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Entry 77: Two Nights from Hell


EnragedBard

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"You're Fenrir's friend, right?" Ulfric asked, "I heard what the old Stormcloaks put you through and I want you to know I've been doing everything in my power to stamp out that behavior."

"Well thanks.  Name's Valiana Direnni by the way," I said back. 

 

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"I appreciate everything you've done for Skyrim recently," Ulfric continued, "I wanted to ask if you'd be willing to do a mission for me. You can say no, I'm not your king. Consider it a favor. It'd mean a lot."

"What do you need?" I asked. 

"Galmar ran off during our first battle here. I'm not sure where his head's at, but we need him and the men he took with him back here so we can coordinate our efforts."

"Sure, I can do that. I'll find out what he's doing and drag him back here if I have to," I said. 

Ulfric laughed, "Just don't kick his ass too bad, alright?"

 

It'd been a while since I went solo, and I crossed the country on my own.  About halfway south I found a strange pod of a house all by itself and decided I would investigate.

 

Inside was a red-haired, red eyed Bosmer woman.  She smiled at me, "Hello.  It's quite beautiful here isn't it?"

I shrugged.  She was very inviting, "Yeah I like it."

"I'm from all the way to the south, but I had to move because of the Thalmor.   Where I come from the trees grow tall and wide and each one has a spirit of their own.   Here, closer to the Cyrodiil border, the trees are all stunted and seem to have no souls at all.  The autumn colors are the same though.  How about you, traveler?  Where are you from?"

 

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I replied, "I'm from Bravil, in Cyrodiil.  Though I've been living in Skyrim lately." 
She smiled back, "Do you know Skyrim very well?"

"I lived there a while back.  Mostly as a sailor," I explained.

"Is that so?  I don't suppose you're in need of a traveling companion are you?  I'm a very good archer so I could watch your back. What do you say?" The woman asked.

 

"Sounds great I'm tracking a man to the south," I replied, not going to argue with a traveling companion.

"Excellent I'm looking forward to it.  I can also help you with the tracking," she said.

 

We took off, and only about an hour later we found some strange poison-shooting octopus-looking things.  The girl sniped them, taking out all three before I could even get over to them.

"You weren't lyin'.  You're really good with that thing," I commented.

 

"My name is Auri by the way it's nice to meet you," she said.  

"Oh, sorry.  I'm not great with pleasantries.  Or really people in general, I guess.  Valiana DIrenni," I said.

I feel like out of the corner of my eye I saw her extend her hand, but I was already walking away.  She sighed audibly, but I paid it no heed.

 

After several hours of travel we were finally in sight of Greenheart, where everybody thought Galmar'd been heading.  (Gods, are there no horses in this dang country?)

And it was under attack by Thalmor!  I rushed in and Galmar blew past me, brandishing his warhammer.  

 

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"Galmar, what's going on?" I yelled.

"We're taking Greenheart, what's it look like?" He waded into the fray.  

"Alright, guess I'm in," I shrugged.

 

The fight took a little while, and one of the Bosmer turncoats even tried to get the drop on me and put me in a sleeper hold to take me out of the fight, but he got hit with an arrow or something and ran off.  I found him later and slashed him up good.  

 

With only a few Thalmor left, I found Galmar, battle-weary, and slapped him on the back, "Let's finish this!" 

"Hell yeah, sister!" He yelled, and we took out the last couple, bisecting the final one together.  

 

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When we were through mopping up, we gathered on a dais.

"So what are you doing down here besides taking Greenheart? I mean why go off alone?" I asked him.
"I'm hardly alone with the men," Galmar replied.

"You know what I mean."

"Damn it, woman I'm trying to find someone!" He growled.

"Alright, who are you trying to find?" I pried.

"Arrggh, fine. It was maybe 40 years ago during the great war.  There was a Bosmer that said she lived in southern Valenwood.  I figured I'd look while we took Greenheart.  Are you happy now?" He explained, angrily.

I said back, "I was trying to help you, you blow hard. One question: was her name Auri?"

And the slight Bosmer woman stepped out from behind a tree I knew she'd been hiding behind.

 

Galmar's eyes lit up in surprise, "By the gods!  It's you, after all these years!  You haven't aged a day!"

 

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"Bosmer don't age like we do," I said.

"I know you," she said, "You were that silly soldier boy who always followed around Ulfric."

He smirked, "Still fighting the Thalmor at home I see."

"I hate the Thalmor as much as anyone, if not more!" Auri replied.

"I'm glad.  A lot of Bosmer are working with them.  You know, It's not going to be safe in Valenwood for a while," Galmar said.

"Ever thought about visiting Skyrim?" I asked.

Auri smirked a little, "Skyrim's cities are nice and all but do they walk?

"Uh... I can't say they do.  You could join the storm cloaks in our invasion of Alinor," Galmar suggested.

"The Stormcloaks, really?" Auri said, "Do you really subscribe to the whole Skyrim for the Nords thing?" 

"No we're not like that anymore.  Oh damn it, Valiana, help me out here," Galmar said, flustered.

"What better way to stop them for good than help us out?  We're not going to take over Valenwood and please consider visiting the sad old man when we're done," I suggested.

"Okay," Auri said, without hesitation.

 

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Galmar burst out in laughter, "You were messing with me, weren't you?"

"Yes, yes, I was," Auri smiled.

 

We were joined by some of Auri's people taking back a minor village.  We were attacked by Falmer, which was a new low for the Thalmor.  Were they using them?  Were they studying them?  Maybe they wanted to do something similar to the other races. 

 

We had a couple minor skirmishes, but I was thinking on what to do while I let Galmar lead our direction.  Eventually, I figured I'd let them go off to Southpoint and I'd return to the north and let Ulfric know.  The main force was most likely going to approach that area soon and we could join up anyway.  Auri and I camped at an old Ayleid site.

 

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And I got a good dip in the sea (to clean the blood off me) before she woke up.

 

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So on the morning of the 26th, I parted ways with Auri and continued north to find the Skyrim group (the one with Ulfric anyway), and I happened upon an old orc stronghold.  The orcs there welcomed me in and gave me a hearty breakfast after I proved my strength to them.

 

I happened upon another orc stronghold a few hours later, and figured it would be the same.  It had started pouring in the meantime and I was wanting to take a break and go inside a building to wait it out.  Unfortunately, as I approached, the orcs all drew weapons and charged.  I drew my spear and said, "So much for stealth."

 

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They approached me en-masse, and I cleaved through the first, the second (with two swings), the other three getting good shots on me while I did.  I blocked a shot from the third one, knocking him off his feet then stabbing him through the chest.  The fifth got a good hit with a greatsword, but his next attack I was able to parry, leaving him wide open and cleaving through his skull.

 

I was bleeding pretty bad, but I'd won.  I walked to the back to find a place to rest for a minute (since all the doors seemed locked and I am not great with a lockpick).  There was a small tower erected behind the back fence, and more orcs there.  I hopped the fence, taking the one next to me unawares and killed him outright.  I looked down the hill and found the last two orcs (I presumed) standing over the dead body of a female orc.  

 

I growled and rushed in to finish the job here.  These guys were bandits or brigands or some such.  I engaged the one who was holding sword and shield, and the other slunk around and tried to flank me.  I took a few swings, but the shield guy kept playing turtle, rebuffing my attacks, giving me slight cuts.  With the one behind me now, my vision started to go blurry.  Should've drank a potion while I had the chance....

 

I turned to face the sneak attacker.  The shield one behind me now grabbed my spear and the one in front of me grabbed by throat, pushing me onto the ground with his weight.  My spear was thrown up the hill, where it stuck in the dirt.  With the bloodloss and my host of flesh wounds, I fell unconscious.  

 

"Dude!  I think we killed her!" The orc on top of me said.  

The other one said, "Did she kill the whole camp!?"

"Well, not the hunting party, which should be getting back soon," the first one said.

 

I woke up several minutes later to a big green dick being shovved into my ass.  The sneak attacker had pulled my underwear away and was thrusting into me.

 

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"Fuck!  Fuck!" I shouted, "Get off me!"

"This is my prize!" He said, finishing after another moment.  The other one (shield guy), who'd been masturbating while he watched, just kinda finished on the ground. 

He shrugged at his friend, "Knock her out so the others can have their turn when they get back."

Then he slipped in the wet grass.

The sneak attack guy rolled his eyes.  He forcefully ripped off the blue cloth on my boobs, then he whacked me in the back of the head with the pommel of his sword, and it went dark.

 

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The hunting party got back shortly, and I was awoken with the same treatment as before - right in the ass.  The others watched.

 

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As much as I kicked and screamed and bit, hit and fought them, there were 10 orcs now, and I didn't have any weapons.  They were probably as strong as me, I'd just had the advantage of superior equipment.  So they continued like that, one at a time, through the night.  

 

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At some point during a break I managed to find my spear laying in the dirt just inside the fence, but I was caught immediately and they immediately took it out on me.  When they were done with me for the night, someone clobbered me over the head and dragged me into their gazebo while they slept inside the buildings.  The guy saddled with the night watch also kept an eye on me.  

 

After a few hours of being unconscious, I was woken by a voice this time, "Wake up, princess.  We're ready to play some more."

"Fuck off ass~" I started to protest, but a dick was shoved into my mouth, and another violated me from behind.  They then proceeded to have their way with me at the same time.  

 

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They left me alone for a while this time.  I managed to pickpocket a dagger off the gazebo guard, and tried to stab him in the back, but I was no good at daggers and he disarmed me immediately, and had his way with me.  

 

This time I was playing a longer game though.  He had several weapons in his pack and I took the Greataxe.  I limped away, pretending to be defeated.  Then I approached the fence guard as stealthily as I could (made easier because I was completely naked).  I waited until the gazebo guy wasn't paying attention and cleaved this guy through the back.  I stripped off his armor (iron, better than nothing) and grabbed his Steel Composite Axe, which was better than the axe I had.  

 

The armor didn't seem to fit me like it did him.  

 

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"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," I said to myself.

 

This time I snuck up on one of the other guards.  He saw me immediately and blocked all my blows with his battle staff.

"Your hits are like bug bites.  Have we weakened you this much?" 

I slashed at him furiously, but he talked at me while he blocked, "Honestly, you're just a pest.  You belong to us now.  You're worthless without your spear.  Infact, I think it's my turn again."

And he took his turn.  He didn't take my weapons though.  I walked off, trying to find another way to do this, but all the orcs were watching me and I couldn't make any progress.

 

I waited a while, sitting on the grass, and it stopped raining.  

 

The hunting party returned for the day again and the leader said, "Oh look, she found some armor.  That's cute.  Let's get this off."

They stripped off the iron armor I had (there were four in this group), including the staff guy.

He said, "I think I wanna have some more fun.  You in, new girl?"

I raised an eyebrow and he chuckled, "Oh that was a joke.  You don't have a choice."

They each took a turn, then clobbered me over the head again.

 

I came to, probably an hour later.  This time I was completely unguarded.  Maybe the battle staff guy had been boasting that I was weak as a kitten now?  I dunno.  I walked over to where I'd found the spear before, and I spotted it perched on the crude tower.  There was no fence guard this time, thank the gods.  I crept over and found it on the tower, and below it was my boob cloth.  Maybe since they'd removed both at once?  Either way, I had a foothold.  Nobody had seen me.  I looked over my shoulder.  I could easily escape with what I had now.  Just walk away.

 

I could feel my hands clenching down on the spear.

No, I was not going to run.

 

"HEY!  YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES!  BETTER COME GET ME!  THIS TIME EITHER YOU'LL BE DEAD OR I WILL!"

All eyes were on me.  I would be stubborn to the end.  

 

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I dropped to the base of the tower to face the orc there.  I blocked his attack, right chop, left chop and he dropped.  I was raging at this point, but I still had some cognizance.  I knelt and picked up the potions on his body.  Not going to make the same mistake twice.  

 

Two more were charging down the fence-line and I bisected the first, slashing the second across the face and giving him a nasty gash.  He roared, the skin on his face flayed off, but he didn't care.  I roared back, stabbing him through the chest.

 

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Another ran up to me with sword and shield, cutting me in my left arm.  I took a big swing and he ducked under it.  Finding my fury once he stood, I let out a barrage of spear swipes so fast not even I could see my arms and chunked him into a fine paste, his blood spraying over my nearly-naked body.

 

The orcs behind the fence had been staring at the fight, planning their approach, and now gaped at my absolute rage.  As I walked up onto the rocks, one of them said to the other, "I think this classifies as an honorable death with entry into the Ashen Forge.  She's killed at least ten of our guys over the past couple days."

"Fourteen!" I shouted as I ran for them.

 

One of the braver ones ran ahead of the group.  I slashed over his shield, cutting him in the arm, then again from the left.  When he returned my attacks, I was out of his reach, like a wild bull they'd pushed too far.  He banged on his shield to try and spur me on, and I stamped the ground, taking another strong swing from the right and broke his shield into splinters, then came down on his head with the next stroke.

 

I ransacked the bodies at my feet and drank a strong heath potion as the rest of the orcs mustered their courage.

 

Two more ran at me, the lead one shouting, "Killing you will make for an excellent story!"

 

I slashed across both their bodies, trapping them against a hut, then backed out of their reach.

A third joined them, trying to gang up on me again, trying to trap me between their weapons.  But I would play it smart.  I sprinted away and downed another potion, pain purely an annoyance.

 

One with the battle staff reached me first and locked me in the chin, but I traded him a blow to his shoulder.  His leader tried to get a free shot on me but I surprised him by slashing him in his chest with my eyes still closed and knocking him off his feet.  The battle staff guy tried to get at me while I was off balance, but I spun and slashed him across the side.

 

"Mercy!" The leader shouted.  

As I slashed the staff man, then cleaved through the leader's skull I shouted back, "NO MERCY!"

 

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I downed another health potion and a stamina potion.  Having almost no armor and fighting a lot of guys really sucks.  

The last one I'd seen approached me with a maul in his hands.  

"You're brave or stupid!" I said.

He took a foolhardy swing (maybe one of the newbies?) and I wrapped my arms around his neck like the orcs had done to me earlier.  But I gripped my spear behind his head.  I tipped his helm off his head and smashed the crown of my head into his forehead, staggering him, then brought the spear through his neck.  Some would call it a decapitation, but there wasn't much of a head to speak of when I was done (and my face was covered in blood and brain-matter).

 

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I gripped the spear in my hands, and could feel all was quiet in the fort.  But I was trembling, my heart racing.  Looking at the pile of half a dozen bodies, I clenched my teeth.  I grabbed the spear again and chopped them into little pieces.

 

When I finally got the chance to take a breath again, I noticed I'd been shouting while I did so.  I took a deep breath.  The ability to calm onesself is an ability honed through years of practice, but everybody has their limits.  I hopped the fence and ransacked everything of worth, and set the place on fire.

 

Then I ran.  About a mile down the road I realized I was still barefoot, but I was also coming up on a stream.  I stripped off my scant clothes and washed thoroughly.  

 

I looked over to the pile of treasure I'd gotten from them, then felt raindrops falling on my hands.  I looked up at the sky.  But no, it was a clear day for once.  I looked at my hands, which were wet, even though I'd dried off on my boob cover already (gonna have to chuck it, or use it as a bra).

 

"Where is..." I stopped.  My face was wet as heck, somehow.  I felt myself for blood, then I looked at myself in the stream.

"Am I... crying?" I asked aloud, then I blinked.  It was like a wave, feeling the full brunt of emotions I'd been pushing down since this awful experience started.  I felt it carry me away, causing me to sob and carry on like a little girl.  

 

After about thirty seconds of this, I punched myself in the gut.  Then I slapped myself in the face.  

"There's no time for this shit," I said to myself, "Straighten up."

I stood up, taking stock of all equipment.  I chucked all the crap that wasn't worth much, and put on the really high quality stuff, mixing it with the useable pieces of my old armor.  I looked at myself in the stream again.  

"Damn, nice shoulders," I said.  I took off at a run, fairly certain there was a group headed for the Elswyer border I could meet up with.

 

I found a small Thalmor patrol party, and we saw each other at the same time.  There were four of them.

"Human, surrender your goods and you can go free," one of them said.

"You... don't want to mess with me right now.  I'm not having the best day," I said.

"You, think you can defeat all of us?  Laughable," the mage in front said.  

In one motion, I charged forward, drew my spear and cut the mage from top to bottom, killing him.

The justiciar in the group blasted me with an ice blast as I ran for him, but I took it straight to the chest and ran out the back end of the exploding shards.  I spun and cut him across his body three times before he got a second spell off.

 

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The two Bosmer with them were all that remained, and I was in no mood for mercy.  I slashed right through the first one, killing him, and gave the second a hefty wound in his side with the same stroke.

 

"Don't you see?" The Bosmer shouted, "Elven supremacy is~"

But I chopped down at his back, cutting a path through his entire bottom half.

 

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"Say what?  I couldn't hear you over the sound of your innards," I said.  Then I laughed out loud, which seemed like the first time in ages.  

 

I continued on, making sure to loot them for potions, fighting another larger Thalmor group on my way north until I reached a bridge.  As I crossed it, I spied the airship in the distance, hanging over a small Khajiit village on the border.

 

"Nice!  He's here!  Thank the gods!" I shouted to myself.  Pausing for a second, I looked down at the stream the bridge was over.  

A half-pained smile escaped my lips, and I reached up to my head, washing out the blood and gore from my hair, letting it completely down for once.  Then I continued up to the village.

 

I looked around for a few minutes and finally found him.

 

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Fenrir smiled big when he saw me, "Valiana!  Nice new armor!  And you pulled out your braids.  You look great, but where did you come from?"

 

I could feel that wave again, and I grabbed him around the waist, pulling him to me.

"Please, just shut up.  I need a hug," I said, resting my head against his cheek.

 

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"Well, um.... okay.  Anytime.  Are you okay?" He asked.

"Don't worry about it.  Come to the airship with me," I said.

"I missed you, you know," Fenrir said.

"Yeah, I know.  Come on," I said back.

As we walked out it was starting to get dark again and Masser was bright and red in the sky.

 

"Whoa! Look at that night sky!" Fenrir said.

"Yeah, beautiful," I said.

"Just like you," Fenrir said.

"Oh shut up you cornball.  Let's go up," I said.

 

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When we got to the deck, we took another moment to stare at the sky.  I turned him away from me, pointing him towards a nice looking constellation.

I said, "You know, I've been thinking..."

"What about?"

"I've only got one life to live," I said.

"Meaning?" Fenrir asked.

"We could die at any time.  Might as well enjoy ourselves," I said.

"You mean...?"

"Well, what do you think?" I asked.

Confused, he turned to look at me for clarification, and I'd already removed my armor.

"Oh wow, you can take that armor off fast!" Fenrir exclaimed.

 

And I can definitively say, that was the first time I'd ever done something I would call 'making love.'  I think I understand what all those songs are about now.  

 

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Hours later, Fenrir and I were sitting on the deck, tired, and he said, "Getting late."

"Wanna sleep out here?" I asked.

"Sure, you might wanna clean up first," he said.

I looked down at my chest, which'd had an epic hosing off by him.  Sorry to ruin the mood, but I'm a crass girl. 

I laughed, "You shouldn't worry about me.  I can take care of myself."

"Oh believe me, I don't," he replied, laying down on the wood of the deck.

"Well, good.  I've been kicking ass since before you were born," I said.

 

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"Took Sylvanaar and Falanesti by the way," Fenrir said.

"I took Greenheart with Galmar.  He's on his way to Southpoint right now," I replied.

"Kicking ass as always.  My dad will want to hear it," he said.

"We can tell him in the morning.  For now I'm enjoying being with you," I said.

"Oh, really?" Fenrir asked, as if he was surprised.  Honestly, little boys and their games.

"Yeah, wanna fight about it?" I asked.

He laughed out loud, like he was taken by surprise.  I didn't know why he was acting.  He knew how I felt about him.  I didn't need to say it.  Pretty fuckin' obvious if you ask me.

He brought up some bedrolls and we slept under the stars.  

Two days... it was the 27th now, and I felt like I'd been through an odyssey.

 

Big Spoiler:  Two videos

Spoiler

Valiana's Night from Hell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valiana's Heavenly Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey, Destana again.  So far we have Sylvanaar, Falinesti, Arenthia and Woodhearth.  Last time I got lost on a connecting path between several of the main cities and wound up in a central hub.  As I walked around, nobody was openly hostile, but I got the feeling that they were giving me the cold shoulder.  I didn't take offense, they were noncombatants and we were the invaders stirring up trouble.  I assume there was a comfort in the status quo of the Thalmor being in charge that we were wrecking.

 

But my first question was where the heck was I?  High in the air over central Valenwood, I looked over the edge to a dizzying height.  I walked up one of the huge tree branches (because, why not) and found the tree branch faded away as I got higher.  I just flew back to the main area.  Eventually I happened upon a blue spire of energy that when I got close teleported me into a building, much to my surprise.

 

I continued to explore.  It was a massive great hall, this time with guards and more bystanders.  Similar to the others, they paid me little attention.  After a while I crossed a hallway into a high-vaulted Bosmer version of a mead hall, with great doors at the other end.  The guards seemed to pay attention to my motions, but they didn't stop me from entering.

 

Another long hall, with a large set of stairs, several guards, and a throne.  I approached.  A Bosmer in a silvery tunic stood at my approach.

"Greetings," he bowed to me (only slightly) and said, "I am King Silverhand."

"King SIlverhand.  I'm Queen Destana of Skyrim," I replied, bowing.

"Of course.  I know who you are.  Pleased to meet you," the King replied, "I would thank you for your efforts in flushing that high elf queen out, but there's still more work to be done."

"I agree.  I'm going to go get Emperor Jura so we can speak officially," I replied.

He nodded in acquiescence.  

 

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It took a little while to find my way back, but I brought the whole group.  They waited outside while Jura and I entered.

 

Jura bowed, "Greetings, King Silverhand.  Please excuse the lateness of this meeting, but you know how urgent matters are."

 

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Silverhand smiled, "Finally an emperor of Cyrodiil with some manners. I figured you'd walk in here like you own the place, just like the rest."

Jura replied, "Of course not.  We're guests here and we intend to uninvite your other guests.  Forcibly, if needed."

"So I take it you don't wish to play the conquering hero.  The next Tiber Septim?" Silverhand folded his arms, studying us.

"We have no intention of staying beyond our welcome," Jura replied.

I added, "Our vendetta is against the Thalmor.  When we're done here you have our word we'll leave."

The King turned his head, his guard whispering in his ear.

 

image.jpeg.083f36670386fb95b022089e53c7e7e7.jpeg

 

"My guard has just informed me the Thalmor are attacking Elden Root.  I think they wish to raze it to the ground to punish us for not aiding them.  If you go now the door in the great hall will lead you there take some of my warriors and muster the best you have."

I glanced at Jura, "Shit, we don't have half our group and the army will probably take forever to get through these doors.  We don't have time."

Silverhand continued, "If you want to be of help, time is of the essence."

Jura put his hand on my shoulder, "Destana, let's go.  We can handle this."

I sighed, shaking my head, "Alright, if you say so."

 

I walked out the doors, finding Galahad, Roheisa and Runa waiting for the outcome.

"What'd he say?" Runa asked.

"Seemed generally amicable," I replied, "But the Thalmor are attacking Elden Root.  They're going to topple it to keep it from us, I guess.  We have one chance to stop them"

"I don't like the sound of this," Runa said.

"You guys ready for a surprise midnight battle? I asked.

"Sounds dangerous," Roheisa commented.

"Girls, let's encourage rather than discourage lead the way your majesty," Galahad nodded.

"Thanks," I smiled, then ran off, leading the way.

 

While they tightened their armor, I readied a Rally spell and hit them with it, "For courage."

Jura emerged a minute later with a cadre of Bosmer archers, ready to support us.  I threw another Rally on them.

"Everybody ready for this?" Jura popped his neck, mustered my battle-weary bones.

"It's a good day to die," Runa smirked.

"Runa, don't say that.  We're going to survive," Roheisa replied.

"It's a joke.  Don't be a stick in the mud," Runa said, then the slapped her on the butt, "Loosen up."

 

"Good luck out there," I said, crouching and throwing open the doors.  

 

As we walked out into the warzone of a town, local Bosmer soldiers were already engaged with the Thalmor.  There were whirlwinds throwing Thalmor, Frost Atronachs doing battle, arrows blanketing the sky.  We were peppered with ice blasts and I stayed in the back and healed.

 

image.jpeg.ed2fe3e0b9c684f40832d39440bb8174.jpeg

 

It wasn't long before we got separated, but I used the night to benefit me, hiding in the shadows and alternating between arrows and blasts to take out unsuspecting Thalmor.  

Off to the side I got into a long spell-duel with a few Thalmor mages.  They blocked my shots with wards, while I dodged their shots with my quickness. 

 

Their ranks thinned out and I was left alone.  I sheathed my weapons and started to look around.  I started to get worried.

"Runa!" I ran around a while, trying to find anyone, "Runa!  Where are you?!"

 

She put her hand on my shoulder and I jumped, "Talos bones!  I was worried about you."

"You okay?" I asked, hugging her.

"Yeah.  I'm alright.  Roheisa got flung by a tornado and knocked out, but Galachad is healing her," she replied.

I gave her a chuckle, "Gods, you call him Galachad too?"

"Isn't that his name?" Runa asked.  And for a second I couldn't tell if she was joking or not.  But she smiled, then I smiled.  We met eyes, and I think she knew what I knew about the two of them.

 

"How do you do that?" She asked.

"What?"
"Read people," Runa replied.

"Lots of practice getting into people's pants," I reached up and patted her on the head (her being taller than me).

 

image.jpeg.df56fb355d23b38e90c6eb1b1b48dddf.jpeg

 

Galahad emerged from the darkness of the village, helping a limping Roheisa, "No time to joke around guys, there are more Thalmor at the gates."

"But where's Jura?" I asked.

"Grandpa can take care of himself," Runa replied.

"Go ahead, I'll be fine," Roheisa told her dad.  She channeled a large heal spell on herself, holding her leg so the bone would set correctly.

"What?" She looked at us, "Let's go."

We hurried off over the bridge at the front of the village and found a larger Thalmor force fighting a massive Bosmer force, allied with Satyrs.

"Here's where all the Bosmer are.  We prevented the Thalmor from flanking them," I said.

 

image.jpeg.4ead11e681fd794248d1bfbaec1fe4a4.jpeg

 

Runa ran into battle, blasting the Thalmor with an Unrelenting Force.

With our help, the battle was over in minutes.  The locals had already been winning.

"They barely needed us on this front," I said, "Good job guys.  I'm going to look for Jura.  Set up camp and get some rest."

One of the Bosmer mages threw a heal down on the lot of us and we thanked him.  

 

While they were setting up the tents. It took me an hour, but I found him under a pile of Thalmor bodies.  I threw my largest heal on him.

 

"What what where am I?" He startled awake.

 

"You ran ahead and nearly got yourself killed," I explained as I helped him to the tents, "Everybody's asleep.  I'll heal you and you can lie down."

"Thanks."

It was almost dawn at this point, but I still wanted to give the man a piece of my mind.

 

"I'm going to slap you when you're better you're my only living parent I feel like I've barely gotten to know you," I said, channeling a slower heal.

"Don't..."

"Quiet," I cut him off, "I'm not finished.  You can't be the best damn Emperor ever if you die here!"

 

image.jpeg.6d25b8381e7b1ea15210bb40b697adc1.jpeg

 

"You're right," Jura sighed, "I can see why Ulfric likes you so much."

I kept healing and muttered, "Yeah, well, both of you are lucky to have me."

He chuckled, but then winced, "Ow, hurts to laugh."

"Well... good," I laughed back.

 

I sat at the campfire for a while.  Not needing to sleep had it's perks.  Though I wanted to, and it would've been a big help, my nerves were shot.  Two battles in a 24-hour period will wear you down.  

 

A figure appeared at the edge of the firelight, the sun cresting over the horizon as he did.

I blinked, and he was out of my sight.  He approached from behind and spoke in a low, growl-like voice, "Greetings, Dovahkiin."

 

image.jpeg.716d1783275f08eb8e6b248fe418bc13.jpeg

 

"What the fuck..." I said, but he wasn't brandishing a weapon or spell.  He looked like a Khajiit, but large like a lion with a great mane.

"No time for questions meet me in the morning when the Emperor awakes.  Over there," he pointed.  I looked, and he was gone.

"Strange..."  

I'd say not a lot of people get the drop on me (usually that's my job) but Runa just did earlier.  Of course, her stealth is almost as good as mine.

 

I looked at Jura, who was dead asleep now, and figured I'd just go find the guy and figure out what he wanted.

Of course, I was attacked about 500 feet off the road by a single Thalmor with a death wish.  I decided I would just shoot him with my bow.  I backed away slowly staying just out of his reach as he twirled and thrusted his daggers uselessly.  When he was dead, I spied the Khajiit lying in the grass nearby.

 

"You're a strange cat," I commented.

"I could see you had it under control," he replied.  Then he stood.  Noticing he was about a foot taller than me, I smirked.  Of course, getting all the wrong ideas.

"Alright, who are you and why are you laying down when you could be helping?" I asked.

His voice replied with a sound like sandpaper, "I am the Mane.  The spiritual leader of the Khajiit.  I came here to offer my aid in taking Alinor."
"Yeah Fenrir said you guys were willing to help.  I haven't seen any so far," I folded my arms.

"Apologies, we're in the middle of a civil war.  The Thalmor supporters against the traditionalists," the Mane said.

As he was talking, raindrops started to fall between us.  I sighed.

 

"Gods, it rains so damn much here.  Hang on," I said, turning to the sky and taking a deep breath, "LOK - VAH - KOOR!"

The lion smirked.  After a pause, there was one more grumpy peal of thunder and the skies cleared again.

"Most impressive, to say the least," he said.

 

"There you are," Jura approached.

"How are you awake?" I asked.

"No time to sleep.  I'm a master at restoration.  I'll finish licking my wounds later," Jura said.

"How did you find us?" I asked.

"Well, I heard you screaming at the sky to stop raining."

We had a chuckle at that.

I said, "Emperor Jura of Cyrodiil, the Mane."

"S'in Dunestride," he said.

"Pleased to meet you," Jura said back.

 

image.jpeg.6ffa6cdf9286d38b45dba1546ddd8f41.jpeg

 

"Which reminds me do you need help in your war?" I asked.

"We're going to win.  After that, we'll come to your aid in Alinor," S'in replied.

"Excellent.  Until then, safe travels," Jura said, "I look forward to it."

"Warm sands, friend," S'in replied, then he disappeared into the forest.

"That was a strange cat," I said, "Why would someone that high ranking come by himself just to tell us he's going to help out?"

"Well, when you travel the moonpaths, you're hard to pin down, I hear.  Did you see how he just seemed to vanish?" Jura shrugged, "I've heard he likes to get involved and get his hands dirty though I've never met the man before."

"Like you?" I asked, smirking.

"Well, like you also," Jura said back with a smile.

 

We walked back to camp.  Roheisa and Galahad were already ready.  They'd only had about 3 hours of sleep.  Maybe being an Aedra/Half-Aedra helps?  But Runa was stone cold unconscious, complete with a snore.

"Right everybody let's get out of here," I said, "We need to meet up with Ulfric and the army, and Fenrir Damien and Tussle's group."

"Your highness, it's pronounced Tusselle," Roheisa corrected.

I rolled my eyes, "Tussle, like a fight?  You know, because she's a... nevermind."

"Anyway," I stepped over to Runa, nudging her with my foot, "Runa, wake up."

 

image.jpeg.47f9245973893a417249564d1bf0de6a.jpeg

 

"Five more minutes, mom!" She said, covering her face with the pillow.

"I'm gonna pack up this tent right from under you," I said, casting a large telekinesis to gather up the tent and everything but the bedroll she was laying on.

Seeing she still wasn't up, I grabbed it with my hands and yanked it out from under her.

Runa rolled over and got up with a sour look on her face, "Where are we going?"

"Southpoint," Jura replied, "We converge there, take it, then all we have left is Haven."

 

It was the morning of the 26th.

 

Spoiler

I really like that Valiana seems to have side fat when she's sitting down.  I'm really starting to like playing her.  She's so damn human and relatable.

 

Also, I hit an emotional high with Valiana's story.  One of those moments where I just sit back and I'm like, "Damn, that's the stuff."

It was difficult to put her through the first part, but the second part was great.  Been doing this will-they-won't-they thing for a while and this was really satisfying.

I'm also not saying that Fenrir in any way saved her emotionally from what she went through.  Valiana is tough to a fault.  Her entire body is a callous.  She's dealt with/dealing with it on her own, on her own terms.  She's not planning on telling anybody.  Because she doesn't need help.  

 

Maybe Runa could learn something from her, since she's now spiraling down a path of self-destruction.

 

Note on Auri:  I figured her being in her own province was much more interesting than her just randomly being in Skyrim.

The Galmar thing I liked.  Also his Synth voice is VERY GOOD.  Like, it shows emotion!  One of the most well-trained ones.

 

This actually ended up being my standard length and I didn't really write a whole lot more than was between the videos.  

 

Another side note:  I'm giving everybody slight equipment upgrades as I go along.  I think Damien is due next.  I am also trying to give everybody cool looking capes with physics (if they had a cape before) and physics-enabled hair.  Valiana has physics hair as of this episode.  Roheisa started with physics hair.  Galahad, Roheisa and Tusselle have flowing capes/scarves or whatever.  Destana might get physics hair.  Runa definitely will, but gotta find the right one.  Runa and Damien are also gonna get physics capes, just gotta find good ones.  Fenrir and Jura don't need no physics and Destana doesn't need a cape.  She has back-shield and backpack.

This is one of those things where I started the game thinking, 'I don't need this to enjoy it.' And now I'm like, 'But why not... it looks cool.'

 

Here is the board:

 

1754326649_ValenwoodBoard3.jpg.e0f89dbe0ce358a822731181c76bdd14.jpg

 

And the Youtube video.

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by EnragedBard

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Ok, Valiana is a badass. Not that there was any real doubt about that, but this chapter very much so proves it. I must say, that I thoroughly enjoyed, "seeing" her take center-stage and show all of us, what she's made of (before she got captured). Her captivity was certainly not a "fun" thing to read about, but perhaps a neccessary evil, required, to demonstrate, just how unyielding/tough she really is.

 

But since she is such a tough cookie, I also have to disagree with EB somewhat. IMO the degree of physical toughness and mental fortitude,  that she displayed in this chapter, was well beyond anything, that I would consider possible for a regular human. Even within the context of Skyrim. Therefore I am not quite sure about how "relatable" she really is in this regard. Perhaps in comparison to a half-deadra (Damien) and the DB she might be. In any case, since this is a "heroic" story with healing magic and potions, I will simply handwave the physical part of the "Toughness- Issue".

 

Which leaves the "mental fortitude" part:

When reading the part about V.'s time in captivity, it almost sounded, like she saw the whole affair as some sort of deadly "game".***  Kinda similar to D.'s attitude at the beginning of her imprisonment by the Thalmor. Since that is the case, I can see a few possibilities here:

 

***EDIT: After thinking about it for abit, I have to correct myself here: It wasn't Valiana, who gave me the impression, that the whole thing was a game, but the Orcs. Since they let her wander around when they were not busy abusing her instead of tying her up or something. V.'s ability to seemingly "tank" what was happening to her is still remarkable, though. Therefore the "mental fortitude"-part of my prior comment still stands.

 

A.) V. is INDEED tough enough, to stomach, what happend to her, and move on, without further issue.

IF that's the case, it might be interesting, to explore, why that is. Was she born that way? Or did some of her experiences in the past make her that way?

Again, if it's the latter, than those past "experiences" might be something, that she could  open up about to her closest confidant (Fenrir?) going forward. Doing so might make for some good bonding opportunities.

 

B.) V. IS NOT tough enough, to handle this all on her own, even though she would like to believe, that she is.

In this case, NOT telling anyone about it, and bottling it all up, might very well end in serious problems further down the line. Therefore I would think, that, in such a case, it would be better, if she would choose one trustworthy person to confide in. Which in turn could be a very strong bonding moment as well.

 

Considering her (very understandable) "breakdown" at the end of her "Hell", I would not be surprised, if it's option B. Heck, even Destana needed time to recover AND help from others after escaping from the Thalmor. Granted, she arguably went through worse than what Valiana had to endure, but D. is also the Dragonborn. Plus we know, how much she's been through in the past. We don't know that much (yet?) about V. 

 

All of the above would obviously only be possible, IF EB even wants to spend that much time developing Valiana further. I think, it might be worth it, but in the end it's his decision, as usual.

 

To end on a lighter note:

 

- The YT end-scene between Valiana and Fenrir was a much needed wholesome moment. Very nice music choice too.

 

 - Destana being herself was just what I needed after all of the seriousness with V.

Because:

1.) Her kicking Runa out of bed, quite possibly while the latter was in dire need of some "private time" (SLEN dialogue indicated that) was hilarious. Merciless Mommy D. indeed.

 

2.) Her "berating" Jura for being too reckless was downright wholesome. Not a word, that I would have expected to use, when it comes to D., but here we are.

 

3.) D.: "Then he stood.  Noticing he was about a foot taller than me, I smirked.  Of course, getting all the wrong ideas."

 

Never change D., never change.

 

Lastly: Rumors have it, that General Tusselle got into a tussle last night, supposedly because some bearded guy with green warpaint and a leatherhood called her "Tussi".  Aforementioned tussle didn't last long, though, because she suplexed his sorry ass six ways to Sundas before leaving him battered and broken in the nearby underbrush.😉

 

All in all a Thumps-up from me for this chapter.👍

 

 

Edited by HM1919
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Well I guess the takeaway from this at least for Valiana is: "Never assume someone will be friendly because someone else was friendly."
Honestly afraid I could never relate to Valiana much, still can't. So read it all with some detachment, probably robbing the emotional moments of their impact. (That I'm currently dead tired, having slept about 6 hours in the last 48 , probably does not help either.)

 

Still thoroughly enjoyed the Destana part of the story, again a nice mix, with lots of interesting details, some mystery, humor...

Will check out the vids after I had some sleep.

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Currently working through the SOS dll issue, which I didn't know about until yesterday.  I figured it out (replaced SOS with the new non-dll version), but having to re-manage rules and everything.  God, what a pain.  

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Oh boy, hat sounds dreadful. It's times like these, that I am almost grateful, that I am still using Oldrim, since it means, that I simply can not have as many mods active as you have. Anyways, wish you best of success with your work.

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Yeah I fixed it.  But it bricked Roheisa's save.  I mean she hadn't done anything yet so I can recreate it using her preset (and she still exists as a JSON for other people's worlds) NBD.  I'm up to like 680 plugins.

 

In other news, Haven is ridiculous.  Remember those overtuned guys?  There are about 50 of them.  I get these huge lag spikes because a hundred dudes are trying to do animations at the same time. 

 

And I set my game to Novice and I can still barely deal damage to them with Runa.  Strangely, Tusselle is doing fine even though she's slightly lower level.  AND!  I just realized why.  The Thalmor (who are all casters) seem to have huge physical resist but fair to poor magic resist.  Tusselle has a perk that makes her fists do elemental damage.

 

Light Armor -

  • 40 - Sweeping Wind - Unarmed power attacks do 25% more damage. Additionally, if your movement speed is increased, they do 2% damage per 1% movement speed. Requires two free hands.
  • 50 - Rushing Tide - Unarmed attacks grant 10% increased Stamina regeneration and 5% movement speed for 8 seconds. This effect stacks. Requires two free hands.
  • 70 - Hissing Dragon - You may choose a damage type (fire, frost, shock, poison, disease or sun). Unarmed attacks unleash a shockwave that deals the chosen damage type to all targets in front of you. Requires two free hands. Does not activate while sneaking.
  • 90 - Breaking Waves - Unarmed attacks have 15% chance of a critical strike that deals critical damage equal to 40% of your current Stamina. If you are affected by Wardancer, every hit is a critical strike. Requires two free hands.

 

Oh wow, I just realized why she's dealing so much damage.  Sweeping Wind.  I gave her an unrelated spell that gives a massive speed buff.  That is a deadly combo.  I might play her just because this is so deadly.  She really is kicking people's heads off and breaking them in half.

Edited by EnragedBard
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@EnragedBard

When reading stuff like your above post, I can kinda see, why some modders make  OP mods. To counter OP modded Bad Guys like those Thalmor. Or for the Lulz. Like this one:

 

Mind Twist - Illusion Spell Pack

 

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/20293

 

The interesting part with the new Illusion-Spells is, that they contain a "Rage" spell, that supposedly works on anything (NPC, Undead, Automaton), regardless of level. Also: IIRC with one exception using the spells won't break stealth.

 

Disclaimer: While I have the spellpack in my game, I have NOT used any of it's spells yet. "Caveat emptor" certainly applies.

Edited by HM1919
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Well that sounds like a good set of spells for Destana or Damien to test out. 

 

My power's out right now. Arg

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There is a DLL less SOS? Whut? Where? How did I miss this so far? Got a link?

 

 

18 hours ago, HM1919 said:

The interesting part with the new Illusion-Spells is, that they contain a "Rage" spell, that supposedly works on anything (NPC, Undead, Automaton), regardless of level. Also: IIRC with one exception using the spells won't break stealth.

 

 

Not that any Destruction spell seems to do with the right Ordinator perks. I think I mentioned in the past that with Ordinator stealth mage easily beats stealth archer in the overpowered game. ^^

Sounds a bit overpowered, but I might give it a try anyway ... if it can be ESL'ified, though it seems that should not be a problem. ;)

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I'll need to dig through my history in the morning for it, but yeah. Also It works with AE. 

Edited by EnragedBard
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Comes from pg 118 to 123 of the SOS thread.  Erstam's post about halfway down.

 

 

Beta 2 worked best for me (so far).  I'm just going to post 2-4 here.

 

Here are the details from the original post (be sure to follow instructions):

Spoiler

Some important things first:

  1. This is an update to SOS SE and only contains the changed esp and scripts. It's not the full mod. So install the files over your existing SOS installation.
  2. As long as you have a working SKSE and PapyrusUtil (either for AE or older SE versions), you're good to go.
  3. Best remove, hide, or move your SchlongsOfSkyrim.dll. It shouldn't really hurt when it's trying to load, but it will cause warnings in the logs.
  4. I've done no testing on 1.6.318 (I'm running a partially downgraded 1.5.97), but it runs fine on my Skyrim installation, and I'm pretty sure it will also work with the new exe, provided you have installed the requirements. After some testing on 1.6.318 I can confirm that it does work.

So how does this work? I've replaced all the functions from the dll with corresponding functions from PapyrusUtil. It looks like the SOS dll was actually forked from an early version of PapyrusUtil, so many functions are identical.

 

Other functions are emulated in Papyrus script. Of course that's much slower than native code, but I took a lot of effort in optimizing them. Particularly the function that randomly picks a schlong for new actors, depending on race and MCM probabilities. Now it caches the values in lists according to race and gender. For example, the first time a Nord gets a schlong, the process is still slow, but subsequent Nords are schlongified much faster. The cache is invalidated when you install or remove addons, or enable/disable addons for certain races in the MCM, or change their probabilities.

 

Further optimizations have been done all over the place. PapyrusUtil functions were often wrapped in multiple layers of convenience functions. I've inlined those where speed does matter. Also fixed some bugs - for instance, when schlongs have been lost (often due to load order changes), the recovery code would run twice.

 

This version cannot read old exported settings from SOS.json. It's using JsonUtil now (part of PapyrusUtil), and the format is different compared to SchlongsOfSkyrim.dll. But I think it's not a big deal, you can easily export your settings in the new format.

 

If you want more details about it, follow link.  

 

Also, it will probably take some fiddling to get your game back to normalcy.  The only reason I did it was because I added a CC item (Bittercup) and it fucked up SOS and just started giving me CTD on savegame load.  So it was a long rabbit hole to figure out why and how to fix. [Thank god I fgured out how to Crashlog at some point].

 

SOS PapyrusUtil version Beta 2 (UPDATE).7z SOS PapyrusUtil version Beta 4 (UPDATE).7z SOS PapyrusUtil version Beta 3 (UPDATE).7z

Edited by EnragedBard
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Thanks a bunch, appreciate it. I will take a good look. Probably going to try that with a new game anyway, so

CTD on load from SoS is nothing new though, so far I could always fix it by moving the DLL out of the skse plugin folder. Load game ... get a bunch or warning from SoS, save game, move the DLL back, load game, done.

 

 

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