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Chapter Three Act Five: Pretenders


Collygon

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Hey guys! Welcome to Chapter Three Act Five!

 

Lately I've been working hard on Colly's Poser V3, which is what delayed this act a bit. I know updates have been slow, but I'm going to change things up. November is national novel writing month, and I am participating in my own special way. I will be completing a scene (spoiler section) every day, be it writing one or shooting one, until November 31st or Chapter Three ends; whichever comes first! This will put my other works on hold, but I believe it is worth it.

 

In addition to that change, I have also done something new with this act: a previously spoiler. The story is only going to get more complex, and this should help out a lot by replaying earlier scenes with important information for this act. Let me know what you think!

 

Now, let's begin.


Previously on: The Frost of Ages

 

 

 

Castalia: I want you to repay your end of the bargain.

 

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Castalia: You owe me, Priestess. If not for me, you probably wouldn't even be called that.

 

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Castalia: I'm going about this the nice way. I have more methods of getting information, and you will not like them. So return the favor and answer me this...

 

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Castalia: Where did you send Gerruck and Elyvaea?

 

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Gerruck: Destiny, huh?

 

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Gerruck: Tell me, Olivia, what is this destiny of mine? What task am I supposed to accomplish?

 

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Olivia: To bring upon a new age, Gerruck.

 

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Olivia: It's time you meet with the Greybeards.

 

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Boethiah: The Hunger.

 

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Boethiah: Spawns of the Boethian realm.

 

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Boethiah: To kill doesn't even take a second.

 

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Boethiah: To take a city...

 

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Boethiah: ...only a few.

 

 

 

 

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Nchuand-Zel, the expansive dwemer ruin lurking below the great city of Markarth, is laden with a familiar silence. A choking haze settles amidst the air, conjoining with the steam sputtering out from the few, stubborn pieces of machinery that remain. The occasional hiss of their vents or the drip of water from the glowing blue fungi hanging overhead are the only sounds left to be heard. Until now, where they are joined by cluttering scrap metal and disgruntled grumbles from a dark elf.

 

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Malkor: Come on...

 

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Malkor: Is there really not enough left in this thing?

 

The soul gem glimmers as it turns around in Malkor's fingers, as if the soul inside was trying to reach beyond it's crystal cage.

 

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Malkor: I've gotten centurions to run off of petty souls. This shouldn't be a problem.

 

He huffs and begins inspecting the automaton lying discarded in his lap.

 

Immediately after Markarth's capture, Malkor delved into the cities' ruins, for as much his own personal comfort as curiosity. After spending nearly five years in the caverns of Blackreach, sunlight and fresh air have molded into a taint. Spend enough time somewhere, and what started off as unfamiliar gradually changes to a welcomed ease. Yet no matter how tranquil it becomes, it doesn't replace the yearning for home. A thought that Malkor fends off by tinkering with machinery he already knows is beyond repair.

 

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Malkor: Maybe a jump start on the gyro will do it...

 

The soul gem prods the metal pieces, doing little more than echoing a faint clacking throughout the ruins.

 

With a scoff, Malkor pulls the gem free and tosses it over his shoulder.

 

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Malkor: Well that was a bust.

 

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Malkor: I wonder if the problem is the gyro...

 

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Malkor: I'll need to get through the outer plating though... maybe if I-hrrrg! gah... Bolted too well.

 

Malkor relaxes his arms at the sound of approaching footsteps. He doesn't bother looking up as they suddenly stop, their maker's shadow casting over him.

 

Malkor grunts.

 

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Malkor: What do you want?

 

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The Hunger looms over him, motionless. It doesn't make a sound; not a rustle of it's chain mail nor the sigh of a breath. The red arcs that danced over it's body during combat have disappeared in the now conquered, peaceful environment.

 

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Malkor: Right. You don't- can't?... talk. She wants to see me, is that it?

 

Again, The Hunger makes no motion to reply. Rolling his eyes, Malkor kicks the automaton off his legs and clambers to his feet. He clenches his fingers together and stretches his arms over his head.

 

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Malkor: She hypes you up a little too much I think.

 

Malkor glides over to a decrepit, dwemer chair resting his sword. The Hunger's head follows Malkor's movements, expressionless.

 

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Malkor: Sure, you're more than a capable fighter. But that seems to be all, isn't it?

 

Malkor picks up his sword, spinning it in his palm a couple times before sliding it into it's scabbard.

 

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Malkor: Under that armor you're thinner than bone, right?

 

He slides his sword away then traces his eyes over The Hunger, taking him in. He marches forward, brushing up against The Hunger's shoulder. It stumbles backward, catching itself just on the edge of the bridge, then returns to the same unwavering, emotionless stance, as if nothing had happened.

 

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Malkor chuckles. It's just as he suspected.

 

Malkor: So that's how you work. It's all black and white to you. Friend or foe.

 

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Malkor: Well let me teach you an important lesson.

 

Malkor's jaw draws tighter while his eyes narrow and furrow.

 

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Malkor: Nothing is ever that clear.

 

Malkor lurches out his leg, sending his heel straight into The Hunger's jaw.

 

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The ebony helm rattles and echoes like a gong as The Hunger spirals over the edge.

 

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It doesn't make a sound as it plummets into the chasm below. Malkor quickly hops back to both feet and scampers to the ledge, carefully peering down into the darkness.

 

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A loud crack along with a subtle splash echoes throughout the chamber, but does nothing to quell the trepidation gnawing at Malkor's chest.

 

A few more splashes follow, each softer than the last, until all sounds cease and Nchuand-Zel returns to it's quiet solitude.

 

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Malkor lets out a deep breath and rubs the back of his neck.

 

Malkor: I guess that's it then.

 

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Malkor: A bit anticlimactic, but-

 

Malkor stagger back as a sudden scream ruptures the air. A flurry of red bolts arc from below and rocket towards the ceiling, zapping and screeching with the same mix of pain and fear that resides within the scream.

 

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Malkor shields his face, clenching his jaw tighter and tighter as the noise starts to amplify. He can feel a bead of blood start to trickle from his ear and the sweltering heat of the bolts bounding threateningly close to his face.

 

Then, just as it began, it suddenly stops.

 

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With shaking hands, he dares to take a peek. Gingerly creeping open one eye, he scans his surroundings only to find the same still room and a falmer quivering to his left.

 

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Malkor: So you can be killed. Hmm.

 

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A malicious grin spreads across his lips.

 

Malkor: Perfect.

 

 

 

As the sun rises over the mountains of Markarth, tendrils of it's reach sneak in through crevices in the rock, casting dawn's light across the ancient ruins. The delicately carved stone pillars catch the light across their beveled edges, seamless, as if they are immune to the decay of time. A hulking statue of an automaton rests firmly at the top of the pillar, sparkling in the sun with metal plating as reflective as the day it was made.

 

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The massive, metal gates leading to Nchuand-Zel slide shut with a gradual creak as Malkor steps out. His fingers run over the back of his neck, feeling coarse, rough speckles of dirt and grime through his gloves. Working with dwemer machinery is dirty work, but it isn't the most foul thing he has done today.

 

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Killing The Hunger was a risk. But for reasons only followers of the Prince of deceit can understand, it was one he had to take. The cult of Boethiah is a band of marauders, liars, and thieves united by their conniving personalities. They fight under the same banner, partake in the same rewards, and revel in one another's company, but a comrade's true intentions are never actually known. To survive in the cult, an important lesson must be learned: loyalty and trust are two very different things.

 

As the leader of the cult, Malkor has plenty of experience in telling lies, as well as breaking them. But no amount of experience can prepare him for his next trial...

 

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...of deceiving the Daedric Lord herself.

 

Boethiah: There you are, Geheisthis.

 

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Boethiah: Done wasting time? We don't have much left, you know.

 

Malkor rolls his eyes and trudges down the stone staircase.

 

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Malkor: We have two days left before it begins. We've done all we can until then anyway.

 

Malkor skips the last two steps with a leap, gracefully landing into a smooth walk.

 

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Malkor: The calm before the storm should be enjoyed. There may never be such a period again.

 

He stops before the Daedric Lord and narrows his eyes. Boethiah makes no effort to respond, glaring at him with an expression that seems to gouge at his very soul.

 

For a few dragging seconds they stand there, locked in silent stare, analyzing one another. But Malkor does not waver. As the pressure amounts, his confidence only grows.

 

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Malkor knows this game. He's played it all too much.

 

He huffs out an agitated grunt.

 

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Malkor: What?

 

The Daedric Lord's shoulders relax, but her glare remains steadfast.

 

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Boethiah: Don't let my respect of deception give you comfort.

 

Boethiah uncrosses her arms, letting them dangle loosely at her sides.

 

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Boethiah: You're not here because of trust, Geheisthis.

 

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Boethiah: If I expected my servants to follow me for my ambition alone... well, they wouldn't be my servants, now would they?

 

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Boethiah: No. You're here because I know what you are capable of.

 

A twinkle flashes in the corner's of her narrowed eyes.

 

Boethiah: You proved it twenty years ago and you have the chance to prove it again now.

 

Malkor steps back at the mention of his past. The steady complacency he held shattered and his earlier gruff, dull tone sharpens into a serrated hiss.

 

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Malkor: That chapter is closed. I made it clear that we don't operate that way anymore.

 

Boethiah chuckles. Malkor clenches his fists as her hidden smile creeps to her eyes.

 

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Boethiah: And I don't expect you to. War is not won by conquest alone. The new era cannot be ruled upon a throne of graves.

 

Boethiah turns on her heels, spinning around with a practiced ease that sends her robes billowing around her.

 

Boethiah: But fear is needed to spread chaos.

 

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Boethiah: It is time to put your army to use. However you see fit. I do not control you.

 

As Boethiah walks away, Malkor dips into a bow. His breaths begin to steady along with the beating in his chest.

 

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Malkor: Of course. I wi-

 

Boethiah: Oh, and one more thing.

 

Malkor falters. A lump forms in his throat.

 

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Boethiah: Kill one of my servants without my permission again...

 

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Boethiah: ...and I will kill you myself.

 

 

 

 

The air stands still at Skyrim's capitol. The sun has just reached it's peak over the city, shining radiant sparkles upon the winding river below. The warmth of it's rays barely reach the city streets, fighting to break through the bitter cold that clutches the world with an icy grasp.

 

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Inside the city, however, the denizens of the city are unaffected. Solitude bustles with the same commotion as always. Shoppers peruse the market stalls without so much as a shiver. Children frolic throughout the streets, earning the angry shakes of passerby's fists. Life has returned to normal. The cold seemingly forgotten.

 

Jala: I'm sure it is going to be incredible!

 

Ciraeya: Well duh.

 

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Ciraeya: She hasn't left her chambers for nearly a week preparing it.

 

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Ciraeya: I'd be shocked if this isn't her greatest sermon yet.

 

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Jala: Definitely! Any predictions on what it might be about?

 

Ciraeya: Predictions? Please. It's so obvious.

 

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Rorlund: How do they...

 

Rorlund stares at the two women in stunned confusion. He had not spread word of a sermon. Or even of the priestess at all for that matter. In fact, he gave explicit orders to the temple servants not to.

 

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He turns away as the women saunter past him; too occupied with the aggravated thoughts filling his head to bother listening to them further.

 

Rorlund: Damn it, Freir. You were supposed to keep quiet.

 

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Grumbling under his breath, he turns sharply away from his stroll around the city and marches back to the temple.

 

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Rorlund: Why do you have to be such a sycophant?

 

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Rorlund: I lead the temple when she isn't present. And this counts, dammit!

 

His boots thud against the stones as he marches towards the temple, as if each step were an attempt to crack them with his heel.

 

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He doesn't break stride as he reaches the door, furiously grasping the handle and barreling inside.

 

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Rorlund: Freir!

 

The young priestess lurches back, nearly toppling the candle brazier over behind her.

 

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She awkwardly readjusts, having to reaffirm her footing underneath her quivering knees, and immediately raises her hands in defense.

 

Freir: R-Rorlund, I-I had to. It was a request from the priestess herself, I-

 

Rorlund: Save it. I thought we agreed that this counted as her absence, did we not?

 

Freir gulps. The shaking of her knees quickly spreads up her body and to her lower lip.

 

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Freir: Well... y-yes. But she gave me an order! I can't just diso-

 

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Rorlund: Yes, you can! There's a reason we don't let her out of the temple. Much less spread word about her giving a damn sermon!

 

Freir: Yes, but-

 

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Rorlund: I said save it.

 

Grunting out the words, Rorlund shoves past her and storms over to the stairs.

 

Rorlund: The temple is now closed. Don't let anyone in.

 

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Freir turns her gaze towards the floor and mumbles faintly in response.

 

Freir: Yes sir.

 

Rorlund takes slow, meditated breaths as he treads up the stairs. After her return a week ago, her holiness became suddenly, and obsessively, enamored with what she titled: "The Last Sermon". At first she appeared fine, a little nit-picky perhaps, but nothing out of the ordinary. But with each passing day she descended further and further into the obsession and eventually into madness.

 

After the second day she took a knife to her hair, lopping it off with crazed slices. It took both him and Freir to hold her down long enough to pry the blade from her fingers. It was after that that Rorlund took charge, ordering that she not be allowed to leave her chambers.

 

Now the temple is only open a few hours of the day at most and all news of the priestesses condition is kept secret. All of Solitude adores and respects her. It would be chaos if they saw who she has become. And if she gave a sermon? Rorlund shudders at the thought.

 

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Rorlund: Priestess?

 

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Rorlund: Priestess Olivia? Are you well?

 

Rorlund takes each cautious step meticulously. Heel toe, heel toe, heel toe he chants in his head.

 

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Rorlund: Can you hear me, Priestess?

 

Olivia squats in the middle of the room, surrounded by papers scattered erratically about the room. Her toes wiggle energetically and her head bobs whimsically side to side as she sings strange lyrics to an eerie tune.

 

Olivia: Trapped in the webbing of the seamstresses hands, the little elf's life is controlled by her strands.

 

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The tune cuts off as she suddenly perks up.

 

Olivia: Oh! The sermon should mention that. He needs to know he will die.

 

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Olivia: No no no. It will be done by then.

 

Rorlund gulps and begins to make his way into the room. He takes each step with careful precision, avoiding stepping on any of the papers so she doesn't snap at him again.

 

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Rorlund: Olivia? It's Rorlund.

 

At the mention of her name, Olivia arches her back sharply backwards, craning her head to see.

 

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Olivia: Ooh! Rorlund! I was just thinking about you.

 

Rorlund opens his mouth to ask further, but stops himself. Trying to get an explanation out of her only raises more questions. Instead he lowers himself to one knee, matching her eye level, and adopts the most gentle, consoling voice he can.

 

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Rorlund: That's... Uh, that's lovely. But hey, did you tell Freir to spread word of your sermon?

 

Her face fills with glee and she starts to bob up and down ecstatically.

 

Olivia: Yes! I did! Did she do as I asked? I need everyone to come.

 

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Rorlund takes a deep breath. Olivia's reactions to news are sporadic, to say the least. Releasing the air in his lungs, he speaks as sternly as he can, deciding it best to get this over with sooner rather than later.

 

Rorlund: I'm sorry, but we can't let you do your sermon.

 

Olivia's face sinks.

 

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Olivia: Why not?

 

Again, Rorlund sucks in a breath, this time standing to his feet.

 

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Rorlund: You're not in a stable enough condition.

 

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Rorlund: For the good of the temple, as well as the city, we'll have to lock you in the cellars, away from public eye.

 

As he finishes, Rorlund steps past Olivia and strides from the room. Before he makes it to the doorway, a tugging on the bottom of his robes stops him. He turns around to see Olivia crawling on the floor behind him, her hand wrapped tightly around the woven fabric.

 

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Rorlund: What the-? Let go of me, Olivia.

 

Olivia: No, you can't!

 

Rorlund: What are you talking about? Unhand m-

 

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Olivia: She's watching us.

 

Rorlund lurches around and kicks out with his leg, relinquishing Olivia's grip and sending her sprawling backwards on the ground.

 

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Rorlund: I said let go!

 

Olivia: Ah!

 

Any self control Rorlund had flees his body as resent and anger takes its place. He clutches his sleeve and glowers at the priestess lying pathetically on the floor below him.

 

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Rorlund: You will not disgrace this temple further! I used to respect you! Fear you, even! Now look at what you have become! You may have lost my admiration and respect, but you will not destroy the reputation our sacred temple has built over hundreds of years!

 

His shoulder's heave up and down. He clenches his jaw with enough animosity to make his teeth sting.

 

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Olivia: Uh oh... Now you've done it.

 

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Rorlund: What are you talking about? What have I done?

 

Olivia doesn't look at him. Her whole body shudders as she keeps her eyes transfixed to the back corner of the room.

 

Olivia: She still looked the same. Even after all those years. I thought it was suspicious so I didn't tell her.

 

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He looks at her incredulously.

 

Rorlund: What?

 

Olivia continues as if Rorlund hadn't spoke, her fearful gaze glued behind her.

 

Olivia: So she made me tell. Keeps me always in sight with her... pet.

 

Rorlund turns his gaze to the shadowed corner. He can barely make out anything in the pitch blackness. Then the shadows move.

 

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Rorlund: W-w-what... How did that...

 

The air flees his lungs. His stammering ceases, unable to take a breath. Sputtered, choked gasps take its place as his eyes grow wide.

 

A rapid clicking hiss fills the room. Rorlund's legs threaten to buckle as the rest of his body grows rigid.

 

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The shadows retreat as the concealed creature slowly crawls into the light.

 

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When it comes into full view, a wave of fear crashes into Rorlund. His senses return and he whips around, nearly tripping over his own feet, and flees the room.

 

The spider scurries after him. It's clicked hissing intensifies into a wailing screech.

 

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Rorlund: Help! Someone help!

 

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Rorlund: Someone! Please!

 

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Rorlund: Help!

 

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Rorlund: No! No!

 

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Rorlund: AAAAAGGGHHH!

 

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Castalia: Ah...

 

Castalia closes her eyes, cutting off the sight of Rorlund's bloodied corpse.

 

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A strong rush of magic surges through her as she returns to the body she calls home. With a sigh of relief, she opens her eyes, finding herself in the same place where she left.

 

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Castalia: Tsk tsk. Rorlund, you naive priest. No one messes with my puppets.

 

She chuckles and shakes her head, turning her attention to the temple before her.

 

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Castalia: One more left.

 

She presses her hand to her forehead and peers up the mountain peak that rests the acclaimed Throat of the World.

 

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Castalia: It seems I'm just in time too.

 

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Castalia: Go on, Dragonborn. Discover the horror that is your destiny. Take comfort in it.

 

She grasps the handle of her sword and turns to the temple.

 

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A ravenous, bloodlust consumes her, molding into a malevolent grin.

 

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Castalia: The real horrors are yet to begin.

 

 

 

 

The winds howl atop the throat of the world. The gusts scoop up pockets of snow and toss them over the side. As they fall they explode in a puff of glittering white, cascading a sparkling waterfall over the side of the mountain.

 

Another strong gust billows over the mountaintop and sends snow flying. The speckles tumble through the air and collide with dull, dark green scales. The remnants drip down the scaly ridges until they fall off, freezing once again before they hit the snow below.

 

It is a feeling that the dragon, Paarthurnax, no longer notices.

 

Hundreds of solemn years he has spent in waiting for the day the Dragonborn would appear. Each day in deep meditation, preparing for every possibility of what man, mer, or beast will ascend the mountain to discover their destiny. Paarthurnax has ensured that he be as prepared as he can, but when he finally sees him trudging slowly through the snow, a feeling that Paarthurnax has not felt in years fills him. The feeling of unknown.

 

The introductions were over quickly. Paarthurnax made sure to appear as welcoming as possible, expecting the man to approach with caution, or even trepidation. Instead, he did so with excitement and glee. That eagerness has yet to dissolve as the man scampers whimsically in place, trying much too hard to formulate a sentence.

 

Questions fly in and out Gerruck's mind like the snow flurries fluttering chaotically through the air around him. He hops from one foot to the next, stammering incoherent babbles as he struggles finding the right thing to start with.

 

Gerruck: The dragons are- no no no, uh...

 

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Gerruck: Shouting! What about th- wait. Start over!

 

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Gerruck: Bah! Screw it! I'm tired of waiting. Just tell me it already!

 

Paarthurnax releases a deep sigh, shooting a blast of hot air from his nostrils like a cannon. Snowflakes in it's path immediately sublime, rising into the air as steam along with his breath.

 

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Paarthurnax: Lost drem. Have patience, Dovahkiin.

 

His voice resounds gradually with a deep, mellow tone. Each words reverberates in the air like a soft echo through a cave.

 

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Paarthurnax: Your destiny... Hin Dez... is not something that can be easily said. Hevno.

 

Gerruck flushes and rubs the back of his head. The chill on his cheeks melts away as he awkwardly bites his lip.

 

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Gerruck: You're right. I... Sorry, Paarthurnax. Sir.

 

The dragon chuckles. Deep, deafening hums resonate against the ground, shaking the soft layer of freshly piled snow.

 

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Paarthurnax: Ah, mal gein.

 

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Paarthurnax: Nid, Dovahkiin. I'm afraid this is not the time for cheer.

 

Gerruck shuts his eyes and shakes his head loosely. With his head cleared, he opens them again and gives Paarthurnax a firm nod.

 

Gerruck: Of course. I know this is serious.

 

Paarthurnax slowly nods his head in agreement, a low hum emanates from his throat. He then lifts his legs and starts to turn around. His wings dig trenches in the snow while each step sinks low enough to form a small pothole.

 

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Paarthurnax: Come here. Koraav daar, Dovahkiin.

 

Gerruck raises an eyebrow, but follows the request, slowly turning around along with the dragon.

 

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Paarthurnax: Fin brit lok. Behold, Dovahkiin.

 

Having no knowledge of the dragon tongue, Gerruck takes a moment to watch as Paarthurnax turns towards the sky before mimicking.

 

Gerruck: It's the sky.

 

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Gerruck: It's cloudy, but I can see the blue in between.

 

Paarthurnax: Geh. Indeed, Dovahkiin. That sky has existed for ages.

 

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Gerruck: Yeah...

 

Gerruck's voice trails off. From the highest point in Skyrim, the world is mesmerizing. The bright blue sky stretches infinitely out in the distance yet it feels close enough to touch. If he peered over the ledge, he bet he could see where he grew up, or where he met Elyvaea. He could see Lake Ilinalta and the sleeping giant inn. The small town of Riverwood and the mighty fortress of Whiterun would appear almost the same size. Perhaps he could see past the border too; all the way to Cyrodil. Or maybe even further!

 

Captivated, he does notice that Paarthurnax has already turned away. Gerruck forces himself to do the same, turning his body but not his eyes.

 

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Paarthurnax: But all great things must come to an end.

 

He slips the words out so softly Gerruck is sure he misheard them.

 

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Gerruck: Wait... What?

 

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Paarthurnax: The fourth and final era. Dinok. Its conclusion is that of Nirn's as well.

 

Gerruck's face scrunches. He stares at Paarthurnax, bemused, as he trudges away.

 

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Gerruck: Paarthurnax? What are you talking about?

 

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Paarthurnax: To your Nords it is sacred. Revak. The slaying of Alduin brought the destruction of Nirn to an end.

 

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Paarthurnax: Or so the story begins.

 

Gerruck struggles to form any words, but doesn't have to, as Paarthurnax continues.

 

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Paarthurnax: Listen close, listen well. Zu'u lost pogaas was tinvaak. Akatosh, Borhamu, sent Alduin to devour the world, as you know.

 

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Paarthurnax: But that was not his decree to order alone. Uth al.

 

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Paarthurnax: The nine were separated. Govey. Some sided with Borhamu, others with Kaan. Kynareth, in your tongue.

 

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Paarthurnax: Kaan would not see the world crumble. Ni nu. Thus began the dragon war. Dovah Kein.

 

Gerruck's face scrunches further with each spoken word. He knows the dragon war, all nords do. What it has to do with anything now he has no idea. Every fiber in his being begs him to urge Paarthurnax along, but the growing fear of what it might be stops him.

 

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Paarthurnax: It was looking grim for Kaan. Aan funt. So an agreement was struck in the form of an Aedric Prophecy. Qostiid.

 

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Paarthurnax: The prophecy was given to man in the form of an Elder Scroll. Man was told it would vanquish Alduin, but they were deceived.

 

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Paarthurnax: He would be sent forward in time to devour the world when the aedra decreed. But this time, in a more controllable form. In y-

 

Gerruck cuts him off, not deigning to hear another word.

 

Gerruck: No. Stop. I am not going to listen to this.

 

He turns aggressively on his heels and marches away.

 

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Gerruck: Find someone else.

 

He can feel his face begin to grow red with rage. Paarthurnax may not have finished, but Gerruck didn't need to hear any more to know that he won't participate in this. He storms away from the mountain top, fully ready to make the descent down, when Paarthurnax speaks again.

 

Paarthurnax: It is too late for that.

 

Gerruck stops. He can no longer feel the cold through his rising core temperature. He fists clench and his breaths grow faster, stronger. With each one his chest puffs out further than the last. Knowing that whatever he says will be a shout or bellow, he waits for Paarthurnax to continue.

 

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Paarthurnax: The aedra have already begun to abandon the world, Dovahkiin. It freezes over because nothing protects it anymore.

 

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Paarthurnax: Which means it is ripe for the taking. Fin Deyra gahrot vus. The daedra seek claim.

 

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Paarthurnax: Nirn only has two options. Dinok uv Oblivion Suleyksejun. Death or Oblivion.

 

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Paarthurnax: It is up to you to decide its fate.

 

Gerruck freezes. The weight of the world suddenly weighs on his shoulders. His knees threaten to buckle. He rubs his fingers over his hands. They feel clammy and absent.

 

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Gerruck: It's too much... I...

 

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Paarthurnax: Tiid wah mindol. It is not an easy decision to make.

 

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Paarthurnax: When you are ready to fulfill your destiny, return here. I will be waiting.

 

 

 

 

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Elyvaea: Stupid Greybeards. Stupid divines. Stupid... gah! Just stupid stupid stupid!

 

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Elyvaea: As soon as Gerruck gets back we are leaving. I don't care any more.

 

Elyvaea stomps between her bed and the shelves on the other end of the room, packing her and Gerruck's belongings piece by piece. Most of their items are strewn atop the bed, unpacked. What little she did manage to seal away was furiously stuffed in her knapsack in the most unorganized, least space saving way possible.

 

But she couldn't care less at this point.

 

Her experience in High Hrothar was aggravating, to say the least. The greybeards despise her, the cold yanked her from sleep more times than she can count, and she and Gerruck spent less and less time together with each passing day. Maybe she could have stuck it out. Maybe not. At this point, it doesn't matter. Her mind is made.

 

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Elyvaea: What do you know about us, Arngeir?

 

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Elyvaea: You're just a stupid old hermit.

 

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Elyvaea continues to grumble under her breath as she carefully rests Gerruck's greatsword against the edge of the bed, the first item she has actually treated as such.

 

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Elyvaea: Gerruck is never going to hear the end of this.

 

Elyvaea picks a book off the end table and turns it in her hands; "An Accounting of the Scrolls" by Quintus Nerevelus. She casually skims the pages then smacks it closed with a pop. With a shrug, she takes it in her hand and carries it back to the bed.

 

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Elyvaea: I'll be taking this. I've never seen any of them read anyway.

 

She casually glances down at he tome and starts leafing through the pages as she walks. The passages seemed dull and uninteresting. More fun would be had tearing it apart than actually reading it.

 

Elyvaea: Eh, I'll do it after I steal it. More fun that wa-

 

Voice: Fus! Ro! Dah!

 

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A deafening shout ripples through the temple. Elyvaea lurches backwards, the book tumbles from her fingers and smacks into the floor with a thud.

 

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She fumbles over herself, trying to retrieve the book, when a shock wave blasts through the hall, pushing her back. It is weak, managing only to sway her balance and ripple a few of the pages, but it sends a shudder of fear through her spine.

 

She easily recognizes the blast as one of the greybeard's shouts, but they have never spoken one with that amount of power. Without thinking, Elyvaea drops what she is doing and barrels down the hall.

 

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Before she even realizes what she is doing, she is already out the door and into the center sanctum.

 

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Elyvaea: Arngeir? What's going on? Was that yo-

 

Elyvaea cuts off. A familiar smell pierces her nostrils.

 

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Elyvaea: Arngeir?

 

Her eyes glue to the hooded figure standing still in the center of the room. She can hear the faint breeze of the wind outside. The fire roars in the center of the room, crackling and spitting.

 

A slow dripping echoes above it all.

 

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Elyvaea: No...

 

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Voice: Ah...

 

A crack, a squish, and the sound of gouging flesh are all that resound in Elyvaea's ears as she watches the body slowly start to shift. The bright glow of firelight on metal stings Elyvaea's eyes as she sees a sword slide out, coated in a dark, deep red. It pulls free and the body falls. It lands in a lifeless heap, splattering a puddle of blood underneath.

 

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Voice: ...lovely.

 

Elyvaea watches the dark elf look over her kill. Her sword is outstretched in her hand as she peers over the corpse before her.

 

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Elyvaea takes a cautious step backwards. The elf seems completely distracted by her kill. If she could just make it back to her bow...

 

Castalia: Nuh uh uh.

 

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Castalia: Don't take another step, Elyvaea.

 

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Castalia: You're number three.

 

To be continued...


Author's Note:

 


Thanks for reading! I just have a few things to say post act.

 

1. How was the previously spoiler? Too much info? Too little? Were you wanting a specific scene replayed?

 

2. The spider scene was shot to make it look like it were being seen through the creatures eyes in the last few shots. Good or bad?

 

3. Bonus shot! I just really like it, but couldn't fit it into the story.

 

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17 Comments


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I have no complains. The way you did with spider's point of view was excellent. I only wish two small things; respecting the way you telling your stories  I wish they are little bit short but posted more often, and second I would like to see at least one romantic or short sex scene in every episode. :)

 

P.S. You know how much I respect you as story teller, but I miss those two things.  :)

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Well done. I love the way you tell your stories, especially your characters. Both from the story side, but also from a pure screenshot perspective. Like how Castalia's eyes changed after the spider scene or the dwemer oil dirt on Malkor's back. 

 

About your questions: The previous spoiler was definitely not to long. When I write mine, I always assume the reader knows almost nothing, maybe some of the appearing characters a bit and I try to give them a chance to at least somewhat understand what's going on. You did it very TV series like, where they show you some previous scenes and have the characters repeat some of their lines. This is great as a quick reminder for the existing audience, but if you haven't read the last parts or can't remember them very well, you will have trouble to understand what's going on in the new part. In my opinion it depends on what you are trying to achieve with this part. 

Not sure if more than a quick reminder is even possible for you, because you have many more characters and your story is more complex then mine.

Besides, this might be the place to tell and not show, because this part is mostly service to the reader not not part of the actual story. TV shows still show you, because it is not that easy for them, but within a written story it is. At least this is my opinion.

 

I liked the spider scene and it was clear to me that we saw the chase from the spider's perspective and I liked that. The shots where maybe a bit too dark, so much that one could barley see Rorlund running away, but the idea was great.

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My good friend, I share my Prince's opinion. I like only two things long: his cock and sex. ;)

But, although i haven't go through the whole story, I compliment you for the things I have seen. :)

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I have no complains. The way you did with spider's point of view was excellent. I only wish two small things; respecting the way you telling your stories  I wish they are little bit short but posted more often, and second I would like to see at least one romantic or short sex scene in every episode. :)

 

P.S. You know how much I respect you as story teller, but I miss those two things.  :)

Thank you, Prince! I wish I could meet those requests, but I'm not sure how well I can. Sex scenes are things that I have trouble implementing lately because each part is so long. I admit, my blog has been scarce of such content, and I do plan on remedying that soon. As for the length of each post, I've done such long posts this whole time I don't even know how to do shorter ones xD I will say this, the final acts of chapter three will be divided into parts, so they should be slightly shorter than normal. :)

 

Well done. I love the way you tell your stories, especially your characters. Both from the story side, but also from a pure screenshot perspective. Like how Castalia's eyes changed after the spider scene or the dwemer oil dirt on Malkor's back. 

 

About your questions: The previous spoiler was definitely not to long. When I write mine, I always assume the reader knows almost nothing, maybe some of the appearing characters a bit and I try to give them a chance to at least somewhat understand what's going on. You did it very TV series like, where they show you some previous scenes and have the characters repeat some of their lines. This is great as a quick reminder for the existing audience, but if you haven't read the last parts or can't remember them very well, you will have trouble to understand what's going on in the new part. In my opinion it depends on what you are trying to achieve with this part. 

Not sure if more than a quick reminder is even possible for you, because you have many more characters and your story is more complex then mine.

Besides, this might be the place to tell and not show, because this part is mostly service to the reader not not part of the actual story. TV shows still show you, because it is not that easy for them, but within a written story it is. At least this is my opinion.

 

I liked the spider scene and it was clear to me that we saw the chase from the spider's perspective and I liked that. The shots where maybe a bit too dark, so much that one could barley see Rorlund running away, but the idea was great.

Thank you! I'm glad you appreciate those details.

Thank you as well for the insight on the previously spoiler too. I was going for a "TV" style, so I'm glad that was clear. You make a good point though, that it doesn't give the most info possible and that if people don't remember it won't help much. I think for I will stick with this style though. I don't know how many people genuinely read and look forward to updates, but they are the ones who will have a better memory of what is going on. I understand your approach, to do it like "they know almost nothing", but that won't work for me. I have to assume I have real fans of the story, else I know I won't be able to continue this. Therefore, every change I make will be aimed towards them. 

 

My good friend, I share my Prince's opinion. I like only two things long: his cock and sex. ;)

But, although i haven't go through the whole story, I compliment you for the things I have seen. :)

Thank you, Eva! And I would expect nothing less from you, haha. Like I said to Prince, I don't think there will be much sex in the frost of ages, but I do have plans for "sexy stuff" in the future. :D

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Great work Colly, always happy to see a new chapter.

 

 

Keep it up

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Nice work, you went all out on this one. 

Thank you! It means a lot to have my work noticed :)

 

Awsome chapter! :)

I really loved how Olivia was (or is) controlled by Castalia! :P

Thanks! If you like that, then you'll love what else Castalia has planned. There is much more to her than meets the eye. If you want a hint:

 

 

I'll sometimes put phrases and stuff that rhymes in my story, as I'm sure you noticed. 99% of the time, this is foreshadowing or alluding to a future event!

 

 

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Thanks Collygon - Yes, dividing the story into smaller parts using spoiler is excellent idea. As I say, I like your stories and I understand why you can't make some sex scenes, but seeing naked girls (that looks fantastic in your game) will be sufficient. :)

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[...]

Thank you! I'm glad you appreciate those details.

Thank you as well for the insight on the previously spoiler too. I was going for a "TV" style, so I'm glad that was clear. You make a good point though, that it doesn't give the most info possible and that if people don't remember it won't help much. I think for I will stick with this style though. I don't know how many people genuinely read and look forward to updates, but they are the ones who will have a better memory of what is going on. I understand your approach, to do it like "they know almost nothing", but that won't work for me. I have to assume I have real fans of the story, else I know I won't be able to continue this. Therefore, every change I make will be aimed towards them.

 

Keep in mind that posting an entry every 4-6 weeks is still a long time, even for your core audience. I was just sharing my thoughts ;), not trying to convince you that my "style" is right. As I wrote before, your story is more complex and your character cast larger then mine. 

Btw. I'm looking forward for your November updates. Doing one spoiler per day is a crazy amount of work unless you have holidays or something, so don't 'force' yourself too much :).

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[...]

Thank you! I'm glad you appreciate those details.

Thank you as well for the insight on the previously spoiler too. I was going for a "TV" style, so I'm glad that was clear. You make a good point though, that it doesn't give the most info possible and that if people don't remember it won't help much. I think for I will stick with this style though. I don't know how many people genuinely read and look forward to updates, but they are the ones who will have a better memory of what is going on. I understand your approach, to do it like "they know almost nothing", but that won't work for me. I have to assume I have real fans of the story, else I know I won't be able to continue this. Therefore, every change I make will be aimed towards them.

 

Keep in mind that posting an entry every 4-6 weeks is still a long time, even for your core audience. I was just sharing my thoughts ;), not trying to convince you that my "style" is right. As I wrote before, your story is more complex and your character cast larger then mine. 

Btw. I'm looking forward for your November updates. Doing one spoiler per day is a crazy amount of work unless you have holidays or something, so don't 'force' yourself too much :).

 

You're right. If I sounded stern or unappreciative, I apologize. That wasn't my intention. I really appreciate all the help and advice you have offered me; you've been a great friend. Admittedly, I did the previously spoiler partly because of yours >.>. But yeah, it is going to be a lot of work, haha. I don't know if I can complete a scene each day, but I am at least going to work on it every day. The main reason I decided to do it this way is because there are 2 more acts in chapter three which will be divided into parts (two parts in act six and three in act five), and I've been just feeling really inspired. :)

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Great chapter ! You've definitely mastered the art of setting things up and giving them an epic tone ; the reader is caught both by the unexpected twists and the tragic events the prophecy brings.  Just excellent ! :)

 

Now, about the frequency of sex scenes ; I'm facing the problem with Tabrielle's chronicles and I think that story should go first : if the scenario doesn't brings an occasion to, then don't do one. However you can try to satisfy the part of the readers researching that with some nudes from time to time, some innuendo from time to time I think. The balance of it is up to you ; for my part I am very satisfied of the excellent work you're gratifying us with. :)

 

And about you're objectif of one sequence a day ; seems ambitious to me, but as a reader I won't complain. :D

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Gotta say i loved the spider scene, was really good you switched to that POV for that. What happened to Agnir was also quite a surprise to, makes me wonder how she will get out of that. Great work once again, excited for the next part.

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Great chapter ! You've definitely mastered the art of setting things up and giving them an epic tone ; the reader is caught both by the unexpected twists and the tragic events the prophecy brings.  Just excellent ! :)

 

Now, about the frequency of sex scenes ; I'm facing the problem with Tabrielle's chronicles and I think that story should go first : if the scenario doesn't brings an occasion to, then don't do one. However you can try to satisfy the part of the readers researching that with some nudes from time to time, some innuendo from time to time I think. The balance of it is up to you ; for my part I am very satisfied of the excellent work you're gratifying us with. :)

 

And about you're objectif of one sequence a day ; seems ambitious to me, but as a reader I won't complain. :D

 

Wise man spoke again. :)

You stole the words out of my mouth and said it much better then me.

 

Collygon - right now I'm on my knees and praying to you to consider Triloque's suggestions. I know you can do it since I follow your blogs from the beginning. :)

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Great chapter ! You've definitely mastered the art of setting things up and giving them an epic tone ; the reader is caught both by the unexpected twists and the tragic events the prophecy brings.  Just excellent ! :)

 

Now, about the frequency of sex scenes ; I'm facing the problem with Tabrielle's chronicles and I think that story should go first : if the scenario doesn't brings an occasion to, then don't do one. However you can try to satisfy the part of the readers researching that with some nudes from time to time, some innuendo from time to time I think. The balance of it is up to you ; for my part I am very satisfied of the excellent work you're gratifying us with. :)

 

And about you're objectif of one sequence a day ; seems ambitious to me, but as a reader I won't complain. :D

Thank you! I really appreciate it,

I totally agree that story should come first. I mean, the whole point of what we are doing is to craft a tale. But you do have a good point; sexual relief can be indulged upon without directly offering it. I will explore more of that in chapter four. As much as I'd like to try out now, we are reaching the climax of chapter three and there just isn't time for that. :o

As for the scene a day... Yes, I am pretty sure I am going insane, lol. But so far I am two days in with two scenes done for Act Six, sooooo WOOHOO! Granted, this was a weekend so who knows how things will get once Monday rolls around... Still, I am staying strong to my goal and I hope to release the next act ASAP!

 

Gotta say i loved the spider scene, was really good you switched to that POV for that. What happened to Agnir was also quite a surprise to, makes me wonder how she will get out of that. Great work once again, excited for the next part.

Thanks! I'm very glad you liked how it turned out! Shit is definitely about to go down in High Hrothgar. I'll reveal this: It's been a fight scene I have been crafting in my head ever since I started The Frost of Ages :D

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Great chapter ! You've definitely mastered the art of setting things up and giving them an epic tone ; the reader is caught both by the unexpected twists and the tragic events the prophecy brings.  Just excellent ! :)

 

Now, about the frequency of sex scenes ; I'm facing the problem with Tabrielle's chronicles and I think that story should go first : if the scenario doesn't brings an occasion to, then don't do one. However you can try to satisfy the part of the readers researching that with some nudes from time to time, some innuendo from time to time I think. The balance of it is up to you ; for my part I am very satisfied of the excellent work you're gratifying us with. :)

 

And about you're objectif of one sequence a day ; seems ambitious to me, but as a reader I won't complain. :D

 

Wise man spoke again. :)

You stole the words out of my mouth and said it much better then me.

 

Collygon - right now I'm on my knees and praying to you to consider Triloque's suggestions. I know you can do it since I follow your blogs from the beginning. :)

 

Will do, Prince! As I said, I probably won't be able to do much in chapter three, but I will explore more of it in chapter four. Also, I do have plans on bringing back: The Girls! Which is supposed to be just a lust fueled sex fest, so there you go, lmao.

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