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Hey everybody. This is Destana! A couple months ago we won a war against the Thalmor, and since then we've been gearing up for an invasion. I've been mostly taking a break while the kids go around Tamriel. So far, Fenrir traveled to Elswyer and got the Khajiit rebels on our side (and scored an airship). Damien became Hero of Daggerfall and, I guess... made a lot of the things in the present possible? Also he got a new house. Sounds kinda un-contributive when I put it like that. Runa and Jura traveled to Cyrodiil and now he's the Emperor, she's a Septim and together with Rigmor (a Mede) they're Cyrodiilic princesses. Following Runa's last entry, Jura and I discussed official terms for an alliance, which we're going to call the White Gold Accord, to fly in the face of Thalmor bullshit. Jura sent letters to Hammerfell, High Rock, Morrowind and Black Marsh detailing the request for a meeting, and an alliance. So far only High Rock and Hammerfell have responded. Jura's letter to High Rock did not explicitly remove them from Cyrodiilic rule (as none of the Counts would've been onboard with that), but it did offer them more of a voice on the International Council we're forming as part of the Accord. But also, I expressed an interest in preserving Orc rights, either through their ability to self-govern as an Independent Kingdom of High Rock, or as an independent nation all their own. High Rock's response was something like, 'Of course we'll join. We're still subjects of the Empire.' Jura's letter to Hammerfell tendered his resignation as General Paperpusher, and informed them that he is now Emperor Jura. They sent a delegation a few days later, and of course their first action was to ask for the money we promised them. Jura made the point that Hammerfell hadn't actually helped out Skyrim in the war (besides his own scant contributions, which were completely unsanctioned and unrequested). But then he followed up with, "Of course, I found out what General Sialius promised you was an empty promise, as he wasn't affiliated with the Empire at all, but with Skyrim. BUT! As part of the start of our alliance, I am going to pay you, if you agree to additional terms." "What... terms?" "We're going to Assault Valenwood in just a couple months. You keep the Thalmor busy, which allows us to sweep through Valenwood. Then we assault Alinor. That's it. And you join the Accord Council." "That's it? Continued hostilities?" He asked, "Done!" But I'll come back to all that. I want to talk about the last couple months of my life, between the times that I visited with kids, handled shipbuilding, and generally performed queenly actions. For a timeframe, it's 4E 216. The Skyrim-Thalmor War ended and the Moot was called a few days before the end of last year. Damien, Runa and Fenrir all left around the 5th of Morning Star (1st Month). Jura was crowned Emperor of Cyrodiil on 4E 216, 25th of Sun's Dawn (2nd Month). I was left completely physically and mentally destroyed by my experiences with the Thalmor. Not that I'm not a very tough person, but they were into some pretty alien, dark shit. I couldn't even shout for a little bit. The first thing I did was bury myself in helping with the invasion preparations. But that got old and I felt like I was hovering. I crafted myself some new armor out of Dragonbone, with bits and pieces from all my many specialties. Then enchanted it. That didn't actually take much time. I'd decided I would go for modesty this time and actually cover up my boobs. I kept the skirt from my time with the Forsworn. The horned crown, long boots and shoulder pad were made from dragonbone. The dragonbone claw I'd had for a while, and the Blade of Woe for my off-hand. The belt, backpack and back-shield were all mainstays. The gauntlets had Stormcloak on them. The gorget was from the Companion's wolf armor. The collar (not visible) was a Thief Collar. And I wore four rings: Mage Knight ring (my own craft), Lingering Dragoncrest Ring (from Solaire's world), and my two wedding rings. This new gear was in preparation for something. I'd been rotating between Volkihar and Windhelm, and you remember the Pit Fighter's Guild? That thing I did once when I was new to Skyrim and nearly died? Well, I decided while I was in Windhelm I would try again. And of course, now I'm a killing machine. So I tried drowning my sorrow in blood. After a few days of utterly mopping up I fought in WIndhelm, in Riften Ratway, in Windhelm, in the Orc Pits, at a Prison, and at a secret gathering when a group of smugglers' boats tied together and had brawl matches. And every few fights it was 'I want you to challenge the champion,' of whatever place. These guys had names like 'The Beast of Elswyer,' Im-Shei the Prisoner who never dies, Sjorta Half-Troll, The Wolf of Gilane (that's where I'm from!) but everybody fell. It wasn't really fair, but these people knew what they were getting into when they signed up for this job. Also, I did a couple good deeds for the gladiators on my bloody path to the top. One day, Hasell approached me and told me a mercenary from Hammerfell had crossed the border to drag him back to his old owner in Sentinel. But he had been a free man for years. Naturally, I flew over and took care of the men for him. Destana Hunts On another occasion, Honthjolf approached me, "Hey, I heard you're in good with the Stormcloaks." "Yeah, so?" "My brother was in the legion. Before the Civil War I ran a stall here in Windhelm. Ulfric's supported destroyed the stall and took my stock when they heard I was a Legion supporter. I had to join the Pit Fighters," he said. "Well you're still alive after ten years. Seems like you're doing well," I said. "Yeah. And now that we're chummy with Sialius' Legion... I was wondering if you could locate a ring for me. It was a family heirloom," he said. I agreed, and he described the soldier who took it, and described the ring. I walked over to the barracks and looked around for him, finally finding him. I wondered how I should broach the situation. I could just order him to give it to me. About this time, an alarm was raised, and all the guards in the barracks started streaming into the prison. I looked through the guard's foot locker and found the ring, just taking it. It reminded me of the old days. I slid down to the prison to find a prisoner, dead in the common area. "Oh, hey, Stormblade. This one picked his lock and when I found him he tried to pull a shiv on me," a guard explained. "Oh! That's the queen!" The other guard cheered, and the guards bowed. "No matter what happens, the guards will always be grateful for everything you've done," another guard said. While walking back to the pits, I saw Sialius and Balfhe, who were just finishing off a pack of goblins and their dogs who'd slipped into the city somehow. "Your majesty!" Sialius shouted. "How you doin Sialius?" I shouted. We exchanged some small talk, then it was back to invasion planning for him. I looked up at the sky and realized I'd been doing this for about a week and it was nighttime. I figured it was a good time to go visit Serana. I returned the ring, then I teleported to Volkihar and walked in the common area. Serana stood up immediately, "Where have you been? Whose blood is that? Are you okay?" "I dunno. Somebody's," I replied. Serana's face contorted to a look of rage, "What are you doing?" "Fighting in the arena. I needed something to take the edge off," I said, "Sorry I haven't visited lately." She grabbed me by my shoulderpad, "No." "No?" I asked. "You don't just get to walk in here like this. You are going to get some help. You know how you talked about going to see the Sisterhood?" "Yeah," I responded. "Go see them. Dibella might help you," Serana said sternly. "Alright. Alright. I'll do it," I said. Of course, I didn't go right away. I washed myself first. After a long shower, full of thought, I went. I teleported to Markarth and approached Hamal and Fjotra, away from prying eyes. "What ails you, sister?" Fjorta asked. "Is it that obvious?" I asked. "Already the girl can sense people's inner pain. A true sybil. What can we help you with?" Hamal asked. "See, during the war, I was captured by the Thalmor," I responded, "They tortured me... sexually. Now... it's like I can't enjoy sex. I used to love it, but it causes me nothing but misery." "I must say, I thank you for delivering Markarth from the Thalmor. Their stay was short-lived," Hamal said, "I believe we can help you, if you're willing to stay with us for a while." I nodded, solemnly, "What do I need to do?" "First, come with us. We're about to offer our prayers to Dibella. There's a secluded statue in the underground baths that is perfect for solitude," Hamal said. "I didn't know there were underground baths," I said. "The entrance is next to the other baths. It's more of a control room than anything, but there're a couple pools down there," Fjotra said. We walked down, deep below the temple, and I followed the women. "First, you must shed your modesty," Fjotra said. "You're been listening," Hamal smiled at her. She gestured for me to go ahead. I slipped off my clothes and put them in my pack, setting that both down as we got to the statue. "Stand, in silent meditation of Dibella," Fjotra raised her hand and held my other. We waited. Then we waited some more. In the intervening time, Hamal left, leaving me with Fjotra. I opened my eyes to find her staring at me, innocent smile on her face. "Anything come into your mind?" She asked. I sighed, "Not really." Fjotra ran her hands along my shoulders, "It may take a while. You know what I've learned from my time?" "What's that?" "Dibella isn't love. The divines are manifestations of principles. But not the whole picture. I believe, this is what Vivec called CHIM. There is an underlying principle in all things. If you can come to access that thing, you no longer need divines to guide you to truth." "Wow. That gave me chills, actually," I said. "Sadly, I haven't been able to verify this claim yet. But, believe it or not, my connection with the Primal of the Forsworn has led me to this path." We sat down in a bath (her getting naked now) and continued to talk. I said, "I still don't know how I feel about sex with non-sentients. Ria likes it. The Forsworn use it as a connection. It was fine, but I don't want to pursue it." "I appreciate the sexual exploration of it," Fjotra said, "Once you recover yourself, and I know you will, tell me if you have any new things to share." I sighed, "Actually that's kinda why I'm here. At this point I can talk about it, but the Thalmor summoned something that looked like Hermaeus Mora's grosser roommate and made it rape me. A lot." My mind flashed the images... like I needed a replay. She looked at me like she was a little curious. "Don't give me that look. They killed the Thalmor through a highly deadly toxin." "Ever consider that might be part of your problem?" She asked. "What?" "Remnants of the toxin in your vulva, making sex painful. Or at the least, uncomfortable," Fjotra replied, "Of course, I'm sure at least some of it is psychological." I put my hand on my chin, "You might just be a genius. But what do you suggest?" "I dunno, soaking? Sounds like a Hamal question," she stood up, splashing water off her naked body, "C'mon." She grabbed my hand and we walked outside. "Dang, the other bath entrance is locked." "If you let me get my clothes..." I started, but she cut me off, "Nah, we'll just use the front." Fjotra dragged me through the front, and both of us, naked passed by several men. "By the gods!" and "That's a body that's blessed by the divines!" and "Shor's beard!" were shouted, but Fjotra ignored them. "Mother Hamal," Fjotra said, still dripping. Hamal chastised her a little bit, but she completely ignored it and explained my situation. I swear I heard her whisper, "I dunno, soak in the baths?" So we soaked in the good baths. I felt... a little better. When the people had all left and I found myself there alone, I pondered my existence. In the middle of the night, I heard footsteps and looked up. I smiled, "Serana?" "It's my day and I wanted to see you," Serana smiled back, slipping into the pool, "And... I love you and want you to get better." "I love you too," I smiled. It was midnight, and indeed her day to have me. I hugged her. "I like the warm welcome. How is it going?" She asked. "Positive. I might have some of the toxins in my system. Trying to soak them out," I smiled, "Wanna have sex?" She smiled, surprised, and we did. It was nice. "How was that?" She asked, us laying naked on bear-skin rugs in an adjacent room. "Maybe 70%. I think I need at least another day. Hey, um, could you come back tonight? And... bring Ulfric." Fjotra and I spent a lot of the day together. She asked me about my sexual experiences. And strangely, she sat in the bath across from me, book in hand, writing down what I described. That night Ulfric and Serana came to see me. She was already naked to match my level of dress, he had his armor on. "How are you doing?" He asked. "Honestly I'm doing a lot better. But I think I need help to get over that last hump." He snickered, and I said, "I mean, literally. I think I need you to just fuck this outta me. The toxins. The fear. The pain. Just fuck me. I need you to fuck me. A lot." Ulfric and Serana smiled to each other, and we got started. We started off both licking and sucking him. Then the two of them got together for a little bit while I kissed Serana. He took turns fucking both of us for a while, then I finished him in my mouth. To be honest, it was good, but he was human. I slept the sleep of the dead on that bear skin rug. About midday, I decided I'd rededicate myself to being a Sister, and I approached those men who'd been admiring our bodies days before. "Would you like to make a donation?" I asked, naked except for the wreath. Two of them gave me money, all smiles. "Spread the love sister!" The third one said, "I think I want to make another kind of donation, if you know what I mean." I helped him out. I was feeling generous. Of course, he gave money too. And for the first time in a long time, it felt really good. I spent the rest of the day getting donations (all of the first kind, but occasionally of the second kind as well). On the third night I'd asked my spouses to give me a break. But not everybody got the memo. As I soaked that night, I felt a shadow creep along the floor. "Gods," I smiled, "Figures you'd want a piece." "I was your first love. Of course I do. It kills me that I only have so much time now. I mean, it's better than Mehrunes Dagon, who is allotted zero time because he's an asshole. I think the Divines don't see me as too much of a threat," Sanguine replied. "Better take that toga off before you run outta time. Talk while you thrust" I said, then opened my mouth really wide. After a while he said, "Hey, I want you to feel like you're getting your money's worth." He raised his hand, and an effect like a summon happened. I turned around, and another Sanguine was there. My eyes went wide. "Of course, I'm the more handsome one," the new Sanguine said, and the original rolled his eyes. We continued with Sanguine double-teaming me. He covered me from two angles, over my face and chest. Then both the Sanguines coalesced into one. Tired, I laid on the rug just outside the pool and he came and sat over me. "I miss you, y'know," I said. "A girl like you shouldn't be tied down. I want you to have fun like you used to. Every time you have sex with a man, you can think of me. Be a little bit wild once in a while. Debauchery," he said, then he faded back to Oblivion. I washed myself off and went to sleep. The next day I collected donations from guards and one of them took what he wanted. After that I checked myself out of the temple. I knew it'd been a few days since I ferried Brisienna, but I warned her I'd be gone for a little bit. So I went to Sky Haven. "Hey, want to meet some of my friends? Well, one of them is my wife," I asked. She shrugged, handing her baby to Inigo, "Sure." We ported off to Solitude. It was Loredas so Elisif and Serana were having their weekly teatime, usually with a few other noble ladies. Today, I found Serana in the receiving area. She turned to us and hugged me, smiling, "Hey, Des. How you doing?" "Not bad. Figured I'd join youall today." "Seldom special guest, Destana joins the party," Serana said, "Who's this?" "I told you about Damien's adventure, right?" I asked, "This is his wi~ girlfriend?" "Baby's mama. We haven't really discussed marriage. Hi, I'm Brisienna Magnessen, two hundred year old fossil," they shook hands. "Bris, this is my wife, Serana," I said. "Nice to meet you Brisienna. I'm a thousand year old vampire queen," Serana smirked. I chuckled, "Why are you waiting?" "Elisif is finishing up her audiences," Serana replied. I picked a Deathbell from one of the planters behind my back and handed it to Serana, "For my death queen." "By order of the Jarl, stop right there!" The guard drew his greataxe, "Pay your fine or face the consequences." I looked at him flatly, "Are you serious? It's worth like, a septim. Also, I'm the godsdamned Queen of Skyrim!" "Y-y-yes m'lady. I apologize," he replied, putting away his axe. Serana and Brisienna were giggling. "Shut up," I said flatly, "Gods, the guards here are so jumpy." "Jarl Elisif will see you now," Falk Firebeard called down from the balcony. We walked up to her platform and Elisif stood up immediately. "Falk! Cancel all the rest of my meetings! Girl time! And Destana's here! And..." "Brisienna," I said. "Brisienna! Let me change! I have so much to tell you guys!" Elisif can off. "Well, that's all your appointments for right now anyway. This was scheduled," Falk said, but Elisif had already walked off. "Oh! I need to change too," Serana said. We walked to her receiving area, downstairs. Serana emerged first, wearing a short white and gold dress, and I said, "Sometimes I think you just come to these to show off your new clothes." "What can I say? I went to Divine Elegance earlier. And UCM," Serana smiled. Elisif walked in about this time in a green and red dress, took one look at Serana and said, "Dang. You win this time, vampiress." "You both look hot," I shrugged, "I'm just wearing the same old dress." "You could definitely use a shopping day. I could take you," Serana smiled. "Ugh. I hate trying on clothes. Rather just go naked," I laughed, and we all sat down around the table. Elisif passed around the wine bottle and we all had some. We spent a little while talking, of course, catching Elisif and Serana up on Brisienna's story, and catching Bris up on my history with them. We told them about Caranthir Tower and the Blades. "So Elisif, you said you had good news," Serana took a long drink. "Oh! Yeah! Des and Bris distracted me," she said, then she showed off a ring, "I'm engaged." "Oh wow! Who is the lucky man?" Serana asked. "Well, that handsome Commander you guys plopped in Castle Dour to lead the Solitude front?" "Hrolf Witch-Slayer?" I asked. "We've been spending a lot of time together," she said, "He's been everywhere. So many stories to tell." "Yeah I got the sense he has a lot to offer with Skyrim's defense. Might work with him again in a while," I smiled, "Congratulations." We all talked for a while, then Elisif said to me, "Hey, remember that request I didn't use at the moot?" I asked, "What'll it be?" "Well, there's this weird guy always hanging around the palace, asking to get into Pelagius Wing. That place has been locked and hau ted for years," she replied. I shrugged, "I could take a look. I am pretty good at such things. Wanna come with, Serana?" She looked down at her dress, "How dirty is it?" "It gets cleaned about once a year," Elisif replied. "No thanks." "Brisienna?" "Well, I usually am more on the supply side of quests, but... sure," she replied. So we went back to the dais and got the key from the maid and walked over to the locked door. I stripped off my dress and crown, suiting up in my new armor. "Oh wow, this is a different side of you," Brisienna said. "Get ready to see a lot more sides of me," I said, opening the door. Before us was a dust and cobweb covered wing of the castle. We poked around for a little bit, then I walked down a hallway to explore the rest of the wing. As I looked back to Brisienna, who'd followed me into the hallway, she looked upon me with shock. "What's happening?" She asked. Everything went black. I woke up in an overcast grassy field, with a large table and chairs set up. "Of course I'm naked," I said. The man at the table winked at me, and suddenly I was wearing a set of noble clothes. That I couldn't seem to take off. My stuff was gone too. Okay, obviously a powerful mage or daedra of some kind. As I approached, the other man finished his statement, "Why, my headsman hadn't slept in three days!" "You're too hard on yourself, my dear, sweet, homicidally insane Pelagius. What would the people do without you? Dance? Sing? Smile? Grow old? You are the best Septim that's ever ruled. Well, except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god, and that's hardly sporting..." I sat down beside 'Pelagius,' and the multi-colored man continued, "You know, I was there for that whole sordid affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed head. On, and the cheese! To die for!" "Sheogorath!" I shouted as soon as I heard the word 'cheese.' They merely looked at me like I was interrupting their conversation and then went back to it. "Please go. Leave me to my responsibilities... and burdens," Pelagius said. "Well then Harumph! If you're going to be like that... perhaps it's best I take my leave. Good day to you," Sheogorath paused, "I said good day!" Pelagius vanished with a purple summon effect. "This all seems connected," I said, "Does the haunting of Pelagius wing have anything to do with you keeping the man here?" "How rude!" Sheogorath said, "Can't be bothered to host an old friend for a decade or two. Well, what do you want? Spit it out! I don't have all eternity! Actually I do. A little joke." "Maybe you should end your vacation or whatever this is," I said. "Who's going to make me? Molag? The ghost of King Lysandus? Stanley, that talking grapefruit from Passwall? More to the point, do you - tiny, puny, expendable little mortal - actually think you can convince me to leave? Because that's... crazy. You do realize who you're dealing with here?" "I already said your name. Although... I did read in an old text that the Champion of Cyrodiil disappeared after he went to the Shivering Isles. Could... he have mantled you? Are you him?" I asked. "Wrong!" He said, then he scratched his head, "Actually, correct! Or, at least partially correct. I am part of every mortal. Who knows, maybe you'll be the next to take my place. I am and am not the champion. His-my mortal brain wasn't really meant to handle pure madness. I do believe I left behind a vestige of my former self. The sane part. For now I am Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, at your service." I smirked, reaching to take out my quest log, but finding it gone for now. I wanted to half-check off meeting the Champion of Cyrodiil and figure out where this vestige was. Finally I asked, "Does that mean you'll leave, then?" "Now that's the real question, isn't it? Because honestly, how much time off could a daedra really need? SO here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to leave. That's right. I'm done. Holiday... complete. On one condition. You have to find the way out first. Good luck with that." I sighed, "Okay, what's the catch?" "Ha! I do love when the mortals know they're being manipulated. Makes things infinitely more interesting," he said, "Care to take a look around? This is not, I dare say, the Solitude botanical gardens. Have you any idea where you are? Where you truly are?" "Probably Oblivion," I replied. "Nope. Welcome to the deceptively verdant mind of the Emperor Pelagius III. That's right! You're in the head of a dead, homicidally insane monarch. Not I know what you're thinking. Can I still rely on my sword and spells and all that nonsense? Sure, sure. Or you could use... The Wabbajack!" He shouted, then he handed over the staff on his back. So a puzzle session with a daedric prince, eh? I picked a direction and walked through that arch. His voice rang in my head, "You're headed down the path of dreams. Unfortunately for you, Pelagius suffered night terrors from a young age." And there he was in the field, sleeping in a bed. First a wolf popped out. I blasted it with the Wabbajack and it turned into a friendly goat. Then, a bandit. I blasted him and he turned into a child. A hag, which became a friendly wench. A dragon priest, which turned into a chest. Finally, a flame atronach, which turned into a roaring campfire that all the people sat around. Pelagius woke up. "Well, that was easy," I said as I passed through another arch, wishing I could take this stupid hat off. "Ah, this is a sad path," Sheogorath said, "Pelagius hated and feared many things. Assassins, wild dogs, the undead, pumpernickel... But the deepest keenest hatred was for himself." I found a large man fighting a small man. I used the Wabbajack to make the big man small and small man big. "That's it?" I asked. As I continued to the third arch, he continued, "Pelagius' mother was, let's say unique. Although, fairly average in Skyrim. The woman wielded fear like a cleaver. Or she wielded a cleaver and make people afraid, I never get that part right." I came upon an arena with two atronachs battling. Three elves were on the other side, blasting their atronach with spells to make him bigger. I blasted my side with a spell, but the elf on the other side balanced my casts out. This was a stalemate. I puckered my lips, thinking. Then I aimed for one of the other Thalmor and fired the Wabbajack. He turned into a wolf and attacked the lead elf. Then I blasted the other guard and he turned into a wolf too. "Oh I thought you'd never figure it out!" Sheogorath shouted as I ran back. "Took me like thirty seconds, tops," I chuckled. When I got there he said, "I have a saying - I'm not going to feel what you have to like. Or something like that." "I fixed Pelagius," I said. "Now surely you know why I'm here. On his deathbed - oh, and this was inspired - he forbade... death! That's right! Death, outlawed! Fixed is such a subjective term, however. I think 'treated' is much better. At any rate, you succeeded and I'm forced to honor my end of the bargain. Congratulations! Feel free to keep the Wabbajack, my little minion! If you ever find yourself in New Sheoth, do look me up. We can share a strawberry torte!" He waved his hand and I appeared back in the dingy hallway. I turned to find Brisienna staring at me, mouth agape. "Is this a normal occurance for you?" She asked. "Eh, pretty normal," I replied. We walked back out of the wing and I told Elisif Pelagius Wing wasn't haunted anymore, and she admired my new digs. I immediately ripped them off and got back into my adventuring gear, which was now with me. "How scandalous!" A woman said. I turned to find an Altmer. I pursed my lips. "No, I am not a Thalmor agent here to destabilize the court. You're thinking of my terribly unfashionable sister, Mythriel," the woman said, "Nice to meet you, name's Nythriel." "I'm~" I started, but she interrupted me, "Of course I know who you are. I am both an attendant of the court and someone worthy of your confidence." She prattled on about a few things for a while, mostly gossip. Enough that I got bored. If she was a Thalmor spy, she was doing a very good job being uninteresting. Finally, when I was about to turn to leave, she said something about Erikur. Honestly, I hadn't thought about that jerk in such a long while, she caught my knee-jerk scowl when she mentioned him. "Well, queenie. A little bit of gossip about his love life. Let's just say Erikur prefers to do his shopping in the dungeon rather than the marketplace," Nythriel said, "On some days he'll even emerge with a sack that rattles so violently it betrays its contents as he walks. Although, you didn't hear this from me - he strikes me as someone who likes to be bent over a chair with a gag in his mouth. His sister on the other hand, is another story. No I'm not suggesting they perform these cats together, though, now that I mention it... how salacious!" I chuckled. "You have a good eye," Nythriel said, "When it comes to deviants, it takes one to know one. I wonder... what is your darkest secret?" Realizing I couldn't tell her anything or everybody would know, not that I really cared, I said, "I'm a compulsive hoarder." She chuckled, and I turned to leave. I found Serana in the downstairs waiting area. "You're still here?" I asked. "Yeah. You know I worry about you sometimes. Sometimes I know you're too strong to be killed. This is one of the first times," Serana said. I hugged her, "Well, here's a reason to be worried, I guess. There was actually a point in playing Pit Fighter beyond satisfying my own bloodlust." "What's that?" "Well, international champions are challenging us to come and fight." "Thinking you can get in good with the neighbors?" "That and I hear Valenwood has an invitational. Thinking as long as I can remain anonymous I can case the joint for invasion." "Well, as always, be careful," she replied. When I left the Blue Palace, It was getting dark. My conversation with that Altmer had reminded me how much I hated Erikur. I asked Brisienna to wait down the street, and for old time's sake I picked the lock to Erikur's house. I rifled through his things, picking up a few things of value (mainly just to be an asshole) then, blinking, an image painted itself in my vision. It reminded me of Elder Scrolls just making me know things, but without the blurry vision and headaches. It was a map. I decided I would go check this out after I cased Valenwood. I teleported Brisienna home, then to Windhelm. I slept the night there and accosted Gerich, "So you mentioned fighting in other provinces. How do we get this started?" "At the moment, only High Rock has invited us," he replied. "It's a start." We traveled to WIndkeep in High Rock, it taking a couple days. Because it was a long trip, we took in several arena matches per person. I fought a couple low-level guys, then I fought Sir Germain, who Gerich described as, "The Prince's own protector and a local hero. It's said he alone killed a hundred elves in the Great War." Surprisingly, he put up a decent fight. But, to be frank, I'd been absolutely murdering the combatants before him. Before I dealt the killing blow, I put my blades to the man's throat. "Do it. I never thought I'd be beaten by such common rabble," the man said from his closed helm. "Common rabble?" I smirked, "Buddy, I'm the queen of Skyrim. Surrender and the prince can have his best defender intact." The man chuckled with my knife-point to his throat, "I wanted to prove a point. They goaded me into it. I am the prince." I laughed, "Not very smart putting yourself in danger." I sheathed my weapons and helped the prince up, "No shame in being defeated. I'm pretty well-renowned for being a badass." "What would you ask in return?" He asked. "I'll ask for a favor down the line," I smiled. "What sort of favor?" He asked. "Well, we're going to need allies soon. I'll keep in touch," I smiled. We went back to Skyrim, next stop: Morrowind. The land was blighted and covered in red dust. We made our way to a city in the ashlands. I fought a few rounds there too, but didn't find anything specifically helpful. Hearing about our victories in those lands, we received an invitation to Valenwood the day after we got back. This wasn't as long a trip as I'd imagined. Maybe five days. The paths were well laid, and I saw lots of opportunity for stealth in the forests, though the elves would be much better at that in their homeland. I fought several more opponents in the arena until they sent me a champion: Dothiel the Huntsman. "I fought her once myself in the arena," Gerich said, "She attacks with bestial ferocity. Stay clear of her blades." You might imagine how it went. She did have bestial ferocity, but I had more. With that, I figured I had enough info to mount an assault. We'd been there for only about a day and fought several battles each. But just as we'd been about to leave, Gerich got a missive. "It's from Summerset. They're inviting the 'ones who defeated the Valenwood champion," he said. I blinked. They had no idea what they were doing. Or did they? But I had to take this chance. We traveled south and got on a boat, going to Lillandril, Alinor. I made note of all the defenses and the layout of the city. These arena battles were group battles and I had to fight with the other Windhelm combatants. Just as well. It made it easy to stealth and sneak up behind them. We fought several teams, besting all of them, including the reigning champion, Kardyn, leader of the Crimson Guard the, "Greatest Combatant the city has seen for centuries." I had to fight her alone. She was even harder then the knights in High Rock, using a spellsword style. But she fell like the rest. There was an awards ceremony, but I ducked out before it started. They might've seen it as an insult not to attend, but I didn't want everybody in Alinor to see me. I'd already taken a big enough risk coming here. Instead, I went invisible and flew over the city, then over the city I we were planning on making our first target - Firsthold. I'd told the others I was going to do this mind you. Then I flew over the Southern Sea, over Valenwood and Cyrodiil. When I finally got near Bruma after four days of flying, I teleported to Falkreath, then to Solitude. It was night and I was tired, but I figured I'd tie up my one loose end - that map that appeared in my head. I flew by night through a light snow to a house on a mountain. I knocked on the door, but nobody answered. I walked in. As soon as I did, though, a woman stood, drawing her weapon, "Hey! Who are you?" "I had a vision about this place," I said. "A vision? What are you talking about?" She asked. "It was a map, leading here," I replied. "By the gods, you're finally here! My family has been waiting for generations," she said. "You were waiting for me?" I asked. "That's right. I'm Seviana Umbranox. This is my husband Luvien. We are the keepers of the arrow of extrication." I tilted my head, "That has something to do with the Thieves' Guild in Cyrodiil, doesn't it? And some kind of master thief." "Please, make yourself comfortable. I will tell you the whole story," she said, then as I sat, she continued, "The Fourth Era began when Mehrunes Dagon was defeated by the Champion of Cyrodiil and Martin Septim. My ancestor was the illegitimate son of Corvus Umbranox. He was the Count of Anvil 200 years ago. Few know, perhaps nobody knows, that Corvus Umbranox was the notorious Gray Fox." "The Gray Fox?" I asked, "I've always thought he was a myth or something. Seems immortal. Maybe a daedra. How could he just be a man?" "He was the legendary leader of the Thieves' Guild. But he is not immortal. He was many different people. You might ask yourself, didn't anyone notice when he turned into a new person? It's thanks to the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal. It makes the person wearing it look like the one before. After Corvus, the Champion became the new Gray Fox. But when he died, noone was worthy to receive it." "Cool. So you're saying I've been judged worthy of the Gray Cowl?" I folded my arms, smugly smiling. "Yes. It's the call of the Gray Fox. He knows who you are," Seviana replied. "Well, where is it?" I asked. "In the mausoleum of the Champion of Cyrodiil," she said, "All of Tamriel thinks he was buried near his old mansion in Anvil. But High Chancellor Ocato was asked to build a secret mausoleum. To find it, you must think like a thief. My mission is to give you the arrow and show you where to start. Take this key, it will open the first gate." I smiled, standing. This was starting to sound like a big quest. I wasn't sure I'd have enough time before the invasion, but I had the thread. I could feel myself grinning. I am a master thief. "One last thing," Seviana said, "This is something you have to do alone. Do not take anyone with you." "Thank you," I said. "Nocturnal guide you," she replied. I took the items and left. I slept the sleep of the dead again in Highreach, then I found a note in my things from Damien. This was that spell he learned in ancient Daggerfall that sent letters directly to people. "Come to Riften. You'll never believe what I found out," the note said. I shrugged. I went and filled in General Sialius on everything I knew about Valenwood and Alinor, then I teleported to Riften. When I found him, Damien smiled, "Long story short, I think we found Runa's birth mother!" "Wow! That's fantastic!" I said.
Hi. Destana again. Last time I ventured into the Hall of Initiation, solved a series of thief-related puzzles, then ventured into the Alik'r Desert. I traveled around for a couple days, eventually finding myself in the town of Salas Kazas. To date, I'd gotten both the pieces of the puzzle to entering the Champion of Cyrodiil's mausoleum and I'd also done a number of side quests for the Dark Brotherhood, an old man looking for the old Blades HQ here, and a few other random things. I slept for a few hours in Salas Kazas and headed for the Forgotten City, and I found the key with a little more searching. Then I entered the 'Tomb of the Forgotten Draugr.' Do they even have Draugr in Hammerfell? Anyway, I carved my way in, fighting dark phantoms. I fond several holes with tarantula-sized spiders coming out and I took out a double-handed Flames and charred those boys, "No thanks, here's some fire!" I got the first pullbar, then found a Redguard just hanging out in a passageway. I wondered if he was friendly and revealed myself. "Nope, not friendly," I said, as he drew his scimitar. I backed out into the room behind me, took out my bow and smacked him in the face with it. "I'm just trying to make friends, jackass," I said. He ran off. "Also... a wimp..." I said to myself. I chased him a couple room away, "Don't make me shoot you!" When I finally caught him, I shot him. He had a friend around the corner, confusedly looking for who killed his comrade, and I shot him in the chest. "What idiots," I said to myself, "What are these human guys just hanging out in here? I'd believe they locked themselves in with how utterly not smart they are." I moved forward, caught another guy unawares and slit his throat, then found two more spider holes. Same as before, burned them. At the end of the path I found a barred area, more Alik'r, more spiders, and the second pullbar. Then I ventured deeper. I found a misty room and two of the Alik'r, having some gay sex. "Well, if you're gonna die down here, I guess that's the way to go," I murmured, then I crept up behind them, "Really? You guys couldn't have waited until after the dungeon crawl? Well, sorry about this." And I stabbed them. Behind them was a door to a more Nordic-style ruin room, and clearing the cobwebs away with my bow, I found a Draugr, Sadraaka, emerging from a coffin. I shot him in the chest, then the belly, and he went down like a sack of potatoes. I ransacked his chest and found some nice treasure, but nothing insane (like a baby). Not sure what to do now, I decided to Recall back to Ben Erai (Damien taught me the spell) and go get the Cowl. I flew over to the Oasis and unlocked the door with the key. I ventured in, past many Ancestral Cheetahs (petting them on the way) and found a huge door with an Empire/Dragonborn symbol on it. It started to slowly open, to the pace of the elevators around here. I traveled through a tunnel with no tricks or traps, and got a view of a massive pyramid and a row of small buildings. I hopped down. I found another slowly lowering door, which I jumped up into to enter the pyramid. Inside were many long hallways, a memory wall for the Champion of Cyrodiil, and a shrine of Nocturnal. I bowed. One of my many daedric and aedric benefactors. Doubt I was going to get anything this glorious when I die. But I don't plan on dying - just like the Nerevarine didn't. When I finally came to the end of the passage, I found a massive door with a small table. It held another Grey Fox bust and a flawless diamond with the hint, 'Unleash the thief in you.' "I'll unleash the thief in you and steal the bust. And the table!" I crouched and picked up the diamond, adding it to my bulging sack. I checked my current funds and they were already back up to over 100K. When I looked up, the door was opening. I shrugged, walking inside. I was greeted with a large structure like an amphitheatre, yellow stone pews surrounding a central spire about 5 feet tall. On one end of the chamber was a platform and the other a target. I used my detective skills, figuring I would need to shoot the target from the platform with the Arrow of Extrication. As I approached the platform, I found a giant gold inscription - Here lies the Champion of Cyrodiil... I took out my journal and wrote it down as I read, thinking about both how many of these things I measured up to and what my own mausoleum would say (that I never planned on inhabiting). Hero of Kvatch, Lord of the Guilds. Invincible Warrior of the Arena, Guardian of the Old Way, Connoiseur of Ancient Ayeleid Ruins and Great Friend of Martin Septim, together chased the evil Mehrunes Dagon into Oblivion, freeing the Empire of Tamriel and all it's peoples. Well, I'd done some of that jazz. But I was only 30. Still young. I turned to the perch from which I was meant to fire the arrow, kicking the regular-ass bow off and taking out the Nerevarine's Bow of Shadows. I lined up the shot, knowing I needed to aim well above the target to arch the arrow to the right angle, then let it fly. A couple seconds passed, and there was a red explosion, and a thundering voice shouted, "Cheese! Cheese for everyone!" And... cheese began to appear out of explosion, like I'd won a carnival prize. Honestly, I'm not sure what I expected. I grabbed a few blocks of the cheese and threw them in my bag, "Thanks... I guess." Then I ran out the newly opened giant door to a massive balcony. It was Cyrodiil! With... floating ships. Not airships, just sea ships, floating in air. I approached the end of the balcony, finding Sheogorath waiting for me with a mountain of wheels of cheese. "Hey Sheo. I still got that Wabbajack somewhere in here," I said. "What? A mortal? No, not a mortal. You're immortal," Sheogorath said, "C'mon, don't you remember me?" I asked, "At least you can tell I'm not mortal." "What are you doing here, when I've given you things to do?" Sheogorath asked, then he continued, "Oh, shut up! I know who you are, among other things I know who you were and who you'll be. But umm.. why are you here?" "You got that Cowl for me?" I asked. He started laughing. "You're the Champion, right?" "The Champion of Cyrodiil?" He laughed again, "Wonderful! Time for a celebration, cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that. Do you like cheese?" "I'm lactose intolerant," I replied, "Kind of a disappointing reward, if you ask me." "Oh? Disappointing? Well, I'm disappointed too. I expected you to be taller." "Pfft." "So you don't like the cheese. Where's Haskill? Why, he must've opened the door for you!" I pursed my lips, losing interest in his randomness, then, suddenly feeling random myself, I said, "STOP RIGHT THERE...!" "Criminal scum!" Sheo chuckled loudly, "Yes, yes, I was. Two centuries ago. But what are two centuries for me? For you?" I wondered if he somehow had information about my future. Was I actually going to pull off this immortality thing for a length of time like Serana or the Nerevarine? Then he started to have a conversation with himself, "A voice is in me. He's not me, but he is me. What did you say? Get out a moment? Me? Yes you. Get out a moment! Ok, ok, calm down." In a blast of purple magic, Sheogorath's form vanished and a ghost took his place. The actual Champion, in his original form. I wasn't quite certain how mantling Sheogorath worked, and if it was in any way similar to mantling Lorkhan like Tiber Septim had done. Oddly, though, I understood the conversation between the two personalities right away. "You ok?" I asked. "Ahhh... yes. I am. I am known as the Champion of Cyrodiil. Two centuries is a while, but not so much time for an immortal." "So, is this landscape actually Cyrodiil?" I asked. "No. Just an illusion. Just like my tomb in Cyrodiil, this second secret mausoleum is also a ruse to make people think I wasn't still around," he smirked, "I gambled that the next Dragonborn would be worthy of the Cowl, and it looks like I was right. You're Guildmaster, right?" "Was. I gave it up for my other duties," I said, "Among other things, I'm queen of Skyrim." The Champion blinked, "You don't look much like a queen. Though... a warrior queen maybe. Yes, yes I see it." I smirked. He looked out over the illusory landscape, "The Imperial City. So beautiful." "You know, things have changed," I said. "I know. The Thalmor. Pfft.... disgusting. They looted, ransacked and destroyed everything. Tore down the Empire I fought so hard to save. My heart aches to know the Empire is ruled over by these wretched elves." "Whoa. I didn't say all that. Your news is a little old. Let me catch you up. Of course you know about the Mede Dynasty, which is over. But we had another usurper. A bandit king. He showed promise, actually kicking out the Thalmor. He ended up being controlled by a vampire. But! The man who killed him in protection of my daughter was noneother than the great Jura of Hammerfell, a well-renowned General. He was just coronated a couple weeks ago. And, want to know what's next?" "What is that, Dragonborn?" The Champion seemed to be smiling a little bit. "Skyrim and Cyrodiil have an alliance. High Rock has joined. And the Elswyer rebels. We're about to invade Valenwood, then Alinor." "You have a lot of balls, lady," the Champion smiled big, "But back to us. I'll show you the access to the Grey Cowl so you can be on your way." "Since we're here, can I ask you something?" "What?" "Tell me your story," I said. "Why? Surely you've read the history books," he said back. "I wanna hear it from the horse's mouth. Dispel any rumors," I shrugged. "Thought so. But I warn you, it'll be a long story," he replied. "That's alright." We sat there in the chairs for a while and he told me about his time - first it was his rise to being the new Grey Fox and master of the fighter's guild, then his journey to save Cyrodiil from the Oblivion Crisis. He confirmed the Thalmor had NOTHING to do with saving the world (I KNEW IT!) In his later days, he got into his restoration of the Dark Brotherhood in Cyrodiil. For me, the DB had always been a side job that I was doing just to fill out my life's journal with a wealth of experiences. I can't say that the faces of all the people I've killed wouldn't come back to me from time to time, but I'd also done a lot of good in my time and felt like I could balance the scales in my time. I mean, I'm also kinda cold-blooded at times. The Champion seemed like he was wracked with guilt at this. He joined the Knights of the Nine and dedicated his life to helping others. Truly, once in an age. A master thief and a warrior. The story took about four hours to tell, but I took notes in a separate book. Maybe I'll get it published someday. Laying down by my journal at this point, I rolled over and said to him, "So... wanna fuck?" The Champion blinked, "In my day women were not so brazen." "Pfft. The Nerevarine would beg to differ," I said. "I've heard a lot about the man, never got a chance to meet him," he said. "C'mon. Free invitation. I'm pretty good-looking, right?" I asked. He gave me a half-smile, as if a voice in the back of his head was goading him to just do it, "Sure. Why not." "Such a charmer," I smirked. I think he was a little pent up, because he was rough. Pulling my hair, grabbing me about the neck. But it felt good, of course. When he was done, he helped me clean up, got me some water, and said goodbye. Then Sheogorath returned. "Not you again," I laughed. He looked at me funny. "Ah," I smiled, "I'm guessing you want a piece too. Since you're two different people, kinda." "I know you're Sanguine's wife, but yes, I would fancy a go," Sheo chuckled. "Among others," I said, getting on my knees in front of him. Surprisingly, Sheogorath was gentler, at the start. He finished in my ass though. Take that for what you will. "Sure you don't want a cheese?" He asked after we'd gotten dressed again. Of course, for him it was just waving his hand. "Nope, just the Cowl is fine," I laughed. "So here. Go through that portal over there. You should come with me to the Shivering Isles sometime. Good to spend a holiday or an eternity," Sheo smirked. "And now, you know how that song and dance goes. The mighty adventurer saves the realm again, even if there is nothing to save." "Farewell," I said. "Farewell? Farewell is a word for mortals, not for you and I. The voice in me is saying, 'See you again, Dragonborn. May Nocturnal guide ye," he cackled once more, then he vanished in purple magic. I shrugged. Not the strangest thing I'd ever seen, but close. I went through and ended up in a stone crevasse. I jetted out to a set of stairs and a dais, construction very much like Sky Haven Temple. Inwardly shrugging again, I walked up another set of stairs and found a great urn in an ornate gazebo with paper lanterns surrounding it. I opened it, and found the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal inside. I smiled a bit. I knew I wasn't going to use this thing. Probably not, anyway. My stealth skills are already pretty much unmatched. Might as well take it. Considering my surroundings I walked out to the edge of the cliff this temple was on. I considered where I could possibly be, looking at the mountains, the mists, the architecture. "Am I in Akavir?" I asked myself. Of course I had no way of knowing, but I'd file this information away for later. I flew up a little to take in the sights of the countryside. "Wherever I am, this place is beautiful," I took a breath of the fresh mountain air. Getting my fill of the beauty, I returned to the portal, which took me straight back to Ben Erai. I told them I'd succeeded. Then I returned to Skyrim, my job complete. I went and gave a hug and kiss to Serana and Ulfric, telling them my story. Then I went on to report to Seviana Umbranox, the woman who'd given me the mission in the first place. "You're back! You have the Gray Cowl. That means you've made it!" Seviana exclaimed, "Blessed Nocturnal. The Umbranox didn't wait 200 years in vain." "Well, it was long. But your help was valuable. Thank you very much. It was a lot of old dungeons and adventures that I'm known for. Like a blast to the past." "I know you were in Hammerfell. And the Cowl itself was hidden in an isolated mountain in Akavir." "I thought that was Akavir!" I smiled, "So, what now?" "Your mission is over for today. And so is mine. Caio, Corvus and the Champion would be proud of us. Our story ends here. Just one more thing." "What can I do for you?" I asked. "Would you escort us to the Solitude docks? We're going to move back to Anvil." "It would be an honor." "You can have the house," she said. "Well, I don't need another house. I have three. And a castle, an inn, a clothes shop, oh, and Erikur's house. I'll probably end up having my people sell it. You all ready to go?" I asked. "Yes." "Well, grab onto my arm," I said. Seviana raised an eyebrow, and I teleported to Solitude then led them down to the docks. "Time for farewell now," she said, "Thank you again, Grey Fox. Maybe we'll meet again. Shadows hide you." "Take care," I nodded. I figured it was a good time to extort Erikur, and much to my chagrin, he'd paid his rent promptly. I also took what I was owed from Radiant Raiment and the Bannered Mare. I showed back up to Highreach to find Damien, Fenrir and Valiana. "So where do you think she is, anyway? You're the magic guy. Magic us up a solution," Fenrir kicked his feet up. Damien shook his head, "It's not that easy." "No need to worry, I'm here!" I shouted. They all stared at me. Finally, Fenrir said, "Hi, mom." "Not happy to see me? Who were you talking about?" I asked "We always knew where you were, mom. And except in extremely dire circumstances, you're pretty much unbeatable," Damien folded his arms, "We're talking about Runa." I tilted my head, "When I left the Imperial City, everything seemed fine. She was crowned, wearing her new golden Tiber Septim armor." "Yeah. She went with me and Val to get Pilvi's Ring, but after the coronation, she just disappeared," Fenrir said. "Anybody talked to Calleius and Rigmor?" I asked. "I talked to both. Calleius had no clue. Rigmor... seemed pretty tight-lipped, but I convinced her to cave," Fenrir replied, "But even that wasn't very helpful. Runa said she wanted to figure some things out before the invasion. She's been gone ever since." I looked between the three, wondering what questions I should be asking. First I said, "Runa's a big girl. She can take care of herself." Then I said, "How's Brisienna doing?" That seemed to strike a nerve. Not specifically painful, but definintely thoughtful. Finally he responded, "She's alright. Been spending a lot of time at Sky Haven. I taught her Mark and Recall so she could come and go as she pleases." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Damien, where have you been?" "Bris, why don't you ever come home?" I asked. Brisienna folded her arms, "I asked first." "I was helping my brother and my sister. We're prepping for war, you know," I replied. "Yeah..." She sighed, "Where's Sini?" "I put him down a little while ago," I replied, "I need to go help laying a new keel today. Helps that I have strong telekinesis skills. There's a lot of work still to be done, and mom's off on some adventure." Brisienna sighed, "I guess that's to be expected. The weight of the world rested on her shoulders. And now it rests on you, doesn't it?" I stared at her for a moment, "There are a lot of new recruits at Sky Haven." "Yeah, even more since that guy in Hammerfell sent that message to us. I've heard that temple is grand." We stared at each other for another moment. It was like... she wanted to tell me something. "Is there something you want to tell me?" Brisienna asked. "Not really. I'm under a lot of stress. Haven't been sleeping. I think I'm starting to fall asleep standing up," I said. We locked eyes again, and finally she said, "Okay. Well, I think I need to tell you something." "What's that?" I asked slowly. "Well... you know Durak?" "Yes..." "He and I have been getting... pretty close in our training." I blinked slowly, "Is this something you felt like you needed to hide?" "I mean... your family is a little strange. I've never met anyone like you. Sometimes I feel like an outsider," Bris turned away, "Sometimes I wonder if I should've come here at all. My family is long dead and gone. And you're gone all the time... I mean, as am I. I feel like I don't have anybody. I needed a friend." I could see she felt me walking slowly towards her, because she tensed. But I wrapped my arms around her from behind, "That's fine. I want you to be happy. Anything that makes you happy, I will support it." She turned around, my arms dropping, "I don't understand this. Isn't jealousy a thing here? I did wonder if you'd get mad. Have you been doing the same?" "Well, no. Not actually. I do want to tell you something similar," I replied. "What's that?" I let out a breath, "Well, Envarion died. Valiana and I went to the funeral while we were in Cyrodiil." I could tell she was bracing for something. So I just spat it out. "Believe it or not, Medora came on to me. I declined of course." Bris raised an eyebrow, "She must be lonely." "Also looking for a friend." "Well, would it have enticed you if she was young again?" Bris asked. "Well she was beautiful in her prime. If that were the whole story, then yes, I would have. We worked together back in the day, just like you and I," I responded. Brisienna blew her hair out of her face, "Call this an even trade, if you want." I laughed out loud, "You get a burly, muscular warrior of an Orc and I get an old woman? In what universe is that even??" She jabbed me, laughing back, "Shut up you dog." I turned to leave, our turnover of Sini complete for now, "Also, Solaire is back in town. He's been planeswalking. He sent me a message about his otherworldly findings." Days later, I visited Medora again, this time without Valiana (she's heavy and hard to carry in flight halfway across the continent). This had nothing to do with Medora's pass at me and everything to do with her being an old lady alone running a magic shop. The door was locked with the sign, 'Closed until further notice.' I unlocked the door with magic, and found a scroll in her handwriting. "If you find this, then I've gone to Direnni Tower to try and remember who I once was." I digged through my pack as fast as I could, and near the bottom I found I still had a scroll sheath of the 'Teleport to Direnni Tower' Scrolls and I burned one of them. I entered her room. A tall figure in a blue dress turned. "Who are you? Did you see an old~" I started, but then my eyes focused on her. "Damien, I did what I thought would sway you," Medora said. "You're... young again...?" I asked, "How?" "You're powerful, but there's still a lot you don't know about magic," she explained, "The Altmer have a number of formulas that control aging. And I'm descended from the Direnni Altmers. Now this is imperfect. I may age faster this time. But for now, this is enough. This tower holds many secrets. So how about it? Would you be mine, just for one night?" She slipped the dress off her shoulders, revealing the perfect body, untouched by age now. "Will it help you heal?" I asked. "I don't know... but I'm lonely. Please come over here," Medora asked. When we were done and dressed, Medora wept, "I'm sorry..." "Sorry for what?" I asked. "I feel awful. Doing this to Brisienna. I'm just an old fool," Medora said. "Don't. We've both strayed now. We talked about it. She's busy with the Blades and I'm busy with the war. She told me something like this was acceptable when I showed no jealousy over what she'd done," I replied. "Then... stay with me," she said, laying me down in her bed, "I think I'm going to stay in the tower for now." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "So Runa's gone, Damien went back to Caranthir. Destana went to check on the fleet," Valiana said, "Just you and me, Fenrir." "We all kinda do our own thing most the time. Every now and then we pull together and do a big group event. And you're gonna get to see your first one pretty soon! Usually pretty epic. Maybe a little confusing," I replied, "Mom stormed into the war room and said we're going ahead in four days. You got all your ducks in a row?" "Of course I do, kid. I've been fighting wars longer than you've been alive," Val replied. I could feel myself reflexively scowling. "Don't get all bent out of shape. You are young. But the fact I'm still hanging out with you means you're like a diamond in the rough," Valiana said. "Yep, that's what they call me. Black diamond," I said. We met eyes for a few seconds - me trying to act hard like diamond. Then I chuckled. She chuckled back. "Listen kid... Fenrir. I know you wouldn't mind getting with me. But I need to level with you. I spent most my life keeping people at arm's length. It's going to be hard to trust you - if I ever do. But you know what I did for money when I was younger?" "Mercenary work was what you told me," I said. "Yeah... mostly. But when I was a 20-something I also figured out young men will pay handsomely for another type of mercenary work." "Ah." "I had my virtue taken from me, so I put no value on it. Selling it was like free money for me. So even moreso you see sex doesn't really mean much of anything to me," Val grabbed my hand, a little roughly, "And don't get all teary-eyed about it, but I think I'm starting to like you. But I don't want to fuck this up." I smiled, "Well then, I guess I have my challenge." She jabbed at me, but this time I was ready and I blocked it. "Ow!" "Oh, I'm sorry!" She jabbed me again, this time connecting with my side, "Gotcha!" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Destana, for the final note. The Imperial Army is heading south, with the Legion in Exile, led by Sialius and Balfhe. Jura is going to be commanding the Cyrodillic army personally. They have a large group of Stormcloaks and Forsworn with them. We set sail a few more days after that, on the 13th of First Seed. We would be setting sail and joining the Imperial Navy south of Anvil, and storming the southern beach at Woodhearth for a two-pronged attack. Ulfric, Valiana, Fenrir, Damien and myself were all told when and where to be. I showed up extremely early that morning. Mystifyingly, Runa was there first. "What... did you do to your hair?" Was all I could say. "Been growing it out since I was 16. I figured I needed a change," she replied, "Besides, there's hair growth potions if I really can't stand how it looks." "That armor looks damn good," I said. Runa smiled, but it was pained. It looked like she'd had a rough week. "I like it," Valiana said as she and Fenrir approached, "Real warrior woman aesthetic." They looked the same as always, though Fenrir was toting around a huge box of bolts and his autocrossbow. "Hey, got something for you," I said to him, digging through my bag, "I know you're more of an axe guy, but I managed to get an old treasure, and you can have it." I handed him Umbra. "Whoa! What is this?" "It's Umbra. This thing's got some history to it. On my way to searching out the Champion of Cyrodiil and getting the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, I found this," I said, "I prefer my daggers and bow." I looked over at Runa, "Sorry, I found like four really good greatswords, but that sword you've been carrying pretty much blows most non-artifacts out of the water." "Well what about me? I could use a new greatsword, mooooooooom!" Valiana chuckled. I smirked at her, "That's weird. You're older than me, Val!" About this time Damien showed up. We'd moved off to the marshes across from the docks. "Anybody been working on anything cool?" I asked. "Shields and onehanded," Fenrir said, "And crafting 1200 bolts." "Nothing to write home about," Damien said. "I have been training. I'm going to save it for a dramatic reveal," Runa nodded. About this time Ulfric called out to us from the docks. We walked over. "Is Serana coming? We could always use another mage," Fenrir said. Ulfric nodded, "She's ruling Skyrim while we're gone." "I dunno, a lot of people might have a problem with that," Valiana said. "Hey, I'm thinking about becoming a vampire myself," Ulfric chuckled, "But, who wants to live forever?" So we set sail. Oh, and I almost forgot. We've got the airship, following behind the fleet!
Hey there, it's Destana back again. I've been having quite the adventure in the Alik'r Desert. Last time I got through all the trials to get here, I traveled the desert for a while, killed some Dunerippers. I ended at the Forgotten City, and when Nahtil and I walked in, a dozen ghosts came out of the buildings. Even though I was trying to be stealthy, they noticed me immediately. I laid into them with arrows, blasted them with Unrelenting Force, and then even more came out. One of them even summoned a Clannfear. Nahtil went down. "Dammit!" I shouted. I ran out of the city, thinking a chokepoint would do the trick. The Clannfear proceeded to knock me off my feet twice, paralyzing me for a second each time. I ran up onto a dune to get some distance, but it seemed the Alik'r ghosts weren't in control of the Clannfear, which turned on them. This bought me some time to come up with a new plan. Since they were in a huge group, I figured I would blast them with one of my strongest area of effect spells. I gathered energy, rearing back, frost surrounding me, and let loose a Black Winter. The Clannfear died immediately. Seconds later, several of the Alik'r walked slowly through the blasting wind. "What the heck? How did they resist?" I let go of the spell. I engaged the two next to me in melee, the rest of the horde slowly closing in on me and targetting me with spells and arrows. I destroyed one, then two. I dodged a rogue fireball and retreated, then finding I was being overwhelmed I sprinted back into the city. I found Nahtil's lifeless body and charged up a Resurrection spell, "I need you to get up. I need you to fight for your life!" I hit him with a Blind Guardian so he'd have a phantom to guard him. Then I supported with Elemental Blasts and Bolts, but the ones still in the city were numerous. Nahtil fell again, and I retreated further into the city when I found they'd summoned a new Clannfear. I knew it was time for my trump card. "Alright, the big guns. Fuck this!" I yelled, gathering power in my blood. The Clannfear reached me and threw me off my feet again, but it was enough. When I got up, I was in my Vampire Lord form. I proceeded to melt them with Blood Storm. The Clannfear got a good swing on me, but I was draining their lives faster than they could damage me. After a few minutes, it was done. I reverted to my normal form. I found Nahtil's body. Good, still intact. I charged up another Resurrection and blasted him with light, bringing him back to his feet. "Alright bud, it's time for you to go home." "Until next time," he said, walking towards the exit of the city. "Safe travels, my friend," I said back. That's why you don't just invite random people to come with you. Of course, he'd probably have been fine in a normal fight. I walked around the city for a little while, but not finding any way into the main structure, I decided I would come back later. I checked my map and found Duneripper's Nest. Then I flew there. This time, I approached stealthily and it worked. Knowing they were weak to frost, I powered up another Black Winter and blasted down the channel that was their nest. It didn't kill all of them, but it did make a huge dent in their ecosystem. I mopped up the rest with my bow and smaller frost spells. I ransacked the treasure in their lair and got enough blood to satisfy the request from the message board I'd picked up. Next I decided I would check out Cyrodillic Collections in Hammerfell. On the way, I found a tiny oasis that was surrounded by wolves. I shot a couple with arrows, then landed and finished the rest with my frost spells. I figure it's not a bad idea to practice my destruction skills. I looted the chest by the waterside, then saw myself in the waters. "Huh I'm really dirty," I said. Looking around and seeing noone, I took a huge drink, filled my waterskins, then I stripped and washed myself. I continued on to Cyrodillic Collections, but the Argonian woman there seemed not to want to talk to me at all unless I talked with her boss first - the corresponding shop that'd also just opened just outside Markarth. I figured this was a strange business practice, but a lot of the locals knew about the teleport. I figured I'd come back here later too. Being systematic in my approach, I used Celerity and ran south, finding the Ben Erai watchtower. The first guard who saw me said, "Well, aren't you a pretty thing?" I smiled big, "Thank you! That's so nice! I'm used to Skyrim guards, who are all jerks." "Want to join us for a drink? We're about to sit down to dinner," he replied. And I did. We shared stories and a few drinks. And after drinks they became even nicer. Let's just say I returned the favor. Destana At Guard Post.mp4 Since it was almost nighttime and I was so close to Ben Erai, I returned to the city. I walked in the Inn and returned the medallion I found at the Forgotten City to the man. "Found your medallion, it was on a dead body," I said. "You're not tiresome like the rest of the people I have the displeasure of dealing with on a regular basis. Here," he said, handing me something called 'The Withdrawal.' I didn't pay as much attention to it as I probably should've, because I caught somebody saying something to him. "What did that woman say your name was?" I asked. "Metilius Aretino," he replied. I pursed my lips, saying nothing about it for now, "Thanks." As I walked out, I resolved to tell Aventus about this. Maybe a distant relative? Distant geographically, I mean. The fact that he waved off his assistant being dead was also concerning. But I'm pretty callous myself sometimes. Not having to sleep and only about a day from a blood snack, I kept going. But also, I guess absorbing ghost blood in VL form counts? I imagine it's like drinking mist. Well, the Clannfear gave me some vamp juice, though it was a bit spicy. I flew to Al Shedim, one of the places I needed to go to progress towards the Grey Cowl. I got the drop on the wolves guarding the entrance and continued inside. In Al Shedim I found some weak-ass skeletons, tons of burial urns with lots of treasure, and traps that were all triggered off pressure plates. So, a walk in the park for me. Also, all the skeletons seemed to want to make a ton of noise and give their positions away. At some point, I heard the sound of groans in the distance. An echoing voice (sounded like a ghost) panting as if fighting, and a mummy (which sounded like draugr but without the annoying Voice). "Is that ghost getting sexually assaulted right now?" I asked out loud. I spent the next few minutes looking for the ghost. I would ask how you assault a ghost, but I've done... things with ghosts. The forsworn are into some weird stuff. When I finally found him, he was a blue-glowing figure, laying on the ground with his pants off. And the mummy assaulter was nowhere to be found. "Sorry, ghost. I feel your pain. I give you the sweet release of double-death," I said, slashing him and killing him. All the mummies I met I made sure to terminate with extreme prejudice. As I ventured further, I found several symbols on the reliefs that I made a note of. "How could you do that to your bud? He was just an innocent ghost," I said as I killed two. I eventually found two pull chains, then found spooky dark set of stairs, leading down to a row of sarcophaguses. After I killed the many mummies, I turned the pullbars to match the symbols I'd seen earlier. In random combinations until I got it right. In actuality, there were several tiers of pullchains and mummy battles. But this was no Forgotten City. This wasn't a very large challenge. Even the final boss of the dungeon got one-shot by me. As Ben Sala was rising form his tomb, I shot him in the head, and he clumsily fell out onto the stone floor, dead. "That's both hilarious and pitiful at the same time," I said to myself. Then I looted the treasure, including the Key to Mora Sul. Then I realized this place didn't have a back way. Skyrim has really spoiled me. So I backtracked out, and returned to Ben Erai, transporting to Falkreath, then using my own teleport to Markarth to find this new shop. I found Bol, standing outside the gate in the rain. Once again standing his vigil in exchange for food and friends. "Hey Bol, how the hell are ya?" I smiled. He stroked his chin, grunting approval, but saying nothing. I flew over toward Cyrodillic Collections, and found a large group of wenches and beautiful servers standing out in the rain. None of them wanted to talk to me, however, and I had no idea what they were doing here. I continued on a little bit, and a huge pack of Welwas attacked me (just around the corner) maybe that was enough to scare off the ladies. I decided I would just call, "KAKE!" It only worked on about half of them, however. But they started killing each other. I rolled my eyes, waiting for the war to resolve. "This is taking too long," I said. I decided I'd be doing the locals a favor, and blasted them all with Black Winter. Unfortunately, a random passerby decided he was going to jump into the fight and help just as I was finishing my cast and got killed by it. I sighed, "That was a stupid move. But I guess I'll fix it." I Resurrected him, thinking this would've been a useful power to have when Vex died. Then again, I got captured at the time. The guy walked away like nothing had happened. "Dude? Not even a thank you?!" I growled. I shook my head and flew the rest of the way to the shop. When I walked inside, I explained the situation and Neezari, the Argonian man said this shop was meant to be an Argonian heritage collection, like a museum. "Another museum?" I asked, "Going to have a lot of trouble competing with the Dragonborn Gallery in Solitude." I returned to the desert when I realized his first mission was sending me to Solstheim. Haven't been there, not intending on going anytime soon. Next, Ancestral Cheetahs. I entered the canyon and threw on Invisibility and Celerity so I could trip over rocks at breakneck speed (can't see where my feet are, har har). At the first fork, I found a cheetah on the right, so I took the left path. There was a gate at the top of that path, but due to my amazing jumping skills I just hopped over it, onto the roof of the shrine, and snuck in the back way. I threw on the Amulet of Ancestral Cheetahs and popped out of the shrine to pet some big kitties. I have no idea why they're called Ancestral Cheetahs. "Are you the ancestor of somebody? We're friends now, you have to tell me," I chuckled. Then I left the area. I was ready to get the Cowl if I wanted, but I figured I'd have more fun first. I flew toward Khanzedum, an old fashioned dwarven ruin, to get four Centurion cores. For the most part, this place was somewhere in the middle challenge category. Most the stuff got iced immediately by me, but some of the medium and large bots were more of a challenge, especially when they ganged up on me. I tried out Umbra finally, and despite having a huge amount of power, it was SLOW. That's how you know I'm a dagger girl for life. Everything feels slow now. One of the random chests made me laugh when I opened it. "Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, huh?" I chuckled aloud, filing it next to my other copy of the Grey Cowl, "These replicas are all over the place. But I know it's not the real one." I got the first Praetorian shortly after, and noted it was attached to a form of apparatus. I crouched and shot an arrow, pegging the thing, then yelled, "TIID!" Slowing time, and I continued firing. It went down in about four shots, and at no time did it actually find me. I realized the apparatus was recharging the thing, but I'd dealt enough damage to take it out of commission before it got a chance. It was just like the bot I fought with the Nerevarine a while back, though that one was invulnerable when it was being charged. These just regenerated insanely fast. I knew there were three more to kill, and I continued on. I found a hallway with three bronze heads. Using my detective skills, I deduced I would need to kill the other three at once. When I stepped into the next room through a rough cave, I indeed found three, attached to each their own arch that kept them powered. The gate behind me shut, but they hadn't activated yet. "Need to be strategic about this. I don't want to get pounded," I said. I drew an arrow and shot it at the center one's head. Then I shot again, shouting, "TIID!" As it flew through the air. It had been nearly dead, but regenerated about half. I drew another arrow, and another, firing them in rapid succession. I blinked. My Slow Time seemed to not ending. And I seemed not to be affected by it, as I normally was. I grinned. Like a machine I drew arrows and fired them, filling the air with my assault. "I AM SPEED!" I yelled, "Who needs Fenrir's automatic crossbow?" When Slow Time finally ended, I'd felled two of the three and the third was slowly walking towards me. When it reached me on the stairs, I drew my weapons. I guess it was too far away from its arch, because I dealt the final blow and that was all. After the fact, it occurred to me that was some kind of time distortion. Maybe Akatosh was involved? All I could say was, "Thanks, daddy dragon." I swiped the goods, and went back to town. I walked around and turned in all the crap to the people who wanted it, and they paid me handsomely. Going down my list of things I'd heard were here... I'd heard the Dark Brotherhood (unrelated to the current DB in the rest of Tamriel) were trying to get a foothold here and reestablish communication with the home branch. I knew this because last time I'd visited the Dawnstar Sanctuary (a couple months ago), there was a recruit there with a message for Runa, but nobody wanted to travel out to the Alik'r desert in the middle of nowhere. Well, it turned out, now I had an easy way to get to Alik'r and was a fairly prominent member of the DB myself. I snuck into the Penitus Oculatus HQ in town and swiped their dossier on the DB. Using my tracking skills, I found their sanctuary, hidden in a rock wall outside of Ben Erai. "You're the one who killed the Emperor, aren't you?" He asked. "How do you know me?" "I am Tenerio. We've had correspondence with the Dawnguard Sanctuary. I've been waiting for you," he replied, "This is an old brotherhood sanctuary that's been vacant since the Great War." "What can I do for you?" "I seek simply to reestablish our sanctuary in Hammerfell. Alik'r's perfect because not a lot of people come here," he said, "We have a few contracts on people right here. Think you could help me out?" I shrugged. It'd been a while since I'd killed anyone just for money, "Sure." "Perfect," he said. I decided I would use some subtlety and utilize my vampire drain skills. The way I'd theorized I could use them while in the Estrus prison, then I'd used them against the bandit party I fought a few days ago, during sex. I had been saving it as a last-last ditch ability, even after my bow, melee, magic, and vampire abilities gave out. But I figured this was a good opportunity to hone these skills and not alert any authorities at the same time. It was just after nightfall. I flew to my first target. First was a woman at an oasis. I had a few kind words with her and lured her away from her cohorts to the opposite side of the pond. I used my fingers and an apparatus to get her off, draining her energy as I did. I was lucky the man at the other end of the pond didn't notice us. She dropped dead when I was done, falling peacefully into the grass. The next target was an Argonian who'd been proclaiming himself a hero and had been fleecing people to get payment upfront for quests. This one was a little personal. I found him at one of the lantern shrines. "Hey random traveler, want a blowjob?" I asked right off the bat. He stood up, shrugged and started taking his clothes off. He gave my throat the thrusting of a lifetime. Men sure do like to do that to me. Despite the struggle to keep concentration, I drained him and left him there. My third target was a monk. Tenerio didn't have a reason he'd been targeted. Maybe I should feel bad about killing some of these people. I have long since considered not doing any more jobs for the Brotherhood. I found the guy at another lantern shrine and I said, "I bet the nights get lonely. How about an open ticket to use my body however you want?" He blinked, said nothing, then started taking his clothes off. I thought he was supposed to have been a holy man. First he thrust into my mouth, because of course he did. Then he picked me up and drilled me from behind. Then he put me down and did the same. This guy actually lasted a long time. I drained him in the end, but I had fun while it lasted. Next was a soldier. I approached him in the street near the central gazebo (it was the middle of that same night now) in Ben Erai. He was the lone patrolling soldier for the center of town. "Hey soldier boy do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?" I asked. "No. But I wouldn't mind if you shook that sexy ass of yours," he replied. "Want to get acquainted?" I asked, "There's nobody around." "What did you have in mind?" He smiled. "Whatever it is, I'm game. We're all alone here in public," I replied. And let me tell you, he was big. Not Tsun big, but it'd been a while. He pretty much just took me from behind immediately, going slowly, then at some point going extremely fast. I stepped off, got on all fours in an attempt to escape the monumental sensations this man was giving me. He just pulled me onto him again and finished what he'd been doing. When he fell to the ground, I said to myself, "Too bad. He was a good one." This time, rather than finding him in the middle of the town, I loaded him up in a sack and flew to a distant location and dumped him in the desert. My next target was a guard at Ben Erai Fortress. I found her standing watch outside Commander Syloria's room. She smiled at me, knowing who I was, I guess. "Hi, you're Laurentina, right?" I asked. She nodded. "Come onto the balcony, I want to show you something," I said. She shrugged. We walked past the sleeping Syloria and went around the corner. I felt a little bad about this one. I wondered where this guy was getting these contracts. When had I become so callous? Anyway, I gave her heaven before sending her to oblivion. When I turned the corner... "Oh, Commander Syloria.. what are you doing out here? It's still pretty early," I said. "Sun's coming up. Gotta get ready for the day. What are you doing out here, Dragonborn?" I instantly felt extremely guilty. She was going to ask about Laurentina, who was supposed to be guarding her while he slept. Oh why did I give into my baser instincts to murder? "Oh, I... wasn't doing anything. Just waiting for you. I'm ready to get the Cowl. I just wanted to thank you. Here let me distract... I mean, help you out..." "Help me...how?" I reached out for her, my thoughts almost entirely on the dead body around the corner like a telltale heart. I needed to distract her. I unclasped her armor buckles on her shoulders. "W-what are you doing, Dragonborn?" "I'm paying you back. Just sit back and enjoy it," I replied. She was shy, but she let me do what I was intending on. I spread her legs and licked her to completion. When she got up and had her armor back on, blushing, she said, "Well, that was... nice." Maybe sensing something was amiss, she smiled a little bit and said, "That's how you pay people back, huh? And you really enjoy doing things like that? Seem so, you're very good." I shrugged, "Yeah." "Maybe you could help out the guards of Ben Erai." I pursed my lips, "Yeah, sure, I guess I could do the same for the soldiers." "All the soldiers," she corrected. I bit my lip, "Yeah, all of them." "Now where is that girl?" She asked, walking back into her room. I made haste with disposing of the body. It was early in the morning, just after sunrise. And I walked into the barracks. Most of the daytime watches were still getting ready, some were still in bed. My conscience was getting the better of me after having done what I just did. I spoke up, "Hey, guys." "Hey Dragonborn!" Some of them said. "So I promised Syloria I'd give youall thanks. You know, for holding the line for your whole lives just so I could come here and get the Grey Cowl," I said. "Well, thank you," one of them said. "No, I mean, I'm going to do something for all of you," I said. "What's~" One of them said, then I popped my boobs out of the blue cloth. What ensued was something like a feeding frenzy, but for sex. First I warmed things up with the female guard in the room. Then the boys, being ready, took me two at a time. This took about four hours. And then at the end when I was completely spent and used up, I felt a little better about killing all those people wantonly. It was all the work I had to do to make it right that made me feel even worse. Honestly, in all my time I spent at Ben Erai after that, nobody seemed to mention Laurentina. I wondered if the other guards hated her and had contracted out to get her gone. Or maybe it was even Syloria. She seemed to know when to press me to do sexual favors for everybody in the fortress. I took a nap in one of the guards' beds. When I got up, I washed the gallons of dried cum off my body and settled up with Tenerio. The DB was functioning and they had new recruits. I was done with it. Next I'd heard an old man was searching for the lost Blades Temple in Hammerfell. I found him in a southern town in Alik'r. "What's up, old guy?" I asked, "I heard you need some help." "Hey there! I heard you were in the area. The Dragonborn, right?" He had a very thick accent. Looked like a Redguard, but didn't really sound like one. "Yep," I replied. "Name's Duraelm. Been searching all my life for Wind Scour Temple. I'm so close to finding it. My grandfather used to tell me stories about the Blades and the Dragonguard. I promised myself I would find the Hammerfell Temple and I think I did. Only problem is I can't fight off the Dunerippers." "Well, you're in luck, I can find Wind School Temple," I said, saying it like he had. "Scour," he corrected. "Scoop?" "Scour" "Just give me the location old guy!" I chuckled. He marked three places on my map and I shrugged, "Be right back." He raised an eyebrow, but I took off in flight. I was back in under twenty minutes, "Found it." His eyes went wide, "Could you... could you take me there?" "Yeah. My wife showed me how to tether other people in flight. I honestly don't feel like carrying you, so you'll just float after me," I said. I blasted him with the spell, then took off. Boom. Easy. He unlocked the hatch and we climbed down. "Is this it? It looks better than Delphine's temple," I said. "This is it! This place... it's filled with History. I think I can make it functional again. Maybe send a message to the grandmaster... what did you say her name was?" "Delphine," I replied. "Yes, anyway, come back later. I'm going to read the archives," Duraelm said. So I left. I traveled to Salas Kazas, a town on the northeastern corner of the region just south of an ancient Alik'r Temple. It was now nighttime again (I had a long nap after my escapades). I only found a couple guards and a woman named Sharza hanging out on her rooftop patio. I waved to her. "Hi," she said, "Do you like poetry?" I walked up the stairs, then said, "Excuse me?" "I love poetry," she said, "Weltan is my favorite writer." "Uhh..." "I heard he's written a lot of poetry. You look like an adventurer. If you find his writings in your travels, could you bring them to me?" She asked. I raised an eyebrow. Not the strangest request I'd had, "Sure. But where do you find books in the desert?" "Some say it may be in the mausoleum but I also heard some say it is in a library here," she said, "I didn't think we had a library here..." I threw up my hands, "I've heard of the buried lost library. But, I haven't been able to find it yet. Nobody seems to have any clues!" From there, I decided I'd get a room at the Inn. Salas Kazas actually had inn rooms, though the lobby was so small you couldn't even open the doors to the rooms fully. That was fine though, it beat sleeping in the desert and getting sand in my buns. After a few hours of sleep, I walked around town, still night, and found a few trinkets to steal. I happened into a dwemer enthusiast's house, and after I woke him up he asked if I would gather a bunch of dwemer parts for him. I sighed. It'd already been to the dwemer ruin here. I sat outside at the Inn's tables for a while, looking over my map and quest log, trying to figure out what I had left before I went for the final area. Forgotten City. I flew there, making it by about 5 am, and this time, after some more digging I found the key to the gate in the city. Ready for another dungeon crawl (and being through with all these cerebral tasks and feeeeeelings) I walked in to what was labeled, the 'Tomb of the Forgotten Draugr.'
Hey, it's Destana. Today I ventured into the depths of the Hall of Initiation. This is a place fraught with puzzles, with not a lot of conflict. I was told to think like a thief. So I walked up to the dais with a teleporter, and behind me a small opening appeared, with a Grey Fox bust. When I touched it, a pillar of light appeared on the dais. I ventured inside. I was taken to a long pathway high above the countryside. Venturing further, I found a room with treasure and a locked door. Further than that, I found a trapped area with the key on the table. A khajiit ring, in the chest (not sure what it does). Of course, I don't trigger pressure plates, so I just ventured through, unlocking the door with the key. I also found more treasure and a Clairvoyance spellbook. In the next room I found a huge conflagration and a massive pit with no bridge to speak of. Another bust of the Grey Fox offered the following advice: Point the way, light your way, line your way, see your way, make it cl(ai)r. "So, use clairvoyance," I said, "Pretty sure I already know it." I called it up and used my mind's eye to look at the illuminated path. To which I said, "That's a neat puzzle. But suppose I just fly over it." And I did, coming to the next room, with more treasure and another teleporter. When it came on, I put my hands on my weapons. "Ah, just a teleporter. Usually in Skyrim everything's trying to kill me," I said to myself. I collected the treasure and stepped into the next area, more dungeon. I'm going to skip over part of this, instead of giving a play-by-play. As I ran through the next part, I was thankful not only for the ability not to trigger pressure plates, but because I'm very fast. Some of the traps were tripwires, and I was able to blow past the traps before they got me. Most the lower level locks I can bypass without even thinking about it, but in a random part of the dungeon there was an amazing lock that I broke several lockpicks on. After a few minutes I got it. "Must be getting out of practice," I said to myself, "Barely ever pick locks anymore." In the next room I found a big chest and a lever. Lots of treasure in these ruins. Testament to the fact that nobody's been in here in 200 years. I guess the Champion had to have somewhere to put his riches. Can't take it with you - to the Shivering Isles or to being a vestige of sanity left behind when mantling Sheogorath. I came back out and went into the other choice of room and found a cozy table with a Cyrodiil map and a table. Ransacking the chest, I pushed a button I almost missed. I ran back and found a new passage was open onto a bridge with five doors. In the center door was four keyholes, and it was obvious what I needed to do now. Commenting on the bedroll in the middle, I said, "I could sleep if I wanted to." But I didn't need to, of course. I decided to go left to right. In the first room was a set of tables with a Blades ghost sitting down. I made my way around the long way and decided I would see what he had on him, knowing I probably wasn't supposed to kill him. And he caught me! I am out of practice! I slipped away, got behind a pillar and casted Invisibility on myself. "I still sense your presence, living fool!" I just slipped away. See you later, dead fool! I went up to this treasure room and took everything of value I could find. I looked at the chest, and found... nestled between a greatsword, dagger, 126 gold and a score of other things... a living baby! "Uh... that's a baby," I said to myself. I scooped it out, and it had a sling on it already. This thing was alive! "H-how... in the hell...?" I stammered, "I gotta take the baby! It's a real living baby!" "I should really figure out what to do with it," I slung it over my shoulder, "Then again... there's not really been any danger in here so far. Nothing attacking me. I could finish what I was doing first. Baby'll be fiiiiine...." I moved through the rest of the rooms with a speedy ease, pickpocketing the guard and ransacking the treasure room. In the second one I almost missed the giant chest. I found a really nice greatsword (Runa would like) and a shield, amongst riches. At one point the baby made a happy squeal, making me jump and nearly alerting the ghost guard. Then when I got back to the central bridge, I found that in my failure to pickpocket the first guard and quick runaway, I hadn't actually grabbed the key, so I went back and stole it off him. Through the main door, I found tombs of Glenroy and Captain Renault. Those guys helped the Champion of Cyrodiil escape! Not through their own volition of course. I looked through the room for a while to find the way forward, upturning baskets and such, and finally found a pullbar on the ceiling I had to jump to reach. I am, of course, an average-height lady. In the next room a teleporter activated. On the platform it read, 'To Imperial City Prison.' Hmm... seems like I won't be able to come back to Skyrim for a bit. I reasoned I should teleport to Riften and sort this out. I traveled to Honorhall Orphanage. It was snowing in Riften today. I walked up to Constance Michel, wearing a nice silk shirt today. "Hello, friend!" She smiled at me, eating a piece of bread. "Hey, I, uh, have something I need to give to you," I said, "This is weird." "What do you need me to carry?" She asked. "I found this baby in a ruin. Maybe the parents left it there for dead. I don't know. But I figured this was probably the best place for her or him now that you're in charge. I've heard a lot of good things," I replied. "That's.... a lot," she replied, but she took the kid from me and strapped it around herself, "That's what we're here for. This little one will have another chance at life now." I half-smiled, "Thanks. I'll be sure to give a large donation when I get back. Infact, for now, have a hundred gold." "Thank you," she said as I handed her the bag. From there I traveled back to the teleporter and went to the Imperial City Prison. I found an echo of the past. Four ghosts pantomining Emperor Uriel Septim and his guards using the Champion of Cyrodiil's cell to escape. When the vision cleared, the secret passage was gone. I snuck around the prison, finding a Thalmor torturing a person. I didn't know what he was doing here, but I slit his throat. Then I elected to walk around until I found what I was supposed to by whoever was leading me on this grand journey. And I did - a spell tome entitled, 'Ancient Visions.' So I went back to the Champion's cell, casted the spell, and found I returned to the state the cell was in 200 years ago, but it only changed the part immediately around me. This continued with stone walls, bridges, and then a caged statue of Clavicus Vile and his dog. Ancient visions opened it up and I found a very nice sword. Umbra. When I touched it, though, I was transported to an arena. I made quick work of the two phantoms there and grabbed Umbra out of the forge. I was taken back to the prison the same way I came. Then I looked at the sword. It was a very nice sword. Better than what I'd been using. But it seemed to have a darkness about it. I put it away for now, not wanting to wield it now (might be cursed). I ventured further, doing more Ancient Visions and uncovering a multi-layer lever puzzle. In the big chest this time was a Chastity Belt, which I did NOT pick up. I figured, like most torture tools in Skyrim, it was going to immediately attach itself to me. At the end of this sequence, I came to another Grey Fox bust sitting on a long table. It had the following clue: First comes the light of the Sun, then the light of the candle, then the light of the fireplace, and finally the light of the Moon. I looked at the four candles, each shedding their own color of light. Then I shrugged, "I can't tell which one's which." So I picked an order and tried it. Nope. Another order. Nope. About five tries later I got it, through process of elimination. Brute force puzzling for the win. The wall slid away revealing some Ayelid construction and another inactivated portal with water below. I looked around for a minute, both for treasure and how to activate the portal. I came back to the cliff and chuckled, "Oh yeah, Ancient Visions." I casted it and found the well to the left, activating it. Then I walked up to the main gate. As I neared it, it transformed. "Oh, hey, that's... an oblivion gate," I said. Then like gravity, I started to fly towards it, "Ah gods!" When my eyes opened, I was in a different place. A purple sky, a big obsidion tower, and a laughing voice in the sky. "What do we have here? A new pet for my realm?" He said, "A very peculiar pet! Where are you from, you mortal?" "Technically not a mortal," I said, but I knew he couldn't hear me, or wasn't listening. "Let me guess. The trap under the Imperial City. So, it's been triggered again after 200 years. How foolish these mortals are! But why are you... oh, interesting! The Grey Cowl of Nocturnal, eh? You're seeking the Grey Cowl! You're here to follow who was here 200 years ago. Hmm... it was Caio Umbranox! He was here, and he successfully escaped from Coldharbour. Do you wish to escape from my realm too? I don't think so!" "Hmm.. Coldharbour. This place is just as bad as Serana said," I muttered, "Seems like Molag Bag just won't leave us alone. Didn't Runa just kick your ass like a few days ago? Probably why he's shouting at me from the sky." "Let's see if you can escape. But if you kill anyone in here, you'll be trapped forever. Don't break the silence of Coldharbour! How do they say it in the Thieves' Guild? The shadow hides you!" "Shadows hide you," I spat back. Then I got to work. I casted Celerity and Invisibly on myself to maintain speed and silence, then I sprinted to the tower ahead of me. I found a portal. Not activated, though. Then a building. I figured this was the place to go. But, seeing a chest, I ransacked it, and one of the nearby Dremora started yelling something. Guess they don't like when I steal their stuff. I checked the building, which was locked, then I jumped off the cliff behind him, and he lost sight. "Huh," I said, spying a cave down the coast, I walked in. It was marked, "The Cave of Hollow Time." I walked down the tunnel and found a big chest. I opened it, and found more loot. It also had some Slave Ballet Heels, which was another cursed devious object that would latch onto me if I picked it up. "I guess, it makes sense for things like these to be in Coldharbour," I said out loud. I walked around the cave for a couple more minutes, then I was like, "Oh yeah. Time." I casted Ancient Visions and a new, tiny chest appeared. I grabbed the key, and flew partially back up the cliff. Then I threw on Invisibility again and jumped my way to the top, avoiding the Daedras. I opened the door to the building, and I appeared in a tan, circular room with benches, and a table with another bust and a ring on a serving tray. Molag Bal said, "Ahhh... what a pleasure it was! So good, so exciting!" "So good!" I said out loud, sarcastically. Then I found the magic ring, 'Eagle Eye' in the serving tray. "Congratulations, my friend! The silence wasn't broken. So you get to keep your life! Do you know what? Caio didn't break it either. See you soon, mey pet!" He laughed. "Ugh. Technically I guess I am hit pet, since I'm a vampire," I sighed. Well, another ruin. I checked my bag for a Potion of Blood, since I'd been doing this for a solid few hours. "Bah. No potions," I said, "It's been a while since I restocked. Maybe I should sleep to stave it off." I sat down at a bench, admiring the craftsmanship. Wandering around a little bit, I thought to myself, 'This feels like High Rock, because it looks like a Labyrinth, but the construction looks like Hammerfell. But it's been to long since I've been there. I guess there are some of the Labyrinths in Hammerfell too.' I threw down a bedroll, seeing as how I hadn't seen any enemies (except the actual daedra) and took a nap. I thought maybe if I can get out of this long train of ruins soon I might be able to have a little blood snack. It'd been a while since I actually fed on a person and didn't just drink it out of a bottle. It made me think of Serana, but so did being in Coldharbour. She was gonna flip when she found out where I'd been. I wonder what she'd think about the baby? Of course, I'm going to tell her all about this when I get home. Anyway, when I woke up I proceeded down the nearest tunnel. I want to say how interesting and enthralling me talking about how I went through a labyrinth was, but we both know that would be painful for the both of us. Suffice to say, I pulled many levers, went down many passages, opened gates, doubled back about a thousand times. And I realized this place was just how Damien'd described ancient High Rock, and northern Hammerfell. Then I looked at the construction and wondered if I was in Hammerfell. When I reached a certain point, I found an open room with a statue of Nocturnal, and the gate slid shut behind me. "Oooh... getting interesting finally," I said. A bust of the Grey Fox said, 'Everyone is tempted by something. Find the stones of the Temptation and choose your way.' "You can't tempt me! Unless you offer me things I want, of course." I took the path to the right (as it was the only choice, the straight path was blocked) and found myself in a Dwemer ruin. "But is it really being tempted if you immediately just give in?" I said to myself. I threw up Celerity and Invisibility and snuck past three Dwemer Centurions, stealing three stones. Back at the table there was a small chest. "Not really being tempted if I Have to put all three in the chest," I said. I did, and the gate before me opened. The next section was a long path with nice little serving areas. At the end was a pull bar and a shut gate that wasn't opened by it. I doubled back and looked for another pull bar. Eventually I figured out I needed to use the Ancient Vision spell to get to a statue of Nocturnal. My prize at the end of the dungeon: Boot of Springheel Jak, which I pocketed for now. And a long elevator. Yep, much like High Rock. At the top, there was a wide chasm, but I was able to jump it with my amazing jumping skills. And then a long tunnel to the light of outside! My, that was a long sequence. I walked outside, into a desert "Well, I guess I'm in Hammerfell. Either that or Elswyer," I said. But it was also the middle of the night. I decided I'd set up a tent again just inside and camp for a few hours until morning. When I walked out into the sunlight, a Redguard was there in the roiling sandstorm, just having killed a desert wolf. He turned to me, "Wait, who are you? Where'd you come from?" "Who are YOU?" I asked back. "Arenar Esdrecus. Now please, where did you come from?" "I think they were called - Halls of the West," I replied. "By the gods, this means..." He started, then he said, "Please, come with me to my village. It's not far from here." "Wait, I don't know you, what's happening?" "I'll explain everything. Please, come with me!" We ran for about an hour, eventually coming to a bigger town called Ben Erai. I slowed down, looking at the architecture. I breathed a sigh. It'd been over a decade since I was in Hammerfell. Eventually we came to a guard post and fort in the back. "You, go tell lady Syloria. The Dragonborn is here!" Arenar shouted. The man ran off, and Arenar turned to me, "Welcome to Ben Erai." "Thanks. Now tell me what this is all about," I said. "We are the descendants of those who remained here during Caio Umbranox's mission. We're here to help you. We've been awaiting your arrival for 200 years. Let's go see Lady Syloria." We found her in the common area of the fort (which didn't look like any of the Skyrim forts. It's the little things that make you happy!) "What's going on Arenar? Who is this?" Syloria asked. "Lady Syloria, this is the Dragonborn," Arenar said. "Are you sure this is the Dragonborn?" Syloria asked. "Yes, Lady Syloria, I'm sure. He is the Dragonborn." "She," I said, "Can't you see my underboob??" "You? You are the Dragonborn?" Syloria asked. "Ok, everyone stop saying Dragonborn. Yes, I am. This is the level of annoyance I had when the Greybeards told me I was special because I was the Dragonborn. I'm awesome even without that quality," I said, "Also, I'm looking for the Grey Cowl, not a new shout. The two are not connected." "Ok..." Syloria replied, "How did you get here?" I sighed, "Halls of the West." "Very well. We've spent two centuries waiting for you," she said. "Yeah, whatever. What do you need me to do?" I asked. "Do you have the Arrow of Extrication?" She asked. I showed it to her. "By the gods! It is you! Our mission is to prepare you for the last course to the Mausoleum." "Okay," I said, noncommittally. "I'm sure you want to rest. I'll await you upstairs," she said, then walked away. Before I went, though, Arenar showed me a portal in their undercroft. "Cool, where does it go?" I asked. "To the woods outside Falkreath," he replied. "Why do you have this?" "It's hard to live here. Our ancestors built this portal. We use it to go to Falkreath and hunt." "That makes sense. Though I'm sure Yngol would be pissed if he found out," I chuckled. "Say, why don't people from Skyrim come through?" I asked. "Because you have to cast the Ancient Visions spell to find it," he said. "Also makes sense," I replied, "Well, bye!" I went back to Syloria. She was seated at a small table, eating and drinking. I joined her and said, "So here we are. Tell me what's going on." "Yes, let's prepare you for your quest," she replied. Always a quest. "You are in Hammerfell, an isolated area of the Alik'r Desert." "What? Hammerfell? No way!" I said, sarcastically. "Yes, Hammerfell," she said. Obviously, sarcasm wasn't a thing 200 years ago. "Yeah, okay," I said. She continued, "In this region you can find the legendary Mausoleum of the Champion of Cyrodiil. It's located northeast of here. It's easy to find because the entrance is a canyon that brings you to an oasis: Mora Sul. But there are some things to do before you can enter the Mausoleum." "Such as?" "Caio prepared everything you'll need for your route. The canyon gate requires a special key, inside the temple of Al-Shedim. The other thing - get the Friend of Ancestral Cheetahs amulet. The oasis is full of ancestral cheetahs. They have no fear and no mercy, killing everyone on sight." "What if..." I started, but she cut me off. "I'm going to guess you're thinking the amulet might not be necessary because your sneaking skill is so impressive... "Yep." "Know that you need it. The Mausoleum is barred by a magic wall that will only go down when you're near it with the amulet equipped. Both places are north of here." "That's how they get ya, I guess," I shrugged. "A little bit more information - beware the Dunerippers in the desert. They kill you quickly with fireballs. They're weak to ice and frost. My suggestion is to avoid facing them completely." "Alright," I shrugged again, "No promises." "Also there's an ancient and mysterious Alik'r temple Northwest of here. Once you pass the dunerippers it's peaceful." "Thank you. I'll be sure to check it out," I nodded. "Thanks to you, our mission is ended. Caio would be proud of all of us, if he were here." "SO, what'll you do now?" I asked. "I ... don't know. It's strange. I've been focused on being ready for you. Now that our purpose is complete, I'm not sure what we'll do. I suppose we were born here. We'll decide if we stay. Can I ask you something?" "Sure." "What's Skyrim like?" She asked. "Well, it's really cold. And then there's the wars," I replied. "Oh, I see. What can you tell me of the other lands? What of Cyrodiil?" She asked. "Well, we've been at war with the Thalmor for years," I said. Decades even. "Thalmor? The elves of Aldmeri?" She asked. I nodded. "Well, you know what?" I shook my head. "Maybe we should stay here until the war ends. One day the world will recover and we can return safely to our original homes," she replied. "Sure," I said, then I muttered, "Not like we could use your help..." "Thank you, Dragonborn. You're always welcome here," she said. I stood and waved goodbye. "Bye..." She said, in an almost seductive tone of voice. Before then she'd been speaking like she'd prepared a speech and practiced it for years. Maybe that was her normal voice. I smirked as she walked out the door before me. It might've been a thrill to finally meet me, I guess. After that I decided I would check out the town a little before I ventured out. I walked around, finding a small shop named the Last Sentinel. I talked to the bespectacled man and browsed, but it didn't have much of interest. Outside I was attacked by a man in Bosmer armor. But the townspeople pitched in to get rid of him, so I figured it wasn't a, 'We don't take kindly to outsiders,' thing and just looted him and went on about my way. Then I found the Black Mesa. First I talked to the Breton outside at a picnic table, Dorian Masterhart, a budding mage studying and trying to find an ancient lost library while he was here in Alik'r. Of course, I offered to find it for him, as I was planning on exploring this region of the desert anyhow. Then I headed inside. It was still midday and it seemed only the barkeep was inside. "Black Mesa. Interesting name," I said to him. "Well, I like it. Maybe it doesn't make sense for you but for me it does. It's a simple way to remind me that there are some things that need to be... confirmed. Name's Gordon." "Destana. What do you mean by 'confirmed?" "Who wouldn't want a thing to be confirmed? Maybe... maybe it's such a big thing that you don't really want it to be confirmed. Oh forget it. Welcome to the Black Mesa Inn." "I don't get the joke. You don't seem to be a Redguard or Imperial," I said. "Yep. I'm a Breton. My ancestors were with the expedition of Caio Umbranox. Never been to High Rock," he replied. "You should go. Well, the northern and eastern parts I can vouch for anyway. Never been south or west. Anything Reach or beyond I've been told is pretty much plains and islands," I said. "Maybe one day I will," he said, "But anyway, traveler, what'll you have?" He asked, "Hungry or thirsty?" I sat at the counter and said, "Thirsty. First of all, I think I need water. The heat is murder out there." "Of course," he said, filling my waterskins and giving me a mug of well water. I chugged it and said, "Also... I think I need something else." "What else? I'll be here all day," he chuckled. "Well, that depends," I replied. "On?" "How closed-minded you are. How much of a narc you are." "Oh, well, I don't sell Skooma here, if that's what you mean." "Oh, no. Only done things like that once or twice. Not by choice. No, you see, I'm a highly advanced vampire that doesn't burn in the sun, and only requires about a serving of blood a week. But you see, I've been in a labyrinth for a couple days and I left my blood potions at home." "Uh... you want my blood?" "Don't be timid. Only a small sip of it. I could have just taken it, but I figured if I paid for it or offered a trade it'd be more civilized," I continued. "Trade?" He asked. "Ass for blood?" I asked. I swear, he looked at my literal ass right then. Then he looked me up and down. "If I refuse are you going to just kill me?" "Nope, I'll just find somebody else." "But you probably could, right?" "Well, yeah. But if you get right down to it, so could a soldier buying a drink. But that's what civilization is all about," I said. He smirked, "Don't mind me, I'm just finding a way to justify that I'm strongly considering saying yes." I smiled at him, "Sure you don't want money?" "Seeing the same few dozen women my whole life gets boring. You're a rare beauty," he said, "And I make enough with this place." "Oh yeah? I noticed there's no Inn in town," I said. "Yeah, Telrav from the Last Sentinel has a house for sale. But this far out we don't get many visitors. Usually people will just put them up in their houses for a little coin," he explained, "The Black Mesa Inn is more of a tavern only." "I guess I don't need to sleep, as long as I have blood. But it is good to sleep. Also, passes the time. Going to wait for the sandstorm to pass before I venture out," I said. "Might be a couple days," he said. I pursed my lips, "So I heard a yes in there." "Okay, yes." Destana Alik'r Inn, Ass for Blood.mp4 I dropped to the ground, sitting on my butt and undid his pants. He took the horns from my crown (strapped to my head) and used them to thrust into my mouth. Guess he still figured there was a good chance he was going to die, and he'd make the most of it. After a while of that, he sat down and I played with him, then slid on, riding him until we both finished. When we stood up, I said, "Good for you?" "Oh yes," he replied. "Could I rent a bath?" I asked. "Of course." I washed myself of the dust, then a little bit later I came up behind him and got a little bite in. He turned to me, "That's it?" "That's it. Not bad, right?" I asked. He smiled, "Not at all. If only all vampires were as well-aged as you are." I laughed, "Well if I was any other woman I'd take offense to that." About that time patrons started to come in to the bar, so I exited. I grabbed everything I could from the Quest Board outside - I wanted to experience everything I could while I was here. "Find dynamo cores, kill dune rippers, desert wolf pelts. Cool," I said, "Wonder if there's a nest of those rippers anywhere." But it was still storming and I'd not found a place to really sleep. The 'Inn' was a misnomer, with no rooms to speak of. I went back to the Fortress and slept in one of the guard beds. They weren't all taken so I assumed there was a kind of rotation going on anyway. When I walked out, it was still storming. I sighed, annoyed, "LOK - VAH - KOOR!" And the sandstorm faded in moments. I smiled. I was doing the locals a favor. Then I ventured out into the heat. I immediately found a pack of desert wolves. I sniped them with arrows and completely forgot I needed their pelts, continuing on in my exploratory glee. I found a small structure, but spied a Duneripper in the distance. Looked like an advanced Chaurus. I nocked a Bone Arrow from stealth and pegged him in the side from probably a hundred yards away, killing him. "That's it?" I chuckled, loudly. I found a small town, but none of the denizens wanted to talk to me. Not strange, just standoffish. I ventured (with Celerity to run fast) on to the Lucky Lantern, a small shrine with all the doors closed. So I just flew over the top and pressed the button to open the doors. I'm sure I wasn't supposed to do it that way. Shrug. Then I spied another duneripper, this time I missed it. Dang. He turned to me, shooting a fireball, but also missed me. So I ducked behind a rock outcropping. Thinking about my frost spells, I pretty much only had a basic one and Black Winter. I'd forcibly forgotten all the others. I channeled Black Winter for a second, but he just backed away. A smart creature! So I threw on Ice Storm, but he'd already run away. I snuck up to him and threw more Ice Storms, but he ran away again! When Syloria said they feared ice, she wasn't kidding. I killed it with arrows instead. After that I took to the air so I could see a little better, and found a Necromancer's Camp. Landing on a rock outcropping, then dropping down to attack from the ground, I found a lot of charred corpses around and knew I'd made the right decision. I shot one from stealth, then as the other one turned I shot her in the side. I ransacked the camp and took a drink of water. From there I flew around a little more, until I found a small house in a tiny valley. I set down, and a voice called out from the path behind, not from the house, "Watch out!" I turned and a Redguard was there with a warhammer. He clobbered a wolf that'd been hiding next to me, ready to pounce. I stabbed the other one that was now going for him. "Thanks, stranger," I said. And then I recognized him. He was one of the random guys from the standoffish village earlier. "Did you follow me?" I asked. "Not possible. I saw how fast you run and how you flew up. I was exploring." "What's your name?" "Nahtil." I smiled, "Want to pair up? Safer that way." He shrugged, "Alright." We went into the house together, finding a skeleton (not the undead kind, just regular) laying in the bed. There was a chest with like 20 backpacks, and another one locked with a key. "Guess I'll come back later," I said. We spent the next few hours hunting wolves and dunerippers until I stumbled upon the Forgotten City. As I neared the huge crack in the wall, I found the medallion from one of the missive quests on a dead body. And the wind started to pick up. "Nahtil, did you just get a strong sense of foreboding?" I asked, looking through the fissure. "LOK - BAH - KOOR!" I shouted, and the wind cleared up, but only for a moment. As soon as I set foot in the ruin, the sandstorm returned with renewed vigor. "You should really warn people when you're going to do that," Nahtil said, and I chuckled. "Watch out!" He shouted. I looked inside, ghost warriors were approaching us. Hundreds of them! "Get ready!" I pulled out my bow. YouTube and other homes for videos: