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Something to Prove


Jexsam

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They tried to warn me.

I thought I was ready. I had seen so much. I can create weapons and armor from the souls of Daedra. I've bound demons to my will. I've taken life, and willed the dead to become the unliving. It takes a sturdy soul to stand strong in the winds of darkness. But this... this was no wind. It was a wave, tall and mighty, crashing upon me with as much force as I could handle. And I know now, beyond that wave is an ocean I can never know.

I made the mistake of thinking I could handle stepping into Oblivion itself. Just to see if I could. My mother and father both warned me not to. They had both tried. Mother swore she would never return. Father wouldn't even discuss it. So, being the way I am, knowing they didn't want me to go... I had to try.


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I immediately regretted my decision. I emerged into a burning, bone-strewn waste of staggering scale. It was as if a battle had just ravaged this place recently, yet the bones were bleached and ancient.
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It didn't take long for me to stumble into a literal sea of ash. The broken hulls of great ships dotted the grey desert, some held aloft by dead vines. It was almost impossible to breath when the wind picked up.
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An ash storm kicked up about halfway through my journey. At its peak, I felt a presence. I was not alone.
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The sickly wraith was intimidating, but proved little trouble for the blaze of Coldharbour. This victory was easy, but I couldn't seem to get my nerves together. Everything about this place was unsettling. But I couldn't just give up. I had something to prove, if only to myself.
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On the opposite shore, a twisted wood. Bodies hung from the trees, vines and roots seemed frozen in place as they ripped down walls and tore up trees. Great plumes of magic erupted from somewhere in the distance.
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Beyond the woods, a village trapped in perpetual inferno. The heat was unbearable. I pushed through as fast as I could.
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I was unprepared for what I came across. A valley full of ghosts, fighting an eternal battle. Everything smelled of rot and death. I managed to slip past undetected, but by this time I had realized something important - I couldn't feel a connection to my way out. A kind of panic began to wash over me, but I steeled myself. I searched for the spell, and found that my way was blocked by a force imposing itself upon me. I find the source, I escape. Simple.
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Or it would have been, had the force preventing my escape not been a hulk of iron and bone fueled by pure evil. I summoned my full might upon myself. I've cut down bigger creatures. But... but never something like this. I wasn't sure. But I had to try.
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I like to think, if father had been there to see me, he would have been proud. At least, when he wasn't filled with parental fear for his daughter's well-being.
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Soon enough I was safe back home. But I couldn't stop shaking. What an idiot I was. For no other reason than foolish pride, I had gotten myself trapped in a blasted hellscape and had to fight my way out just to survive. The sights... the smells... it was all more horrible than I had ever imagined it could be.
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I blamed myself, was furious at myself. I couldn't tell them what I had done, what I had been through. And most importantly, I couldn't let myself make such a mistake again. Next time I might be able to fight my way out.





 

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Didn't really have a plan, just a new landscape mod and a desire to do something with it. It's neither good nor coherent, but it was fun to do. Plus I *really really* like the last two shots. Hope you all liked this one!

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Events don't seem as refined than what we used to expect from your works, but still, excellent ambience. :)

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Events don't seem as refined than what we used to expect from your works, but still, excellent ambience. :)

Yeah, this one is pretty much the definition of "thrown together at the last minute". I wanted to sort of force myself to take some screenshots, just to keep doing it. I had a recently snagged landscape mod, figured Eldawen suited it best for a first run, and just went in and took whatever shots popped out at me. It wasn't until I found the big iron golem thing that the idea to try to loosely tie it all together hit me and I decided to take the last two shots in the set. Sadly, they're kind of wasted on what is otherwise just a badly strung together, glorified screenshot dump.

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