another cursed devious object that would latch onto me if I picked it up.

"I guess, it makes sense for things like these to be in Coldharbour," I said out loud.  I walked around the cave for a couple more minutes, then I was like, "Oh yeah.  Time." 

 

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I casted Ancient Visions and a new, tiny chest appeared.  I grabbed the key, and flew partially back up the cliff.  Then I threw on Invisibility again and jumped my way to the top, avoiding the Daedras.  I opened the door to the building, and 

 

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I appeared in a tan, circular room with benches, and a table with another bust and a ring on a serving tray.

 

Molag Bal said, "Ahhh... what a pleasure it was!  So good, so exciting!"

"So good!" I said out loud, sarcastically.  Then I found the magic ring, 'Eagle Eye' in the serving tray.

"Congratulations, my friend!  The silence wasn't broken.  So you get to keep your life!  Do you know what?  Caio didn't break it either.  See you soon, mey pet!" He laughed.

"Ugh.  Technically I guess I am hit pet, since I'm a vampire," I sighed.

 

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Well, another ruin.  I checked my bag for a Potion of Blood, since I'd been doing this for a solid few hours.  

"Bah.  No potions," I said, "It's been a while since I restocked.  Maybe I should sleep to stave it off."

I sat down at a bench, admiring the craftsmanship.  Wandering around a little bit, I thought to myself, 'This feels like High Rock, because it looks like a Labyrinth, but the construction looks like Hammerfell.  But it's been to long since I've been there.  I guess there are some of the Labyrinths in Hammerfell too.'

I threw down a bedroll, seeing as how I hadn't seen any enemies (except the actual daedra) and took a nap.  I thought maybe if I can get out of this long train of ruins soon I might be able to have a little blood snack.  It'd been a while since I actually fed on a person and didn't just drink it out of a bottle.  It made me think of Serana, but so did being in Coldharbour.  She was gonna flip when she found out where I'd been.  I wonder what she'd think about the baby?  Of course, I'm going to tell her all about this when I get home.

 

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Anyway, when I woke up I proceeded down the nearest tunnel.  

I want to say how interesting and enthralling me talking about how I went through a labyrinth was, but we both know that would be painful for the both of us.  Suffice to say, I pulled many levers, went down many passages, opened gates, doubled back about a thousand times.  And I realized this place was just how Damien'd described ancient High Rock, and northern Hammerfell.  Then I looked at the construction and wondered if I was in Hammerfell.

 

When I reached a certain point, I found an open room with a statue of Nocturnal, and the gate slid shut behind me.

 

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"Oooh... getting interesting finally," I said.

 

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A bust of the Grey Fox said, 'Everyone is tempted by something.  Find the stones of the Temptation and choose your way.'

"You can't tempt me!  Unless you offer me things I want, of course."

I took the path to the right (as it was the only choice, the straight path was blocked) and found myself in a Dwemer ruin.

"But is it really being tempted if you immediately just give in?" I said to myself.  

I threw up Celerity and Invisibility and snuck past three Dwemer Centurions, stealing three stones.  

 

Back at the table there was a small chest.  

"Not really being tempted if I Have to put all three in the chest," I said.  I did, and the gate before me opened.

The next section was a long path with nice little serving areas.  At the end was a pull bar and a shut gate that wasn't opened by it.  I doubled back and looked for another pull bar.  Eventually I figured out I needed to use the Ancient Vision spell to get to a statue of Nocturnal.  

 

My prize at the end of the dungeon: Boot of Springheel Jak, which I pocketed for now.  And a long elevator.  Yep, much like High Rock.  At the top, there was a wide chasm, but I was able to jump it with my amazing jumping skills.

 

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And then a long tunnel to the light of outside!  My, that was a long sequence.  I walked outside, into a desert

 

"Well, I guess I'm in Hammerfell.  Either that or Elswyer," I said.  But it was also the middle of the night.  I decided I'd set up a tent again just inside and camp for a few hours until morning. 

 

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When I walked out into the sunlight, a Redguard was there in the roiling sandstorm, just having killed a desert wolf.

 

He turned to me, "Wait, who are you?  Where'd you come from?"

"Who are YOU?" I asked back.

"Arenar Esdrecus.  Now please, where did you come from?"

"I think they were called - Halls of the West," I replied.

"By the gods, this means..."  He started, then he said, "Please, come with me to my village.  It's not far from here."

"Wait, I don't know you, what's happening?"

"I'll explain everything.  Please, come with me!"

 

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We ran for about an hour, eventually coming to a bigger town called Ben Erai.  I slowed down, looking at the architecture.  I breathed a sigh.  It'd been over a decade since I was in Hammerfell.  

 

Eventually we came to a guard post and fort in the back.

"You, go tell lady Syloria.  The Dragonborn is here!" Arenar shouted.

The man ran off, and Arenar turned to me, "Welcome to Ben Erai."

"Thanks.  Now tell me what this is all about," I said.

"We are the descendants of those who remained here during Caio Umbranox's mission.  We're here to help you.  We've been awaiting your arrival for 200 years.  Let's go see Lady Syloria."

We found her in the common area of the fort (which didn't look like any of the Skyrim forts.  It's the little things that make you happy!)

"What's going on Arenar?  Who is this?" Syloria asked.

 

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"Lady Syloria, this is the Dragonborn," Arenar said.

"Are you sure this is the Dragonborn?" Syloria asked.

"Yes, Lady Syloria, I'm sure.  He is the Dragonborn."

"She," I said, "Can't you see my underboob??"

"You?  You are the Dragonborn?" Syloria asked.

"Ok, everyone stop saying Dragonborn.  Yes, I am.  This is the level of annoyance I had when the Greybeards told me I was special because I was the Dragonborn.  I'm awesome even without that quality," I said, "Also, I'm looking for the Grey Cowl, not a new shout.  The two are not connected."

"Ok..." Syloria replied, "How did you get here?"

I sighed, "Halls of the West."

"Very well.  We've spent two centuries waiting for you," she said.

"Yeah, whatever.  What do you need me to do?" I asked.

"Do you have the Arrow of Extrication?" She asked.

I showed it to her.

"By the gods! It is you!  Our mission is to prepare you for the last course to the Mausoleum."

"Okay," I said, noncommittally.

"I'm sure you want to rest.  I'll await you upstairs," she said, then walked away.  

 

Before I went, though, Arenar showed me a portal in their undercroft.

"Cool, where does it go?" I asked.

"To the woods outside Falkreath," he replied.

"Why do you have this?" 

"It's hard to live here.  Our ancestors built this portal.  We use it to go to Falkreath and hunt."

"That makes sense.  Though I'm sure Yngol would be pissed if he found out," I chuckled.

 

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"Say, why don't people from Skyrim come through?" I asked.

"Because you have to cast the Ancient Visions spell to find it," he said.

"Also makes sense," I replied, "Well, bye!"

I went back to Syloria.  She was seated at a small table, eating and drinking.  I joined her and said, "So here we are.  Tell me what's going on."

 

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"Yes, let's prepare you for your quest," she replied.  Always a quest.

"You are in Hammerfell, an isolated area of the Alik'r Desert."

"What?  Hammerfell?  No way!" I said, sarcastically.

"Yes, Hammerfell," she said.  Obviously, sarcasm wasn't a thing 200 years ago. 

"Yeah, okay," I said.

She continued, "In this region you can find the legendary Mausoleum of the Champion of Cyrodiil.  It's located northeast of here.  It's easy to find because the entrance is a canyon that brings you to an oasis: Mora Sul.  But there are some things to do before you can enter the Mausoleum."

"Such as?"

"Caio prepared everything you'll need for your route.  The canyon gate requires a special key, inside the temple of Al-Shedim.  The other thing - get the Friend of Ancestral Cheetahs amulet.  The oasis is full of ancestral cheetahs.  They have no fear and no mercy, killing everyone on sight."

"What if..." I started, but she cut me off.

"I'm going to guess you're thinking the amulet might not be necessary because your sneaking skill is so impressive...

"Yep."

"Know that you need it.  The Mausoleum is barred by a magic wall that will only go down when you're near it with the amulet equipped.  Both places are north of here."

"That's how they get ya, I guess," I shrugged.

"A little bit more information - beware the Dunerippers in the desert.  They kill you quickly with fireballs.  They're weak to ice and frost.  My suggestion is to avoid facing them completely."

"Alright," I shrugged again, "No promises."

"Also there's an ancient and mysterious Alik'r temple Northwest of here.  Once you pass the dunerippers it's peaceful."

"Thank you.  I'll be sure to check it out," I nodded.

"Thanks to you, our mission is ended.  Caio would be proud of all of us, if he were here."

"SO, what'll you do now?" I asked.

"I ... don't know.  It's strange.  I've been focused on being ready for you.  Now that our purpose is complete, I'm not sure what we'll do.  I suppose we were born here.  We'll decide if we stay.  Can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"What's Skyrim like?" She asked.

"Well, it's really cold.  And then there's the wars," I replied.

"Oh, I see.  What can you tell me of the other lands?  What of Cyrodiil?" She asked.

"Well, we've been at war with the Thalmor for years," I said.  Decades even.

"Thalmor?  The elves of Aldmeri?" She asked.

I nodded.

"Well, you know what?" 

I shook my head.

"Maybe we should stay here until the war ends.  One day the world will recover and we can return safely to our original homes," she replied.

"Sure," I said, then I muttered, "Not like we could use your help..."

"Thank you, Dragonborn.  You're always welcome here," she said.

I stood and waved goodbye.

"Bye..." She said, in an almost seductive tone of voice.  Before then she'd been speaking like she'd prepared a speech and practiced it for years.  Maybe that was her normal voice.  I smirked as she walked out the door before me.  It might've been a thrill to finally meet me, I guess.

 

After that I decided I would check out the town a little before I ventured out.  I walked around, finding a small shop named the Last Sentinel.  I talked to the bespectacled man and browsed, but it didn't have much of interest.  Outside I was attacked by a man in Bosmer armor. 

 

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But the townspeople pitched in to get rid of him, so I figured it wasn't a, 'We don't take kindly to outsiders,' thing and just looted him and went on about my way.

 

Then I found the Black Mesa.  First I talked to the Breton outside at a picnic table, Dorian Masterhart, a budding mage studying and trying to find an ancient lost library while he was here in Alik'r.  Of course, I offered to find it for him, as I was planning on exploring this region of the desert anyhow.

 

Then I headed inside.  It was still midday and it seemed only the barkeep was inside. 

 

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"Black Mesa.  Interesting name," I said to him.

"Well, I like it.  Maybe it doesn't make sense for you but for me it does.  It's a simple way to remind me that there are some things that need to be... confirmed.  Name's Gordon."

"Destana.  What do you mean by 'confirmed?"

"Who wouldn't want a thing to be confirmed?  Maybe... maybe it's such a big thing that you don't really want it to be confirmed.  Oh forget it.  Welcome to the Black Mesa Inn."

"I don't get the joke. You don't seem to be a Redguard or Imperial," I said.

"Yep.  I'm a Breton.  My ancestors were with the expedition of Caio Umbranox.  Never been to High Rock," he replied.

"You should go.  Well, the northern and eastern parts I can vouch for anyway.  Never been south or west.  Anything Reach or beyond I've been told is pretty much plains and islands," I said.

"Maybe one day I will," he said, "But anyway, traveler, what'll you have?" He asked, "Hungry or thirsty?"

I sat at the counter and said, "Thirsty.  First of all, I think I need water.  The heat is murder out there."

"Of course," he said, filling my waterskins and giving me a mug of well water.

I chugged it and said, "Also... I think I need something else."

"What else?  I'll be here all day," he chuckled.

 

"Well, that depends," I replied. 

"On?"

"How closed-minded you are. How much of a narc you are."

"Oh, well, I don't sell Skooma here, if that's what you mean."

 

"Oh, no. Only done things like that once or twice. Not by choice.  No, you see, I'm a highly advanced vampire that doesn't burn in the sun, and only requires about a serving of blood a week. But you see, I've been in a labyrinth for a couple days and I left my blood potions at home."

"Uh... you want my blood?"

"Don't be timid. Only a small sip of it. I could have just taken it, but I figured if I paid for it or offered a trade it'd be more civilized," I continued.

"Trade?" He asked.

"Ass for blood?" I asked. I swear, he looked at my literal ass right then. Then he looked me up and down.

"If I refuse are you going to just kill me?"

"Nope, I'll just find somebody else."

"But you probably could, right?"

"Well, yeah. But if you get right down to it, so could a soldier buying a drink. But that's what civilization is all about," I said.

 

He smirked, "Don't mind me, I'm just finding a way to justify that I'm strongly considering saying yes."

I smiled at him, "Sure you don't want money?"

"Seeing the same few dozen women my whole life gets boring. You're a rare beauty," he said, "And I make enough with this place."

"Oh yeah? I noticed there's no Inn in town," I said.

"Yeah, Telrav from the Last Sentinel has a house for sale.  But this far out we don't get many visitors. Usually people will just put them up in their houses for a little coin," he explained, "The Black Mesa Inn is more of a tavern only."

 

"I guess I don't need to sleep, as long as I have blood.  But it is good to sleep.  Also, passes the time.  Going to wait for the sandstorm to pass before I venture out," I said.

"Might be a couple days," he said.

I pursed my lips, "So I heard a yes in there."

"Okay, yes."

 

 

 

I dropped to the ground, sitting on my butt and undid his pants.  He took the horns from my crown (strapped to my head) and used them to thrust into my mouth.  Guess he still figured there was a good chance he was going to die, and he'd make the most of it.  After a while of that, he sat down and I played with him, then slid on, riding him until we both finished.

When we stood up, I said, "Good for you?"

"Oh yes," he replied.

"Could I rent a bath?" I asked.

"Of course."

I washed myself of the dust, then a little bit later I came up behind him and got a little bite in. 

He turned to me, "That's it?"

"That's it.  Not bad, right?" I asked.

He smiled, "Not at all.  If only all vampires were as well-aged as you are."

I laughed, "Well if I was any other woman I'd take offense to that."

About that time patrons started to come in to the bar, so I exited.  I grabbed everything I could from the Quest Board outside - I wanted to experience everything I could while I was here.  

"Find dynamo cores, kill dune rippers, desert wolf pelts.  Cool," I said, "Wonder if there's a nest of those rippers anywhere."

But it was still storming and I'd not found a place to really sleep.  The 'Inn' was a misnomer, with no rooms to speak of.  I went back to the Fortress and slept in one of the guard beds.

 

image.jpeg.764959868af757c7410a9a00e32b122b.jpeg

 

They weren't all taken so I assumed there was a kind of rotation going on anyway.  When I walked out, it was still storming.  

 

I sighed, annoyed, "LOK - VAH - KOOR!"

 

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And the sandstorm faded in moments.  I smiled.  I was doing the locals a favor.  Then I ventured out into the heat.  

 

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I immediately found a pack of desert wolves.  I sniped them with arrows and completely forgot I needed their pelts, continuing on in my exploratory glee.  I found a small structure, but spied a Duneripper in the distance.  Looked like an advanced Chaurus.  I nocked a Bone Arrow from stealth and pegged him in the side from probably a hundred yards away, killing him.

 

image.jpeg.a2998d9127a77f6ec2b7b1f9cded2fd1.jpeg

 

"That's it?" I chuckled, loudly.

I found a small town, but none of the denizens wanted to talk to me.  Not strange, just standoffish.  I ventured (with Celerity to run fast) on to the Lucky Lantern, a small shrine with all the doors closed.  So I just flew over the top and pressed the button to open the doors.  I'm sure I wasn't supposed to do it that way.  Shrug.

 

Then I spied another duneripper, this time I missed it.  Dang.  He turned to me, shooting a fireball, but also missed me.  So I ducked behind a rock outcropping.  Thinking about my frost spells, I pretty much only had a basic one and Black Winter.  I'd forcibly forgotten all the others.  I channeled Black Winter for a second, but he just backed away.  A smart creature! 

 

image.jpeg.be40c59e59db7adf2a659611b316543c.jpeg

 

So I threw on Ice Storm, but he'd already run away.  I snuck up to him and threw more Ice Storms, but he ran away again!  When Syloria said they feared ice, she wasn't kidding.  I killed it with arrows instead.

 

After that I took to the air so I could see a little better, and found a Necromancer's Camp.  

 

image.jpeg.bb008ccacaf69d7d9368d7b002686ffd.jpeg

 

Landing on a rock outcropping, then dropping down to attack from the ground, I found a lot of charred corpses around and knew I'd made the right decision.  I shot one from stealth, then as the other one turned I shot her in the side.  I ransacked the camp and took a drink of water.  From there I flew around a little more, until I found a small house in a tiny valley. 

 

I set down, and a voice called out from the path behind, not from the house, "Watch out!" 

I turned and a Redguard was there with a warhammer.  He clobbered a wolf that'd been hiding next to me, ready to pounce.  I stabbed the other one that was now going for him.

"Thanks, stranger," I said.  And then I recognized him.  He was one of the random guys from the standoffish village earlier.

"Did you follow me?" I asked.

"Not possible.  I saw how fast you run and how you flew up.  I was exploring."

"What's your name?"

"Nahtil."

I smiled, "Want to pair up?  Safer that way."

He shrugged, "Alright."

 

image.jpeg.43198eba4d03890e6e1b46ac688efbc3.jpeg

 

We went into the house together, finding a skeleton (not the undead kind, just regular) laying in the bed.  There was a chest with like 20 backpacks, and another one locked with a key.

"Guess I'll come back later," I said.  

 

We spent the next few hours hunting wolves and dunerippers until I stumbled upon the Forgotten City.  As I neared the huge crack in the wall, I found the medallion from one of the missive quests on a dead body.  And the wind started to pick up.  

 

"Nahtil, did you just get a strong sense of foreboding?" I asked, looking through the fissure.

 

"LOK - BAH - KOOR!" I shouted, and the wind cleared up, but only for a moment.  As soon as I set foot in the ruin, the sandstorm returned with renewed vigor.

"You should really warn people when you're going to do that," Nahtil said, and I chuckled.

"Watch out!" He shouted.  I looked inside, ghost warriors were approaching us.  Hundreds of them!

"Get ready!" I pulled out my bow.

 

Spoiler

Funny shot.

1957241534_Bonus71-.jpg.35b0a94f608826539c0eb7aa3cc92df3.jpg

 

I don't know how I could resolve the story of getting both.  The CC one seems like such a dim story.  "Hey, he's buried in the graveyard."  "Ok, now you're the Grey Fox."

Vs a whole DLC by mannygt with a new land, with a bunch of addons by others.

I wanna just do it as an afterthought and be like, 'Hey, this is a fake.'

 

But also, I found the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal in yet a THIRD mod being Gear Spread to a chest - Sneak Tools.  But I put Fertility Mode and Sneak Tools on the blacklist for Gear Spreader.

 

Also I turned the Fatigue and Thirst up to max on iNeed while I was in Alik'r. 

 

And I haven't been playing Destana. I forgot all about blood, but I mean I don't need it but like 1 blood per week or something with all the Sacrosanct perks.

 

Final Note:  Youtube videos (and other sites) will be forthcoming, as soon as uploads complete.

 

YouTube and other homes for videos:

Spoiler

Destana and the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal Part 1 (YouTube)

Destana and the GCON Part 2 (YouTube)

Ass for Blood (Naughty Machinima)

Ass for Vampire Juice (Pornhub)

Same video. For some reason blood is a restricted word on Pornhub?  

 

Edited by EnragedBard

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Elegant solution with the baby ... I was half expecting it would be another family expansion, D. obviously hasn't the time right now, but there are a few candidates. ;)

 

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I snuck around the prison, finding a Thalmor torturing a person.  I didn't know what he was doing here, but I slit his throat.

And what about that poor 'person'? ^^

 


 

Quote

I ventured further, doing more Ancient Visions and uncovering a multi-layer lever puzzle.  In the big chest this time was a Chastity Belt, which I did NOT pick up.  I figured, like most torture tools in Skyrim, it was going to immediately attach itself to me.  

Right we can't have that, now that D. is finally herself again. ^^

Though it is not a torture device and historically speaking (not so much in Skyrim of course) a chastity belt was indeed intended to protect the lady wearing it (and she usually had the key for it, though for obvious reason usually didn't carry it on her person).

 

 

""That's it?" I chuckled, loudly." - Girl, you really shouldn't be surprised by now. You are way overpowered for most of Nirn. Most people probably can't even grasp just how powerful you are. ^^ Likely takes a large group of Bandits to take you on ... courtesy of the mighty OBIS. ^^
Well, or perhaps an army of ghosts ... we shall see. ^^

 

 

Quite the unusual entry for D. recently, truly feels like back to the roots. It's been a nice change of pace for sure. No world shaking event in sight. ^^
Also feels like a bit of an annoying quest(mod) ...


Btw. your images tend to be so tiny some or just thumbnails, like I can't make out anything on the one with Syloria for example.

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49 minutes ago, Talesien said:

Elegant solution with the baby ... I was half expecting it would be another family expansion, D. obviously hasn't the time right now, but there are a few candidates. ;)

 

And what about that poor 'person'? ^^

 


 

Right we can't have that, now that D. is finally herself again. ^^

Though it is not a torture device and historically speaking (not so much in Skyrim of course) a chastity belt was indeed intended to protect the lady wearing it (and she usually had the key for it, though for obvious reason usually didn't carry it on her person).

 

 

""That's it?" I chuckled, loudly." - Girl, you really shouldn't be surprised by now. You are way overpowered for most of Nirn. Most people probably can't even grasp just how powerful you are. ^^ Likely takes a large group of Bandits to take you on ... courtesy of the mighty OBIS. ^^
Well, or perhaps an army of ghosts ... we shall see. ^^

 

 

Quite the unusual entry for D. recently, truly feels like back to the roots. It's been a nice change of pace for sure. No world shaking event in sight. ^^
Also feels like a bit of an annoying quest(mod) ...


Btw. your images tend to be so tiny some or just thumbnails, like I can't make out anything on the one with Syloria for example.

 

Well, I couldn't do anythimg about the tortured people. Wish it'd let me interact. 

 

Those bandits were OP. They were organized and had a party structure. Several warriors, archers and mages. 

 

Yeah I feel like going to a new land area where I'm free to roam will naturally be back to basics, because I can't just teleport everywhere and I explore.  Also, lots of thief stuff. The next one will have a dungeon crawl that also has thief stuff. 

 

I have no idea how my images would be tiny for you. On both my computer and phone they're pretty decent size.  But that also means I don't know what I could do to fix it. 

Edited by EnragedBard
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Also, you might notice that the younger generation is having babies.  I mean biology is a thing of course, kids happen. Consequently, down the line I might be thinking about another time skip to age up the babies.  

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1 hour ago, EnragedBard said:

I have no idea how my images would be tiny for you. On both my computer and phone they're pretty decent size.  But that also means I don't know what I could do to fix it. 

Interesting, to stick with my example, this is what LL delivers me:

image.jpeg

349x267 with no larger version to be had.
On my display (32", 4k) that's just a bit larger than the size of a postage stamp.

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1 hour ago, EnragedBard said:

Consequently, down the line I might be thinking about another time skip to age up the babies.  

Oh gosh I hope that's some time away, I really don't want to imagine the kids and grand kids doing all the stuff while D. stays in Windhelm caring for an old, infirm, Ulfric. (Ok you could make her half widow instead, which would likely be more merciful both to her and us. :P)

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Hey, great series. I was wondering though, what 1st person camera mod do you have installed? don't know to much about camera mods

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And D. is back! Good timing too, since a new entry is just the right way, to start the weekend.

 

Right now, I feel somewhat justified, since when I tried the Grey Cowl mod, I found the sneaking-through-ruins bit at the start to be a little long and tedious. It was good to see, that even a master-thief like D. agrees. 

 

Next good thing: D. really seems to be back to her old self, despite recent happenings in a certain mine. Otherwise she would probably not complain about people not paying enough attention to her (under)boobs or make offers like "ass for blood".😁

 

Speaking of D.'s "negotiations" with the inkeeper: I found the BJ part of that scene involuntarily funny. Because of the "voice" that SL chose for the dude. It made it sound, as if the whole affair was just a little bit painful for him, presumably because he managed to hit D.'s fangs every now and again. Yet he couldn't stop. Goes to show, that the power of boners is indeed too strong to resist.

Also: Bad D! (maybe): The deal was for some blood. You draining him (a little) was not part of it. 😁 ( Unless that "glow" at the end was just a visual effect that didn't mean anything.)

 

 

5 hours ago, EnragedBard said:

Consequently, down the line I might be thinking about another time skip to age up the babies.

Not quite sure, how I feel about that. Since it would (probably) require quite a few characters to at least take a backseat, if not outright disappear from the story. Ulfric, Jura and others of similar age too. Which sounds like a fair bit of work for EB, if nothing else. And it would be a bit sad too, to see them all go. Oh well, guess we will have to wait and see.

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3 hours ago, vincentpeppler said:

Hey, great series. I was wondering though, what 1st person camera mod do you have installed? don't know to much about camera mods

 

I use the vanilla first person, but also I have IFPS. You can give them different hotkeys with: https://www.loverslab.com/topic/150496-config-immersive-first-person-view-for-sl/

(Well, it assigns it to G)

Pretty much useless for normal play with that SL addon. I use it for Sex scenes. 

 

To Talesien: what I see is a normal size image. I can repost that at a larger size if you want. Maybe that'll do it.  

 

Keep in mind D is immortal so she's not going to get infirm along with Ulfric. 

 

To HM: I like dungeon crawling, but the puzzles were a little tedious (not as much as Skygerfall though).  The way I see it, she's been through hell and now not eveb being regularly assaulted can slow her down. Also if they get to her she's got her final weapon: the Deadly Drain.

 

I also noticed the dude sounded like he was in pain. Kinda made me laugh. And hey, the visual effect plays always. I didn't harm him during that phase. 

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Posted videos to YouTube. Links on bottom spolier. 

 

Is anybody else having image size problems?  

Edited by EnragedBard
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Then hurray for the deadly drain. 😈

 

Also: Sorry D. I suspected you being naughty again. 😁 Come to think of it, I believe the glow-effect was even there way back when she traveled with Solaire. And D. certainly would have had no reason to drain him.

 

As for the image size: I would not call it a problem pre se, but I did notice, that the images are smaller now, then they were before. And by "before" I mean the time, when you had one big collage at the end of each chapter. Back then, even the individual images of the collage where bigger then those now. I assumed, you did this, to not get bogged down when uploading an entry due to too many/large screenshots.

Example: When I open the following sceenshot in a seperate tab it shows in 436x273.

No larger resolution available. I thought this was intentional. Is it not?

image.jpeg.02c8e6fa0e895ff97e083534c14fc0c1.jpeg.26b12e453c4d9a287cd770c16f11a2d7.jpeg

 

 

Edited by HM1919
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I mean, not entirely.  Some of them are clipped from the YouTube videos (while I was making them) because it would take a million edits to stop and take screenshots while I'm taking video.  I usually resize the images before I throw them up.

 

But partly, yes, before I was making videos I was also lowering the rez so they would load better/quicker.

 

I find it strange that the above screenshot does not actually seem to be a functional difference on my screen from the ones I took as direct screenshots.

 

How is the quality on this one?

 

1759413708_DestanaGCONPt2-00373513.jpg.4c0b0680bd6643fd98e3ddb5c8b2479c.jpg

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Huh.  I guess me resizing them automagically made them lower quality.  I can reupload them if you want.  I have to resize the vanilla screenshots though, they come out HUGE.

Edited by EnragedBard
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Yes D. is immortal (actually she is more "ageless" and is immune to disease and poison, but she can still be killed), as is Serana, but most of the people around them are not. That's why I stated "while D. stays in Windhelm caring for the infirm Ulfric". If she already got a bit sad because most of the regulars in the Thiefs Guild moved on, imagine how she will feel if she has to start attending funerals of her former friends. Hold tight to Serana D., you will eventually need the emotional support of someone who isn't going to age and die on you.

There is also the technical complication that the game simply does not support that. If you fast forward say 20 years that makes it what? 35 years since D.'s story started? So most of the movers and shakers from that time should be dead then or at least very old.


It's doable (if work intensive) in a world that you control. It's much harder in a game like Skyrim that just isn't meant to take longer than a few years (game time) to complete, if that. There comes a point where it is just killing suspension of disbelieve if everyone seems to cope with age unbelievable well.

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5 minutes ago, EnragedBard said:

Huh.  I guess me resizing them automagically made them lower quality.  I can reupload them if you want.  I have to resize the vanilla screenshots though, they come out HUGE.

I guess that won't be necessary, but might be worth keeping in mind for the future.

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Imagine finding a version of Bijin Wives/Warmaidens that actually makes everyone look old.

 

Wait... ALL I NEED TO DO IS TAKE OFF ALL THE OVERHAULS!  The vanilla Skyrim NPCs look old and ugly!

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Could always do more time shenanigans.  Though I don't want to abuse that trope, seems like the only option.

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2 minutes ago, EnragedBard said:

Imagine finding a version of Bijin Wives/Warmaidens that actually makes everyone look old.

 

Wait... ALL I NEED TO DO IS TAKE OFF ALL THE OVERHAULS!  The vanilla Skyrim NPCs look old and ugly!

ROFL!

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1 minute ago, EnragedBard said:

Could always do more time shenanigans.  Though I don't want to abuse that trope, seems like the only option.

Well that or you could accept the grand kids staying just that, kids, for this story. Weird idea, I know. :P
If an Elder Scrolls VI were foreseeable, maybe a line of succession could be drawn (and perhaps Destana and Serana could make guest appearances), but since it's not I'm not really sure why you would want to. Yes might be interesting to see how Tamriel develops after D. (hopefully) put down the Thalmor, but while there are mods that deal with various invasions
into Valenwood, the Summerset Isles (and possibly other places) I don't think there are any that deal with the aftermath. So you would've to make that all up on your own anyway. At that point, you could simply decouple the story from the game completely. Not that I think that's your intent ... or a good way forward.

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More time-hocuspocus was the first (and only kinda convincing) thing that came to my mind too. If you really want to let the kids grow up, that is. However, rather than a skip in Skyrim time, I think moving the kid(s) in question away for a while, to some realm with faster flowing time would be the better option. At least in the case of Sinidar I would not consider it too unlikely. Since Damien is a Half-Deadra and a powerful mage. Nevermind the possibility, that Sanguine could decide to be a doting grandpa for a while. At least in theory he could. Would in all likeliness not be lore-friendly at all, but oh well.

Also: For some reason the term "Warproom" comes to mind. But I can't seem to remember, where I heard it.😉

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To EB: I just finished watching the second video for this entry.👍 So, just as an FYI in case you did not notice: The actual "video" ends at 42:15  with D. at the inn. But the youtube-video continues as a black screen for another 7 minutes.

Edited by HM1919
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Oh my god... why would it do that...

 

Edit: I figured it out. And how to fix it. I edited out 7 minutes of material, I guess. Just set the out point. I think I'll leave that one up and do better next time. 

Edited by EnragedBard
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Don't worry, the video is still perfectly fine. I figured, that it had something to do with the editing. After all, it's no secret, that there was material in the original video that YT would frown upon, so you had to remove it.😁

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