So a few more changes, Perk trees aren't linear. I can learn how to forge and maintain Ebony armor and weapons even if I don't learn how to forge Dwarven and Orcish first. At the moment I am learning to maintain steel and leather/hide because I have lost my Ebony longsword prior to Helgen. Perks mostly determine whether I have the knowledge to do it properly.
Also crafting in this is a mishmash of game and reality, in that it seems to take no time and effort yet I can do it indefinitely and with machine like precision. Effectively crafter's go into a minor trance where their bodily needs are minimized and where a days work can be fit into an hour and an hours work into an instant. Fuck if I know precisely how though, I'm thinking to make like this with only my character and it being an interaction with his dragon soul and reality seeing as the dragon soul is granted by Akatosh the Dragon God of Time and all.
Some changes to restoration magic, specifically wards: the highest level Wards can be used as a makeshift shield while more middling wards can deflect projectiles. However its a choice between absolute coverage for an instant or decent coverage for as long as the shield lasts. In this universe only certain materials completely ignore magic: Silver, Daedric, and Dragonbone. Enchanted weapons don't ignore magic but are weakened by it. This explains why ruins filled with ghosts and other spiritual creatures are mostly unlooted.
This chapter contains some graphic content of the torture variety. The area will be clearly marked and you may skip it if you are easily queasy.
In this while vampires still possess a weakness to fire it is nowhere near the weakness draugr and other undead for one simple fact: Draugr wear old rags and otherwise incredibly flammable clothing.
In keeping with murderhobo tradition, unless otherwise stated, when I say I search a corpse and take anything of use I am generally taking all of its armor, its weapons, and everything in the corpses inventory and stuffing it in Deep Storage unless its imminently useful. Also assume I search every urn and other minor container along the way and loot all the alchemy ingredients in my path. In general unless mentioned most of the minor containers will have a few coins or if I'm lucky a small gem.
My character in keeping with fantasy high nobility will never really be wanting for coin and this is one of the ways I justify always having, at least, just enough coin. The constant looting and the selling of everything I don't need. Assume anytime I talk about storing or packing something away its put into Deep Storage.
I should have mentioned this in the first chapter but outside of Nocturnal and Hermaeus Mora my character will ignore the other deadric quests. I will have good relations with Nocturnal, Hermaeus Mora, Sanguine, and Molag Bal, but I will be anathema to Hircine and Meridia because of my giving up Lycanthropy for vampirism and Meridia for the Vampirism. All the others I will either avoid entirely or will have neutral relations with.
Vampires have the mixed abilities from the Better Vampires, Vampiric Thirst, and Sacrosanct overhaul mods. They can also take advantage of the Bat Travel mod allowing teleportation via cloud of bats to any known location.
Blood magic exists in this iteration of Skyrim, but it isn't practiced except by the most daring or desperate of mages. It might allow for some truly powerful magic but it does so at the cost of a temporary wound that reject healing for twenty-four hours. The stronger the magic the worse the wound, thankfully the price is rarely such that will lead to you bleeding out, more likely a thousand tiny cuts or a particularly bad gash but not lethal. There has yet to be a blood mage that has died peacefully in his/her bed because of this.
As this is a mixed reality, I can have a sword at my hip or in my hand and still use magic in both. However the occupied hand is only capable of either incredibly familiar magic or brutish crude techniques and basic elemental magic.
Despite the fact my character can cast all vanilla+apocalypse+phenderix spells up to expert the way teleportation magic works is I can only teleport to places ive been (map markers essentially) or over line of sight. Unfortunately all teleportation spells require training and knowledge that I only begin to possess in the middle of this chapter. In universe it will likely be at least two months of study and practice before I can even use short range teleports (Blink and the like).
Edit: just some improved wording, grammar, and what not.
Roughly a week later, Hadvar and I are fully recovered from our escape from Helgen. Hadvar has already left to rejoin Tullius in Solitude, while I rented a room at the Sleeping Giant Inn for the time being. Lokir split ways from us at the crossroads, I gave him a fair amount of food and water, and let him keep the sword and dagger I lent him. A few days into my stay I penned a letter to my father detailing the Helgen Incident which I arranged for high priority delivery via the couriers office.
I would normally refrain from writing to you about something like this; as you know I try to stay out of politics as much as possible, but this cannot stand.
I had just crossed the border from Bruma to Falkreath and was just passing an ancient burial site my map calls Halldir's Cairn when I was struck unconscious. When I next woke (something I am thankful for, I wasnt really expecting to after all) I find I am bound on a cart alongside a Stormcloak soldier and none other than Ulfric Stormcloak himself. Turns out they had captured him during a series of ambushes along the border and were taking him to be executed at Helgen.
This isn't really a problem in my view, or it wouldn't be if they didn't intend to execute EVERY person they captured during the ambushes, criminal or otherwise. A Nord soldier named Hadvar, recognized the family crest but was overruled by his captain, one Viera Callidus, and I was sent to the chopping block.
It is only the most preposterous of events that allowed me to keep my head but I will detail that in my next letter. Regardless, either General Tullius has gotten a touch too enthusiastic or his subordinates are getting a bit too cocky. I don't know how much pull you have within the Legion itself, but they shouldn't get away with nearly executing a son of high nobility without proper reason!
I don't know if anything has come of it, and I don't much care but I've done everything I could on that front short of marching into Solitude myself and demanding reparations, something I don't plan on doing if I can help it. In the meantime, I have been attending a few smithing lessons with Alvor mainly learning how to best care for my gear in Skyrim's climate; unfortunately I am relegated to using steel instead of my favored Ebony or Daedric and Alvor doesn't know how to maintain those, I suppose its a good thing that I lost my Ebony Longsword when I was captured.
I need to decide what I want to do with myself, I definitely want to master all the magic, I also don't want to die of old age so vampirism is a must. I need to deal with Alduin quickly too or else I'll be up to my eyes in dragons. I quite like Kodlak and the Companions but I really don't want to be a werewolf, thankfully I know the cure.
"Thank you for the lessons, Alvor, I should start my way towards Whiterun day after tomorrow. I'll need to deal with some thieves for Lucan on my way, but that shouldn't take more than a day, the dragon hasn't been spotted anywhere near here, but if it is I've left recommendations with the guard captain here on how to fight back though I honestly recommend evacuation to Embershard Mine now its been cleaned of bandits." I thanked Alvor quietly, while I am decent enough at maintaining my gear all my knowledge is focused around Cyrodiil's climates and that is mostly dealing with corrosion and rust, not so much snow, cold, and wet. Embershard Mine is a mine just outside of Riverwood that had been taken over by bandits, after asking around for a bit of mercenary work at the Sleeping Giant, Delphine, the innkeeper and secret Blade gave me a job posting from the Jarl seeking the clearing of Embershard something I did with ease. The smith paused in his work before speaking.
"Ha! It's nothing I wouldn't have done for a friend of Hadvar. Still you take care son, I don't want to hear about you dying out there." Alvor laughs, clapping me on my back.
"I wont die yet, there's still so much to know!" I call back as I walk away earning a chuckle. The way to Bleak Falls Barrow is cold and dull but the occasional ambush by the wildlife keeps my senses sharp, thankfully so or I would be dead, an arrow sticking out my eye. Readying myself for battle I draw my sword and charge my off hand with lightning magic. Taking cover behind a boulder I cast a quick Detect Life and realize its only four bandits, a pair of archers and a pair of swordsman. For bandits the archers are quite skilled, keeping me pinned, unfortunately for them I am quite skilled in all forms of magic.
Switching my lightning magic out for a ward spell I created unimaginatively named Grand Ward boosting the Greater Ward spell in both defensiveness while slightly lessening cost. Running forward I bound up the steps to the archers who are now panicking and cast Shared Trauma, an illusion spell that links the targets life force with another, targeting one of the archers and a swordsman before blasting the other archer with a snap cast Lightning Bolt knocking him clear off the ruin killing him instantly. Locking blades with the other swordsman I twist him around so the remaining archer hits him instead. Using the bandits surprise over friendly fire I flick a blast of flames at his face and slit his throat as he disengages. Throwing up another Grand Ward, I block a few arrows as I run over and lock blades with the final swordsman, again subtly moving him between me and the over the locked blades I grab the bandits face and lock eyes with the archer before slamming an overpowered Sparks spell through him. Instantly both archer and swordsman begin to convulse for a few seconds before I let up and they drop to the ground moaning in pain. This lasts only a few seconds before I hit both with Paralyze and begin stripping them of anything of use, finding a few potions and around a hundred coins, before I move to tie them up.
Gore Incoming, skip to next line break to give it a miss.
"Sorry for the upcoming rudeness old chap, but I get the feeling you have information I need." I explain jovially to the swordsman. Casting Fabricate Object I create a rather nice torture chair complete with manacles. A few more uses nets me a pair of pliers, a scalpel, and a complicated rig used in draining blood. Out of my Deep Storage I take a spare dagger and some salt. Laying all of this out theatrically, I busy myself connecting a tube from the rig to a gallon jug before turning to the bandit I strapped to the chair with my best slasher grin.
"So, how's your day going? Mine is going great! Got to take down some bandit scum, and now I'm going to be doing some impromptu torture. Unfortunately while I have read all about it I've never gotten the opportunity to practice!" I start, casting monitoring spells to ensure my victim doesn't die of a heart attack. Laying my hand on his chest I pump an overcharged Rout into him and he immediately begins to shake his eyes darting wildly.
"Now now, don't be so afraid, if I don't fuck up too badly I can heal you, and if I do… Well that's what your friend is for! Now lets see, I'll just pull your nail a bit like this…" I start by picking up the pliers and working on removing one of his fingernails much to the bandits screaming displeasure.
"You know… the books didn't mention how difficult this would be… oof… there we go!" I grin happily, showing the bandit his now torn out fingernail.
"Now then, how many of you are in the ruin? Remember I can keep this going as long as I can heal you" My voice turns dark and serious. The bandit just shakes his head and refuses to answer so I ramp up the power in my Rout spell. The bandit is now writhing and nearly foaming at the mouth trying to get away, his colleague is sitting bound a few feet away with the perfect view to watch this with a look of horror.
"You know… I have a theory that I never got to test out while at the College of Whispers… understandably so mind you, but I'm not in the college anymore and I doubt they would care overly much about you even if I was! Lets find out what happens when someone is interrogated under the strongest calm spell I can manage after being subjected to the strongest fear spell I can cast." I explain, lowering the power in my fear spell before immediately switching to Pacify, the bandit immediately calms, his pupil dilates, and his heartbeat slows back to just slightly lower than regular.
"Frank, can I call you Frank? I'm gonna call you Frank. Ok Frank, let me be frank with you, I need to know how many of your people are in the ruin. If you wont tell me I'll have to hurt you, maybe even worse than before. I don't want that and you don't want that so why not tell me?" I talk in a slow, deliberately friendly voice, something that visibly soothes Frank.
"I don't want to go back to that place" He says quietly, sounding almost like he was drugged. His head lolls to the side almost as if looking at the entrance to the ruin.
"You don't have to go back to that place if you tell me what I want to know but if you don't… C'mon Frank, tell me what I want to know." I speak quickly ramping the calm even higher for a moment before backing down slowly tinging the calming spell with fear.
"There are… there are…" Frank tries to answer, visibly trying to remember.
"Yes? C'mon Frank, time running out, I don't want to hurt you…" I encourage him quietly. Frank's friend looks horrified but is gagged so he can't interfere. I mix more fear with the calm nearly balancing them as Frank begins to shake.
"There is four no… three, the boss, his second, and Arvel our thief." Frank answers, and just as quickly I ramp the calm up as high as it gets and slit his throat. He dies with a smile on his face and a sigh on his lips as his blood drains into the jug. Once he is finished draining I take the jug, seal it, cast preservation magic over it and shove it into my Deep Storage while grabbing a second.
Walking over to the second I manhandle him into the seat and hook him into the rig before cutting his throat and watching dispassionately as his blood drains into the second jug which repeat my actions and store it away.
Torture scene done
Casting Detect Life from just outside the entrance I can detect two people, switching to Detect Dead I am almost overwhelmed by the number of undead within, seemingly only a floor or so down. Casting Muffle on the door and myself I crack the door open and slip inside. Looking around I see a pair of bandits next to a campfire, to the fires right, near the bandits is a chest barely visible.
"So we're just supposed to sit here while Arvel runs off with that golden claw?" the female bandit scoffs.
"That dark elf wants to go on ahead, let him. Better than us risking our necks." The bandit boss answers gruffly, the woman merely shrugs in compliance.
"What if Arvel doesn't come back? I want my share from that claw!" The woman complains, the boss doesn't take it well, or at least he doesn't with a little help from my overpowered Frenzy spell clouding his thoughts with rage and hostility. The boss slowly draws his sword as the woman turns her back to look further into the tunnel. Something must have given him away because she dodges just enough, so instead of a quick death through impalement she suffers a drawn out death via bleeding out. Quickly I cast Shared Trauma linking the boss with his victim, almost immediately blood begins pouring from him as he begins coughing blood. Waiting for their bodies to stop stirring, I stealth my way over to the bodies and, drawing my blade, poke them each twice. Deciding that, yes, they are dead, I move them and strip them of anything useful. Moving over to the chest I see that its locked, a few seconds is all it takes to pick the lock. Looking inside all I find is a large pouch of coins and a few small gems.
Carefully looking over the room I don't find anything more, so I pack the cooking rig, before casting a cleaning spell on the bedrolls and packing them away. Walking further down the tunnel, I hear a soft thud from further ahead. Stealthily making my way up to the corner, I peek around only to see a body laying next to a lever. Quickly searching the body nets me another set of leather and hide armor and an iron mace, as well as a coin pouch containing roughly twenty gold. The next room is partially crumbled and further passage is blocked by a closed gate that can only be opened when the three spinning pillars are aligned with the right symbols. Glancing around to confirm the right code I spin the pillars to denote Snake – Snake – Whale and pull the lever. The gate swings open on oiled hinges, and I can get a clearer look at the room just beyond. Carefully walking my way into the room I see a table on which is a book, Thief, which I had read before and indeed own the series, thinking it an amusing story, a soul gem and a healing potion within arms distance. Next to the table on the floor is another chest, this one unlocked, but within is just a dozen pieces of gold and an old sword. I take it all even if I really don't want to.
Noting a spiral staircase going downwards I cast Candlelight on myself and ready fire magic as I make my way down. I'm briefly startled by a trio of skeevers but they are quickly roasted and I make the time to harvest the meat and stick it in storage before moving on. At the end of the staircase lays a hallway covered in webs.
"Shit. Not this again…" I mutter before beginning to burn my way through the webs.
"Is... is someone coming? Is that you Harknir? Bjorn? Soling? I know I ran ahead with the claw, but I need help!" a male voice calls from a room of the side of the hallway. As I clear the doorway of web I take a moment to charge an overpowered, dual-cast Fireball and step through immediately flinging the now white and faintly vibrating fireball at the ceiling following up with two Fire Spins cast from each hand to the obvious ambush predator's ire as a flaming screeching giant spider falls from the roof. I freeze when it hits the ground on its back and flips over and begins eyeing me, already feeling the rather unfortunate fear-response clawing at me.
"Die! Die! Die! Hahahahahahaha!" The fire sparking from my hands suddenly turns a bright white as the spider crouches and then flares a bright blue as I fling my hands forward pumping magic into a very concentrated Flames spell. The spell flows off of my hands and almost seems to stick to the spider as it immediately screeches and starts flailing. With no one but Arvel around to stop me I only stop when the spider is completely turned to ash and the surrounding ground is slagged. Coming out of my trance, my chest heaving as I catch my breath, I immediately move to Arvel and slit his throat while he is still encased in web. When he finally croaks I cut him free and loot him, gaining the Golden Claw and shoving it in my inventory and continue on burning what webs I could see as I go.
Further within I quickly reach the point my Detect Dead spell revealed undead so I start moving more stealthily.
Moving past a spike wall trap, I lay a few Fire Runes as I go. Unfortunately despite my caution I trip on a bit of debris, waking the Draugr.
"Shit!" I curse rolling to my feet. Glancing around I see a small group of seven or eight draugr slowly moving from their resting places. Placing a few more Fire Runes for good measure, I retreat carefully, frequently glancing behind me to ensure I wont be ambushed. A few seconds later I feel the first few runes detonate, a loud bang echoing through the halls. A few seconds later the last few runes detonate, a wave of hot air passing over me, I pause a few moments and a pair of burning draugr stumble around the corner. Blasting them with a Fire Spin seems to put them down something I verify with a quick flash of Detect Dead. Slapping another Muffle on me, I quickly move on occasionally flashing Detect Dead, a few rooms later I come to a stop in front of a swinging blades trap. I inspect the trap carefully I can see no way to jam the mechanism, so I settle for my second idea. Carefully reaching out with Telekinesis, a spell I have much practice with given it aids with one of my more destructive custom spells, I finagle my will around to the pull chain on the other side of the trap stopping it.
Apparently before I was inserted, the Last Dragonborn would get occasional flashes of insight, little ideas or twists on spells that don't quite hang together without meta-knowledge or modern knowledge. For instance combine a bit of telekinesis, a coin, and a metric ton of lightning magic, and you get a Railgun. Such a spell can be scaled up or down as needed which made it an especially scary to the higher ups at the College and is why they made it a forbidden technique.
Slipping past the trap I find myself in a large two tiered room, glancing around I notice a few coffins that would probably hold draugr, and a set of stairs on the other end of the room. Carefully slipping past the coffins, I manage to make it out of the room without rousing the draugr only to garner the attention of the sole draugr in the next room. Quickly slaying it with a Fireball, I move into the next room following the creek. Following the path down I find a small ore vein, searching my inventory and Deep Storage I note a distinct lack of a pickaxe something I will rectify when I get back to Riverwood. Thankfully conjuration is such a useful branch of magic, though it takes a half dozen tries to twist it to summon a Bound Pickaxe which I use to mine at the ore. Quickly depleting the vein I go through the trouble of gathering the various plants I recognize as useful to alchemy before moving on after a quick break.
Moving quickly I enter a room that is half filled with rubble, a chest can be barely seen just under it, and a draugr that felt different to my magical senses barring my way through to the other room.
"Bolog Aaz, Mal Lir! Dir Volaan!" the draugr screams before charging at me weapons drawn faster than anything else I've fought thus far. Taken aback for a moment I don't have time to react beyond a panicked casting of Grand Ward while throwing myself out of the way. Thankfully the draugr's weapon is blocked for an instant thanks to my ward so I'm not hit but now I'm watching it a bit more carefully. Quietly retrieving a dagger from my inventory I split my focus slightly using Telekinesis to guide its flight.
Quickly etching the blade with a Fire Blood Rune, I fling it out to the side of the draugr, something the draugr ignores as it again rushes at me. Manipulating the force of my blows I strongly palm the air in front of me as the draugr closes within three feet of me; in a blink and you miss it moment, the draugr is sent flying from the Force Pushas the air between me and its chest explodes, simultaneously I guide the dagger which I never released from my Telekinesis to fly into its back. When it does the draugr lets loose an otherworldly screech as the rune detonates within it and it starts burning from the inside out. The moment the rune detonates you gasp as a nasty but illusory burn appears on your chest as the blood magic takes its toll. You know from experience that the wound will last a full twenty four hours before fading as though it never happened. No amount of healing magic or potions will help it either, which is why blood magic is only used by the desperate or daring. Its just shy of being labeled a forbidden art and finding any accurate information on it was a bitch and a half.
Staggering to its feet it makes a last ditch rush, but is slow enough now that I can sidestep it and behead it with a quick slash from my sword. Reaching down I snag its helm something that isn't possible to acquire in the game, and stick it in storage as a trophy. Searching the body I find a hundred and fifty gold, a small gem, and an enchanted dagger. Feeling the imbued magic I determine that it is a Dagger of Burning, imbued with the ability to set its victims alight, unfortunately it isn't of much use to my Sneak Mage/Assassin focus I have going on but I stick it in storage to sell later. I facepalm when I realize I forgot to loot the other draugr from earlier, I briefly consider heading back before deciding to continue on. Moving through the door the draugr guarded I walk into a scene I still vividly remember from the Skyrim trailer to this day. Examining the murals closely, I cant make out much more than in the game which strikes me as odd but I pay attention when I reach the puzzle door. Quickly spinning the icons into the right order of Bear – Moth – Owl and inserting to claw, the door rumbles before lowering revealing a massive cave and a wall I can already feel calling to me. As I look around the cave from the entrance a colony of bats is startled by the door opening and flies around a bit screeching before settling down again. At the far end I can barely make out a raised area on which the far end curls into one of Skyrim's famous Word Walls. At the other end is a coffin bracketed by a table on one side and a chest on the other. On the table barely visible from this distance is a soul gem. Carefully walking over I warily eye the area the bats settled into seeing a few dozen of them rustling, but my gaze quickly switches to the coffin I know holds the true boss of Bleak Falls Barrow as well as the Dragonstone which is being sought by both Delphine and Farengar. Taking a few moments, barely ignoring the siren call of the Word Wall, I try to think of how to deal with the draugr boss quickly. I instantly toss a few ideas, but eventually narrow it down to pin it in the coffin somehow and kill it with fire, and if it doesn't die use more. Considering how I would go about doing this I have a sudden bout of curiosity; draugr are animated via magic right? Dispel Magic might disrupt the magic temporarily, I doubt I am powerful enough to dispel it completely. Approaching the coffin intending to deal with the Draugr now instead of after the wall my body refuses to move except towards the wall, sudden ethereal chanting and my heartbeat steadily increasing are the only sign of whats about to happen. As I stand in front of the Word Wall, carefully inspecting it, one of the words begins to glow as the chanting peaks and as time seems to slow and my blood rushes I am nearly swept away as ancient magic is infused into my very being, my soul greedily drinking it up like a dying man at an oasis. Coming out of the trance at a gravelly noise and a thud from behind me, I immediately turn and cast Dispel Magic. The light in the draugr's eyes goes out for a few seconds, its body slumping back into the coffin as I grab a spare sword taken from the bandits and launch it with Telekinesis up and then into the Draugr as its eyes flare back into being. With an otherworldly screech, the draugr attempts to pull the sword now pinning it into the coffin out but cant get the leverage. Seeing an alternating red and blue glow coming from its hands I immediately recast Dispel Magic and rush over to it. As the animating magic reasserts itself the draugr gives a bit of shake only to fall still. I had used the time to pull my dagger and plunge it into its head before wrenching it through its neck decapitating it. Sliding to my knees and leaning against the side of the coffin I give a bit of a shudder, feeling the ache of both physical and magical exhaustion. I or rather my body had never had to cast so many spells in the span of half a day before. Using a cantrip, feeling my magic twitch at the effort, I determine it is now just after dusk and I had left Riverwood around seven in the morning.
Despite my aching I thoroughly search the room finding a the chest behind the word wall and another behind the smaller waterfall netting me another few hundred gold some gems and an enchanted sword from one and a glass dagger before moving back to the raised area.
Resting a few minutes, I kick open the chest beside the coffin and look inside it. Studiously ignoring the ominously glowing white crystalline orb, I catalog the contents. A set of armor, enchanted steel unfortunately, a pouch of gems, a sack of gold which if my cantrips are correct contain nearly three hundred gold, and a trio of very very magical tomes. These tomes are putting out nearly as much magicka as Meridia's Beacon which I am being very careful to not touch but otherwise completely ignoring. Slowly tasting the magicka, I determine that the tan-ish tome is incredibly dark, there is the sort of traces that make me think of corpses and undead, of spirits, the smell of graveyard soil, and ethereal echoes of spirits long dead. Looking closer I can see that the cover isn't in one piece and is in fact several pieces stitched together. Carefully lifting the tome I check the title seeing: Necromancy for Dummies; an all in one grimoire. Grimacing at the title I skim the first chapter only to slam it shut and glance around warily despite knowing I am the only one here. The title must be to make people think it a joke, despite my lacking knowledge I can state with absolute certainty that this is a true grimoire for learning necromancy. Quickly stuffing it in Deep Storage I silently vow to study it at some point in the near future.
The other tome gives off a haze of chaotic magicka, the traces constantly shifting and never the same twice. I get traces of all five branches of magic, the scent of heavy ozone and the crackling of lightning only more, of sulfur and brimstone, of corrupting fire, and more. Looking at the garishly multi-color cover, standing out starkly is: Midas Magics; Be careful what you wish for. Glancing through it, it seems to just be a spell a page, the theory of which is outlined and then gone over in more detail in the back of the book. Sticking it in my inventory I carefully remove the final tome.
This tome, set in a stark white cover, is incredibly thin. The title is written in what I recognize as actual gold press as: Godly Space Time Magic, Please ignore any offers from extra-dimensional beings. Quickly flipping through the pages reveals that there are more pages than the book should hold. The traces of magicka pouring off this book are actually nearly twice as powerful as the other two, it contains traces of what I vaguely recognize as Chronokinetic and hellishly powerful Spatial magic. The traces bring to mind the time-lapse video of a flower growing and blooming, of the world slowing till someone can pick a bullet out of the air, of a vaguely heroic figure swinging their sword at a shadowy figure over and over only for the shadowy figure to constantly be in a different place sometimes several feet away sometimes back to back with him, it brings to mind a portal opening into an endless void only for it to be broken by the Earth slowly coming into view. Suddenly the magicka suffusing the air vanishes, and I stagger in shock. Blinking numbly, I shove the book in my inventory for later perusal and search the coffin finding the dragonstone. Sticking it in my inventory I make my way up the second pair of stairs deep in thought, absently pulling the pull chain that opens the hidden exit.
Carefully dropping down I make my way straight to the river and cast Water Walking, a spell I learned from the forgotten archives of the Arcane University that were plundered by the Synod and College of Whispers. It allows me to walk over water as though it is land, though I have never tested the assertion, there are records supposedly written by the Champion of Cyrodiil during his tenure as Arch-Mage that claims he used it to walk over lava during the Oblivion Crisis. Crossing the river it is only an hour later that I make it back to Riverwood. Stumbling into the Sleeping Giant I throw a wave at Delphine and fall into my bed, asleep as soon as my head hits the, previously uncomfortable but now heavenly, pillow. The morning came far too soon and I grumble before deciding to sleep in.
Getting up I motion for Orgnar, the inn's chef, to cook me something as I move over to the tables. Resting my head on my arms, I look up as a tankard of ale is set down in front of me. Seeing Delphine looking down at me, an eyebrow raised I just shrug.
"Long day yesterday, I'm surprised I even managed to make it back here." I mutter to Delphine's accepting nod.
"I'll say, thought you might keel over before you got to your bed. What did ya do? Raid a draugr infested ruin?" She comments, motioning at my very dirty clothes that I hadn't changed out of just yet.
"Aye, was a bit more… involved than I expected. Not exactly difficult, just tedious. Regardless I achieved my goal there so I wont be returning for a while after tomorrow." I explain, though my vagueness only makes Delphine more curious but she is forced to let it go to keep the innkeeper cover. At this point Orgnar is making his way over with a platter of food, my mouth begins to water and I have to hold myself back lest I begin devouring food like a glutton.
"I see, well I'll be sad to see you go." Delphine comments walking behind the bar.
"His coin you mean, eh Delphine?" Orgnar quips as I take a few sips of my ale. I sputter a bit as I'm forced to undertake the egregious task of laughing and swallowing drink at the same time.
"Oi! Nuff with the quippage, I'll choke to death!" I call to Orgnar getting a boisterous laugh from him. Finishing my meal, I take an hour or so to deal with hygiene, taking a bath and washing my clothes. While my traveling clothes dry I am forced to don a set of finery, something I am visibly uncomfortable in. Unfortunately I never enjoyed the finery and high life of nobility, preferring to spend my time with commoners at best and scum at worst. Forever could I be found sneaking out of a function to share a meal with a band of sneaks at a nearby pub, or simply enjoying the air someplace high up. I leave the inn nonetheless and make my way over to the Riverwood Trader, walking inside I am greeted by both Valerius siblings.
"Lucien you're back! Did you retrieve the claw?" Lucan greets me as I am swept into a hug by Camilla.
"I did actually, here you go. I should warn you that there are a number of them according to my research, and should you acquire any of them, that they are a common target for enterprising thieves. I implore you to send a courier to me in the event you acquire another, I will pay handsomely for them. More often than not they do lead to treasures, but only if you can get past their guardians." I explain retrieving the claw from my inventory and placing it on the counter, an action made difficult for the fact Camilla hasn't yet released me. A loud cough from Lucan startles her into letting me go, something she does without even blushing. As Lucan goes to retrieve payment, I wave it off without second thought, out of the corner of my eye I notice him stiffen and puff up in insulted rage and instead retrieve much of my loot from the excursion.
"I don't need payment for the job, I was going to head there anyways, instead give me a good price on all this. I'll sell off all you can take and sell the rest off in Whiterun." I lay out the enchanted steel armor and the Dagger of Burning as well as a spread of jewels, keeping the glass dagger and the as yet unidentified enchanted steel sword for myself.
"I can give you three hundred and fifty gold for the steel set, I'll have to have the enchantment identified of course, another one seventy five for the Dagger of Burning. Beyond that I wont be able to buy the rest and make a profit." Lucan offers, tallying up the prices they roughly match what I expect so nodding my head in agreement we shake hands and I pack up the jewels as Lucan fishes out a banking writ. Signing it, he hands it over and I stick it in Deep Storage before giving a friendly nod to Lucan and a small smile at Camilla and leave. Returning to the Inn I notice my clothes had dried so I change into them as soon as I get back to my room.
Electing to stay in my room, I prop the door open so I can order the occasional drink and take the book on Space-Time magic and study it. The first few chapters gave an overview of what can be accomplished by a master and gives a rough timeline on accomplishments. I scoff a bit when it mentions needing three decades to master knowing it took yourself a decade to reach Expert in the five branches and that was with formal classes and the professors trying to slow you down as much as possible. I quickly have second thoughts because as well thought out and written the first few chapters are, the next few quickly delve deep into magical theory and knowledge so technical I can barely keep up. The first practical exercise is sending magicka out in a sort of pulse trying to sense the space around you. By the time I achieve even the most rudimentary sense it's been nearly four hours and my eyes are swimming. Looking at the next exercise your eyes unfocus a bit as you read that the first few exercises will be focused on sharpening your senses so you become aware of space and time around you. Sticking the tome back into your inventory you walk out into the tavern area and order another meal. Sitting you go over your copious amount of notes your mind making connections and jumping ahead slightly. You are startled by some nebulous instinct poking at you from the back of your head around a half hour later, only to realize that you had subconsciously began sending out pulses and are detecting movement behind you. Glancing behind you, you find Orgnar with another platter stacked high with yet another mouth watering meal. Digging in you tip him a few coins in appreciation, before returning to your room. Taking out the Midas Magic tome you try to make sense of the theory behind any of it but it just wont click for some reason. Allowing your mind to wander you glance between the book and your hands.
Willing your magic to dance across your fingers but not controlling the magic beyond that, you watch and are entranced seeing the extremely controlled lightning shift into raging sparks and then into a soft healing glow. Slowly less common magicka types begin to surface, the healing glow shifting into deep purple sparks that ping off your burgeoning spacial senses and then into whorls of geometric shapes and bursting sparks that give off the sense of awe. Still entranced you begin to pull on the theory of Midas Magic slowly shifting and twining the currents of magic, you are startled out of your trance by a knock at your door which causes the volatile mix of daedric conjuration tainted fire magic to explode in your face sending you ass over teakettle much to Delphine's audible amusement.
"Don't you know not to startle a mage mid experiment?" I gripe, briefly forgetting that this is Delphine the Innkeeper not Delphine the Blade.
"No I didn't know that, why I am just a lowly innkeeper after all." Delphine answers, her eyes narrowed just a smidge. Getting up I dust myself off and check myself in a mirror. My face is blackened with soot, my hair is slightly smoldering, and my eyebrows are just gone but otherwise I seem fine. Running a quick diagnostic on myself just in case I find my magic is a bit shaky from the backlash but nothing I wasnt expecting or hadn't dealt with in the past.
"Right, for future reference don't interrupt a mage if he looks like he is concentrating on something, some backlashes can be explosive enough to harm others on top of banging the caster up." I explain, looking off in to the distance remembering one such incident at the College. It was a standard hazing, nothing even particularly malicious about it, but a few of the older students were going around startling new students while they were studying. One of them startled a novice while she was working on a particularly dangerous alchemical process. The scare startled some magicka out of her which caused the process to turn explosive. We lost that novice, the older student, and a handful of observers and the lab was unusable until the College could get some repairmen in to basically rebuild it from scratch. Of course the College was more interested in how the hell the explosion got that big than the student deaths. My theory is that the magicka caused the process to turn into a magicka eating explosive loop. Basically the extra magicka somehow altered the process into absorbing magicka and reached critical mass which caused an explosion, every bit of magicka within the explosion's radius was devoured to cause another explosion, repeat to infinity until it hits the labs walls which are magicka dampening causing the explosive loop to stop. Unfortunately I was kicked out before anything was concluded, shaking off the memory I ask Delphine what she wanted.
"Your… experiment, was beginning to release enough magicka that even I was able to detect it. I didn't want my inn blown up." she answers bluntly, her hands on her hips. If I didn't know any better I would never have guessed she is actually a Blade, one of the Dragonborn Emperor's secret service agents. Acting as the Emperor's assassins, saboteurs, bodyguards, and more until they were disbanded in favor of the Penitus Oculatus.
"Ah, thanks for the warning." I shrug sheepishly in response. Checking the time, I see that it is almost dinner time. Leaving the room I give Orgnar a wave and order a bottle of mead on top of the meal before sitting down and taking a sheaf of paper and making notes on my recent experiment in casting what the tome calls Midas Hellfire. Even now my reserves are slowly refilling, seems my pool isn't quite recovered from Bleak Falls and trying to cast it has set back my recovery even further. I'll have to hire a carriage to Whiterun… Gods I hate carriages, even the ones fit for nobles tend to suck.
"Right! Delphine!" I wave her over. She comes over looking slightly confused.
"I need to hire a carriage to Whiterun for tomorrow. My magic hasn't quite recovered from my dungeon run and the backlash from earlier hasn't helped it any. I'm good with a blade, having been trained in it since I could walk, but I am primarily a mage and that will be my first response. I cant risk setting back my recovery any further, thus the carriage. Can you arrange that or point me to somewhere I can?" I request revealing that my hands are still shaky and my countenance is slightly pale still. She cocks her head in thought before nodding slightly.
"Yeah, our carriage driver should be by in a few minutes, I'll point him your way when he arrives." She replies, before heading back to the counter. A few minutes later, she can be heard directing someone over to you. Turning around, you see its a boy, maybe in his late teens, wearing what you recognize as hardy traveling clothes.
"Sir? The innkeeper mentioned you might want to hire a cart to Whiterun?" the boy questions, seemingly nervous though you aren't sure why.
"I have a bit of business in Whiterun but due to hmm… extenuating circumstances, lets call it, I would need a few days to recover in order to make the trip solo. Needless to say, I would prefer to get my business done than be stuck waiting." I explain vaguely.
"Well, it will cost ten gold one way to Whiterun, an extra five if you want us to be speedy. The local conditions on that route shouldn't pose an issue, the only thing on the way is maybe some wolves if we are unlucky. There has been reports of a giant rampaging through some of the farms but last I heard the Companions have accepted a contract on it so that shouldn't be a problem. If were lucky we might even get to see it being dealt with." The boy rattles off information, calmer now that we are talking business. I hand over the fifteen gold and tell him to be waiting at the village exit at eight am sharp. He gives me a sharp salute and bustles off claiming a table as I sit and go over my notes some more. After the meal, I motion Delphine over and request she wake me at seven just in case I'm not awake by then and go back to my room. Studying the Spacial Magic tome I read up on the next few exercises before going to bed, vowing to practice them over the next few days.
So this is chapter two of the origin story. My character is obviously not limited by game mechanics and with my own mind backing its creativity horrifying things can come to fruition.
I was actually going to go whole hog with a graphic torture scene but my damn curiosity got in the way. I think that is a relatively accurate response to what I did though.
Yeah, I'm an expert mage going through what amounts to tutorial dungeons. Of course I'm gonna mostly steamroll it. Of course my character also isn't accustomed to long dungeon crawls and extended life and death combat so he overextends himself slightly by the end of the crawl but is clever enough to work around it. Good for him.
I particularly like the idea of using telekinesis to pull the pull chain. Even without knowing its exact position it would only take a few tries to get it. Sticking the big boss to the coffin though? If I didn't need to get the dragonstone I would have just frozen over the damn thing and looted the place.
I'm now getting into quest territory where I will cut out the bull shit? Going to the get the horn of Jurgen Windcaller only to have to backtrack to Delphine? Not gonna do that. She obviously has a decent spy network so she would know im traveling to meet the greybeards. So she goes and takes it between the time I leave Whiterun and get trained by the greybeards. Its not like my leaving or the greybeards calling me wont be highly public events or anything. I'm mostly gonna cut out most of the Companions quests because, honestly? The bore me, they force me to become a werewolf when I want to be a vampire and a lot of it isn't strictly necessary in a realistic world. So I become a werewolf, immediately inform Kodlak of the glenmoril witches and their part in the cure, wipe out the silver hand and cure myself before basically resigning. I don't become harbinger because its work that I don't want and I can safely become a vampire.
Oh shit, did I just snub Meridia? Doesn't matter if I did or not, shes taken it that way and ill have to watch out for trouble from her in the future.
Truthfully the only reason to explore many of the dungeons, ruins, etc is to find word walls. The way I am playing dragon souls is that they are stuck within me as I siphon their power and knowledge and every week or so I can learn a new word. Mostly so I'm not writing like a hundred chapters of exploring shit. By the end of this ill have explored everything anyways.
My god am I having trouble focusing on writing this, I really don't like rehashing Skyrim again. That's why when I get into the bulk of the questlines I'll only detail significant events or events that I change in some way. I think ill release a chapter of the this and the future arc alternating, so next up is future arc. No promises on that though, maybe ill be able to focus on this for more than an hour or so at a time and finish a third chapter.
An up-scaled, fire and forget twist on the Greater Ward spell. Lasts a few seconds if left unchanneled, can stop any physical attack barring those backed by magic but shatters instantly after. More of a parrying ward than a stand and fire ward. Designed to be most efficient for melee combat.
Links the life forces of two beings together forcing them to share wounds or healing. While under this spell kill one get one free!
Pretty self explanatory, allows the caster to create any item they are roughly familiar with. The items can be used for the real thing, so a forge can be used to craft and a grindstone sharpen weapons, but are otherwise fragile. It cannot be used while in combat and will disappear should combat be initiated while already cast. There are a few basic forms that any user will be able to use as they learn it, basic crafting stations, a bed, a dining set, etc.
created by my character pre-insert, combining telekinesis to hold a coin straight and a fuck ton of lightning magic to control magnetic fields and you get a pretty straight ripoff of Misaka Mikoto's Railgun from To Aru Majutsu no Index (A certain magical index).
pretty self explanatory, summons a daedra forced into the form of a pickaxe.
Dispels magic. Forces a confrontation between magical forces, in the event the attacker is weaker (character's magic vs magic that has animated draugr for centuries if not millennia) it may only work temporarily. If the attacker is stronger will outright remove any magical effect affecting the target.
Allows the caster to walk on water as though solid ground. A spell that was lost after the Third Era, it is said the Champion of Cyrodiil could use it to walk over lava. These reports are unconfirmed.
a potent mixing of Daedric Conjuration and Fire magic. The targeted area explodes on contact and is set alight with unnatural flames that burn hotter and faster than they should.
Thanks for reading!