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Messages - Wotan

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Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:45:53 AM »
"What in the World was that racket? Is Everything all right?" Tolfdir wondered. "We're trapped in here!" I said. "How in the World did that happen?" "I pulled an amulet off the wall." "Really? Perhaps the amulet is important somehow. Is there some way you can use it?" Tolfdir said.

I pocketed my amulet of Talos and put the strange saarthal amulet around my neck. It had a weak enchantment to ease spellcasting.
"Some kind of resonance... you and the wall. It must be connected to the amulet! I wonder... what effect might your spells have?" Tolfdir said.

Master Tolfdir was right - there was something going on. But instead of using my spells, I had a different idea. I tried my Unrelenting Force shout at the wall...

It definitely had an effect...

"Well, this is highly unusual. And very interesting. Why in the World would this be sealed off? What is this Place? I'm not sure what to expect here. Plese be on your guard," Tolfdir said.
The old wizard took the lead as he stepped through the opening and into the winding tunnel beyond. Our Group followed behind...

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: January 04, 2018, 05:21:19 PM »
Timeline Series - Vol 1 Before the Ages of Man by Aicantar of Shimerene
Before man came to rule Tamriel, and before the chronicles of the historians recorded the affairs of the rulers of Tamriel, the events of our world are known only through myths and legends, and through the divinely inspired teachings of the Nine Divines.
For convenience, historians divide the distant ages of prehistory into two broad periods of time -- the Dawn Era, and the Merethic Era.
* The Dawn Era *
The Dawn Era is that period before the beginning of mortal time, when the feats of the gods take place. The Dawn Era ends with the exodus of the gods and magic from the World at the founding of the Adamantine Tower.
The term 'Merethic' comes from the Nordic, literally, "Era of the Elves." The Merethic Era is the prehistoric time after the exodus of the gods and magic from the World at the founding of the Adamantine Tower and before the arrival of Ysgramor the Nord in Tamriel.
The following are the most notable events of the Dawn Era, presented roughly in sequence as it must be understaoo by creatures of time such as ourselves.
The Cosmos formed from the Aurbis [chaos, or totality] by Anu and Padomay. Akatosh (Auriel) formed and Time began. The Gods (et'Ada) formed. Lorkhan convinced -- or tricked -- the Gods into creating the mortal plane, Nirn. The mortal plane was at this point highly magical and dangerous. As the Gods walked, the physical make-up of the mortal plane and even the timeless continuity of existence itself became unstable.
When Magic (Magnus), architect of the plans for the mortal world, decided to terminate the project, the Gods convened at the Adamantine Tower [Direnni Tower, the oldest known structure in Tamriel] and decided what to do. Most left when Magic did. Others sacrificed themselves into other forms so that they might Stay (the Ehlnofey). Lorkhan was condemned by the Gods to exile in the mortal realms, and his heart was torn out and cast from the Tower. Where it landed, a Volcano formed. With Magic (in the Mythic Sense) gone, the Cosmos stabilized. Elven history, finally linear, began (ME2500).
* The Merethic Era *
The Merethic Era was figured by early Nord scholars as a series of years numbered in reverse order backward from the their 'beginning of time' -- the founding of the Camoran Dynasty, recorded as Year Zero of the First Era. The prehistoric events of the Merethic Era are listed here with their traditional Nordic Merethic dates. The earliest Merethic date cited by King Harald's scholars was ME2500 -- the Nordic reckoning of the first year of time. As such, the Merethic Era extends from ME2500 in the distant past to ME1 -- the year before the founding of the Camoran Dysnasty and the establishment of the White Gold Tower as an indepenent city-state.
According to King Harald's bards, ME2500 was the date of construction of the Adamantine Tower on Balfiera Island in High Rock, the oldest known structure of Tamriel. (This corresponds roughly to the earliest historical dates given in various unpublished Elvish chronicles.)
During the early Merethic Era, the aboriginal beastpeoples of Tamriel -- the ancestors of the Khajiit, Argonian, Orcish, and other beastfolk -- lived in preliterate communities throughout Tamriel.
In the Middle Merethic Era, the Aldmeri (mortals of Elven origin) refugees left their doomed and now-lost continent of Aldmeris (also known as 'Old Ehlnofey') and settled in southwestern Tamriel. The first colonies were distributed at wide intervals on islands along the entire coast of Tamriel. Later inland settlements were founded primarily in fertile lowlands in southwest and central Tamriel. Wherever the beastfolk encountered the Elves, the sophisticated, literate, technologically advanced Aldmeri cultures displaced the primitive beastfolk into the jungles, marshes, mountains, and wastelands. The Adamantine Tower was rediscovered and captured by the Direnni, a prominent and powerful Aldmeri clan. The Crystal Tower was built on Summerset Isle and, later, White Gold Tower in Cyrodiil.
During the Middle Merethic Era, Aldmeri explorers mapped the coasts of Vvardenfel, building the First Era High Elven wizard towers at Ald Redaynia, Bal Fell, Tel Aruhn, and Tel Mora in Morrowind. It was also during this period that Ayleid [Wild Elven] settlements flourished in the jungles surrounding White Gold Tower (present day Cyrodiil). Wild Elves, also known as the Heartland High Elves, preserved the Dawn Era magics and language of the Ehlnofey. Ostensibly a tribute-land to the High King of Alinor, the Heartland's long lines of communication from the Summerset Isles' sovereignty effectively isolated Cyrodill from the High Kings at Crystal Tower.
The Late Middle Merethic Era is the period of the High Velothi Culture. The Chimer, ancestors of the modern Dunmer, or Dark Elves, were dynamic, ambitious, long-lived Elven clans devoted to fundamentalist ancestor worship. The Chimer clans followed the Prophet Veloth out of the ancestral Elven homelands in the southwest to settle in the lands now known as Morrowind. Despising the secular culture and profane practices of the Dwemer, the Chimer also coveted the lands and resources of the Dwemer, and for centuries provoked them with minor raids and territorial disputes. The Dwemer (Dwarves), free-thinking, reclusive Elven clans devoted to the secrets of science, engineering, and alchemy, established underground cities and communities in the mountain range (later the Velothi Mountains) separating modern Skyrim and Morrowind.
The Late Merethic Era marks the precipitous decline of Velothi culture. Some Velothi settled in villages near declining and abandoned ancient Velothi towers. During this period, Velothi high culture disappeared on Vvardenfell Island. The earliest Dwemer Freehold colonies date from this period. Degenerate Velothi devolved into tribal cultures which, in time, evolved into the modern Great Houses of Morrowind, or persisted as the barbarian Ashlander tribes. The only surviving traces of this tribal culture are scattered Velothi towers and Ashlander nomads on Vvardenfell Island. The original First Era High Elven wizard towers along the coasts of Tamriel were also abandoned about this time.
It was in the Late Merethic Era that the pre-literate humans, the so-called "Nedic Peoples", from the continent of Atmora (also 'Altmora' or 'the Elder Wood' in Aldmeris) migrated and settleed in northern Tamriel. The Nord culture hero Ysgramor, leader of a great colonizing fleet to Tamriel, is credited with developing a runic transcription of Nord speech based on Elvish principles, and so Ysgramor is considered the first human historian. Ysgramor's fleet landed at Hsaarik Head at the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. The Nords built there the legendary city of Saarthal. The Elves drove the Men away during the Night of Tears, but Ysgramor soon returned with his Five Hundred Companions.
Also during the Late Merethic Era the legendary immortal hero, warrior, sorceror, and king variously known as Pelinal Whitestrake, Harrald Hairy Breeks, Ysmir, Hans the Fox, etc., wandered Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again.

"Well, are there any questions Before we begin?" Tolfdir said. "What's so important about this Place?" I asked. "We're particularly interested in the prevalence of magical seals placed on the tombs here. It's rather unlike anything we've encountered." "I don't have any more questions. What would you like me to do?" "Ah, yes. Hmm. Well, why don't you see if you can assist Arniel Gane? He's one of our scholars, here working on cataloging our finds. I expect he'd appreciate some help in locating additional artifacts here in the ruins. Any enchanted items will do, the usefulness of the enchantment is irrelevant. If you find anything, the class can look it over. Now, let's see. What shall we have the rest of you do? Brelyna, my dear, why don't you search for warding Magics. Anything designed to keep people out. Don't interact with them, just identify them. Onmund, please search that area over there. See if you notice any... residual energies. Alive or undead. J'zargo... what shall we have you do... Ah! Why don't you verufy that we're the first ones here? Look for any amount of tampering with the tombs. All right, everyone. Let's be careful, but have fun!" Tolfdir said. "J'zargo finds nothing but dust in these ruins," the Khajiit muttered.

The scholar I was supposed to assist was working alone in another section. He wasn't too pleased to be interrupted by our arrival...

"Well, certainly none of this will benefit my research..." Arniel Gane said. "Tolfdir sent me to help you," I said. "Ah, yes. You. I remember you. You're going to help? That's fine. Just... just don't make a mess of my work. I've only looked through a portion of this section. You, uh, you can look around in the chambers just North of here. Try and be careful, all right? We don't want to damage anything."

The Girls started searching the chambers, and quickly they found a couple of enchanted rings.
"This Place is scary... Are you sure we will manage?" Vilja said.
I don't know what could make her nervous, maybe it was a maternal thing. She need not worry. Mimi and Haspina are bright Children who can look after themselves. Mirai and Tolfdir picked up the rear just as I spotted something interesting - an amulet hanging on the wall...

I pulled the amulet from the wall, and there was a crash behind us. The sound of heavy metal striking the ground - the sound of a portcullis closing...

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: January 03, 2018, 11:25:59 PM »
With our errand done, we set out for Saarthal...

Of course, we were late and the others were already waiting for us.

Before we entered, Tolfdir gave us another safety reminder...

"As some of you may know, Saarthal was one of the earliest Nord settlements in Skyrim. It was also the largest. Sacked by the elves in the infamous Night of Tears, not much is known about what happened to Saarthal. This is an exiting opportunity for us. To be able to study such an early civilization, and the magics they used..." Tolfdir said.

Night of Tears by Dranor Seleth
Saarthal holds a prominent place in Skyrim history, even if most do not remember it by name. It is of course the site of one of the first major Nord settlements, one of the first cities of men in Skyrim, and the earliest known capital of their civilization. It was also the site of terrible bloodshed, when the elves attempted to drive the Nords out of Skyrim, to succeed only in incurring their wrath in the form of Ysgramor and his fabled Five Hundred Companions, who swept the elves from Skyrim and firmly established it as the home of the Nords.
All this is known, but little else. What happened on that Night of Tears, when Saarthal was razed to the ground? What provoked the elves to such a deliberate, vicious attack, and what prompted such a severe response from the Nords?
Vingalmo's Treatise on the Altmer Antecedent suggests that the elves of the Merethic Era, along with their counterparts the early Dwemer, possessed a degree of sophistication unparalleled in Tamriel. They displayed power beyond what could be expected of the time. While a distinct explanation is not given for this, I believe that this work, compared with the early writings of Heseph Chirirnis, suggest that something greater was at work on that night in Saarthal.
The true motives behind the Night of Tears have been obscured to us by the passage of time, but I believe this was not a simple war of territory, or of control of Skyrim. I believe that what happened was a significant event based around something very particular.
The Nords found something when they built their city, buried deep in the ground. They attempted to keep it buried, but the elves learned of it and coveted it for themselves. Thus they assaulted Saarthal, their goal not to drive the Nords out but to secure this power for themselves. I believe Ysgramor knew something of what the elves would find under Saarthal, and rallied together his people to keep the elves from gaining it. When Nords once again controlled Skyrim, this power was buried deep below the earth and sealed away.
Time has kept this knowledge from us, but it is my hope that Time will also reveal the truth of these words. Every effort will be made to relocate Saarthal, and find that which has been lost to us.

Merethic Era by Xan
The term 'Merethic' comes from the Nordic, literally, "Era of the Elves." The Merethic Era was described by early Nord scholars as a series of years numbered in reverse order backward from the first event in their recorded history -- the founding of the Camoran Dynasty, which functions as the starting point of the First Era. The prehistoric events of the Merethic Era are listed here with their traditional Nordic Merethic dates. The earliest Merethic date cited by King Harald's scholars was ME2500 -- the Nordic reckoning of the first year of time. As such, the Merethic Era extends from ME2500 in the distant past to ME1 -- the year before the founding of the Camoran Dynasty and the establishment of White-Gold Tower as an independent city-state.
Circa ME 2500: Supposed date of construction of the Adamantine Tower on Balfiera Island in High Rock, the oldest known structure of Tamriel. Earliest historical date in unpublished Elvish chronicles.
Early Merethic Era: Aboriginal beastpeoples (ancestors of the Khajiit, Argonians, Orcish (goblin-kin), and other Beastfolk) live in preliterate communities throughout Tamriel.
Middle Merethic Era
The Aldmer (Elves) leave the doomed and now-lost continent of Aldmeris (also known as 'Old Ehlnofey') and settle Tamriel. Their first colonies are distributed widely along the entire coast of Tamriel. Later inland settlements are founded primarily in fertile lowlands in southwest and central Tamriel. The sophisticated, literate, technologically advanced Aldmeri culture drives the beastfolk into the jungles, marshes, mountains, and wastelands. The Adamantine Tower is rediscovered and captured by the Direnni, a prominent and powerful Aldmeri clan. Crystal Tower is built on Summerset Isle and, later, White-Gold Tower in Cyrodiil.
During the Middle Merethic Era, Aldmeri explorers map the coasts of Vvardenfel, building the foundation of the First Era wizard towers at Ald Redaynia, Bal Fell, Tel Aruhn, and Tel Mora in Morrowind. For more information: Before the Ages of Man.
The Ayleids flourish in the jungles surrounding White-Gold Tower (present day Cyrodiil). Wild Elves, also known as the Heartland High Elves, preserved the Dawn Era magicks and language of the Ehlnofey. Ostensibly a tribute-land to the High King of Alinor, Cyrod was often so isolated from the Summerset Isles as to be its own sovereign nation.   
Late Middle Merethic Era: The Dwemer (sometimes referred to as 'Dwarves'), a free-thinking, reclusive Aldmeri clan devoted to the secrets and exploitation of science and myth, establish underground cities and communities in the mountain range (later the Velothi Mountains) separating modern-day Skyrim and modern-day Morrowind.For more information: The Annotated Anuad.
The Chimer (ancestors of the Dunmer, or Dark Elves), dynamic, ambitious, long-lived Aldmeri clans devoted to fundamentalist ancestor worship, follow the prophet Veloth out of their ancestral Aldmeri homelands to settle in the lands now known as Morrowind. Despising the secular culture and profane practices of the Dwemer, the Chimer also covet the lands and resources of the Dwemer, and for centuries provoke them with minor raids and territorial disputes.For more information: Lives of the Saints, A Short History of Morrowind,
Trinimac (strongest of the Aldmeri ancestor spirits) and his people try to halt the Velothi dissident movement. However, the Daedric Prince Boethiah, one of the masterminds of the movement, eats Trinimac. Trinimac's body and spirit are corrupted, and he emerges as the Daedric Prince Malacath. His people are changed accordingly and become the Orsimer, or Orcs.
For more information: The True Nature of Orcs, Varieties of Faith in the Empire, The Anticipations.
Circa ME 1000: Fleeing civil war and an increasingly frigid climate, Ysgramor and his men set sail from the northern continent of Atmora and land at Hsaarik Head, the extreme northern tip of Skyrim's Broken Cape. There the Atmorans build the legendary city of Saarthal and make first contact with the Aldmer or Elves of Tamriel.
The Atmorans and the Elves live in harmony for some time, but the relationship quickly turns hostile. In the city of Saarthal, the Atmorans find the Eye of Magnus. An unknown but powerful artifact that could endanger the world. The Elves learn this and decides to secure the artifact. The 'Night of Tears' happens, the city of Saarthal is sacked and destroyed. Ysgramor escapes to Atmora and soon returns with his legendary Five Hundred Companions and eventually takes the whole Skyrim from the Elves, laying the foundations of first human empire in Tamriel. His people would later come to be known as the Nords of Skyrim. The Dwemer in Blackreach, deep beneath Skyrim, are not affected by the war with the Nords.
Later on, Ysgramor develops a runic transcription of Nordic speech based on Elvish principles and is the first human historian.
For more information: Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil, University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344, Night of Tears.
Late Merethic Era - 1E 668: One faction of the Elves, known as the Snow Elves are cornered in the eastern island of Solstheim. In the 'Battle of the Moesring,' the Snow Prince, the leader of the Snow Elves army is killed. The Snow Elves are scattered and seek refuge to the Dwemer in Blackreach. The Dwemer trick the Snow Elves, make them blind and enslave them. They are now known as the Falmer. In some point in time, the Falmer rebel and the 'War of the Crag' enrages in Blackreach. The war is ended when the Dwemer vanished in the 1E 668.
For more information: Fall of the Snow Prince, The Falmer: A study.
Late Merethic Era - Circa 1E139: The Nords brought with them the Atmoran worship of animal gods. It is unknown how the situation came about, but in time the dragon priests had come to rule the Nords with an iron fist. They are however unable to maintain control and a rebellion known as 'The Dragon War' starts. Initially the Nords are crushed by the priests and dragons. However a few dragons take the side of the Nords. The dragon Paarthurnax teaches the Nords the magical language of the dragons to form the Thu'um or shout. The Nords eventually overthrow the dragon priests and the dragons are scattered. Even so, hold outs of dragon cultists remain well into the First Era, believing that the dragons will return.
For more information: The Dragon War, Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal.
Late Merethic Era: Velothi high culture disappears on Vvardenfell island. The earliest Dwemer Freehold colonies date from this period. The degenerate Velothi civilization devolves into tribal cultures, which, in time, evolve into the modern Great Houses of Morrowind, or persists as the barbarian Ashlander tribes. The only surviving traces of this tribal culture are scattered Velothi towers and Ashlander nomads on Vvardenfell Island. The original First Era High Elven wizard towers along the coasts of Tamriel are also abandoned about this time. For more information: Before the Ages of Man.
Meanwhile, other human tribes live scattered throughout Tamriel, often under the dominion of the culturally superior Aldmer:
"The Nedic peoples were a minority in a land of Elves, and had no choice but to live peacefully with the Elder Race. In High Rock, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil, and possibly Morrowind, they did just that, and the Nedic peoples flourished and expanded over the last centuries of the Merethic Era." - from Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil, University of Gwylim Press, 3E 344.
Merethic Era - Circa 1E 660: An immortal hero, warrior, sorceror, and king variously known as Pelinal Whitestrake, Harrald Hairy Breeks, Ysmir, Hans the Fox, etc., wanders Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again.

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: January 03, 2018, 12:44:55 AM »
On our way back, we ran into some strange creatures...

"What were those things?" I wondered. "I... I'm not sure. They were... horrible! That last one looked just like... my mother," Anduniel said. "That's ridiculou. Your mother's dead. This was some kind of monster." "I know... silly of me. Come on. Let's get out of here," she said.
The encounter with those monsters led us on a minor detour...

Atronach Forge Manual
Nephew -
I apologize that I cannot see you personally before you leave. The trip from Sadrith Mora is treacherous this season, or I would have visited upon hearing the news. The Nords have a fine college at Winterhold, and I am sure you will excel. You may know that I, too, attended there. I was quite the conjuration adept in my own day. I am sending you my notes on something called the 'Atronach Forge', a bit of a project of mine while at Winterhold.
Mention nothing to the faculty, but ask your fellow pupils about a place called the Midden. You will find the Forge there. I fear a number of my notes are missing, scattered and lost in my travels around Skyrim. Perhaps you may stumble across these in your own adventures.
The Atronach Forge offers few clues as to who built it, and even fewer as to how to unlock its full potential. Only through blind experimentation, and a few singed eyebrows, have I been able to understand its function.
The Forge is mostly a large dais, almost crude of make, but emblazoned with the traditional Daedric  rune. An offering box is attached, as well as a prominent lever. The Dais also features a large setting which seems set to receive some large, spherical object. I have had no luck determining what this missing object may be, however, or what effect it may have on the efficacy of the Forge.
The Forge is activated by placing certain items into the offering box, and then pulling the lever. The Forge consumes the items and conjures something upon the dais. The conjuration can be predicted reliably if the appropriate items are left in the box - but many combinations either have no effect or catastrophic reactions. Once I conjured a wild goat! Well, most of the goat, at least.
Experimenting wildly with the Forge is dangerous. I've recorded such recipes as I have discovered on the following pages.
The simplest, yet perhaps most hazardous stable recipe is that for a summoned atronach. The conjured brutes will attack the first thing they see, however! Be ready for battle if you have reason to use these recipes.
Flame Atronach:
Fire Salts + Ruby
Frost Atronach:
Frost Salts + Sapphire
Storm Atronach:
Void Salts + Amethyst

"We brought your things," I said. "Thank you. I've been afraid to go down there lately. I hope you didn't find trouble?" Tatiyana said. "Some monsters attacked us. We're not sure what they were," I said. "Oh dear! Well, I'm certainly glad you made it back safely. What were they like? These... monsters?" "One was a Chaurus, then a horrible Hagraven. And the last was an Elf that looked like my mother. They were all cloaked in fire," Anduniel said. "Hmm... I seem to remember... aren't you, pardon me, afraid of Charus? And Hagravens, how do you feel about them?" Tatiyana said. "Well... I'm not exactly afraid of them, but I don't like them either," Anduniel said. "And the last, the one that looked like your mother. That must have represented guilt, and sadness. I've Heard of this kind of thing happening, though never Heard of a documented case before. Your feelings of doubt, loss, and guilt must have manifested into real, corporeal menaces. Incredible. Oh, dear. I am so sorry you had to go through that. But on the Bright side, you faced your fears, and you won. Now that's something to Crow about," Tatiyana said. "Do you need anything else from us?" I wondered. "I'm afraid so, yes. I have in my notes here that I used water from the Eldergleam Sanctuary. I'd forgotten about that. It is sacred water, blessed by the healing Power of Kynareth. I boiled an Eldergleam leaf and a Hawk feather in this water. I need you to go and get them for me. Please," Tatiyana said. "Of course we'll get them for you. We'll be back soon," I said. "Thank you. I will wait here. When you return, I'll have the rest of the preparations ready. Here, you can collect water in this jug," she said.

Off Topic / Re: Lurker's Lair
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:57:59 AM »
Just posted my first story update for this year

*New Years lurk*

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:43:44 AM »
Visiting Saarthal sounded like it could be very interesting, but... first there was something we had to do...

Locating the entrance to the Midden was eay enough...

We ran into a few critters down there, as mentioned by Tatiyana, nothing of any concern. The chamber we were looking for wasn't too hard to find...

"Why go to so much trouble? Was it purely a healer's compassion, or was she someone Close to Tatiyana? And here the patient lay, in a coma, near Death... If not for the Cold, it is much like my mother. That must be Tatiyana's journal that she wanted us to retrieve. Let's get back to her quickly! And don't forget the Hawk feather. There should be one here..." Anduniel said.

Notes on the disease here named "Soul Rot"
"Soul Rot," is so named because its victims slowly lose their sense of self. Over a period of time, which depending on the individual could range from mere months to several years or decades, the mind slowly degenerates. Victims gradually lose their mental capacity, and thus, their ability to function normally in society.
The first known case of Soul Rot in Tamriel occurred in Valenwood, just a few years past. The victim was a female Bosmer. All attempts to find a cure were unrewarded, and left healers baffled. The Bosmer left behind a devastated husband and daughter.
It was an isolated case, and soon forgotten by most healers. Recently, however, Another woman fell victim to the illness. Drawing on data gathered from the Bosmer's daughter Anduniel, other healers, and several musty old volumes in the College library, I conducted an experimental treatment, anfd hoped for a miracle.
The Divines granted one.
Though my skills in Alteration and Illusion pale in comparison to others, my talent in Alchemy is highly recognized. I brewed potions to magnify these magical abilities in myself, and then used those Powers to Project a Three-dimensional image of the victim's blood abover her head, magnified several thousand fold. What I found was astounding.
There appeared to be hundrds, thousands, of tiny... animals, monsters, living in and feeding off of her brain. Too small to see with the Eyes alone, these beings were killing her from the inside out.
At the time I met this woman, I was engaged on a short pilgrimage, traveling through the Rift and broadening my knowledge of alchemical ingredients. I was a day's ride from Sarethi's farm when I chanced on a family traveling in the same direction. We spoke a while as I rode beside them. When they learned I'm a healer, they begged me to have a look at their niece who had been behaving oddly.
When I saw the Young lady, I immediately thought of Anduniel'd poor mother, and wondered if perchance it could be the same illness. I persuaded the family to let me take her to the College of Winterhold, where I'd have more Tools and counsel available. They agreed.
After we arrived, something unexpected happened: her behavior gradually returned to normal. After a few Days, she had enough strenth to walk, a week more and she resumed speaking, asking when she might return home. The possibility then occurred to me that the Cold itself could be aiding her recovery. But Before I released her, I had to make sure.
I performed a small blood test. Isolating some of her blood into three samples, I kept one as a Control, lit a fire under the second, and kept the third over ice and frost salts. To each sample I added some raw animal flesh asa source of food.
Using my magical image technique I explained earlier, I observed that in the sample that was heated from the fire, the tiny monsters reproduced and multiplied much more quickly. In the sample over ice they seemed to stop completely. The bets in the sample that was neither hot nor Cold continued to reproduce at a slower rate.
Next I tried heating the sample that was Cold. To my horror the Little beasts seemed to "Wake up" and continued to multiply, as if they'd not been slowed down at all! Hence I found that extreme Cold does not kill them, it merely halts their progress.
After I came across an old book in the Arcaneum about Kynareth and the healing Powers of the Eldergleam Tree, I sent a letter to Danica Purespring, asking for any knowledge she had that could supplement mine. She remembered Anduniel coming to her for help and regretted not being able to give any. But upon hearing what I'd found about the Eldergleam, she suggested adding some leaves from the Tree, and the water that feeds it, into a cure potion.
I convinced the Young lady, with some difficulty, to try this treatment on her. I put her in a state of constant sleep with a Sleep Drought, and kept her alive by a combination of Health potions and Healing spells every few hours, day and night for Close to a week. This fatigued me greatly.
The next time I performed the image magic, to my relief the tiny monsters were nerly gone! To be certain to kill Evert one of them, I continued the treatment Another few Days, by which time there was no trace of them, and then a few Days more after that. The woman was free and healthy again. She could go home.

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 27, 2017, 08:15:39 AM »
After imbibing breakfast at the Frozen Hearth, we Went to the College...

"Are you Tatiyana?" I asked. "Yes, that I am. What can I do for you?" she said. "I'm here with Anduniel. She received a letter from you." "Anduniel? She's here? That's... great. Well, I suppose I should get this over with." "You don't sound very enthusiastic. She said you're friends," I said. "Did she? That was... kind of her. For my part, I admit I wasn't so friendly to her. To be completely honest, I was jealous mosyly. Jealous of her knack for magic. But in light of my recent Discovery, I felt I should put things right with her. Well hello, Anduniel. It's been a while," Tatiyana said. "Tatiyana, how are you?" "Good enough, I suppose. Look... Before we have any more small talk, I just need to say... I'm sorry." "Sorry for what?" Anduniel said. "I'm sorry for the way I treated you, giving you the Cold shoulder, being unsympathetic of your loss... all that. I just couldn't get past my jealousy of you, of your talent with magic. It felt like an insult to my being a Breton." "Only some types of magic. I could only master the basics of Restoration, and not enough to save my mother. But I bear you no ill will. I got your letter..." "Good. I'm glad that's settled. Now to business," Tatiyana said. "Why have you summoned us here?" I wondered. "I have uncovered some clues about this disease afflicted by Anduniel's mother. There has actually been Another incident. Well, something very closely resembling it. The interesting part is that once the victim was moved to a near freezing Environment, she began to remiss." "The illness could not survive the cold?" "That, or it simply was unable to thrive. To find out which it was, I isolated some of the patient's blood into thre samples: one as a Control, one in a hot Environment, the last in a cold one," Tatiyana said. "What did you find out?" "In the sample with no change, the blood darkened at a steady rate. In the hot one, it darkened much more quickly. And in the Cold one, the rate of change was barely noticeable. Once I brought the sample to freezing temperature, it stopped completely." "Great, so you've found a cure?" I said. "In a metter of speaking. If you venture down to the Midden, you will find the chamber in which I kept the patient while I treated her. Once I was convinced the illness had truly left her body, I released her. I expect she has reached her home by now." "What is the Midden?" I wondered. "A series of Chambers under the College. You might encounter a few Little nasties along the way... frostbite spiders, skeletons, and the like." "What are you looking for in this chamber?" "You'll need to pick up my notebook where I kept my records during the treatment. Also, please bring back a Hawk feather. I kept a small stash, just in case the patient crashed, they have strong restorative properties. Once you return, I'll brew a potent cure potion, and provide instructions on how to reproduce it," Tatiyana said. "Why didn't you do this yourself already," my daughter Haspina asked. "Because, to tell the truth, I'm a bit creeped out by the Midden. I Always felt like someone or... something was watching me down there. Once the patient was cured, I didn't want to go back there ever again, if I could help it," Tatiyana said. "What do we do with this potion?" I wondered. "Well, I assumed Anduniel would want to take it back home, seeing how the disease seems to thrive on heat, and Valenwood, Elsweyr... they're on the Southern coast. It's warm down there. Else, I suppose you could distribute it to other healers around Skyrim. I'm sure they would be grateful. And... do mention it came from me, won't you?" Tatiyana said.

After the chat with Tatiyana, we went to the Hall of Elements. The old Nord mage, Tolfdir, was holding a lecture for Three new student. They were a bit annoyed that he didn't teach them anything. It ended up with all of them turning to me and to my opinion. I suggested Tolfdir teach us something practical. He immediately volunteered me for this lesson - wards. I did know lesser ward, but it was not a spel I used often. But to demonstrate Tolfdir cast a destruction spell at me while I kept my ward up. The attack was negated by my protective spell - which was just what Tolfdir wanted to teach us. He finishe the lesson saying: "The College has undertaken a fascinating excavation in the ruins of Saarthal nearby. It's an excellent Learning opportunity. I suggest we meet there in a few hours, and see what awaits us inside. That's all for now, thank you." "I hope you don't mind if I come with you to Saarthal. After all, also I could do with some new knowledge in various applications of magic," Vilja said.

Off Topic / Re: Lurker's Lair
« on: December 25, 2017, 08:44:36 AM »
Updated all the Youtube vids in my thread to the widescreen format:

*Flash video lurk*

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 25, 2017, 04:35:49 AM »
"My friend, Tatiyana, may be up at the College, or else in the Frozen Hearth. I remember she likes the wine there," Anduniel said. "I wonder where the College members buy their food and Daily wares. Obviously not at Brina's store, then she would have been more wealthy," Vilja mused.

Faralda, an Altmer mage was guarding the bridge to the College. She eyed me and my followers. She asked why we wanted to enter the College. I explained who we were looking for. She then said she couldn't let just anyone enter, but she must have seen the dragon get killed. She led us past the wards...

As it was rather late already, we Went back to the inn. They never had so many people come in at one time before...

"I'm looking for a book..." I said. "Book? I have plenty of books. Care to narrow it down more?" Delric said. "It was reently sold to you by a blonde Breton..." "Ahh, you must mean these old Daedric artifacts I've just come upon, very rare find. I'm a Little reluctant in parting with it... if not for the right price. 1000 gold and the pages are yours." "That's a Little much for some loose pages..." I said. "Hmm... I suppose so. Very well, I'll cut it in half. 500 is my final offer." "Okay, here is 500 gold." "I should warn you, there's some strange Magics attached to that piece. Whoever wrote it didn't want just anyone to read it," Delric said. I turned to my Young Breton companion. "Here's one of the pages, I don't know how helpful it is," I told her. "Let me see it..." Mirai said.

"Are you okay?!" I said. "I Think so... just it's... hard to Breathe... my chest feels so... hot," Mirai said. "Can you stand?" "I think so..." "So... could you read it?" I wondered. "No you idiot! I just couldn't focus... and as soon as I tried there was this... flash and I got a blinding headache. I'm guessing that flash is what you saw happen. But... ugh... this headache won't go away and... I Think I'm seeing things. Am I hallucinating? Wait... I Think it looks like more pieces of the book...! Yeah, I see them. Surrounded by ice, under water, in a Cave, in the forest... I Think I know where they are. This is way too specific to just be in my mind, whatever this page did to me, it's attracting me to the other pieces. I Think I can lea us to them, I feel almost magnetized to it. What do you think? Should we go find them?" she said. "It's answers you want, right, so... Let's do it," I said. "Okay, I'll show you where I'm being pulled on your map, we should go as soon as possible."
But before we go hunting for the other pages, we had to find Tatyana. But first, we should stay the night at the inn. Tomorrow we go to the College and look for Anduniel's friend...

Off Topic / Re: Lurker's Lair
« on: December 24, 2017, 06:12:35 AM »
God Jul
Frohe Weihnachten
Merry Christmas
Joyeux Noel
Feliz Navidad

*Happy Holidays lurk*

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 23, 2017, 09:01:44 AM »

When we returned home, Anduniel was busy baking. We had freshly baked bread and tarts with dinner that evening. The following morning we traveled to Solitude...

"So you have found the third book as well? Excellent! Here is your reward," Wilbert said. "I'm happy to say that our evaluation of the chants is going well. But, there is still one more book we have to find. Or, you and Vilja, rather. You will help her finding this last book, too, won't you?" he continued. I nodded. "Good! I'll mark the location on your map. I wouldn't want to go to that Place, myself, but you are of course an experience adventurer," Wilbert said.

The horse carriage took us from Katlas's farm to Winterhold. We arrived just Before the dragon decided to swoop down on the settlement...
Winterhold... this is where the mage college is situated. This settlement was larger long ago, but a cataclysmic event saw most of the city collapse into the sea.

There could only be one outcome. The guards and the Citizens were in awe, never had they witnessed the like in their time.

On the Great Collapse
To the esteemed Jarl Valdimar of Winterhold,
First, please allow me to offer my most sincere condolences. I understand that you, like many others, have lost family and you have my deepest sympathies.
I also understand that some on your council have placed the blame for this horrible disaster on my colleagues at the College. While I can certainly appreciate the shock at the scope of recent events, and the desire to comprehend what has happened, I must strongly urge you to consider the full situation.
You know as well as any the College's history and reputation in Winterhold. It has long been a source of pride for your city, a unique fixture in Skyrim. Some of the greatest wizards have studied here, and the College has always promoted positive relations with the other provinces of Tamriel.
It is well-known that those relations have been, shall we say, strained over the last few decades. After the Oblivion Crisis, it was only natural that the people of Skyrim showed a distrust for mages, even though the vast majority of us actively worked to counter the actions of the Mythic Dawn cult. The College expected such a reaction, and hoped that distrust would fade over time.
And then, the Red Year. No one foresaw the explosion of Red Mountain, or the devastating effect it would have on the Dunmer culture. Your predecessor was kind enough to welcome many of the refugees, particularly those who could contribute to the College's studies. We were quite grateful.
When Solstheim was generously offered to the Dunmer as a new home, I was as surprised as any. I did not, however, share the apparent expectation that all dark elves would leave Skyrim. It did not go unnoticed that many in Winterhold were unhappy at how many mages chose to stay at the College rather than relocate.
And now, the storms that have wracked the coast of Skyrim for close to a year have finally broken, but at great cost to us all. This great collapse that has devastated Winterhold was unexpected, I assure you. That the College has remained unaffected is only a testament to the protective magicks placed around it so long ago. It in no way implies that we were somehow prepared specifically for this event, and is certainly no indication that the College was somehow responsible.
I certainly would never hold you accountable for the gossip spread amongst the people of Winterhold. I would urge you, though, to not allow that gossip to take root and become a commonly held belief. I do not wish to see our relationship crumble like Winterhold has, as I assure you the College will remain here a very, very long time.
Your persistent advocate,
Arch-Mage Deneth

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 20, 2017, 03:41:20 PM »
We entered Halldir's Cairn...

There lay Agrius's Journal:
Never thought I'd see the day we were run out of the Knifepoint Gang. Least the storm should cover our tracks. Vidgrod, Raen, and I took shelter in a cave for the night. Looks like there's an old ruin here. Least there are no Draugr around.
Vidgrod and Raen both want to set up here for a while, maybe do some raiding. They ought to know better- the road's deserted, especially this time of year. Plenty of better places up north. But they seem awfully insistent about staying here. Wouldn't even lend a hand when I went out to hunt tonight.
Something's wrong. Raen hasn't said a word since she woke up this morning, just keeps staring off into space. Vidgrod isn't much better. They sick? Not like any illness I ever heard of. I'd just walk out on them, but I can't seem to get up the nerve. I feel like something's holding me back. What is this place?
We're not alone. I can hear him now. Someone, speaking in my mind. Old. Powerful. Halldir, that's the name. He wants something from us. Needs us to stay for the magic to work. I tried to run, can't. Just like them.
Raen jumped first. Onto the cairn. That's what Master wants - blood, sacrifice, power to live again. His magic, I can feel it pulsing in my blood. He's draining us. We'll serve him soon, our bodies, our souls. Just like the others. They're waiting. It's my turn.

The Draugr tried to stop us...

We even encountered ghosts. But at last we found the book we were looking for, hidden in an old chest.

I was briefly trapped with the draugr when the portcullis closed behind me. But the undead couldn't beat me, my team could still fire arrows at them from the other side of the shut gate. The gate opened automatically again as soon as all the draugr were slain.

Amongst the Draugr by Bernadette Bantien, College of Winterhold
It wasn't until my seventh month with the creatures that they seemed to accept me. Well, "accept" isn't really the proper word, but they seemed to have decided that I posed no threat to them and gradually ceased their attacks. Though more than capable of fending them off (a combination of fire and turning spells are generally sufficient), I admit that I tired of having to be ever vigilant in their presence.
I'll never know whether there was some sort of agreement communicated among them, for the only utterances they make seem to be in that heathen tongue that I can't even pronounce, much less transcribe. In time, I learned more of their intentions towards me from their general movements and tones rather than specific words. Hostility in any creature is easily read, but in these most peculiar of the living dead, with such variations in gait and speed, what amounts to a hostile charge in one may simply be casual movement in another. The eyes seem to be key to their intent, and I will confess to more than one dream haunted by the glowing pinpoints in the darkness.
I had always wondered why the ancient priests of the dragon cult insisted that their followers be buried with them. It seems the height of pagan vanity to drag your conscripts to their death along with you, but as I integrated into their presence, I began to observe the reasons. Every day, a different set of draugr would awaken, shamble their way to the sarcophagus of their priest, and prostrate themselves before it. Several hours of this, followed by a meticulous cleaning of the area. It would appear that the adherents of the dragon priest continue their worship of him in death, which would also explain the ferocity with which they defend his chambers.
It took several weeks before I felt comfortable approaching the dragon priest's resting place, myself. Inch by inch, until the snarling draugrs around me seemed to tire of fending off my timid presence. I was able to set some simple scrying spells around the tomb, that I might get a sense of what magical energies resided there. When the next group of draugr came to pay homage to the priest, I noted a sort of transferal happening. A distinct flow of life force between the adherents and the master.
It was here that I finally understood the dragon cult's notion of resurrection. The second eternal life was only promised to those who ascended to the priesthood, but the lesser functionaries contributed their life force to sustaining them for eternity. I don't know what sort of eternal wellspring they draw from, but it's clear that each draugr carries only the barest whisper of life in it, and rekindles it nightly while resting in its niche. I now believe that the grotesque forms that we see in the barrows were, in fact, buried fully as men and women, and only over the thousands of years that have passed withered into the wretched things we know. If we had visited a barrow directly after its construction, we might not have even known any of its inhabitants were dead!
These discoveries and extrapolations excite me, and my mind aches to return to the barrows. I have only paused here at the College to transcribe these notes and gather further supplies for a more extended stay. My new hope is to learn some rudimentary way of speaking to them, for imagining what they could tell us of the early mists of time is staggering.

Off Topic / Re: Lurker's Lair
« on: December 18, 2017, 02:23:34 PM »
We had our Company X-mas dinner at City Hall today

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 16, 2017, 05:08:02 AM »

"I see that you have found the next Book of Chants. Once again you have done well! As I promised. the College has decided to reward you for each book you find. I hope you will find this sufficient for now. There is more to come. I have some good news about the first book you found. We have done some tests, and it appears the chants are working. Who knows, maybe Vilja will not only be able to join the College, but also be one of the first members to actually learn these ancient bard chants. But first, there are more books you need to find. Are you still willing to help her?" Wilbert said. I nodded in acknowledgement. "Good! I knew you wouldn't let Vilja down. I'll mark the location on your map. Good luck!" he said. "Oh, this will be fun! Shall we start searching for that book immediately?" Vilja said.

I wasn't in any rush to find that book - I still had not taken a bath since we left Bloodlet Throne...

But you can't relax for long when you have two adventurous girls like Haspina and Mimi. They kept nagging me about helping Vilja finding the third book for Wilbert. The rest was nice as long as it lasted, but now it was time to go back to questing...

Halldir's Cairn, here we come...

Wotan's Journals / Re: The Shezarrine - a Skyrim story
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:01:48 PM »

We delved deeper into the enemy stronghold...

and finally, we encountered the vampires themselves.

The spells crackled in the chill air as we slaughtered the undead vermin. And finally, I found the book we were looking for.

Confessions of a Vampire Devotee
I first heard about the vampire lord Zalar-do while exploring the markets of Elden Root. The stories both fascinated and frightened me. Here was a Khajiit who had gained power and notoriety, whose very name was whispered with fear and a healthy dose of respect. I admit it. I had been pondering the risks and benefits of life as a vampire ever since I was a child. Now, with each tale I heard, every rumor I digested, I realized the goal that was set before me.
I had to find Zalar-do and convince her to turn me into a vampire.
Why do I want to be a vampire? That's a good question. I've certainly asked myself that very same thing on more than one occasion since this obsession grabbed hold of me. I suppose it has something to do with the allure of power and the correlation between vampirism and sex that some scholars go on and on about (yes, I've read every book and letter I could find pertaining to the subject). But if I can be totally honest - and since this is my private journal, I suppose I have to be - the real appeal has to do with the longevity of the species. I've read that ancients can survive hundreds, even thousands of years. As a child who saw both of his parents die much too young, this "immortality" has become a very attractive option to me.
I'm not extremely keen on the idea of drinking blood, however, but I suppose every advantage comes with its own set of disadvantages. Such is the way of the world. I might be squeamish at first, though I expect with time and practice I could even grow to enjoy a daily feast of the crimson liquid. I wonder if it needs to come from an intelligent creature? Or if it has to be fresh? I guess that's what the protruding fangs are for.
Before I could locate Zalar-do's lair or otherwise introduce myself to the vampire lord, the hunter Mel Andrys appeared in town. He asked about disappearances and mysterious deaths, and he even mentioned Zalar-do by name while I eavesdropped on his conversation with one of the town guards. He was going to ruin my chance to meet and offer myself as an apprentice to the vampire lord. I followed the hunter around, watching how he searched for traces of Zalar-do's passing and tracked her to her lair. It was empty, of course. She was much too smart to be caught by the likes of Mel Andrys.
I spent the next few months staying as close to the vampire hunter as I could without revealing my presence. I figured that he'd have a better chance of locating Zalar-do than I would, and once we got close to the vampire lord I was sure I'd be able to figure out how to help her avoid Mel Andrys and convince her to reward me with the power of the vampire. It was this dream that kept me moving, following the hunter from Grahtwood to Greenshade to Malabal Tor, until we eventually made our way to the Gold Coast.
Here, luck was with me. The vampire hunter was indisposed after we docked in Anvil. The rough storm our ship traveled through seems to have made the poor man ill. That gave me time to search for Zalar-do and get a few steps ahead of Mel Andrys. I believe that she has established her lair in Hrota Cave.- the perfect location from which to stalk prey in Anvil when the hunger comes upon her. I've made my way to the cave and plan to present myself to the vampire lord forthwith. I can't wait to become one of her apprentices!

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