Author Topic: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser  (Read 15337 times)

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Do you only count falling, or do you count intentional rapid semi-controlled descent? 'Cause I do that all the time.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
...until what?!

Until you've reached what by painstaking trial and error I have determined as the minimum number of times you have to fall down a mountain in this game.

And survive?  Because if we're counting die-reloads, I'm up to at least 6; two of which were on stolen horses :P
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Do you only count falling, or do you count intentional rapid semi-controlled descent? 'Cause I do that all the time.

I just did that off the dragon peak north of Riften down to the Atronach stone.  It was actually pretty fun, especially having to activate Close Wounds mid-air :)
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Offline Scotty

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Why would you have to do that?

Become Ethereal -> Skydive without parachute.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Why would you have to do that?

Become Ethereal -> Skydive without parachute.

If there is one thing I consistently forget to use in this game, it's the Shouts.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
...in which Ryne gets a stunning view, a dragon shows remarkable sense, and both the Thalmor and Ryne don't...

After my less than productive meeting with General Tullius, I trudged out of Solitude even more thoroughly unimpressed with the Imperial Legion than I had been before.  I had harbored some hope earlier that the Legion in Skyrim was simply corrupt, complacent or lazy - not that they were terrified of the Thalmor and complicit in seeing the injustices foisted across the Empire continue.  I've stayed out of the civil war thus far - well, aside from dispatching Thalmor who attack me - and harboured no particular ill will toward Legion soldiers, but the more I see the state of things, the more I begin to think these Stormcloaks have the right idea about the Thalmor and their conquering of the Empire, if nothing else.

In a foul mood to begin with, I was heartened somewhat when I stumbled across a crumbling shrine to Meridia.  I've recorded before how I have no particular religious bent; the Thalmor position on Talos upsets me because it's being enforced under the edge of a blade, and I don't particularly care who or how people worship so long as it doesn't affect me, but I've never been terribly awed or frightened of Divines or Daedra.  In point of fact, I've often found myself doing tasks for some of the Daedric Lords who apparently think a dragonborn is a handy fellow to involve in their plots.  So far, this has allowed me to stash Mephala's Ebony Blade away somewhere where it will hopefully never see another human hand - if ever an enchantment was truly evil, one which gains by the betrayal and destruction of those who trust you and follow you is it - and cart around a modified version of Azura's Star to feed my enchanting habit.  Meridia is one of the Daedra who I can genuinely say I like, or at least like the idea of.  Unbridled opposition to undead is my kind of daedric goddess.  I was a little stunned to recall that I found a gem months ago near Whiterun that came with a disembodied voice instructing me to find this very shrine, so I climbed up the stairs and placed it in the altar...

...and found myself chatting with a Daedra.  Several dozen miles ABOVE Skyrim.  Holy dragondroppings, is that ever incredible - terrifying, since typically the sensation of floating in the air means I've fallen off a mountain and it is a LONG way down, but incredible.  Meridia, bright ball of sunshine that she is, is less happy about the view and more so about my appearance, as it seems a necromancer has taken up residence in her temple - seriously, if you're going to set up shop as a purveyor of undead, the residence of a Daedra with a passionate hatred for them seems like poor planning or extreme arrogance - and corrupted it.  However, Skyrim's residents appear to be mere apprentices in their habit of asking others to do their work for them judging by the Daedric habit.  Meridia needs a champion.  Three guesses who got the job.

Clearing Meridia's temple was more a matter of patience than any great difficulty; the place was overrun with Corrupted Shades who yielded Grand Souls, but caused plenty of damage if I didn't use my considerable stealth abilities.  I dispatched dozens of the things, and collected nearly my weight on gold from the poor desecrated corpses, before finally arriving at the final altar of light and the necromancer, ominously named Malkoran, and his six pet Shades.  I tried my dagger tricks on the Shades, but numbers two through six swarmed me when the first died, so I found myself wildly swinging my sword and shield while sidestepping between apparitions.  Malkoran, meanwhile, failed to notice my collection of gear supplying magical resistance and my habit of absorbing spells.  Between the Atronach stone, the absorption abilities I picked up with my alteration skills, and my resistances, magicka doesn't pose much of a threat to me anymore, and Malkoran's ice spikes were no exception.  The Shades defeated, I turned to their master and dispatched him with a sword thrust, and turned to admire the altar... only to hear a crash and discover that Malkoran was now a shade.  Honestly, necromancer's are a serious pain in the ass.  His Shade was dispatched without much difficulty over the others, and Meridia's disembodied voice echoed through the room instructing me to retrieve Dawnbreaker from the Altar.  No objections - though when I picked up the sword I immediately found myself back above Skyrim in a flash of white light, again with that feeling of impeding acceleration toward the ground.  Meridia thanked me and told me to wield the blade in her name; while it is unlikely I will do much to champion her with the blade, it seemed prudent to be polite to a Daedric goddess who has you suspended above the ground at a distance several hundred times of what would be required to merely kill you, so I acknowledged with some appropriate platitudes and found myself back on the ground no worse for wear.  Well, this day started off with typical frustration, but things were briefly looking up.

Briefly, unfortunately, was an apt term.  I no sooner arrived near Northwatch Keep that a dragon did too.  The interesting part is that, despite the fact that the places was swarming in touchy Elves with bows, the dragon neither attacked the Keep, nor did the pointy-eared bastards attack it.  This bears further investigation, but alas, at the time I was too busy fending off the dragon.  Oddly enough, however, after I whittled the dragon down some by turning it into a flying angry porcupine with elven arrows and it set me on fire just until I dove into the nearby ocean, it abruptly broke off the attack on me and headed east over the cliffs as fast and straight as it could without a backward glance.  That... has never happened before.  Either the creature figured out who I was and just what was going to happen when I killed it, or it had a pressing engagement elsewhere.  Perhaps it also needed to speak to Tullius about the Elves.  If so, I wished it luck.

By this time, night had fallen and I tried the front gate guard again.  If anything, the lout was even more unfriendly, so I tried the side gate - guarded too.  I tried slipping inside, and the guard warned me off, so I sulked away, then snuck back.  There was no way I was getting inside and I knew the guard was (1) a miserable pointy-eared excuse for a sentient, (2) a Thalmor, and by definition a murderous rights-oppressing pretentious piece of magickal dung, and (3) taking a dagger in the back of the neck because I was not leaving anyone, least of all someone associated with the resistance to the Thalmor, in their hands.  Sorry, guard, but you had your chance.  I told General Tullius he didn't understand the nature of trouble insofar as I was concerned.

Unfortunately, when I snuck past the gate it appears that every other Thalmor in the place suddenly grew eyes in the back of their heads, because I found myself being rushed by no fewer than seven of them.  Seriously, seven.  Unfortunately for them, I have remarkable resistance to magicka, am pretty handy with a sword, and have a remarkably useful talent for bringing friends when I need them.  I would say the archers in particular were surprised to see my Dremora Lord when I conjured him, but I don't think they had much time before he set them on fire and split them in half.  Meanwhile, the others fell to a combination of my sword strokes, arrows, and Fus ro da.  Well, if no one else wanted a moratorium I would be damned to Oblivion before I was giving it up.

An eerie silence fell over the night as I collected articles of glass armour and weaponry from the dead elves.  No, I'm not above killing Thalmor and looting their corpses.  Note to anyone else who wants me dead:  I'm the guy with the badass conjured weaponry, enchanted armour, and a pile of expensive glass gear harvested from the last set of assholes who tried to kill me.  Do you really want to dance?  (Answer:  Yes, because I was later accosted by another thief on the road who didn't run from my attempt at intimidation, so it would seem the inhabitants of Skyrim are as stupid as they are murderous).

I decided to minimize the body count for the sake of General Tullius' problems - I'm nothing if not considerate - picked the lock on the back door, and snuck in... down the stairs, around a corner, and straight into two more elves.  Conjure sword, dispatch guards, wash rinse repeat.  I even opened the gates for the other prisoners who were looking a little worse for wear.  Thalmor.  These guys have to go.

When I reached the end of the corridor, I peered around the corner and spotted a Thalmor interrogator, skeletons chained to the wall, and traces of blood... and heard moaning.  Now, I characterize much of my previous experiences in Skyrim as annoyance or irritation - this made me angry.  Legitimately angry.  These bastards take people and torture them to death, all because they are opposed to the worship of a particular Divine?  The misery and atrocities the Thalmor are responsible for... the deaths... the strife... the war covering Skyrim.  All because of their supreme arrogance in policing belief.

I regret to inform General Tullius that a Breton with his own rather strong beliefs on liberty may have created a rather large problem for him, after he and a conjured Dremora Lord ended every Thalmor in and around Northwatch Keep with prejudice and a flaming sword.  I also regret to inform General Tullius that the same Breton is likely to continue creating problems by ending every Thalmor he meets and doing his damndest to aid the Stormcloaks in throwing the Thalmor and their Imperial puppets out of Skyrim.  I have had enough.

With the Thalmor all very dead, I released Thorald Grey-Mane and promised to take a message back to his mother in Whiterun, then headed back to Solitude to sell my glass weapon and apparel collection.  The shopkeepers didn't seem to mind a little Elf blood on them.

Heading for the main gate, I ran into some shady characters who pointed me to an Argonian looking to pay someone for a little work.  Intrigued, I met the fellow at the docks and was informed that he wanted me to put out the Solitude lighthouse, thereby causing a ship to wreck on the shoreline, from which he would be collecting and sharing some of the goods.  Ordinarily, I would have found the suggestion despicable, but I was still hopping mad after my run-in with Tullius and the Thalmor, and I was feeling quite amiable to the idea of depriving the Imperials of a ship and its goods, though I did elicit a promise from my prospective employer that the crew of the ship would not be harmed.  Disrupting logistics was one thing - being responsible for the deaths of a bunch of innocent sailors and a few Imperial guards was quite another.

I headed off the the lighthouse and snuffed the light, then returned to my employer, who told me to meet his sister and her Marauders at the wreck and marked it on my map.  I headed off the the wreck, stopping long enough to intervene in a battle between two trolls and a dragon to dispatch all the combatants, and came upon a sight that made my blood run cold.  On the shore were several boats, filled with supplies and dead crew.  On the deck, Marauders were finishing off the sailors and Imperial guards that had survived the initial attack.  I GROW TIRED OF CONSTANT BETRAYAL AND TRAGEDY IN THIS COUNTRY, GODSDAMN IT ALL TO OBLIVION.

In a rage, I stepped onto the deck with sword already swinging, and the first two Marauders didn't even see their deaths tap them on the shoulder.  Surprise was overcome by fear, and the remaining three began attacking, but I shrugged off arrows, cast Close Wounds mid-stride, and severed their heads from their shoulders one by one.  The last one tried to flee over the side and took an arrow in the skull, knocking him to his needs.  I didn't feel the need to hear any last words as I executed him.

Inside the ship, shouts greeted my arrival as they heard the commotion upstairs, as I was rushed by several Marauders and a female Argonian who must have been my lying employer's sister.  I let them surround me, then introduced them to my friendly Dremora Lord and my blade.  They died mid-step, and I retrieved a note from the Argonian pointing me toward Broken Oar Grotto and to the final destination of both the loot and the liar who made me complicit in murder.  The eyes of the dead sailors seemed to stare at me accusingly as I left the ship a silent, floating slaughterhouse.

Broken Oar Grotto would have made me marvel had I not been intent on a mission of vengeance.  The cave was a massive underground shipping berth, large enough to hold several vessels, which it obviously had before the entrance collapsed, as many were still there and had been converted to various platforms for the pirates to work from.  I let my summoned Dremora Lord do the majority of the bladework, and we reduced the cavern to a collection of pirate corpses in short order.  Last of all was my temporary employer, who was upset that I had killed his crew, nearly as upset as he was as I killed him.  He took a while to die.  Finally, I cleared the cave of its loot, including several chests the pirates had cleverly hidden around under the water, and headed for the entrance and Whiterun.  A mother needs to know her son is alive and well, and I needed to let my rage go.  Ridding Nirn of a few dozen killers wasn't about to bring back the innocent dead whose blood was on my hands or rid me of my guilt, but it did give me a certain sense of satisfaction...

...which I maintained all the way back to Whiterun and then through Ustengrav, right up until I reached Jurgen Windcaller's casket and found the Horn missing and a note telling me to head to Riverwood - only AFTER killing the several dozen Draugr of various difficulty infesting the place.

When I arrived in Riverwood and met the mysterious woman who left the note, I had just one simple question:

"For the love of all the Divines and Daedra combined, Delphine, couldn't you have pinned the godsdamned note to the FRONT DOOR?!"
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
What, no comments on the last one?  Tough crowd.  I'll have to try harder.

...in which mages show they aren't very bright, the Thalmor continue to be a pain in the ass, and Ryne gets a new job and immediately begins redecorating...

So, a few new developments in the last couple weeks.  First, it seems the Blades demise was at least partially exaggerated, as Delphine was/is a member.  That inspires confidence - a greying woman enlists a Breton adventurer that all of Skyrim is out to kill to save the world.  What could possibly go wrong? After Delphine further informed me the dragons were not actually returning but, in another bit of wonderful news, were actually RISING FROM THEIR GODSDAMNED GRAVES, she assisted me in offing one as he arose immediately after a very large, very black one that awakened him left.  That was the fellow from Helgen.  I don't like how I keep running into that monstrosity.

Delphine and I met back in Riverwood, where she filled me in on some of the Blades' misfortunes and the dragons, and confirmed that she also suspected the Thalmor had a hand in the return of the dragons.  Either we're both crazy, or a pattern is forming.  She then instructed me to head to Solitude and meet up with a Bosmer in order to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy.  OK, look, I've had quite enough of those Thalmor bastards lately.  Maybe in a couple weeks.

When last I was in Winterhold, Mirabelle suggested I take a trip to Mzulft to look for something to help examine the Eye of Magnus, so I decided to head off and see what I could do.  I arrived at the ruins in the middle of the night, and headed inside.  I'm going to spare most of the details, but lets just say that after fighting Falmer, Chaurus, and Dwarven leftovers, I'm not going to complain the next time I run into Draugr of any sort.  I also found the place liberally interspersed with dead Synod researchers, which seemed to be a hint that perhaps Imperial mages should stick to their books rather than go running around dungeons.  Things just haven't been the same since the Mages' Guild was dissolved.

When I finally reached the door to the Oculatory, I discovered it locked and my picks had no effect.  Apparently I was now on a great quest for a key in a massive Dwarven ruin.  A quest to follow a trail of breadcrumbs... if breadcrumbs were dead Falmer in various states of being ripped limb from limb.  Something told me the end of this little journey was going to be unpleasant.  And I was right.  I hate being right sometimes.

When I opened the final set of doors, before me stood a very large, very active, very unfriendly Dwarven Master Centurion.  Seriously, couldn't the key have been guarded by something pleasant?  Perhaps a butterfly I could mix in a potion?  Skeever?  Hell, I'll take a bear.  Nope.  Big, nasty, machine powered by a soul gem made by a vanished race of magickal axe-lovers with a height complex.  I can only imagine they were compensating for something when they decided to make their Automatons brush the bloody ceiling two spans above my not-inconsiderable height.

I conjured my friendly Dremora Lord and stood back as the machine went for it, slipped behind, and began hammering on its back with my Dragonbone sword while the Dremora swung its greatsword, and we dropped the thing with a minimum of fuss, though it was somewhat amusing to see the Dremora vanish as the Automaton fell on it.  Dremora aren't particularly bright at the best of times.

Key in hand, I headed for the Oculatory, unlocked the door, and found myself stuck behind another door, this time with a Synod researcher - the only one with enough sense to put a locked dwarven door between himself and the Falmer, it seems - who immediately began babbling incoherently about crystals and the other researchers and his dire situation.  Pulling a crystal I had retrieved from a dead Falmer from my pocket, he immediately went from annoyingly whiny to annoyingly superior, and began lecturing on about the great Dwarven machine.

I admit, few things impress me, but that machine impressed me.  What did not impress me was the intelligence of the Synod researchers.  Apparently, all of them died because one of them failed to anticipate how the cold would affect the focussing crystal and he had to trek back to Cyrodiil to get it fixed - however, the lone survivor informed me that I would have to tune the crystal in the machine by heating or cooling it.  While I already knew flame and frost spells, I discovered two spell tomes in the room itself as well.  If these Synod characters were so smart, don't you think they would have tried heating the crystal to repair it here?

A scant few seconds later, I had the crystal tuned and a partial map of Skyrim projected on the wall, which the Synod fellow was very displeased with.  From his cryptic muttering, I gathered that he and his fellows planned to mark all objects of power in Skyrim so better to aid the Empire - or perhaps the Dominion - in overrunning the place.  Nevertheless, it appears the Eye of Magnus and Staff of Magnus both provided sufficient interference that he wasn't getting much for readable information.  Such a shame.

I headed out of the ruins and made my way back to Winterhold, where I discovered that, in true Thalmor fashion, the slimy creep Ancamo had figured out how to tap into the Eye of Magnus, render himself invulnerable to my sword, and severely wounded Mirabelle while killing the Arch-Mage in the explosion that ensued when we tried to stop him.  Mirabelle survived, and dispatched me to recover the Staff from Labyrinthian, with an odd comment that the Arch-Mage must have known something.  Ominous.  I felt bad for the fellow, though I barely knew him.  On the other hand, I felt significantly less bad about him and more pleased that I barely knew him a short while later while I was delving into Labyrinthian and discovered that he wasn't exactly the best friend an aspiring mage could have, either.

One minor glitch before I headed to Labyrthian - it seemed Ancamo's meddling produced some sort of magickal attack on Winterhold.  The anomalies it spawned caused little in the way of hurt, but Phineas, Faralda, and I spent the better part of a half hour clearing them out.  The little glowballs were fast, agile, and tough - not much shrugs off dragbone weapons, but these did with little trouble.  Fortunately, their attacks were disorganized and ineffectual in the extreme.

Labyrinthian held few small surprises, but one large one.  It seems that dragons can also be undead, or at least the walking collection of dragon bones that tried to kill me while skeletons were flinging arrows in my direction suggests that to be the case.  I set the Dremora Lord loose on the skeletons, and knocked my clattering large friend into a motionless pile of bones with a few arrows of my own, which is odd when you think about it because there was really nothing for them to pierce.  Logic doesn't seem to enter into the destruction of magickal undead in this country, though, so I just went with it and was glad I didn't get eaten - it would be awkward trying to explain to the Dremora that I wasn't dead, just encased in a skeletal ribcage and in need of some assistance.  Like I said before - not very bright at the best of times.

Dispatching dozens of Draugr of various kinds - some of the rotten assholes (get it?  oh come on!) apparently not getting the memo on the Fus ro da moratorium either - I made my way deeper through the ruins, regularly encountering ghostly apparitions of six mages, one of whom appeared to be the dead Arch Mage.  Well, five.  No, four.  Apparently the bodies to whom said apparitions belonged didn't fair nearly as well against the inhabitants of the barrow as I had.  Their numbers continued to dwindle.  Between ghostly meetings which fewer and fewer participants seemed interested in showing up for, I ran into a few more skeletons, a wispmother, and several highly irritating wisps, followed by yet MORE Draugr.  Honestly, if someone could figure out how to command Draugr, the Stormcloaks could eject the Imperials and their Thalmor masters from Skyrim in a matter of hours (ironic note:  I would later come to regret these thoughts; I'm behind in journal entries).

Finally, I arrived at what I gathered to be the final door to the final monstrosity that no doubt would prove an epic battle of wits and skills that would test me to my limits - or, at least, that's what I gathered from the three remaining ghosts who said more or less that at the heavy iron door in their last meeting.  When I opened the door, I was greeted by a strange sight.  Alright, I suppose most of what I enter in my journal could be considered strange sights.  I was greeted by an unprecedented sight - on stone bridges, two ghosts were sustaining beams of what I could only assume to be magicka at a bubble around what appeared to be a large, angry, undead, and otherwise immobile Dragon Priest.  Who had my staff.  Why do they always have the things I need?  Honestly, just once I'd like to find the artifact I' questing after snuggled in among a group of fluffy, white bunnies that would bound around at my feet while I grinned and pondered stew.  Alas, with my luck, if ever I do find something guarded by bunnies they will be thirty feet long with horns, breathing fire, and keep trolls who will try to stew me for pets.  Come to think of it, that isn't far removed from my typical dragon encounter.

Leaving that unpleasant thought behind, I crept up the stairs and tapped one of the ghostly mages roughly where his shoulder should be.  He turned, looked at me, opened his mouth... and flung a destruction spell in my surprised face.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE DAEDRA AND DIVINES, EVEN GHOSTLY DEAD PEOPLE WHO BELONGED TO MY OWN ORGANIZATION WANT TO KILL ME NOW?  WHAT DOES A MAN HAVE TO DO NOT TO BE MURDERED AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY AROUND HERE?

Fortunately, my spell absorption talents and magicka resistance enchantments are not dependent on my situational awareness - I would be dead several dozen times over were that the case - and the spell fizzled in the air.  My enchanted dragonbone sword, however, did not.  Apparently both Absorb Health and Fiery Soul Trap (told you I'd learn that without delay) still work on ghosts, as the ethereal fellow vanished on the spot.

Knowing what to expect of his compatriot, I nevertheless still tried the friendly approach with her, and was rewarded for my efforts much the same way.  With the shield and his ghostly friends gone, the Dragon Priest - Morokei, his name turned out to be - was loose and pursued me across the room while I hastily pulled out my bow and sent arrows in his undead direction.  And then he caught up to me when I backed into a corner.  I pulled out my sword and held up the shield when he gave me a malevolent look and...

...nothing happened.  Turns out Morokei can't fight.  Well, not without magicka.  I'm virtually invulnerable to magicka.  Laughing, I poked him in the place where his chest used to be.  More raging sounds, staff raised, and... yeah, still nothing.  Chuckling to myself, I recalled the fear in the dead mages' voices when they spoke of this creature, and promptly sliced its skull from its neck.  Morokei fell, finally banished from the world.  I picked up his mask - these Dragon Priest masks have some interesting enchantments and are well worth recovering - and the staff, and headed for the door.  Just as I reached it, the ghost of Aren, the Arch Mage, appeared and gave a lament-filled account of how he had bound his friends for eternity to ensure Otar could never be loosed upon Skyrim.  With friends like him... I shuddered and contemplated my good fortune in not being sent on more errands by the man as I headed up the stairs, through the hall, and walked smack into a Thalmor named Estormo wielding two charged bolts of lightning in hand, who assurred me that hewould be taking the staff as Ancamo could not afford to have me meddling, and I might as well just give up and die.  This is becoming a tiresome refrain from people who seem unable to recognize bits and pieces  of the dead dragons decorating my armour and weapons.

I gave Estormo a contemptuous look when his spells hit the back of my armour as I walked away from him. Estormo died badly.  That is to say, screaming when my Dremora Lord split him in half with its enchanted burning greatsword.  I wasn't giving him the courtesy of being killed by my weapons; he died to a daedra.  Picking among the bits of elf-goo on the floor, I collected his pocket change, whistled tunelessly, and climbed up the ladder and back out of the ruins, heading for the College.

On my arrival, I discovered things had gone, in their usual fashion when I'm involved, from bad to considerably worse.  The majority of the powerful college mages were sitting on the precarious entrance path.  The students were missing.  Mirabelle was missing.  And there was a potent magickal wall between us, and the College.  Toldfir informed me Mirabelle was dead, having defended their retreat from Ancamo as the barrier was raised.  Have I mentioned how much these Thalmor creeps are beginning to annoy me?  I showed Toldfir the staff, and he said he'd follow me in.  The Staff appeared to burn all the power from the barrier, and we sprinted for the Hall of Elements.

Ancamo was being a typical pompous Thalmor inside, going on endlessly about how he was beyond our reach when Toldir tried to incinerate him and the spell did nothing.  Taking the more direct route, I slammed my dragonbone sword into his head... or tried to.  Nothing happened.  Why can't anything ever go according to plan?

The Eye of Magnus began to pulsate, glow, and expand, and more of the magickal anomalies popped out.  Wonderful.  I told Toldfir to deal with them, and focused the Staff of Magnus on the Eye.  Sure enough, it shrunk back to its ordinary size and stopped spawning the little magickal balls of doom.  Ancamo retreated behind a pillar.  I followed.  He scurried to another pillar.  I strode after him.  A magickal ball flung itself at me and bounced off.  I took two more steps, and the thing turned and stuck to my face.  Peeling it off with my sword, I looked for Ancamo, who had retreated behind yet another pillar.  Three strides and I grabbed the front of his robes, glared at him, and stuck my sword through his lungs.  With a few choking gasps, he fell over, dead.  Thus ends another Thalmor.  Good riddance.

When I turned around and walked after Toldfir, our friends from the Psijic order mysteriously appeared, again - I'm pretty sure they're using Mark/Recall like the Dunmer from Vvardenfell apparently used to be able to - and congratulated me for a job well done, informed me the Eye was far too powerful and our world was not ready, and prepared to teleport away.  What?  You mean you guys could have grabbed this from Saarthal?  How about when we first brought it to the College?  Hunh?  You were the ones that warned me about an irreversible set of events... seems to me that there was ample opportunity for you to at least alter them.  Honestly, I wonder abotu six times a day how this country has survived as long as it has with the kind of intellectual prowess that seems to populate it.  Or formerly populate it - these monks have been pretty tight-lipped about their current location.

Regardless, my annoyances aside, I was then informed how I would be a great Arch-Mage, and the Psijics disappeared.  Wait a moment.  Arch Mage?  No, no, I didn't sign up for any position of responsibility - in point of fact, I've been trying to avoid responsibility.  I figured Toldfir would have something to say about this since he clearly outranked me and had considerable more experience at the College than I did and he'd take over the job.

Ha!  Of course not.  Why would he do something when I could do it instead?!  Apparently, I'm Arch Mage, like it or not.  Not that that appears to mean much.  Aside from the title and the rooms, the authority of the Arch Mage doesn't count for much around here.  Certainly, nobody wants to listen if I try to assign them jobs, and a few of the elder mages are downright demanding - Arniel keeps going on about some fool project of his, Toldfir wants me to retrieve some dagger and dragonscales for a spell, and Phineas has the wonderful idea to summon an unbound Dremora.  I can only imagine what Faralda or Collette are planning to inflict on me.  Or Berlyna... I haven't forgotten the whole being turned into a cow incident.

After checking out my new apartment, I headed out to the courtyard, intending to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, when a roar, flapping wings, and bout of fire announced the arrival of a Revered Dragon.  A big, orange, angry revered dragon.  Surely being Arch Mage, I'll get some assistance from the other mages?  Ha!  What mages.  Suddenly the College seemed to be empty of everyone.  Sighing, I resorted to my bow and Ancamo's pillar tricks... until a bolt of lightning knocked me into the flames.

Patting out the fires burning on various parts of my body, I looked around for the newest enemy, and discovered it was not actually anyone hostile, but rather J'zago arriving to aid me.  Given his previous "aid" and remembering a certain disastrous flame cloak experiment, I filed him under "Enemy for all intents and purposes."  Heading to the OPPOSITE side of the courtyard - dodging flame breath the entire way, the dragon was quite persistently fixated on me - I found another pillar and dispatched it with another volley of arrows.  Stepping out of cover, I collected some scales, bones, most of my arrows, and a pile of gold as the creature incinerated itself and I absorbed its soul - a process that made the now-arriving collection of mages exiting the towers gasp and mutter.  Oh sure, now you incompetent magickal morons show up.  So much for the title of Arch Mage.

Several of the passing mages remarked in nervous voices that they couldn't believe it, that they were afraid, didn't know what to do, or where it came from.  Having dispatched over twenty dragons by this point - it's becoming quite routine, in fact - I merely surveyed my handiwork.  The dragon's skull lay at the entrance to the college, tail near the Hall of Elements, wings rolled up by the central statue.  In fact, the way the tail curled, it seemed to point directly to the staircase leading to the Arch Mage quarters.

Turning, I  laughed and announced to no one in particular:  "Do?  You don't need to do anything.  That just means the new Arch Mage is in residence today."
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 
Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
I remember that quest, that was a good quest. Too bad so many are just "slog through Draugr/bandits/Falmer to get the thing". I think I hated the Dwemer ruins most of all.

 

Offline CommanderDJ

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Ha! I'd wondered how Ryne would react to being made Arch Mage. These logs never disappoint! :D
[16:57] <CommanderDJ> What prompted the decision to split WiH into acts?
[16:58] <battuta> it was long, we wanted to release something
[16:58] <battuta> it felt good to have a target to hit
[17:00] <RangerKarl> not sure if talking about strike mission, or jerking off
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> WUT
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> hahahahaha
[17:00] <battuta> hahahaha
[17:00] <RangerKarl> same thing really, if you think about it

 

Offline The E

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
On my first playthrough, I played a warrior cat specializing in big axes. I figured they made me archmage not because I was particularly gifted at magic, but more to get that insane looking dude with the scary axe away from the tower....
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline An4ximandros

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
You got me playing Skyrim again. Bloody Nords and their damn traditions!

I just wish there were clothing mods that added antique noble class robes.

 

Offline watsisname

Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Quote
I gave Estormo a contemptuous look when his spells hit the back of my armour as I walked away from him. Estormo died badly.  That is to say, screaming when my Dremora Lord split him in half with its enchanted burning greatsword.

I
SMELL
WEAKNESS
In my world of sleepers, everything will be erased.
I'll be your religion, your only endless ideal.
Slowly we crawl in the dark.
Swallowed by the seductive night.

 
Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
In honor of Ryne's (and of course, all of ours) journey:


(via imgur)

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
There are two kinds of people in this harsh world. There are people who blindly attack others regardless of the horrible consequences for themselves and those they love, and there are those who are actually good at it.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
Ahahahah, Scourge, that's awesome.
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
...in which Ryne halts an undead invasion, receives a ghostly companion, and makes a new friend...

After a very bumpy wagon ride to Riften, a dragon attack outside the city (in which the local guards proved themselves incompetent), an attempted shakedown to enter the city (in which the local guards proved themselves only marginally less incompetent), and a brief conversation inside the gate in which I discovered this city is basically a cesspool of corruption, I decided I had more than enough trouble on my plate at the moment and promptly left.  I have some business in Riften, but it can wait until I have a little bit more patience lest I decide to simply murder the entire population of one of Skyrim's larger centers.  Don't think the thought didn't cross my mind for its simplicity and expedience.

Nonetheless, I had some business in the Rift - Arniel wanted Keening retrieved from a courier who got ambushed, and Enthir wanted a staff so he could be convinced to hand over a novice mage's amulet - so I headed off northwest and took care of both requests with my usual grim outcome.  Naturally, the staff was in the hands of hostile necromancers who liked to summon atronachs - and were considerably less able to do so after being introduced to my sword - and the dagger was in the hands of a very dead fellow at the bottom of a pit in a Falmer cave.  Falmer are obnoxious little pointy-eared bastards, much like their taller Thalmor cousins, though they are arguably more stubborn and less rational, if that's possible.  The live Argonian was pretty happy to be rescued, though.  His cellmate was getting pretty rank.

It was between these two rather mundane assignments that my life got a little more interesting, though.  Well, interesting in the sense that it made me long for a nice quiet life settled down in a dragon-undead-person-proof fortress with a non-homicidal wife.

I stumbled - quiet literally, as I was sprinting away from a Revered Dragon that came calling at the time - past the entrance to Ansilvud, whereupon I was also simultaneously attacked by a conjurer of some kind.  He died rather quickly as I didn't have any time to muck about while dodging dragon bites.  That fellow was hungry.  Alas, I don't think he was hungry for the shower of arrows I sent his way.  He crashed to the ground with an indignant roar, then came crawling toward me with his head and neck extended, ready to bit me in half.

To whomever reads this journal after I die, lose it, or sell it: there are few things in life worth seeing more than a dragon with a surprised look on its face.  I have learned the dragon words for Slow Time.  This wonderful shout twists the very fabric of reality, slowing the passage of time for me and, most importantly, slowing it even more for everything else.  Say what you will about aging, if I grow a few seconds older than the world around me as a result, then that's a few seconds which is likely ensuring I live many years longer.  I'll take the extra grey hair.  I digress.  At any rate, as the dragon attempted to eat me, I shouted in its face, sidestepped it's surprised look, hopped on it's neck, and stuck my sword through the back of its skull.  Thus ended the terrible reign of another Revered Dragon - downed, surprised, and stabbed in short order.  It's really too bad I haven't found a competent taxidermist, because I would love to mount that head and the look on its face outside my house in Whiterun.

Dusting myself off, I surveyed the landscape and determined that the conjurer appeared to have been guarding the door to yet another Nord tomb - Ansilvud.  As it happens, someone somewhere - according to the vague notes I had written in my journal - had asked me to retrieve a sword from this tomb, and since I was there - and in no hurry to return again anytime soon - I decided to collect it on my way.

Heading into the tomb, I ran into all manner of Draugr and necromancers - in short, the usual things I run into underground - and everything proceeded as it typically does until I reached a split in the cave way and a disembodied and very ill-tempered woman began shouting at me about disturbing her, killing her followers, and various other complaints.  To be completely honest, I stopped listening.  She sounded angry, bitter, and murderous, meaning our first date was unlikely to go well.

As I delved deeper into the ruins, I encountered still more undead and revivers-of-undead until I reached one of the infamous puzzles common to ancient Nordic ruins, comprised of three spinning symbols which, if you fail to place them in the right sequence before attempting to open the gate, inevitably redecorate your armour to resemble a porcupine with the dozens of arrows they fire.  These puzzles are highly irritating, especially when one cannot find the key or solution simply laying about.  Fortunately, there was a copy of a book about Holgeir and Fjori laying on a table which conspicuously mentioned three animals in sequence - three animals which were featured on the rotating stones.  Turning the stones to match the book, I braced for forcible quill growth and, miraculously, the gate opened!  Take that, ancient Nords!  I then strode over the stone bridge toward the gate, stepping on a trap stone in the floor and getting roasted to the level of an edible ham in fire from the dragon head attached to the ceiling.  I hate tombs.

Brushing soot from my armour, I continued to decimate the local Draugr population as I advanced through the cave, eventually arriving in a large cavern filled with what appeared to be ghostly undead, more Draugr, and the even-more-irate woman who had been yelling about in dismebodied fashion through the majority of my excursion.  Unfortunately, she was now very corporeal and surrounded by a lord's entourage of nasty-looking undead with nasty-looking weaponry.  Negotiation appeared pointless, so I backstabbed a nearby skeleton, turned to another of the undead, and found the skeleton stabbing me in the back.  Lu'ah Al-Skaven - the irate woman - was a skilled necromancer.  Only then did I rrealize that two of the undead were none other than Holgeir and Fjori in the flesh...err, decomposing flesh.  Thus began a game where I pursued her, she ran from me, the undead ran after me, I killed any undead that got too close, she revived them, and I chased after her.  We made two or three laps around the cave before her ward collapsed and my sword struck home, and the undead collapsed to the floor in unpleasantly-fragrant heap.

Picking bits of necromancer goo from my frosty armour - Lu'ah was fond of frost spells, too, I made my way over to the table where I discovered another unusual gem - I really do have to go see that fellow in Riften - and various other odds and ends.  Then, to my surprise, a pair of ghosts appeared.  Well, it wasn't really surprising.  Frankly, very little fazes me anymore about the happenings in this country.  They thanked me for saving them from being bound by necromancy, and manifested - it's the only word that makes sense - a non-corporeal blade in front of me that had a very corporeal feel.  The thing is remarkable - it can hurt physical objects, and indeed, appears to ignore armour.  Intriguing.

As I prepared to depart Ansilvund - and good riddance - I tripped over a book on the floor which was different from the various other ruined books lying about.  It turned out to be Lu'ah's journal, which had been blown across the room in the commotion.  For all her ranting about the Empire and vengeance, it turns out she was just a litttle bit of an overzealous widow.  Her husband was a decorated war hero in the Great War, defending the empire from the Aldmeri Dominion, but was killed in battle.  Not suspecting his wife was an illegal necromancer, the Imperial forces quite understandably gave him a funeral pyre with full honours for his service, cremating him.  Alas, his wife was rather upset that she couldn't raise her husband as an undead, so she drifted to Skyrim, found the burial place of Holgeir and Fjori, and attempted to raise her husband in Holgeir's corpse.  Ewww.  I don't think he would have been appreciative.  Then she set about raising an army of undead to destroy the Nords and the Empire.  Talk about a dedicated wife.  Hopefully I find a woman half as dedicated - and also half as crazy.  I don't mind a woman taking revenge on her husband's killers, but trying to wipe out an entire continent because they followed standard honorifics at burial seems a little extreme.

I headed back to the College with Arniel's package.  The man is a perpetual annoyance.  First, I'd had to do a deal with Enthir for a broken soul gem, then I had to scour the countryside for Dwemer convection devices, and now I was playing courier after the one he hired - without Enthir's assistance this time - lost a priceless Dwemer artifact in a Falmer trap.  This experiment of his had better be worth all the fuss.

Arriving at the College, I met with Arniel in one of the storage areas and he finally filled me in on what he was doing.  The Dwemer disappeared when Kagrenac whacked the heart of a dead god - Lorkan - with Sunder and Keening.  Arniel was unable to procure Sunder, but he has the brilliant idea to replicate the Dwemer disappearance by smacking a warped soul gem with Keening.  This sounds like it's going to end in disaster to me, but hell, I'm only the Arch Mage, it's not like my opinion counts for anything around here.  Nonetheless, I figured I'd better to keep an eye on this disaster in the making and keep the bystanders clear, so I backed as far away from Arniel as I could get without actually leaving the Tower while he hammered on the gem with Keening.  He started with a couple little taps, then became more and more frantic as nothing happened and his precious ideas were apparently going out the window.  Then he did something unfortunate.  Despite his assurances that this would merely replicate a tiny fraction of the magickal mystery that surrounded the Dwemer, he simultaneously cracked the gem as hard as he could, and vanished.  Keening clattered to the floor, the room was absolutely silent, and I stood, rooted in place, agape.  I didn't expect Arniel to actually replicate the disappearance of the Dwemer, but it appears the man was less useless than he first appeared.  Of course, having disappeared now it's not like he would actually ever be useful.  Then I discovered that I could actually summon his shade for a short period.  Hrmmm.  Perhaps he will be useful after all.  The shade had the added bonus that it merely followed me, looking dazed, without actually speaking.  I wonder if I could entice J'zago to try Arniel's methods?

I stowed Keening safely in the Arch Mage's quarters, and headed off for more adventuring, dropping by Windhelm to give the blacksmith the dead queen's sword that I retrieved from Ansilvund.  Then I headed for Falkreath, which I'd been meaning to visit but never previously found the time.  The blacksmith asked me to find a dog, and the barmaid gave me a bounty for a nearby dragon, so I decided to go mountaineering and deal with the dragon before I found the blacksmith a pet.  On my way back to town after dispatching the beast - Frost Dragons have become as routine an effort as bears, these days, though the Word Wall was a bonus - I spotted a shack on the hillside and thought I might investigate.  I've had mixed success with cabins in the woods.  The first one I discovered was owned by a kindly old woman, who stayed kindly right up until I found a trapdoor to the basement and several articles which indicated pretty clearly that she was a witch.  At the time I didn't have much against witches, but her immediate attempt to kill me after I exited the basement convinced me that these are not the sort of women reputable adventurers should be involved with.  The second cabin was unlocked, and I entered, only to be scorched, frozen, and shocked by the irate Dunmer inhabitant who didn't even give me a chance to open my mouth before he tried to murder me.  I was a little more understanding with him; while I might not try to outright murder the various inhabitants of Whiterun that insist on following me into my house to continue their inane one-sided conversation that it should be obvious I'm fleeing, they are obnoxious, especially when I'm heading to bed.  I flung a Pacify spell over my shoulder as I hastily exited that place.  At any rate, my success rate with befriending the more secluded inhabitants remained low, so I approached this cabin cautiously.

It was night, so the occupant - Angi is her name - was sleeping, and immediately endeared herself to me when she did NOT try to kill me as I woke her.  Rather, she immediately engaged in conversation.  Conversation!  What a novel idea!  Where has this woman been all my life?!    She endeared herself to me further by starting it with "Name's Angi and if you try anything stupid I won't hesitate to put in arrow in your head."  After I assurred her that I had no intention of hurting her, Angi spoke freely.  Turns out she had had the usual experiences in Skyrim - that is, a close brush with death when her family was murdered by two drunken Imperials.  I  asked if she'd like some help dealing with them, and she smiled and said she already had, and why did I think she was living out there?  I think I'm in love.  She mentioned she was handy with a bow and I asked her to teach me a few things, whereupon we spent a lovely night with her reminiscing about her childhood, demonstrating her superior skill with a bow, and instructing me on how better to impale hostile things with pointy things from a significant distance.

Apparently there's a temple of Mara in Riften where you can get married.  A trip to Riften might not be so bad if Angi will agree to join me.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:44:25 am by MP-Ryan »
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser


Slow Time, surprise!



Pro-tip:  The man wearing your species' skin is not to be trifled with.

(This encounter was the first time I got a kill-cam involving a dragon).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 08:57:23 am by MP-Ryan »
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
I'm way behind on logs, but I have more coming soon.  Just didn't want people to think I've bailed =)
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
So many happenings, so far behind, so little time to write things up.

...in which Ryne's life in Skyrim goes to the dogs...

Skyrim is a lonely wasteland of broken promises, broken hearts, and broken skulls.  Fortunately, the reason I haven't filled in my journal in recent weeks has more to do with the first two than the latter.

Well, at least, I've been the victim of several broken promises that inevitably led to attempted murder, my heart is broken and I've broken the skull of many person or creature that has tried to murder me for reasons ranging from the idiotic to the mildly justified.  Angi wasn't interested in traveling with me, and who's to blame her?  My life is full of murder attempts, mundane tasks, and a quest of destiny hanging over my head.  What respectable lethal woman wants that for a husband?  One day I'll find a good woman that wants me.  The barmaid in Falkreath got my heart racing, but she wasn't interested in anything more than flirting, and Angi was quite possibly the best woman I've met, but she's more interested in staying on her own in the mountains.  The only other woman with whom I've had any connection were Berlyna, who turned me into a cow and is therefore probably not the ideal choice for a spouse, and Ysolda in Whiterun, who keeps commenting on how nice it is to see me.  Maybe one day.

At any rate, after having my heart crushed - not literally, thankfully, that's always a risk in Skyrim - by Angi, I headed back down to Falkreath to drown my sorrows in the Deadsomething bar they have and admire the serving girl.  She has excellent taste in attire.

When I waltzed into town after skydiving off the mountains in ethereal form - thank you, Dragon shouts - the guard mentioned something about a dog and told me to talk to Lod, the blacksmith.  I got lost on my way to meet the fellow, and ended up in Falkreath's substantial graveyard.  This town apparently has the highest population of dead people relative to living inhabitants of anywhere in Tamriel, possibly on Nirn itself.  Well, excepting your average Nord barrow, but they don't count.  While there, I ran into a very distraught man and his wife, and talked with the local priest.  It seems a drifter naming Sinding came through town and tore his young daughter limb-from-limb for no apparent reason.  Sounds like Skyrim to me, tragic though it is.  They suggested I drop by the prison and see the murderer if I thought I could pry some informaton from him.

At any rate, I found Lod, who informed me that he *really* wanted a good dog, and like any normal resident of this country, couldn't be bothered to get off his Nordic ass and go find one himself, so would I mind?  Yes, I bloody well would!

Trudging out of town, I pondered if the rewards of getting suckered into these little adventures are really worth it and wouldn't I be much happier with a pretty wife, couple kids, and prosperous enchanting business in a safe walled town as far from Skyrim as one can get when a shaggy dog came around the bend in the road, walked up with it's tail wagging, and said "Hello."

Quite literally, it *said* "Hello."  Now, I can't speak for the reader of this journal, but dogs that speak in a language I understand are sufficiently rare at the time of this writing that this occasioned some comment.  Naturally, it didn't strike up conversation merely for the sake of it, but rather because it was looking for me to do something for it.  I briefly contemplated stuffy his shaggy hide in a sack and dumping him on Lod, but then he revealed he was actually Barbas.  For those unfamiliar with Barbas, he is the Hound of Clavicus Vile, Daedric Lord of doing sneaky underhanded ****ty things to mortals.  Rumour has it that Barbas is really the only force that keeps Vile in check... and given my dealings with the Daedric Princes to date, I figured I might manage some kind of bargain that works in my favour.  Really, given what I've read of Vile, I was hoping that I could give him a taste of his own medicine, and having his paired Hound at one's disposal is not a chance one passes up lightly.  Though, in retrospect, I should have met Barbas at the cave where Vile's Shrine was located, as guide dog he wasn't.

Following Barbas, barking his fool head off up the hill - all well and good for him, but apparently he didn't have my experience with the inhabitants of Skyrim's road system - we came upon a pair of wooden towers from which a pair of bandits tried to turn me into a pincushion and then tried to squash me with rocks.  I also discovered how remarkable Barbas' combat prowess was - or rather, remarkable for the lack of it.  After I dispatched the bandits, he continued on up the hill and demonstrated his second bit of folly by going through Helgen - apparently a minor event like a cataclysmic dragon attack doesn't perturb Daedra - which was also covered in bow-wielding bandits.

Plucking arrows from my armour joints and casting healing spells, I continued to follow barbas through various ambushes of people and critters until we arrived at the cave and headed inside... and then spent the next half hour carving my way through vampires, gargoyles, and thralls before arriving at the rather dilapidated Shrine of Clavicus Vile... which was short one Barbas.  Vile living up to his reputation immediately engaged me in a bargain to retrieve the Rueful Axe for him.  Barbas cautioned me - it seems the Axe was given to its current owner by Vile after the fellow pleaded with him to help his vampire daughter.  And some people worship this daedric clown.  My faithful daedric canine agreed to assist me and so we headed across the country to a tiny cave suspended above a very long cliff on the northwestern coast.  And I walked very, very carefully, having no desire to fall off another mountain.

Entering the cave, I thought I might convince the fellow to trade the axe or give it away, but no, he conjured some atronachs that I had to dispatch before taking off his head, as apparently my dabbling in Illusion magic was insufficient to pacify him.  Well, I tried.

Back in the Clavicus Cave of Vile Decoration, I was presented with a choice:  Clavicus wanted me to kill Barbas with the axe, thereby sending him back to Oblivion in a weakened form and allowing Clavicus unmitigated playtime for years to come.  In return, I'd get to keep the Rueful Axe.  Clavicus was adamant that Barbas definitely did not want him to have that axe... which makes any suspicious Daedra-dealer immediately wonder why he would tell me that unless there is something he thinks I'd want more and which would hurt it/him more to hand over.  Aside from the Axe being not terribly impressive next to my dragonbone sword, Essencebane, what with it's ability to absorb health, set the target on fire, and trap souls, I wasn't terribly tempted.  The thought of Clavicus free to do his will without check for years to come also seemed like a way to make myself and Tamriel generally both immensely Rueful, axe notwithstanding.  Plus, Barbas wasn't a bad fellow, guide duties notwithstanding.  Instead, I spoke to Barbas, who suggested I trade the Axe for a much better reward - the Masque of Clavicus Vile, and in the process get Barbas back where he belonged, holding Vile himself in check.  Which is precisely what I did, as both returned to stone, Daedra and faithful companion beside him.

I trekked back to Falkreath to give Lod the bad news and detoured by Whiterun on the way, where the Companions told me to clear out some bandits in a mine also near Falkreath.  Stopping in at the prison, I met Sinding.  Sinding did not have my competence with Daedra.  Sinding, rather, is an unfortunate werewolf who got himself caught up with Hircine after stealing a ring that he hoped would control his transformations... and instead set him on a murderous rampage, killing the young girl in the process.  I offered to try my luck with the Daedra and see if I couldn't help Sinding out - the man seemed a rather pathetic wretch.  No sooner did he hand me the ring, though, that he shifted to wolfish form and climbed out of the well-turned-jail.

That did not go quite as planned.

I headed out in search of the white stag which Sinding assurred me would put me in touch with Hircine, and after climbing an enormous mountain, discovered it at the bottom of the other side, which I could have simply walked around.  If only this Dragonborn gig conferred wings, or the ability to fly ON dragons.  Three arrows later, I was having a discussion with a Daedra via the ghostly image of a stag.  Hircine was not at all pleased with Sinding, and ordered me off to a cave to dispatch him and bring the Daedric prince his hide.  That seemed a little extreme, but Daedra aren't exactly known for their sense of fairness and moderation.

Off to the cave I went, stopping by the mine to clear out the Bandits and earn my keep as a member of the Companions.  It wasn't much fuss - at this point in my life in Skyrim, a half-dozen bandits flinging various pointy implements in my direction barely captures my attention.  Once again, you'd think when someone shows up wearing the skin and carrying the sharpened bones of a monstrous flying lizard that breathes fire, frost, or all manner of other nasty magickal tooth decay, that those  wearing the skins of dead deer and carrying around weapons made of same things you make dinnerware out of might rethink their course of action and flee.  Once again, you would be wrong.

That mundane task completed, I arrived at the cave where Hircine sent me, and headed inside.  The grotto was bathed in an eerie light, and I found Sinding, in wolf form, dispatching some bears at the top of the cliff.  I still felt sorry for the man, and resolved to do my best to assist him against the other Hunters Hircine had sent.

Mind, for Hunters sent by a Daedric Prince, they didn't prove all that formidable, either.  Sinding promised to remain in the cave wehere he couldn't hurt anyone and I prepared to depart, noting that an expression of Hircine's thoughts on his Hunt being thwarted was suspiciously absent immediately following the demise of his Hunters.  I left the grotto with sword in hand, took two steps toward the road, and  nearly fell over when the ghostly stag reappeared in front of me and Hircine actually laughed!  He then proceeded to reward me for "Turning the Hunt" around by removing the curse on his stolen ring.  So now, should I become a werewolf, I can use it to transform multiple times per day.  Funny story...

...when I got back to Whiterun, the Companions got very secretive, invited me into the Underforge that night, and offered me the shot to turn into a werewolf, whereupon Skjor went off after the Silver Hand on his own, Aela and I went after him, and I discovered that being a werewolf isn't nearly as powerful as merely being me these days.  Oh well.  Skjor also appeared to discover the fallibility of being a werewolf, as Aela and I found his corpse.  This led to some bitterness, and me being dispatched to kill a leader (the Leader?) of the Silver Hand... only after which did Kodlak inform me that the whole werewolf thing is actually a recent curse produced by some witches/hagravens.  Guess who gets to deal with the witches?

Beware of tattooed women who can turn into wolves bearing gifts... they appear to come with more strings attached than you might initially think.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 12:36:42 pm by MP-Ryan »
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Re: The immensely irritating adventures of Ryne Stormchaser
If only this Dragonborn gig conferred wings, or the ability to fly ON dragons.

Oddly convenient turn of phrase, or forshadowing??