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The Journal of Kira Shardmoon: An Oblivion Tale

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#1 -Mairi-

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:07 PM

This is the story of Kira Shardmoon, an Ainhmi character in the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It tells her complete story, in the form of her personal journal, from her escape from the Imperial Prison, all the way to the end of the Oblivion storyline, and covers all quests in the game, including the Shivering Isles, Knights of the Nine, and all of the offical DLC content.

The game in this story is played using a minimum of mods, with some realism mods added to give the story more depth (I am a true immersionist, and the story will reflect this - my character must eat, sleep, drink, etc. or she won't survive. Her backpack actually slows her down and tires her out when she is carrying too much weight, and she gets more and more easily fatigued as it gets later in the day, and when she gets hurt). The story itself is a true account of what happened in the game, enhanced with a bit of storytelling and roleplaying, of course.

A complete list of the mods used and a detailed description of the character's build are included for those who are interested. There are also notes on each of Kira's journal entries that show which part of the story she is currently working on.

Warning: Contains some mild (but not too offensive) language: PG 13.

About Kira:

Race: Ainhmi (modified by me to be identical to a Wood Elf in attributes and skill bonuses)
Gender: Female
Birthsign: The Thief
Class: Adventurer (custom class)
Specialization: Stealth
Primary Attributes: Agility, Speed
Major Skills: Blade, Block, Destruction, Light Armor, Marksman, Restoration, Sneak

Complete Mod List (With Load Order):

- Oblivion GOTY, with Shivering Isles, Knights of the Nine, and all official DLC expansions
- Unofficial patches for Oblivion, SI, and official mods
- Atmospheric Weather System
- More Immersive Sound (Low Wind)
- No Glow Grass
- No More Annoying Messages Lite
- Ainhmi Race (heavily modified by me)
- Attribute Booster (Power Version)
- Bag of Holding (only used to store mod configuration items, not loot or Kira's gear)
- Bathing Mod
- Bors Bedrolls (updated version included with Real Sleep Extended)
- Denock Arrows
- Brighter Drop Lit Torches with Weight
- Female Armor Pack
- Level Pacer (3x Slower)
- Smokeable Pipe Mod
- Quest Award Leveller
- Realistic Fatigue (Hard)
- Real Hunger 1.5.5 Classic
- Real Sleep Extended
- Real Thirst
- Stealth Overhaul
- Stormcaller's Horse Overhaul (Armored)
- Streamline 2.1
- Initial Glow (All)

I play with a timescale of 30 in my game (yes, I actually prefer the default timescale).

#2 -Mairi-

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:11 PM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

Main Quest: Escape the Prison

Last Seed 12

It is the year 3E433, according to the calendar in this new land. I suppose that I will have to get used to using it, since I am a citizen here now.

I am Kira Shardmoon, an Ainhmi from the land of Elsweyr, and this is my journal.

My name, Kira, means "ray of light" in my native tongue. My last name, Shardmoon, is a mystery to me. I always thought that perhaps I was named after the silvery moons that shine so brightly upon the deserts of our land. They glint off of the Topal Sea, their reflections on the water breaking into a million tiny shards as the waves ripple and crash against the shores.

I will record the story of my journey and adventures in this new land in the pages of this journal. Hopefully I will find a way out of this prison soon, so that I will have something besides suffering and boredom to write about.

Last Seed 26

I have been sitting in this dark, damp, cursed cell for weeks now. When will I ever breathe fresh air and see the open sky again? I have only a small window in my cell, too high up for me to see anything at all. It's surely one of the worst forms of torture - to be able to catch just an occasional whiff of the wonderful fresh air outside, but not to be able to fully enjoy it. This place stinks of rot and filth, and I'm desperate to find a way out of here. What I wouldn't give for a bath, a decent hot meal that isn't moldy, and a drink of water that doesn't taste like it's been sitting in the bottom of a musty old barrel for months. My "bed" is merely a pile of rags and straw on the floor, and the cold dampness of the stones seeps through it and into my very bones at night. I wake each morning feeling stiff and miserable, and more tired than I was the night before. When will this nightmare come to an end?

I don't even deserve to be in here. All I did was "borrow" a few coins from that man in town, just enough to try to get something decent to eat. How was I to know that he was an off-duty palace guard? You'd think that these Imperials could have a little mercy. I'm a stranger in these lands, and I don't know where to begin to settle into society.

My people were a nomadic tribe in the No-Quin-Al Desert of Elsweyr. They were all slaughtered in a territory war by an invading pride of Khajiit, and I have no home there now. We were only a small group, not even native to the area, just a handful of people trying to scratch out a living in the harsh deserts. I might have been an orphan, but that didn't make the death of my people any less painful. There were many people in my tribe that I would have been proud to call family. (And that is why I hate all Khajiit, and always will. They are little better than beasts who have learned to walk upright.)

I was lucky to escape with my life, and make it safely across the border of Cyrodiil. I managed to stow away on a trading ship that came up the river from Topal Bay to the Imperial City. That was a rough journey, one that I would rather forget. Who knew that a cat could get so seasick? It's really hard to stay hidden and quiet in the hold of a ship when you can't stop hacking up your stomach.

And now here I am, in this hellish prison cell. The Imperials here seem to think that I am just an animal, an outcast, a misfit. They are too proud of their damn city for their own good. Sure, it's pretty, but I prefer the lush beauty and freedom of the open wilderness. I'm a wild creature at heart, not meant to be caged like a beast behind these oppressive city walls. The only company that I have is the demented and mean-tempered elf in the cell across the hallway, and the hordes of flea-infested rats that scamper around here with their damn incessant squeaking. The rats show absolutely no fear of people, and trying to keep them out of my bedding and away from my food is a constant struggle.

At least the Imperials let me keep my little journal, and my beloved lucky backpack, though the bastards emptied it of almost everything. I fear that I will run out of ink soon, and the quill that I am writing this with is worn down to a tattered nub. I will keep myself occupied with this journal for as long as I can, though. Perhaps I can keep my sanity in this wretched place if I have something to do besides sit here and stare at that damn elf.

Last Seed 27

Today when I woke up, everything felt different. I could hear distant sounds in the prison, like the stirring of a giant anthill. Then it got quiet, for a while, but the feeling of tension in the air didn't dissipate.

And now I know why. The Emperor himself, surrounded by three of his guards, whom he called his Blades, came into my cell. He said that assassins had attacked his son, and that he had to leave the palace immediately before they came after him. His secret escape route led through my cell. And, how odd, he said that he knew me. I'm sure that he hasn't seen another person like me before, so surely he couldn't be mistaken. We Ainhmi are rare enough that most people don't even know what we are, even in our native lands. (Most people who know of us think that we are related to the Khajiit, or the Jaguar races of Tojay, but that is not true. We are a unique and magical race, and were created by a mighty wizard to protect his secrets, according to our legends.)

The Emperor said that he had dreamed about me, and that my destiny was bound up with the fate of Tamriel itself. I wonder if he is some kind of prophet, or magic man. How could he know these things? And how am I to serve a country that I am a complete stranger in?

His Blades let me follow along as they left the prison through the secret route, though I'm not sure why. I guess they were too busy to worry about one little Ainhmi girl. I think the Emperor pardoned me of my crimes. I hope so. He said that what I had done didn't matter anymore. At least now I am free. He said that there was blood and death in my future. Blood and death, unfortunately, has been the story of my whole life. Why would I expect anything different, in this strange new land?

One of the guards, Baurus, seemed really unhappy that I was there. I don't think that he trusted me, and I don't blame him. He kept telling me to stay out of the way, and keep quiet. Which I certainly did, since I was unarmed and dressed in rags, and he and the other Blades were kitted out in full battle armor and huge swords.

We were ambushed by some evil-looking men, that they said were assassins for a group called the Mythic Dawn. The Emperor seemed concerned for my well-being, and I found myself beginning to really like him. I might have even trusted him, but I have learned that it is better not to trust anybody who isn't one of your own people. That just brings you trouble and hurt.

The Blades made short work of the assassins. I really would not want to be an enemy of theirs. They're very efficient. The Emperor really seemed to care about his men, and grieved when his guard captain fell during the battle. That's the mark of a good man.

The Blades went through another passageway, and told me to stay behind and find my own way out. I guess that they didn't want to risk bringing me along any further. Before he left, the Emperor said that he was sure that we would meet again. I searched the bodies of the fallen assassins, and found two potions, a torch, and a nice steel short sword. The sword was well-made and had a good balance to it. I've had a lot of sword training growing up in the deserts, so the weapon was familiar to me.

The Blades' captain, I believe her name was Renault, had the most beautifully made katana, with an elaborate handle that bore what I believe to be the mark of the Blades. It wasn't my type of weapon, as I prefer smaller and lighter weapons. But it seemed a shame to leave such a finely crafted weapon just lying there in the dungeon, so I grabbed it. I thought that perhaps I would see the Emperor and his Blades again, and I could return the weapon to them. If not, it would fetch a pretty penny from the right dealer, and then I could get myself something good to eat, and a soft bed to sleep in.

A portion of the wall crumbled away, and two of the biggest rats that I had ever seen came bounding through it and straight at me. I was glad of my desert training, and not for the first time. The short sword made quick work of them, and I took some meat from them. People have lived on worse things than rat meat, and the thought of a good hot meal, even if it was just rat meat, was too much to resist. I would definitely cook it quite thoroughly, though. I don't want to get any diseases.

The Blades had locked the door that they left through behind them, so I had no choice but to go through the hole in the wall that the rats had broken through. I was glad to have a torch and a good stout weapon. I could see a skeleton lying on the cavern floor in the distance, and I knew that I would have to be very cautious. Fortunately, we feline folk are very good at sneaking around, as we are natural hunters. My stealth and cunning has always served me well, and I am sure that I will need every bit of it in the days to come.

There was another big rat lurking in this cavern, and I dispatched it quickly with the sword. I found some old chests and crates lying around the cavern, and was able to salvage several gold pieces, a few pieces of leather armor that were quite stiff with age but still in decent shape, a leather shield, a rusty iron dagger, a couple of torches, a handful of lockpicks, and an old iron bow and a quiver of arrows. It had been far too long since I had felt the weight of gold in my hands. The string on the bow had seen better days, but I thought that it would still fire pretty well. I tried it on an old bucket hanging from the well, and it was fairly accurate, with a good flexible pull. The bow has always been my preferred weapon, as it is the most efficient way of hunting in the desert. I counted myself lucky for finding so much useful equipment before setting off into the unknown. I have learned that one can never be too prepared.

There was a locked chest near the skeleton. I've never been the best lockpicker in the world, but I managed to break open the rusty old lock with a little determination and a lot of blind luck. Lockpicking is one skill that I'll have to practice a lot. There was a beautiful sapphire inside the chest, that I am sure will bring a lot of gold.

I found a dead goblin in the same cavern, which had a key that fit the locked exit door, and a couple of magic scrolls. That was a lucky find. I think I was happier to see the key than the scrolls. I hadn't seen many goblins in my native land, as they don't like the desert climate. But I was sure that I would see plenty more of them in the future.

In the next room, I killed another rat, this time with the bow. I do like to use a sword for close combat, but it's nice to have a bow handy, so that I can fight from a safe distance when possible. My stomach was growling with hunger, and the thought of hot juicy rat steaks was becoming too much to resist. I built a small fire out of some scrap wood from one of the crates, and roasted and ate the rat meat. It was a little stringy and tough, but I didn't care. It was the best meal that I had eaten in a long time. The meal was so satisfying that I decided to take the meat from the other rats that I had killed, too. If I had to, I could live on this stuff, as long as it was cooked thoroughly.

I found some iron greaves that fit me pretty well, and though I'm not used to heavy metal armor, they did a much better job of protecting my legs than my ragged sack cloth pants did. I also managed to use one of the lockpicks to remove the iron cuffs from my wrists. The last thing that I needed was to escape from here looking like what I was, an escaped prisoner.

I shot a zombie that was trying to catch some rats. It wasn't easy to take down with the bow, but I didn't want to get close enough to it to use the sword. I hate undead - they are horrible unnatural filthy things. But I took a little piece of the zombie's flesh after I killed it. I have studied a fair amount of alchemy, and I know that the flesh from undead can be a powerful ingredient for brewing potions.

It's hard to sneak around carrying a flaming torch - that makes one a great target. But I wasn't willing to extinguish my only light source in such a forbidding place. Most cats can see in the dark, but not me. I don't have enough feline blood to be able to see in total darkness, though I have better night vision than most. As I moved on, working my way through the dungeon, I killed quite a few more rats. I took meat from each one, knowing that I would probably need the food later. The rats managed to get quite a few bites and gashes in on me, and I was glad that Serai, the woman who raised me, had taught me a basic bit of magic. I was able to cast enough spells to keep my wounds healed, though it definitely wasn't one of my stronger abilities. I just hoped that their filthy teeth and claws wouldn't give me any diseases. I used some of the water from my waterskin to clean the blood off, and hoped that was enough to prevent infection.

I found some more chests along the way, with more potions, gold coins, gems, and other assorted bits of clutter, most of which was not valuable enough to bother carrying around. Who knew that there would be so much valuable treasure in an old city dungeon? I wondered what this place was originally used for. These caverns were definitely not part of the prison. A few of the chests were locked, and I got to practice my lockpicking skills some more. I broke a few lockpicks in the process, but I was sure that I was getting better at it.

I even found some lettuce, a tomato, and some cheese along the way. The vegetables were a little wilted, but still reasonably fresh. Somebody must have passed through here not too long ago. I would have a good supper tonight.

I found several different types of wild mushrooms growing in the caverns - not good for eating, but good for brewing potions, and I gathered all that I could find. Years of being self-sufficient have taught me to never waste anything. The mushrooms seem to be fairly common in this humid climate. I am glad that Serai taught me about alchemy, and how to recognize useful ingredients for brewing potions and poisons. It's always proved to be an invaluable skill.

By early afternoon I had worked my way deeper into the caverns, and began encountering goblins, along with the usual oversized rats. I was beginning to get dismayed, because it seemed that I was traveling deeper underground, instead of up towards the surface. I hoped that I would find an exit that led to the surface soon. I stopped for some lunch, and enjoyed some of the cheese that I had found. It was a little bit moldy around the edges, but still delicious.

I found a mortar and pestle! This was very exciting to me, as now I could make my own potions and poisons, which definitely would give me an advantage in this hostile new world. I immediately ground up some of the poisonous mushrooms that I had found, combined them with a little water from my waterskin, heated it all over the flame from my torch until it had steeped properly, and then poured it into an empty bottle. Presto! I now had enough of the vile liquid to poison an arrow, and hopefully take down a dangerous enemy. I smiled as I put my mortar and pestle away, as I have always had a fascination with all things alchemical.

My bow is serving me well, though I will have to get used to pulling a heavy bowstring again. It's been a while since I've used one on a regular basis. My arm is tired and cramped, but I know that my muscles will get stronger with practice. Perhaps when I get out of here and find an inn, I will enjoy a long relaxing soak in a hot bath. When I get some time, I will practice working both the sword and bow, and build up my muscle strength and coordination. I will need to be in good physical shape to survive here on my own. As it is right now, I can't get through even one fight without getting out of breath, and I have to stop and rest afterwards. How did I let myself get so soft and weak?

I found a good-sized cavern that had several goblins camping in it, including one robed female that appeared to be a sorcerer or shaman of some kind, and was probably their leader. I managed to pick off the ordinary goblins fairly easily. Most enemies can be defeated with plenty of stealth, cunning, and patience. All that was left was her. I was glad for my poison that I had made, because I was sure that I would need it to take down that spellcaster. She had an evil-looking staff that probably had dangerous magical powers. I knew that I would have to be careful when taking her down, and make my first shot count.

The poison worked better than expected! I was able to take her down with a single shot. The arrow itself didn't kill her - I caught her in the shoulder instead of the heart. But the poison worked very quickly, and she only managed to take two steps before falling down. By the time I got across the cavern to her, she was breathing her last breath, foam bubbling from her lips. I vowed to find more of those mushrooms, and keep working on improving my alchemy skills. Without the poisoned arrow, she would have been a very tough opponent. I was definitely glad to take her down before she could blast me with her arcane magic. I knew a fair bit of magic myself, but I knew that I had nowhere near the arsenal of spells that she must have had.

I found a beautiful ruby and a magical-looking odd gem in her pockets. I decided to take the gem to a mage later, and see if they could identify it for me. I hadn't ever seen a gem like that before. I also took her staff (an ugly impaled goblin head on a stick!), which I hoped to sell.

I found a whole roasted rat roasting on a spit over the fire, and couldn't resist it. It was wonderful - searing hot, well-done, and so tender that juice ran down my chin when I bit into it. I was sure that I would get tired of rat meat soon, but this was heaven. I decided that I needed to cook my rat meat longer next time, as it was much better when roasted on a spit.

There was some ale in one of the crates nearby, and though it was tempting to crack one open, I knew that it was better not to risk drinking alcohol while exploring a dangerous cavern. I put them in my pack for later. I also found a smithing hammer for working metal, a whetstone, and a leatherworking kit, which were a most valuable find. I decided to take a break from exploring and fix up my equipment as much as I could. I was able to salvage some leather bits from the scrap laying around, and used them to patch up my armor. I also found another iron bow, and was able to replace the worn string on mine with a much better one. I sharpened my sword and dagger with the whetstone, and I was ready to go.

After I left the big cavern, my path finally began to go upward. I was exhausted from my adventures so far, but that was one steep slope that I was glad to climb. Going up meant that I was getting closer to the surface, which meant that I was on the way to freedom.

The passage continued to slope upward, through a door, and finally ended in a hole in the wall, that led to a large room of worked stone. I knew that I must be back in the Imperial complex again. From here, it should be easy to find my way out. I heard voices up ahead, and was careful to extinguish my torch and tread quietly when exiting the tunnel into the room. The voices sounded familiar as I drew closer - Baurus and the others! I was glad to hear their voices, but was wary about just jumping down the ledge into their midst. I wasn't sure if they'd want me around.

I was glad that I paused to assess the situation, because they were attacked by more Mythic Dawn assassins as I watched. After they killed the assassins, I jumped down and walked towards them, holding my hands out to show that I meant them no harm. Baurus immediately wanted to kill me, as he suspected me of working with the assassins. The Emperor stopped him, though, and offered me his protection. He asked what my birthsign was, and told me again that I had a great destiny, and that the Thief, who watches over me, would guide and strengthen me on my journey. He seemed to know a lot about astrology, and I found myself wondering again if he was a prophet of some kind. He said that he was destined to die that day, and that nothing he could do would stop it. I was saddened by this, as I liked him, and I hoped that he was wrong. I was impressed by his courage as he told me about his imminent death.

Baurus grudgingly agreed to let me follow along, since the Emperor insisted that I be allowed to accompany them. Baurus lightened up a little after a few minutes, and even spoke to me some, telling me a little bit about the Blades. He seemed very proud of his job, and determined to protect the Emperor. I might not like Imperials in general, but I was beginning to respect Baurus's loyalty and courage.

We traveled deeper into the complex, killing more assassins along the way. I wasn't nearly as skilled a warrior as the Blades were, but I offered what little assistance I could. At least I could distract the assassins for them, making their job much easier. I was glad for their company, and wondered why the assassins were so determined to kill the Emperor, and why they had attacked his son. The Emperor seemed quite sure that his son was dead. He must have been very sad, but he hid his pain well, and did what he had to do.

We reached a large room with an iron gate set in one wall, and Glenroy, the other Blade, seemed very worried. He suspected that the assassins had laid a trap for us. The Emperor did his best to hide his fear, but I could still see it in his eyes. I found my own heart racing as the Blades searched the area for danger.

They decided to try a small side passage that we had passed, since the gate was barred from the other side, and that's where the assassins sprang their trap on us. As soon as we entered the room at the end of the passage, we heard the iron gate creak open, and the Blades immediately ran back into the other room, leaving me alone to guard the Emperor. The Emperor told me that this was the end, and gave me the huge amulet that he wore around his neck, saying that I must find his other son (a second heir that no one else knew about), and take the amulet to him. He said that I alone must stand against the Prince of Destruction, and close shut the jaws of Oblivion. I wasn't sure what that meant, but it sure didn't sound good for me. Whatever he meant, must have something to do with the great destiny that he said lay ahead of me.

As soon as the Blades left the room, an assassin stepped out of a secret doorway and struck the Emperor to the ground with a single blow. He came after me, as the Blades were busy fighting his allies in the other room. I tried to defend myself with my bow (I didn't have time to draw my sword and grab my shield), but he was too strong for me. The Blades attacked him, but he was stronger than the others. Glenroy went down hard, and I knew that he was dead before he even hit the ground. No man could survive a wound like that. Baurus got a lucky hit on the assassin while he was distracted with fighting Glenroy, and managed to bring him down with a clean blow to the throat. As soon as the assassin was dead, Baurus rushed over to the Emperor to see if he was still alive.

He was not. I swallowed my grief down hard, determined not to cry in front of Baurus, and I saw the gleam of tears in his eyes. I hadn't known the Emperor for very long, but his death still tore at my heart. I believed that he was a good man, and I could see why his men loved him. Baurus confronted me, apparently suspecting me of killing the Emperor. But he must have seen the pain and truth in my eyes, because he believed me when I told him what happened. Before I left, I gave Captain Renault's katana to Baurus, and he was very grateful to have it safely returned. He promised to give it a place of honor in the hall of the Blades. I was glad that she and Glenroy would be honored for their bravery.

Baurus told me to seek Jauffre, the Grandmaster of his order, and take him the Amulet of Kings. I must go to Weynon Priory, a monastery near the city of Chorrol. I knew that this task was important, and that I was part of a greater destiny. I didn't understand how the Emperor had known that he would die that day, but I couldn't deny the truth of his words now.

Baurus also gave me directions and a key so that I could find my way out through the city sewers (he stayed behind to guard the Emperor's body). He seemed confident that I could handle myself, but he still warned me to be cautious, and be wary of the dangers of traveling through the sewers.

I found some rats and goblins in the sewers, as Baurus had said that I would, but they weren't too much trouble. I was so exhausted, though, that I could barely keep my eyes open. I hadn't had a good night's sleep since I had left my homeland, and all of the fighting and grief that I had seen today was taking its toll on me. I was so tired and hungry by the time I found the sewer exit that it was all that I could do to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. I needed to find a warm bed, a hot bath, and a good hot meal. I was desperately thirsty, but I couldn't stand the thought of drinking any more of that stale murky water from the prison, when fresh clean water was waiting for me in the world outside.

When I finally stepped out through the sewer exit, I was outside, free, at last! Judging by the stars, it was late evening. I threw my pack to the ground, ran to the edge of the sparkling river that lay just outside the exit, and drank until I was satiated. I rinsed out my waterskin, and refilled it with fresh clean water. I would have gone for a swim to wash off some of the grime from weeks of not bathing, but the water was too cold, and I was so tired that I was afraid that I might drown.

I got a glimpse of my reflection in the water, and I didn't even recognize myself. I look like a starved scarecrow, with my face all gaunt and bony, and my hair matted and sticking up everywhere. They don't feed you very well in prison - you are lucky to get anything to eat or drink at all. My once-tanned skin is pale, and crusted with grime. The fur on my ears and tail is so dirty that I can't even tell what color it's supposed to be. I'll be glad to get myself clean and healthy again, and brush the tangles out of my hair. I've never been as particular about my appearance as most women seem to be, but I do like to at least take good care of myself. We felines are fastidious about cleanliness.

My head was spinning with exhaustion, and the weight of my pack seemed too much to bear, but I managed to make my way up the steep hill towards the Imperial City. Right then, the city was the most welcoming sight that I had seen in a while. I just hoped that none of the city guards recognized me. If I ever wind up in that cursed prison again (or any prison, for that matter), I think I'll go mad.

I managed to kill a mudcrab that I saw near the river. I was really too tired to hunt, but the thought of fresh crab meat for supper was too tempting. I decided to cook it when I found someplace to settle in for the night. Combined with the ale and cheese that I found in the caverns, it would make a nice little celebration feast. I am so glad to be free!

I had forgotten how wonderful it was to see stars again. It's nice to look at something besides the ceiling of a grimy prison cell. I don't think that I'll ever take anything for granted again, especially the beauty of the open sky.

By the time I finally got to the city gates, it was the middle of the night, and I was struggling desperately with my pack, just too tired to carry it anymore. The guards inside the gate didn't look familiar, and they didn't seem to recognize me either. That was a relief. I headed straight to the Merchants Inn, and checked into a room. Twenty gold pieces was a small fortune to me, but it was a small price to pay for a good, safe night's sleep. As a matter of fact, I intended to sleep for a whole day.

I don't know how I managed to get my heavy pack up those stairs and into my room, but it was a relief to take it off, and strip out of my armor. Armor is great protection, but it chafes after a while, and your muscles get sore from carrying it around. Especially when you're not used to it.

I had just enough energy left to cook my crab meat, and my meal was made even more wonderful by the addition of a large venison steak that was provided with my room. That innkeeper must have heard my stomach growling, because he left me not only the steak, but enough food to last me for several days. I'll have to remember to thank him for his kindness. The wedge of cheese and a juicy apple provided the finishing touch (along with several well-deserved ales, of course). I still hadn't bathed, but I felt a hundred times better with a belly full of good hot food. I literally fell into bed after making sure that the door to my room was securely locked, and I don't even remember my head touching the pillow.

#3 -Mairi-

  • Guest

Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:15 PM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

Main Quest: Escape the Prison

Last Seed 29

I slept for a full day. Literally. I woke up once, had some more food and a good long drink, and went back to sleep. I barely even remember waking up - it was all like a dream.

But I felt like a new person. My muscles were pretty sore, but I knew that a good walk through the city would help to loosen them up. I felt ready to face anything. Especially a bath. That was my next priority - to get myself and all of my gear clean. I was pretty sure that I had fleas. Ugh. Yes, a good long bath was definitely my first task for the day.

I thanked the kind innkeeper before I left, and he didn't say anything, just winked at me and gave me a knowing little smile. I liked him even more for not saying anything - I knew that he didn't want to hurt my pride. There were several people in the inn talking about the assassination of the Emperor. News spreads fast around here. The innkeeper gave me a copy of the Black Horse Courier (which is how people around here get their news), and I read it as I ate some breakfast in the inn's common room.

The Courier was interesting, as it talked about the Emperor and his history, and gave some information about the history and current political state of Cyrodiil, as well. I grieved in my heart for the Emperor, and reading about him in the newsletter brought fresh tears to my eyes.

Then, it was off to the shops to sell of some of the stuff that I had collected, and try to earn some money. I knew that the goblin shaman's staff would bring a decent price, and I had plenty of potions and a few magic scrolls that I didn't need. I preferred to make my own potions anyway - I needed the practice. I did keep a few healing potions to last me until I could brew my own, though. I decided that I would buy a bar of scented soap before I took a bath - that would be a nice treat. I would love to smell good again.

I visited a shop called the Copious Coinpurse first, and talked to a wood elf named Thoronir. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, and offered me good prices for my items. We haggled a bit, and I ended up with a bar of lavendar soap, a good warm bedroll for traveling, a beautiful new pipe that was delicately carved with vines (I know that smoking tobacco is a vice, but I have always had a love for it, though I try not to indulge in it too often), a tobacco pouch, some new clean underclothes, a new quill and some fresh ink for writing in my journal, and a purse that was heavy with gold. I had over five hundred gold pieces - more than I had ever seen before in my life!

Excited by this, I decided to go see if I could find some better armor for myself. Adventuring was a lucrative venture, and I decided that it would make a better (and hopefully more exciting) living for me than petty thieving would. I knew that I would need all of the combat experience and good equipment that I could find as I made my way towards Weynon Priory to take that amulet to Jauffre. Perhaps I could even find some old ruins around here to explore, and maybe even find some magical artifacts and treasure. (I have always been an explorer at heart, with a great love of adventure.)

With that in mind, I made my way towards the local armor shop. I hummed as I walked, enjoying the cool morning air and the novelty of freedom. I kept a wary eye out for familiar-looking city guards, but I didn't see any that I knew. With a good night's sleep, a belly that was full for the first time in weeks, and a heavy purse full of gold, I was excited about venturing into this new land and exploring it. Thoronir had given me directions, and told me to look for a shop called The Best Defense. He said to talk to a man named Maro Rufus, who should give me a good deal on some new armor for myself.

He fitted me in a new leather cuirass and good comfortable boots, and some fur greaves and gauntlets that should keep me warm during the cold fall and winter. The armor fitted well, and I was glad to sell him the heavy and uncomfortable iron greaves that I had been wearing. I didn't know how people could stand to wear metal plate armor all of the time. It might offer better protection in battle than soft leather, but there was no way that I move comfortably or be stealthy if I was dragging around all that cumbersome clanking metal.

I stopped at a cartographer's shop and bought a map of Cyrodill, which I knew would prove to be invaluable. I refilled my waterskin at one of the city's wells, and had a good long drink. I stopped at the nearest bathhouse, and took a long hot bath. It was sheer bliss! I soaked and scrubbed myself until every trace of dirt and grime was gone. When I was done, my hair and fur were soft and shining, the fleas and mites that had been itching like mad were all gone, and I felt like a new person. The hot water made my sore muscles feel much better, too.

I found an alchemy shop, and went in to see if I could get my strange magical gem that I had found on the goblin shaman identified. The proprietor, a sweet lady named Claudette Perrick, identified it as a soul gem, a special magical artifact that had the power to hold the essence of a soul inside. She said that if I learned the spells needed to capture souls from my enemies, I could weave the energy from a soul's essence into almost any item, and create powerful magical artifacts.

She told me about the different types of soul gems (some are more powerful than others, and can hold larger and more powerful souls), and showed me how to recognize them. The one that I had was a common one, called a petty soul gem, the weakest type of gem. I thanked her for her help, and tucked the soul gem safely into my pack. Perhaps I could learn more about the spells and the process of enchanting items later. It looked interesting, but I didn't have the equipment or gold that would be necessary to begin that kind of training yet.

It was really tempting to spend some of my gold in the alchemy shop to buy some brewing equipment and ingredients, but I knew that I was better off saving my gold for now. I didn't know what lay in my future. I did buy a small box full of empty glass vials, though. I would need them if I was going to brew my own potions and poisons, and I considered that to be a wise investment.

By the time I left the city's market district, it was early afternoon. I stopped on my way to the next district and had an apple and a piece of cheese for lunch. While I was eating, I read one of the wanted posters that I had seen displayed all over the city. It was for a man called the Gray Fox, who seemed to be a very notorious criminal. I wondered who he was, and what sort of person he was. I knew that you didn't have to be a bad person to be a criminal - I am a good person (in my opinion), and I have been on the wrong side of the law more times than I can count. My upbringing has taught me to fend for myself, and never miss an opportunity to better my situation. (And, I admit, I have a somewhat greedy nature - the thought of finding shiny gold, gems, and other trinkets is irresistable to me.)

The city guards that I passed as I walked treated me differently than they had the first time that I was in the city. I suppose that being clean and wearing nice well-made armor makes you a better person in their eyes. I was still very skinny from being malnourished for so long, but at least I smelled good. Most of the guards and other people that I passed greeted me politely, though I could tell that they were curious about what sort of creature I was. At least no one was trying to throw me into prison. And I wasn't trying to pick anyone's pocket - that was something that I only did out of desperation. I would much rather find my wealth through exploration and adventure than steal it.

I left the city through the Talos plaza gates, and stopped for a moment to admire the view. The Imperial City is located on top of a hill, completely surrounded by water. It's beautiful. I saw the city stables outside the gates, and wandered over to look at the horses. They are fascinating, but curious creatures. So sleek and graceful. I haven't ever ridden one, as horses are rare in my homeland. But I hope to give it a try someday. I'm sure that it would be a little frightening at first, but I wonder what it must feel like to race along on the back of one, with the wind in your hair. I bet it feels like flying.

I set out along the road that runs beside the city, hoping to find some local ruins to explore. I knew that I would have to get to Weynon Priory soon, but I couldn't resist the call of adventure. I could spare just a little time to check out the local area first. Who knew when I would pass by this way again? The whole world awaited me, and I knew that I wouldn't want to stay in just one spot.

I quickly discovered that the area outside the city was teeming with packs of wild wolves, and it wasn't long before one attacked me. I killed it quickly with the bow, and took its beautiful silvery pelt to sell later. Good pelts always brought a decent price from traders.

I found a bandit camp, and killed a bandit who saw me and came after me with his huge iron mace. I hadn't ever killed a man before, but I knew that if I hadn't killed him, he would have killed me, or perhaps another innocent person. It made me feel strange, though, knowing that I had brought another person's life to an end with my own hands. I was sure that he wouldn't be the last that I killed. This world is a hostile place.

And I was right. A few minutes later, another bandit attacked me as well, and my trusty bow once again saved my life. If I could rid the world of another vicious killer, then that could only be a good thing. I just hoped that I didn't ever get too used to killing people. Then I wouldn't be any better than those bandits.

Sinkhole Cave

Next to the bandit camp was a cave, which I decided to explore. There were more bandits hiding out inside - I could hear them talking amongst themselves as soon as I stepped into the cave. I also found more cave mushrooms, some of which would be good for making poisons, and some of which would be good for making healing potions. I picked all that I could find. I proceeded slowly and cautiously, knowing that I had a better chance against the bandits if I could catch them unaware, and get a good clean shot.

I was glad that I had keen eyes and was in the habit of paying close attention to my surroundings, because they had set up a booby trap - a huge log suspended from the ceiling with chains. It was rigged so that if a victim stepped on a pressure plate on the floor of the cave, the log would swing down and smash into them, probably hitting them in the face or upper chest. I made a mental note to always keep on the lookout for traps and other unexpected hazards while exploring.

I killed two bandits in the first room of the cave, and could hear more of them talking the the huge cavern just ahead. One of them was a female, which gave me pause, as I didn't like killing another woman, but I reminded myself that she was just another killer. She would have killed me without a second thought. I was glad that the bow was a quiet weapon, as I could take out enemies without alerting every creature in the vicinity.

The bandits had some food and gold stashed around their hideout, which was useful, and I stuffed my pack with loot as I went. I wondered if the bandits had any valuable treasures stashed away anywhere.

I entered the large cavern after gathering all of the food and gold that I could find, and killed three more bandits. Once again my stealth skills and patience proved handy, because I was able to pick them off one by one, by waiting and watching for the right moment to strike.

I could tell that I was getting better with the bow. My aim was already much more steady, though I knew that it would take a lot more practice for my muscles to build up the kind of strength that I wanted. And I definitely wanted to find enough ingredients to make some more poisons, as it sometimes took several arrows to bring down an enemy. These bandits were tough, and I found myself needing to use my healing spells frequently as they fought back. Using so much magic can be quite tiring if you're not used to it.

I was getting better at dodging and defending myself, but I knew that if I could learn to be more efficient at hunting down my enemies and killing them quickly, I wouldn't have to worry so much about getting hurt.

The bandits had a good supply of lockpicks lying around, which I was glad to have, as they had locked several of the chests that they used to store their loot. I couldn't usually open even a simple lock without breaking several picks in the process.

There were some mudcrabs and rats scurrying about, which are a good source of fresh meat. Nothing tastes better than fresh crab - that's one of my favorite foods. I won't pass up rat meat either, though, as it's a good source of nutrients when you're trying to build your strength up and put some weight back on, even if it's not exactly fine dining. I killed several rats and mudcrabs as I made my way deeper into the caverns.

Deeper in the cave complex I found a huge cavern that seemed to be the bandits' main hideout. I killed one bandit, whom I guessed must have been their ringleader (he had better armor than the others, and had an air of authority about him), and his two huge guard dogs.

In the back of the cavern was a chest that contained another petty soul gem, and a beautiful burgundy linen shirt that was covered in strange symbols, delicately woven from gold thread. I knew that the symbols must be magical, and wondered what powers the shirt had. I decided to take it with me, as an item like that must be quite valuable.

I had thoroughly explored every area of the caverns, it was late at night, and I was getting very tired. I decided to make a little camp by the fire that the bandit ringleader had built, as it had looked like it might rain that night, and I definitely didn't want to sleep out in the wet weather. The bandits had a good supply of firewood, and I was able to make myself a good meal of crab meat and roasted potatoes and corn. It was a comfortable camp, with a table and bench, a few barrels that contained some cheese and grain, and a nice flat area near the fire where I could lay my bedroll.

I sat at the table and wrote in my journal as I enjoyed my meal, and was really looking forward to curling up in my nice comfortable bedroll when I was finished. It had been a long day, and my muscles were painfully cramped and so weak from overuse that I was trembling like a leaf. I could barely write legibly because my hands were shaking so much, but I wanted to document the day's events while they were still fresh in my mind. If I let myself get behind in my journal keeping, I'd never catch it back up.

Last Seed 30

Pain. I woke up in so much pain from my sore muscles that I could barely stir myself from my bedroll. It was a soft, comfortable bed that kept me nice and warm, so at least I had a good night's rest, though I dreamt of bandits sneaking up on me while I was sleeping. Fortunately, none did, and I had a quiet and peaceful night. I had built the fire up with enough wood that it burned steadily all night, which drove the damp chill from the cave and also kept any wild cave creatures from coming too close.

I had slept in my armor, which didn't help my stiffness any. I took the boots and gauntlets off, but I wore the cuirass and greaves. I didn't want to be too vulnerable in case some bandit or wild creature surprised me in the middle of the night. I felt bruised where the stiff leather had pressed into my skin all night.

I did some stretching and walking around to loosen my muscles, which helped some. I made a mental note to strip some bark from the next willow tree that I saw, which would make a helpful tea that would ease the pain of my aching muscles. My hands were raw and sore from holding and pulling the bow, even with the fur gauntlets to protect them. I made some makeshift bandages from some clean rags that I found in a nearby chest, and wrapped my hands before putting my gauntlets on.

My feet still hurt from all of the walking that I had done the day before, and I had some huge blisters forming on them. My new boots would take some time to break in. I would definitely have to toughen my body up, to be able to survive the adventuring life.

I had found a bowl, a plate, a mug, a covered pot for cooking (which made meal preparation much easier, and would allow me to make soups and stews), and some eating utensils in the bandit ringleader's camp. It was nice to be able to make a civilized meal. I cooked myself some hot grain mush, with some wheat grain and a little water from my waterskin. Combined with an apple and a piece of cheese, it made a wonderfully satisfying breakfast.

I left the cave, and found a beautiful autumn day waiting for me outside. It had indeed rained the night before, and I was glad that I had decided to spend the night inside. I walked down to the water and washed myself as quickly as I could, for the water was brutally cold. I was glad to put my warm armor back on.

I decided to head east and explore the area some more. I killed a deer as I walked along, a beautiful young buck. The venison would make an excellent meal. I found a willow tree, and took some of the bark to make my pain-relieving tea. I would build a fire when I stopped for lunch, and make my tea then.

Imperial Sewers

The morning passed uneventfully, but that afternoon I found an entrance into the Imperial city sewers at the edge of the water. I decided that it would be an interesting place to explore. The entrance gate was locked with a very complex lock, one of the hardest to pick that I had ever seen, and I spent almost an hour carefully working on it. I took my time, listening to the sound of the tumblers inside, and trying to learn more about the mechanisms. I was glad that I had found some more lockpicks in the bandit hideout, because I broke quite a few. Working on the lock was good practice for me, and I was excited when I finally coaxed the last tumbler into place and the lock opened.

The sewers were mostly well-lit, since they had grates in the ceiling that were open to the outside. I was glad that I didn't need a torch, because I only had a few left. I would have to find some more soon.

There were a lot of rats and mudcrabs down in the sewers, which made them a good hunting ground for a hungry Ainhmi to explore. There were also a lot of muddy boot tracks on the floor leading from the entrance, and I was betting that they belonged to bandits.

I was right. A few rooms beyond the entrance, I found a small camp of bandits. They were talking loudly among themselves, and were quite drunk, making them easy targets for me. The sewers must make an excellent place for bandits to hide, and I knew that I would probably find a lot more of them.

I found the most unusual plant growing in the water in one of the tunnels. It made a high-pitched singing noise, almost like the buzzing of crickets, but musical. The sound was eerie and beautiful, and listening to it gave me chills. Intrigued, I plucked a small sprig of the plant, and decided to take it to Claudette Perrick when I returned to the city, and see if she knew what it might be. I knew that the plant must be magical, and wondered what interesting alchemical properties it might have.

I was getting hungry, so I built myself a small fire out of some wood from an old broken barrel. The wood was rotted and damp, but it burned well enough. I cooked myself some rat meat and ate that with a tomato for lunch. I also made two vials of poison from some of the poisonous cave mushrooms that I had picked earlier.

I wondered if it would be possible to make some potions from the food in my pack, that would satisfy my hunger. I decided to try, and ground up some corn and wheat grain and mixed it with a little water. I brewed it like a potion, and poured some of the mixture into a vial. I tried it, and it didn't taste too bad. It was a little bland, but perhaps I could experiment with some different ingredients, and perhaps add a little seasoning to flavor it.

The important thing was that it satisfied my hunger. The brewing process seemed to extract most of the nutritional value from the food. It wasn't as filling as an actual meal, but it might keep me alive in a tight situation, and it was much lighter weight to carry than food. I also made myself some willow bark tea, and it didn't take long to soothe away the worst of my pain. I was glad that I had collected enough of the bark to last me for a while, because I was probably going to need it until my body toughened up some.

I found a lesser soul gem while I was exploring. I was definitely going to have to learn how to use those soon. I encountered another locked gate (this one with a fairly complex lock) as I worked my way deeper into the tunnels, and I was glad that I had practiced on that harder lock earlier, because this one was much easier for me to open. I was getting better at picking them without breaking too many picks in the process.

It was getting late in the day, and I didn't have enough water in my waterskin to last me for a major expedition. The water in the sewers wasn't drinkable, even if I boiled it - it was full of filth and debris. The sewers were a huge complex, and I could spend days down there trying to explore them all. I decided to go back to the city and get a good night's sleep in the inn, and come back to the sewers in the morning with more supplies. I would definitely need to buy some more waterskins, so that I could carry enough water to last me for several days at a time.

I made my way back to the sewer entrance again, and it was dark when I stepped outside. I found another one of the unusual singing plants near the water's edge outside the sewer, and I gathered as much of it as I could without harming the plant.

I spotted one of the guards that had arrested me when I entered the city gates, but luckily he didn't see me. He appeared to be going off-duty, so he wasn't really paying attention to me. I would really have to watch my step in this city if I was going to remain a free woman.

When I reached the Merchants Inn, I talked to the innkeeper, whose named I learned was Velus Hosidius, about the Gray Fox poster that I had seen earlier. He didn't seem to like the Gray Fox, and said that he was a clever thief. He said that the beggars were the Gray Fox's eyes and ears, and that made me wonder again about the Gray Fox's character. How bad of a person could he be, if he worked with the poor and homeless people? He probably gave them some of the profits from his thieving, to help feed and clothe them. That would explain why they were willing to work with him.

Velus mentioned an Imperial watch captain named Heironymus Lex, who was trying to catch the Gray Fox. I could definitely sympathize with the Gray Fox about being persecuted by Imperial guards. Velus also mentioned the Thieves Guild, which I assumed the Gray Fox was the head of. I decided that if I ever ran into the Gray Fox, I would check him out, and see what sort of people he and his guild of thieves were.

I overheard some people in the common room talking about trouble at the chapel of Dibella in the city of Anvil. All of the priests and priestesses there had been murdered. I wondered if that had anything to do with the Emperor's assassination. Earlier that morning, I had heard some people in the city streets talking about the increasing prevalence of demon worship around the country. And of course everyone was buzzing about the Emperor's murder, and speculating on what it could mean. Something terrible was brewing in Cyrodiil.

I hoped that I would get some more answers about what was going on when I took the amulet to Weynon Priory. I knew that I should go soon, but what could a few more days spent exploring around here hurt? Surely it could wait just a little bit longer. I was getting really nervous about making the journey, to be truthful. I was afraid of getting myself embroiled in the frightening events that were unfolding around me. I wasn't ready to face that yet.

It was too late to get a meal from the common room, so when I got to my room, I made myself a venison, carrot, and radish stew. I worked on my journal while it cooked. The meal was delicious, especially with a small loaf of bread to eat the broth with, and I washed it all down with some sweet mead. I hadn't had mead before, but it was a wonderful treat. Ale and beer were nice, but mead was better. I enjoyed a good smoke of my pipe after my meal, and wondered if I could find some better tobacco. The tobacco that had come with my pouch was decent, but a little bit stale.

I drank some more willow bark tea before I went to bed, so that I could get a restful night's sleep. I was glad to finally strip off the armor and sleep in just my underclothes. A good bedroll is nice to have, but it doesn't compare to a real fluffy bed with a pile of warm quilts to snuggle under.

#4 -Mairi-

  • Guest

Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:17 PM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

Main Quest: Escape the Prison

Last Seed 29

I woke up the next morning feeling much better. An apple, bread, cheese, and some more willow bark tea were a good breakfast. After wishing Velus the innkeeper good day, I headed out into the market district to give Thoronir another visit. After a stop at the bathhouse to get clean, of course.

The magical shirt brought me a good bit of gold, as I had thought that it would. Thoronir gave me over a hundred gold pieces for it. He wasn't sure what its powers were, either, but he knew a magical shirt when he saw one. He also gave me a fair price for the wolf pelt. I asked him if he had any waterskins for sale, and he said that he did not, but he pointed me towards Three Brothers Trade Goods, a general vendor which kept them in stock. I thanked him for his business and headed to the Three Brothers shop.

I visited the shop and bought three more waterskins. Now I could carry enough water to last me for four days, perhaps even five or six, if I was careful and conserved my water. I stopped at the city well and filled all of them. They were heavy, but I was glad for the peace of mind that they gave me. The last thing that I wanted was to run out of fresh drinking water while I was lost in some dark deep dungeon, and thirst to death before I could find my way back out.

I also bought a small pouch and a belt that I could put around my waist. The pouch gave me a convenient place to store things such as potions, poisons, my flint and steel, and my armor and weapon repairing tools. I bought a small skinning knife and put it into the pouch also. The knife would be much better for skinning carcasses than my dagger would. The dagger was a fine weapon, but the curved blade of the skinning knife would make the hard work of skinning much easier.

I stopped in to see Claudette at the alchemy shop, and showed her the sprig that I had gathered from the singing plant. She was as mystified as I was about what it could be, but she told me about an alchemist named Sinderion in the city of Skingrad. She said that he specialized in studying plants and might be able to help me learn more about it.

Imperial Sewers

I made my way back to the sewers around late afternoon, and had a light lunch of bread and a tomato before I went inside. I searched carefully around the entrance for signs of recent activity when I got inside, and there were a lot of fresh bandit tracks. I knew from the number of fresh tracks that this place must be one of the main strongholds for the bandits in the area. I hoped that they weren't expecting me, since they had surely found the bodies of their fallen comrades. I was glad that I had a lot of arrows.

They must have been expecting me, as I had feared, and posted sentries, because three of them ambushed me as I made my way deeper into the complex. I fought hard, using my short sword and leather shield since we were fighting at such close quarters. I was not used to using a shield, but I managed to deflect the worst of their blows with it. I defeated them after a long hard battle, but it was a close thing. I wasn't a very religious person, but I uttered a prayer of thanks to the gods that I was still alive afterward.

I found some more torches and an ornate key with a skull-shaped grip in a chest nearby. I wondered what the key was for. It looked like a door key, as it was far too large to fit a chest or cabinet.

I found some more bandits as I explored further, but they didn't seem to be expecting me, and I took them down easily enough. I was becoming a pretty good shot with the bow. I might not win any archery contests yet, but I could definitely take care of myself.

I was already getting far too used to killing people. At least they were bad people, and maybe I had saved some innocent lives by ridding the world of them. I hated bandits. They had absolutely no regard for other peoples' lives, and would happily kill anybody for a few coins, or just for the fun of it. They reminded me of the vicious Khajiit who slaughtered my people.

I found a locked door with a skull symbol carved into the wall beside it. It was the same symbol that was on the key that I had found. I tried the key in the door, and it fit. I opened it with caution, and stepped through.

In this new part of the complex, I found a room that had three burning and mutilated corpses hanging from the wall, far overhead. I had never seen anything like it, and the horror of it made my stomach churn with nausea. The stench of burning hair and flesh was overwhelming. I was glad that I had already eaten lunch, because I wouldn't have an appetite for a while after seeing (and smelling) that.

The corpses hadn't been burning for long, because the flesh hadn't burned completely off of their bones yet. I walked closer to examine them, hoping to figure out what could have done that to them. I immediately wished that I hadn't, because I saw hot grease sizzling and dripping from them onto the floor as they roasted in the flames. That was too much for me. I ran to the corner of the room and lost my lunch. After I recovered, I felt a little better, but I didn't waste any time moving to the next room, and away from that nightmare.

I had noticed a coffin sitting on the floor below the corpses. I wondered if there were vampires around here. A vampire would certainly be strong (and sadistic) enough to do something like that. I would definitely have to tread with caution. I had never taken down a vampire, or even seen one, and I wondered if a poisoned arrow would hurt them. I hoped that I wouldn't have to find out.

I found out soon enough. I walked into a hallway, and saw a humanlike creature walking up the hallway ahead of me. It didn't see me, and I crouched in the shadows and watched it. I could tell from the way it moved, and from the way its eyes glowed an eerie blue in the darkness, that it wasn't human. My eyes glowed silver in the dark, since I am a cat, but this glow was different, somehow. I was guessing that it was a vampire.

I withdrew both vials of mushroom poison from the pouch on my belt, and applied it to the tips of two of my arrows, careful not to make any noise that might alert the vampire to my presence. I set one of the poisoned arrows on the ground next to me, ready if I needed it. I nocked the other one in the bow, took careful aim, and fired. I caught the vampire in the side of the neck, a good spot for the poison to enter his bloodstream.

I could tell that the poisoned arrow hurt him, but it didn't kill him. He coughed, swayed on his feet for a moment, and pulled the arrow from his neck with a snarl. He charged down the hall at me. I quickly nocked the second poisoned arrow, and fired again. This one caught him in the chest. He staggered, and almost lost his footing, but didn't go down. He was tough! I fired off another arrow (wishing that I had more poison), and got him right through the eye. He went down in a boneless heap.

As he died, his body turned to dust, leaving a pile of armor where he had been. Yes, he was definitely a vampire. I scooped some of the dust into an empty vial, as it was a valuable alchemical ingredient.

Once I knew what dangers I faced, I proceeded even more cautiously. I made a mental note to find the ingredients that I needed to make more poison. It did indeed work against vampires, though a lot more of it was needed to kill them.

I was getting very tired and hungry, and I knew that I would have to find a safe place to sleep soon. I didn't want to get so exhausted that I made a fatal mistake while fighting an enemy, especially if it was a vampire. I definitely didn't want to become one of those bloodsuckers. I'd rather die first. I was eager to make a nice camp for myself, and brew some more of my willow bark tea. The effects of the last dose had worn off long ago, and I was in pain from head to toe.

I pushed on, and encountered an undead skeleton. I wondered if one of the vampires that lived below the city had been a necromancer, and had raised the body of one of his victims as a guardian. Arrows didn't have much effect on it since it didn't have any vital organs to wound, but I was able to shoot it hard enough to snap the head from its spinal column, breaking the enchantment that gave it unlife. I scraped some dust from its bones (the dust from undead bones is much more potent than ordinary bone dust), which would be useful for my alchemy.

I found a vampire sorcerer, probably the same one that had raised the skeleton. I managed to kill her without poisoned arrows, and without getting bitten, but she was a worthy opponent. She wasn't as heavily armored as the other vampire had been, and I was able to get an arrow into her heart after several tries. I took some of the dust from her after she disintegrated.

After killing her, I was so exhausted that I just couldn't push on any further. I found a door at the end of the hallway where I had fought her, that was locked beyond my ability to pick. There was a pile of broken lockpicks on the floor in front of the door, and I guessed that the vampire had been trying to unlock it. The door was well-made and made of solid iron, and bore the official seal of the Imperial city. I put my ear to it, and heard nothing.

I guessed that it probably led to a storage area for the Imperial palace, and perhaps that was why the vampire was trying so hard to get into it. I hoped that nothing dangerous lay beyond it, because I was just too tired to care at that point. I built a tiny fire right up against the door, and spread out my bedroll.

I had a meager meal of rat meat and cheese, and an extra strong mug of willow bark tea. I kept seeing (and smelling) the roasted bodies of the burning corpses in my mind as I ate my meal, but I managed to eat all of my food and keep it down. I couldn't afford to lose any more strength just because I had a weak stomach.

I wrote in my journal until the willow bark took effect, and my pain was eased enough that I could sleep comfortably. It helped to take my mind off of my fear of sleeping in a place like this. I extinguished my fire before I went to sleep, afraid of drawing any attention to myself in this dangerous place. I slept in my armor, boots and all, with my dagger in my hand.

Heartfire 1

I woke up after a long sleep that was full of horrible nightmares about vampires, and was too stiff to move for several minutes. The cold from the damp sewers had worked its way into my very bones, even with my warm bedroll. I listened for any sounds of danger in the dark around me as I tried to work some feeling back into my fingers and toes.

I finally crawled out of my bedroll, and cried out in pain from the blisters on my feet. I regretted sleeping in my boots, but I had wanted to be able to make a quick escape if a vampire snuck up on me in the middle of the night. I lit my fire again, brewed some very strong willow bark tea, and nibbled some bread and cheese for breakfast. I didn't have much appetite, and I hoped that I wasn't getting sick. Sleeping in such a cold and damp environment while I was still recovering from malnourishment was just asking for trouble.

I took off my boots and stockings, and spent a few minutes rubbing my hurting feet, wondering what I could do to help them. I dug through my pack, and decided to try making a salve from some of the healing cave mushrooms that I had found. Without more ingredients to mix with them, the cairn bolete caps weren't strong enough to make a real potion (at least, not with my level of knowledge), but perhaps they were enough to heal my blisters.

I made a paste from some of the ground caps, heated it over my fire, and rubbed some into my feet. I put the rest into a vial for later. The hot mixture felt wonderful, and did indeed help. Its soothing warmth soaked into my feet, the willow bark began to ease my aching muscles, and I sighed with contentment. Within a few minutes, the blisters were beginning to disappear, and the deep ache in my feet from so much walking began to go away. I was glad that I had thought of trying the salve.

I wrapped my feet in some clean bandages (I had taken a pile of rags from the bandit camp, in case I needed more bandages later), and put my boots and stockings back on. I still didn't feel too good, but I was ready to face another day. I gathered up my things from my little camp, and headed back into the sewers.

I remembered a door that I had passed the day before without investigating, and I wondered if it might lead to an exit. I was beginning to get a headache, and was ready to get out of the cold dark sewers. The thought of trekking all the way back the way that I had come wasn't pleasant, especially since I did seem to be getting sick. At least if I began to run a fever the willow bark would help to keep it from getting too high.

I headed back to the door, which was much farther away than I had thought that it would be, and was glad that my feet felt so much better. The door did indeed lead to an exit, and I was glad to step out of the sewers and into the fresh clean air. The bright sunlight hurt my eyes and made my headache worse, but I was still happy to see the beautiful day.

By the time I made my way north to the city gates, it was early evening, my head was hurting so badly that spots were dancing in front of my eyes, and I was beginning to feel feverish. I chewed on a small piece of willow bark while I walked. The taste was terrible and bitter, but it would help both my headache and fever a little, though it would been more effective if brewed into a tea. I hadn't eaten since that morning, but I still wasn't hungry. I knew that I would have to make myself eat something when I got to an inn, though, or I would just make myself sicker.

I entered the city through the south gates, in the district that the Imperials called the Arboretum. It was beautiful, with lush gardens that were planted with all kinds of interesting plants, but I was feeling to miserable to stop and appreciate it. It was a long walk through the city to the Merchants Inn, but I wanted to stay someplace that I knew, and I was beginning to regard Velus the innkeeper as a friend. Besides, it was always nice to see a familiar face, and not have to deal with strangers when I was feeling under the weather.

When I reached the inn, Velus took one look at me, and felt my forehead. He said that I was burning up with fever (which I already knew), and offered to send for a healer. I thanked him for the offer, but declined, and ordered a bowl of beef stew and bread from the common room instead. I still had no appetite, but the willow bark that I had chewed had helped my head and fever enough that I was able to eat most of my meal before I finally retired to my room.

I just wanted to crawl into bed, and sleep until I was well again. I made myself some willow bark tea first, though, and drank it gratefully while I wrote the day's journal entry. I rubbed some more salve into my feet and wrapped them in fresh bandages before lying down. The soft bed was bliss, and I fell immediately into a deep, dreamless sleep.

#5 Mairi

  • Member
  • 6 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:24 PM

Okay, I actually have an account here now. (I didn't see the option to make one at first, so I posted that last as a guest. . .whoops!) LOL.


Look for more updates frequently. I play all the time (yeah, I know, I don't have a life. . .), and write my story as I go, so I update my story at least once (or more) per day.

You can also view this story on Kira's blog page:

The Journal of Kira Shardmoon: An Oblivion Blog

I update the blog site every day.

Feel free to comment on my story. I would love to know what other people think of it. It's fun for me to write, as I never know what adventures (or misadventures) Kira will get into each day, so I hope that it's fun for you to read, too. :)

Edited by Mairi, 02 January 2009 - 08:13 PM.

#6 Mairi

  • Member
  • 6 posts

Posted 03 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

Update: Now my story has pictures! I actually have the screenshots that were supposed to go with the first part of the story, but I can't edit my first posts because I wrote them as a guest. Sigh. . .at least I have pics for the rest of it.


From the Journal of Kira Shardmoon:

Main Quest: Delivering the Amulet

Heartfire 2

I woke up sometime during the late morning. I had tossed and turned with fever during my sleep, alternating between feeling burning hot and freezing cold. The blankets were a tangled mess, and I was soaked in sweat. But my fever had broken sometime during the night, and my headache was almost gone.

My throat was so dry that I could barely swallow, and I drank from my waterskin gratefully. After satisfying my thirst, I felt much better, and got up to make myself some willow bark tea. I still didn't really feel like eating, but I ordered a bowl of rice and an orange from the common room for breakfast. Velus commented on how much better I looked, and I gave him some gold to reserve the room for another night.

I decided to spend a quiet day exploring the city, as I still didn't feel up to adventuring until I had rested some more. I had a good soothing bath at the bathhouse, and was glad to be fresh and clean again.

The next thing that I wanted was some actual clothing. I didn't have anything to wear but my armor and underclothes, and I wanted to be able to dress comfortably when walking around town or relaxing at the inn. I found a shop called Divine Elegance, and stopped in to see what I could buy myself to wear.

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The proprietor was a nice woman named Palonirya. She seemed to really know a lot about clothing, and was happy to help me find something that fit well. I was glad that I was beginning to put some weight back on, as that made it easier to fit my clothing properly. Palonirya said that I had a beautiful complexion. She loved my tawny golden hair and fur, and said that she had just the thing to complement my appearance. I was glad that she didn't say anything about me being too skinny. She gave me a beautiful blue velvet dress to try on, with a pair of gold-trimmed shoes. I tried it on, and admired myself in the full-length mirror that was hanging on the wall.

The dress was fancier than anything that I had ever worn before, and trimmed with gold that matched the shoes, and brought out the gold highlights in my hair. The deep blue of the dress complemented my silver eyes, and made me look even more exotic. Had I been a vain person, I might have even called myself beautiful. I had always worn breeches and loose shirts before, as they were more practical for desert life. But the dress and shoes were amazingly comfortable and warm, and I felt (and looked) like a real lady wearing them.

Palonirya suggested that I might visit the jewelry shop across the way and find a nice necklace to match the stunning dress, but I wasn't sure about spending any more money on something frivolous like that. Besides, the price for the dress and shoes was enough to make my jaw drop. But I was glad to have something pretty and comfortable for myself to wear, and I knew that I deserved it. I thanked Palonirya for helping me, and left the shop with a song in my heart.

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Eager to be rid of my heavy armor for a while, I took it back to the inn and left it, and my pack, in my room. I put on just the belt and belt pouch, though it looked a little funny with the dress. But I needed to have someplace to carry my gold, and my dagger just in case. How did proper ladies manage to carry their gold and other stuff? They didn't wear belt pouches, so where did they keep it? I wasn't sure that I wanted to know. Velus commented on how pretty I looked as I left the inn to head back out into the city, and winked at me.

I saw a poster advertising the Arena in the market district, and decided to go check it out.

There are Khajiit in this damn city. I saw quite a few while I was walking around. I suspect that the beasts are common all over Cyrodiil. As long as they leave me alone, I will be happy.

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I made my way to the Arena, and talked to Hundolin at the gate. He said that I could participate as a combatant if I wanted to, or just watch and bet on a match. I certainly didn't feel like fighting, but betting looked like fun. I spent the rest of the afternoon and most of the early evening enjoying the matches, and betting on them. I broke even at the end, but at least I hadn't lost any of my hard-earned gold.

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I had heard a lot of people talk about how horribly bloody and disgusting the Arena fights were, but blood and death were nothing new to me. I found the experience to be quite thrilling, and far too addictive. I would really have to watch my self-restraint so that I didn't become an obsessive gambler like some of the folks there were. One man that I spoke to spent every day there betting on matches, and his wife was ready to leave him if he didn't stop gambling away all of their gold.

I spoke with Hundolin afterward about becoming a combatant, as it looked like a fun way to practice my fighting skills. He told me to talk to a man named Owyn in the Arena Bloodworks below the Arena. I decided to check Owyn out the next day, if I felt a little better.

I met two people who were training to be combatants outside the Arena. They were Branwin, a human, and Saliith, an Argonian. They told me about what to expect when I went in to the Arena for the first time, and even gave me some pointers on how to block and spar. They let me watch them practice for a while, and I learned some valuable tips about melee combat.

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I had a good supper of baked crab and vegetables in the Merchants Inn's common room, and talked to Velus about my plans to fight in the Arena. He told me to be careful, and to watch my back and not trust any of the Arena folks too much. He said that he thought that sometimes the matches were rigged. I thanked him for his concern, and turned in for an early night. I drank one mug of willow bark tea before retiring, though I wasn't nearly as sore as I had been.

Heartfire 3

I woke up feeling so much better that I didn't drink any willow bark tea. A few nights of good sleep in a comfortable bed and a day spent relaxing and exploring the city were just what I needed to regain my strength. My muscles were a little stiff when I first woke up, but by the time I got dressed in my pretty blue dress and shoes and had a good breakfast of corncakes and strawberries in the common room, I felt just fine.

Velus wished me luck in the Arena as I left the inn, and bid me again to be careful and watch my back. He needn't have worried, though - I've been watching my back and not trusting other people all of my life.

I stepped outside to a rainy day, but that wasn't enough to dampen my good mood. I was excited about visiting the Arena, though I was admittedly a little nervous about risking my life as a combatant. By the time I reached the Arena, the butterflies in my stomach had turned into a tight knot of fear, though at least the rain had stopped. But I wouldn't back down, and walk away without even trying. I had killed bandits and vampires, and had spent my whole life hunting down dangerous game. I had enough combat training (I hoped) to be able to take care of myself in the Arena.

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I made my way down to the Bloodworks, and saw a lot of big, bulky warriors practicing and warming up for the day's matches. They looked pretty good at what they were doing, and I began to have second thoughts about fighting in the matches. Even the women down there were huge, and I saw one woman practicing whose arms were bigger around than my torso.

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But I sought out Owyn, and asked him about becoming a combatant. He actually laughed at me, and asked what a pretty little scrap of a girl like me was doing in a place like the Bloodworks. He said that if he let me go into the Arena, I'd get slaughtered. He said that his dead grandmother could beat me. That made me so angry that I forgot to be afraid.

He must have realized that I was serious, because he told me that letting his spectators watch my bloody death would be good for business. He agreed to let me fight as a Pit Dog (the lowliest rank of combatant) and told me the basic rules of combat. He seemed impressed that I asked for light leather armor instead of heavy metal plate. He said that he had pegged me for the type who would want to hide behind a skin of steel. Obviously, this man didn't know me.

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I changed into the Arena armor that Owyn gave me to wear (which didn't seem to offer much protection), and decided that I would fight with my bow, but keep my sword and shield handy in case I needed them. If I could keep away from my opponent and shoot him before he got too close, I might have a chance of walking out alive.

As I walked up the ramp and into the Arena, the grim reality of what I was about to do was painted all over the walls and the floor in the blood of the previous combatants. The Arena crowd cheered wildly as I stepped out onto the combat floor, and I knew that they were cheering for my blood. When I got a look at the other combatant, the woman whose arms were bigger than my torso, I knew that I would need every bit of my cunning and skill to survive.

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She was definitely the hardest foe that I had ever faced. She was quick, and incredibly strong. The mighty sword that she wielded caught me several times. I managed to duck the worst of the blows, and was glad for my small size and nimbleness. If I had been just a little bit slower, she would have chopped me down like a sapling tree.

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I managed to turn her into a pincushion of arrows, but she just wouldn't die. I had to resort to using my healing magic to keep myself alive, and developed a rhythm to my fighting. Shoot an arrow, throw a healing spell, duck a swing, shoot an arrow, take a hard blow from her sword or a bash from her shield, throw another spell.

Eventually she began to weaken, as she began to lose a lot of blood from a gaping wound on her neck that I had managed to inflict on her with a lucky shot. I was glad that she didn't seem to know enough healing magic to keep herself alive, because she only cast one healing spell on herself during the fight, and it didn't seem to do much for her.

By the time she finally went down, I was so exhausted from the constant running and ducking to avoid her blows that I was beginning to trip over my own feet. The crowd went wild when she finally fell to the ground like an ox at slaughter. It took me a moment to realize that I had won, and that it was over. I stood over her fallen body with fierce pride swelling my chest, and the thunder of the crowd was music to my ears.

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The rush of risking my very life in combat, the roar of the crowd, and the thrill of hard-won victory were an experience that I knew that I would want to repeat again and again. I had never thought of myself as being bloodthirsty, but I enjoyed the experience of killing that brute of a woman while the crowd cheered me on more than I would care to admit.

Owyn was surprised that I had won, and he paid me 50 gold pieces as my reward for winning. He told me to come back when I was ready to fight the next match in the Pit Dog set.

After a good relaxing soak at the bathhouse, I felt clean and refreshed, though a little tired from the day's excitement. I put my blue dress back on and went to pay Claudette at the alchemy shop a visit. I bought some ingredients from her with my prize money, enough to make several poisons and healing potions. She mentioned Thoronir, and said that his prices were far too low to be legitimate. She said that she thought that perhaps he was up to something shady.

I agreed that his prices did indeed seem too low for the quality of the merchandise in his shop (not that I would complain, of course), and said that I personally liked Thoronir, and that he didn't seem like a bad man to me. Claudette asked me to go talk to her friend Jensine at Jensine's "Good as New" Merchandise, who was heading up an investigation into the matter.

I did a lot of business with Thoronir, so I was curious to find out if he was indeed up to something illegal. I headed over to Jensine's shop, and asked her about Thoronir. She said that the Society of Concerned Merchants had a committee that was looking into it, and that she could use my help. She offered a reward for my assistance as well. I agreed to go speak to Thoronir about what was going on.

I headed over the Thoronir's shop, and asked him politely where he got his inventory. He avoided answering the question, saying that it was a trade secret that he couldn't reveal lest the other shopkeepers use his sources. I decided that the best thing to do would be to watch him after his shop closed and see where he went.

I had a while before Thoronir closed up his shop, since it was only mid-afternoon. I went back to the inn, and rented my room for another night. I spent some time that afternoon making some potions and poisons using the new ingredients that I had bought from Claudette, and was able to make six poisons, a poison that would drain an enemy's energy, a healing potion, a potion that would restore some of my energy when I was fatigued, and a potion to cure disease.

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That done, I decided to go explore some of the other shops in the Market District. There was so much to do and explore around the city that I didn't know where to start. I stopped in at the Black Horse Courier office to see if I could find any news about what was going on in the world. The two men working inside were Khajiit. Not wanting anything to do with them, I quickly grabbed a stack of the latest newspapers, said a quick thank you, and left before they had a chance to respond.

I read the stack of papers over lunch in the inn's common room. One mentioned a Fighter's Guild, which looked interesting. I asked Velus about it, and he said that there wasn't a guild office in the Imperial City, but that I could find an office in Chorrol. That was convenient, because I was going to be heading that way anyway. I decided to check it out when I got there.

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Velus also mentioned that there was a small house for sale on the Waterfront for two thousand gold pieces, if I was interested in finding someplace more permanent to stay. He had thought about buying the house for his daughter as a wedding present, but she had ended up moving to Cheydinhal with her new husband. I thanked him for the information, and said that I would keep it in mind. Besides, I didn't have that kind of money yet.

One of the papers talked about the Grey Fox and the possible existence of a Thieves Guild. According to the article, stories of the Grey Fox had been around for centuries. The article peaked my curiosity about him even more. The other newspapers contained odd bits of local news, including information on a local assassin's cult called the Dark Brotherhood. They sounded like a particularly unsavory group, and I hoped that I never ran into one of them in a dark alley.

An orcish fellow who was drinking beer and looking depressed in the common room introduced himself to me as Luronk gro-Glurzog and asked me politely if I was part Khajiit. I told him that I wasn't (I didn't begrudge him the assumption, as I do resemble the wretched beasts a little bit), and asked him why he looked so sad. He said that he and his friend Ruslan had recently been shaken down and harassed by an Imperial guard who accused them of stealing from Jensine's shop. Luronk said that they were innocent, and had even turned out their pockets to show the guard that they hadn't stolen anything. The guard took all of their gold, though, as a "fine" to keep them out of jail.

I asked him why Jensine allowed such a thing to happen in her shop, and Luronk told me that all of the shopkeepers were too afraid of the guard to do anything about him. I asked him who the guard was, so that I could keep a lookout for him. Luronk didn't know his name, but said that he would recognize him if he saw him. He said that Jensine might know who he was, and that I should try asking her.

Luronk asked me if I could help him to bring the corrupted guard to justice, before he threw some innocent person into prison, or took all of someone else's hard-earned gold. I definitely didn't want any innocent person to end up in that horrible prison like I had, and I agreed to help. I paid for Luronk's beer, and bought him lunch. He was most grateful. He tried to thank me, but I said that it was the least I could do, since he had given me some work.

After I had finished eating, I went back to Jensine's shop to ask her about the guard. She said that she knew Luronk and Ruslan, but that she didn't trust me enough yet to talk to me any more about it. I decided to try talking to her again later after I had helped her to figure out what was going on with Thoronir. Perhaps she would trust me more then.

I visited the First Edition bookstore, and purchased a book about alchemy and a book about lockpicking. I spent the remainder of the evening in the inn's common room studying the books over a few cups of lavendar tea, and a simple supper of cheese, bread, and fruit that I picked at as I read. I learned a lot of valuable things from the books.

When it was nearly time for Thoronir's shop to close, I put the books away in my room, and went to go wait for him to leave his shop. After he closed up shop, he went to the Merchants Inn for supper, and chatted with his friend Nilphas Omellian for a while.

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When he was done with his meal, I followed him at a distance as he made his way to one of the city wells, where he met a man that he called Agarmir. I was glad of my stealth skills, which allowed me to keep an eye on him and yet remain unseen.

I listened to their conversation as they negotiated. Apparently, Thoronir was getting his stock from this man, though I still didn't know where it came from. I didn't think that Thoronir knew, either. I decided to follow Agarmir after they got done talking, and see if I could track down the source of the goods.

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I followed Agarmir after he left, and discovered that he had a house in the Plaza district. I decided to come back later when he wasn't at home, and see if I could find any information in his house. I knew that it was a crime to break into his house, but solving the mystery seemed to be the most important thing.

I headed back to the inn, and drank some mead while I wrote the day's journal entry. By the time I got finished, I was glad to fall into bed, as it was very late at night.

Edited by Mairi, 03 January 2009 - 02:20 PM.

#7 Mairi

  • Member
  • 6 posts

Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:48 PM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

Main Quest: Delivering the Amulet

Heartfire 4

I slept most of the day away! By the time I woke up, it was late afternoon. I must have been more tired the night before than I realized. But I felt much better after such a long night's sleep (though still a little tired), and Velus surprised me with a delicious piece of blackberry pie that his wife had made for a late breakfast. I could have hugged him, but I've never been one for expressing such physical affection.

He sure does know how to make a regular customer out of someone.

After a visit to the bathhouse, I decided to go see if Agarmir was at home, and try to find a way into his house if he wasn't. It was a long walk to his house, and I took a side trip through the beautiful Elven garden district.

When I reached Agarmir's house, he wasn't home, and I made short work of the lock on his door. I looked around in the main room of the house, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I looked upstairs in his bedroom, but all seemed normal there, too.

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I tried the basement last, which was locked. I picked the lock carefully, as it was a good sturdy lock. After working it open, I stepped down into the basement, and was shocked by what I saw.

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Everywhere that I looked were piles of grave dirt, bits of human bones and skulls, shovels, and scraps of clothing that were covered in mud and dust, as though they had come out of a grave. I saw a large book on a table in one corner, and went closer to investigate.

The book was covered in muddy handprints, which I examined closer. They appeared to be human. I opened the book, and found a list of the recently deceased around Cyrodiil. That must be where Agarmir was getting his stock to sell to Thoronir!

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I knew that I must tell Thoronir at once. But his shop was closed by the time I got back to the market district, so I decided to come back first thing in the morning. I also wanted to go back to the Arena and try my hand at fighting again. I had a full day planned the next day, and I wanted to get plenty of rest.

I headed back to the inn and had some ham, bread, and cheese for supper, then turned in early for a good night's rest. I was still tired from being sick, and I knew that I needed all of the extra sleep that I could get.

Heartfire 5

I woke up early in the morning, feeling absolutely wonderful. Every last trace of ache in my muscles was finally gone. I had a quick breakfast of an orange, bread, and cheese in the common room, and headed out to Thoronir's shop after a bath at the bathhouse.

I told him what I had found, and showed him the book. He was horrified to find out where his inventory was coming from, and agreed to stop meeting with Agarmir immediately. He even said that he would find something to do with all of his "ill-gotten" merchandise. He said that he would help me catch Agarmir, and said that Agarmir had mentioned something important that he was going to do that day.

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I wondered if Agarmir might be in the process of robbing another grave that day, as the last name written in the book, a man with the last name of Trentius, had been a person from the Imperial City. Thoronir agreed that I might be right, and he gave me directions to the city's graveyard.

I knew that if I managed to confront Agarmir, he might put up a fight. I have always been a cautious person, and have learned that one can never be too careful. I changed into my armor and poisoned two of my arrows before heading towards the graveyard, just in case.

When I got there, I saw that the door to the Trentius family mausoleum was unsealed, and I was betting that Agarmir was inside, digging up the grave. I opened the door cautiously, and Agarmir didn't seem too surprised to see me. He said that he had to kill me since I knew too much, and he and the other man that was helping him dig up the grave attacked me.

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The poisoned arrow brought Agarmir down quickly, and I managed to hit the other man with the second poisoned arrow. He went down easily, too, and I was glad that I had thought to prepare ahead. I took a shovel that had been leaning against the wall next to the open grave, and also picked up Agarmir's magical sword. It would bring a good price.

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Before I left, I noticed a gleam of gold behind one of the sarcophagi, and couldn't resist taking a look. It was a beautiful golden mace, covered in magical symbols and studded with gemstones. I knew that I shouldn't steal from the dead, but I couldn't resist. Besides, the original owner didn't need it anymore. I told myself that it wasn't any different than looting the bodies of my fallen foes. I could use the gold that I got from selling the mace for good.

I went back to Thoronir's shop and showed him the shovel. He apologized again for his wrongdoings, and told me he was glad that I had managed to stop Agarmir, as he feared that he would have been the next person that Agarmir tried to kill. Thoronir promised me that he would use the money that he had made from the inventory for good, and gave me a magical ring as a reward for helping him.

He said that the ring was a magical artifact called the Weatherward Circlet, and that it would protect me from both fire and frost. I thanked him and slipped the ring onto my finger, excited to own such a powerful item.

I talked to Jensine next, and told her what Thoronir had said. She was very pleased about what I had done, and gave me a hundred gold pieces as a reward. She still didn't trust me enough to talk to me about the corrupt Imperial guard who had robbed Luronk and his friend. I would just have to get to know her better, and see if I could earn her trust. Perhaps I should do more business with her.

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It was late afternoon, so I had some lunch at the inn and then decided to head to the Arena for another match or two. I was excited about facing the cheering crowd and the thrill of danger again.

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When I reached the Arena Bloodworks, I saw the current Champion, Agnorak gro-Malog, practicing his swordplay. I greeted him, and he said that it was nice to meet a fellow Arena combatant. He told me a little bit about his history, and said that he was a lord's son who had been robbed of his birthright.

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Agnorak asked me to help him find the evidence that would prove his nobility, by investigating a fortress called Crowhaven, located in the western reaches of Cyrodiil. He said that he didn't have time to make the trip himself, as his training regimen for the Arena kept him too busy. He said that if I helped him, he would teach me some of his greatest combat secrets, moves that I couldn't learn anywhere else.

I agreed to help if I could, though I told him that it might be a while before I could make the journey, as I had some other very important business to attend to first. Agnorak gave me the key and directions to the Crowhaven fortress, and thanked me.

I tucked the key safely into my pack, and went to see Owyn about fighting some matches. He reminded me again that I had only two matches left to win before I advanced in rank. Before I went into the Arena, I applied the remaining four vials of my deadly poison to my arrows, and also poisoned one arrow with the fatiguing poison that would sap an enemy's energy.

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The first opponent that I faced was a huge Nord. I took him out with two poisoned arrows and a lot of luck. He was tougher than the woman that I had fought last time, but the poisoned arrows were too much for him.

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The second combatant was an Argonian archer, and he was a tricky opponent for me. He dodged my first poisoned arrow, but I managed to hit him with the second (which was the last of my deadly poison). I did still have the arrow that was loaded with the fatigue poison, and I shot him in the thigh with it.

The fatigue poison took a few moments to take effect, but the Argonian lost his footing and sank to the ground, too exhausted to remain standing. Even with him lying flat on his back, it took several arrows to kill him.

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On a whim, I stepped into the middle of the Arena, and gave the crowd a victory salute. They went wild. I went back to collect my payout from Owyn with the thrill of victory surging through my veins and the roar of the crowd still echoing in my ears. I reminded myself not to let all of this Arena business go to my head. I was always a humble person at heart, and I wanted to stay that way.

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I had advanced in Arena rank, and I was a Brawler now. I would have to gain more combat experience before I was worthy enough to face the next set of opponents, though. I made a vow to come back later when I was more worthy and try my luck in the Arena again.

A well-deserved steak and potato dinner at the inn, washed down with some refreshing mead, was the perfect close to my day. I decided to head out into the wilderness in the morning, and continue my exploration of the area outside the city.

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The Imperial City was an interesting place, but the call of adventure and the unknown was too strong to resist. I went to bed early, so that I would be well-rested for the adventures that lay ahead.

#8 Mairi

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  • 6 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:09 AM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

The Main Quest: Delivering the Amulet

Heartfire 6

I dressed in my armor and had a good breakfast of bread, ham, and cheese before leaving the inn. I told Velus that I would probably be back in a day or two, and he said that he would keep my room open for me.

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After breakfast, I had a quick bath at the bathhouse, and filled my waterskins with fresh water at the city well. I was then ready to go, and I stepped out of the city gates into a beautiful autumn morning.

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I decided to head east, and explore the area of the isle near the entrance to the Imperial sewers. I killed a deer on the way, and took a nice cut of its meat. That would make an excellent dinner, and I was sure that I would be quite hungry later on.

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I stopped along my journey to admire the beautiful water, and had a good long drink of it. It was so fresh and cold that it made me shiver when I drank it. The water from the Imperial wells was pretty good, but it didn't compare to the fresh water that could be found in the wilderness. I made a vow to spend more time away from city life, and in the open and lush wilderness that I loved. When my thirst was satiated, I moved on.

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Sideways Cave

I found the entrance to a cave not too far from the Imperial sewer entrance, and decided to explore it after having a quick lunch outside. The cave entrance led to a long steep tunnel that curved downward.

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The tunnel rounded a bend and ended in a huge room with a deep chasm in the middle. Across the chasm, I could see some strange small humanoid creatures flying around. They had wings like bats, and made an odd chirping noise like bats did. I guessed that they must be imps, though I had never seen one in person before.

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I brought them down easily with the bow, and then made my way down into the chasm. I could see that it opened into a tunnel that went further into the caverns.

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I killed a rat and some more imps as I moved deeper into the caverns, and also found some more cairn bolete mushrooms and poisonous wisp stalk caps, which I harvested.

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I remembered hearing an alchemist mention the power of imp galls to make powerful potions, and decided to take some from the imps' bodies to experiment with.

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I made my way deeper into the cavern complex, and found a dead man, who looked as though he must be an adventurer. He looked so fresh that I thought that he must be alive at first, and touched his hand to check that he was indeed dead. I wondered what had killed him. I hoped that I didn't suffer a similar fate.

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At the end of the tunnel where I found him, the passage opened up into the huge cavern with the chasm, except that now I was on the other side of the deep rift. I harvested the galls from the imps that I had shot with my bow earlier.

I investigated a large pile of skeletons that I found further along the cliff edge, and found a good bit of gold scattered between their bones, and also in a large overturned chest that lay near them. There were a few old sacks on the ground. They contained only a few scraps of food that were too moldy from the dampness of the cave to be of any use to me. I hoped that I didn't encounter the creature that killed all of those people and piled their skeletons there.

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I headed back down the passageway and continued to explore the caverns. Eventually I came to a set of beautiful stone doors that had no obvious handles or mechanisms for opening. I pushed on the doors, but they didn't move. After searching a little bit, I found a small button on one of the doors that caused them to slide open when pushed. They opened with a deep grinding rumbling sound, and I was sure that every creature in the caverns had heard it.

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The next area of the caverns was flooded, and the water was ice cold. Determined to explore all of the caverns' secrets, I waded into the water, which was soon up to my waist. I gasped at first as the shock of the icy water hit me, but it wasn't long before my lower extremities went numb.

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I walked vigorously, trying to keep the blood flowing in my legs and feet. I killed a few imps that were flying around the caverns as I explored.

I found a strange stone tablet that was lying near the water's edge, and investigated the strange glowing symbols that were carved into it. The writing on the tablet was flowing and intricate, and I wondered if it might be Elven. Someone had scratched a partial translation into the tablet below the strange script, which was mostly illegible, but mentioned the Ayleids and someone named Meridia.

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Intrigued, I wanted to take the stone with me, but it was too heavy to carry around it my pack - it was nearly as big as my torso, and I doubted that I could even lift it.

I found a chest that contained another petty soul gem and a ring. The ring looked plain and rathered battered, so I guessed that it probably wasn't magical, but it would still be a good piece of treasure to sell.

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I was getting sleepy, and I couldn't stop yawning. I thought that it was probably very late at night, and I was getting pretty hungry. I would have to find a place to sleep soon, but this cold wet cavern was no place to rest. I wasn't going to repeat my previous mistake of sleeping in a cold damp environment and getting myself sick. I decided to push on and find someplace suitably safe and dry to make my camp.

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The flooded cavern ended in a waterfall and another set of the stone doors, which I thought were probably of Ayleid construction. I remembered seeing some stone ruins that were built of similar stone across the water when I first escaped from the Imperial prison, and I remembered someone in the city referring to them as Ayleid.

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The doors opened into a worked stone tunnel that was partially caved in and overgrown with vines and roots, and I knew that it must be very, very ancient. I found another stone tablet with the strange glowing script, also with a scrawled and mostly unreadable translation scratched into the stone. I couldn't make any sense of this tablet, either.

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There were more human skeletons scattered along the passage and up the stairs, and I stepped carefully so as not to make any noise by disturbing the brittle old bones. I shivered violently as I walked, and was glad that at least the air here was dry. I knew that I would have to build a fire soon, and dry myself and my armor out.

This new area seemed to be the remains of an old Ayleid dungeon that was so far underground that it was lost to the rest of the world. I killed some more imps as I explored the rooms of the dungeon, and also found a few healing potions. Once of the nice things about potions was that, if they were brewed properly, the magic that they contained would keep them fresh forever.

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I found one tunnel that was so choked with boulders and debris from a cave-in that it was completely impassable. This made me sad, as I wondered what fantastic secrets might be buried forever down those unseen halls.

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The beautiful stone passages wound their way deeper underground, and I admired the graceful and delicately carved architecture as I walked.

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As I traveled deeper into the dungeon, I encountered a massive stone pillar that had formed from hundreds and hundreds of years of mineral deposits, where a stalactite and a stalagmite had grown towards each other until they met in the middle and became a single column. I knew then that the building was more ancient than I could imagine.

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I found a series of iron gates that opened by some unseen mechanism when I approached them. They led into a stone tunnel that ended in what appeared to be a large throne room. I killed the imp that lurked in the room, and found the dead body of a man in the back of the room.

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He appeared to have been dead for a long time, but the cold dry environment in the room had preserved his remains pretty well. There was another one of the stone tablets next to him, and I wondered if he had been the one who was working on the translations. I found a book about a mystic named Galerion in one of the casks nearby, which I put in my pack to read later.

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The room was dry, and quiet, and I decided that it was as good a place as any to camp. I laid out my bedroll and built a fire from some old wooden planks that I found near the body, to help drive the chill from the room.

My armor was almost dry by this time, but I took it off and oiled it carefully with some of the melted fat from my cut of venison to help keep the leather flexible and soft. When I was finished, I put the armor back on, as I didn't want to remain vulnerable without it for too long.

I made the rest of the venison into a stew over the fire, and sat on the throne to write in my journal while the food cooked. I loved the novelty of sitting on a throne, and had fun pretending that I was a queen.

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I also mixed a poison from some of the wisp stalk caps that I had found earlier, in case I found any dangerous enemies on the way out of the dungeon complex.

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When my food was done, I ate it quickly, and then curled up as close to my fire as I could safely get. I went to sleep with my armor on and my weapons within easy reach, though I took my boots and gauntlets off first.

Heartfire 8

I must have spent longer than I realized exploring the caverns and Ayleid dungeon, because a full day had passed. After I woke up and had a quick breakfast, I backtracked and found my way out of the dungeon. (I couldn't explore any further into the Ayleid complex because the building was too badly damaged to continue.)

When I stepped outside it was dark, and I could tell from the position of the stars that it was sometime in the middle of the night. No wonder I had been so tired. I had explored for nearly twenty-four hours before finally finding a place to sleep.

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I made a mental note to keep more of an eye on the time from then on, so that I wouldn't push myself so hard again. I decided to see if I could find a small pocket watch the next time I was in town, so I would always know what time it was. Watches were expensive little trinkets, but I had no way to keep track of the time while exploring deep underground. It would be a good investment.

I made my way east along the coastline, walking briskly to keep myself warm in the chilly night air. I killed a pair of hunting wolves along the way, and took their beautiful pelts to sell.

A little while after dawn, I found another one of the singing plants along the water's edge, and discovered another one a little farther up the coast. I took a sprig of each.

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I passed the exit to the Imperial sewers that I had discovered while looking for another way out. I knew that I must be getting close to the southern tip of the isle.

I took a break from my traveling to enjoy a fresh pear and a long drink of water while I watched the sun come up. It felt so good to be free, and to be off on one exciting adventure after another.

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When the day warmed up some, I braved the frigid water just long enough to take a quick bath. The water was so cold that it was painful, but it felt good to get clean. When I was done, I built a small fire to warm myself. When I was dry again, I put my armor back on and continued on my way.

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Fatback Cave

On the southern tip of the isle I discovered a cave that was inhabited by a goblin tribe. I killed the two goblins that were hunting mudcrabs outside the cave, and then went inside to explore, after collecting the meat from the mudcrabs that they had killed.

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It was late afternoon by that time, and I roasted some of the crab meat over a fire that the goblins had built by the water's edge. It made a wonderful lunch.

Inside, the cave was formed of a series of grottoes. Cairn bolete and wisp stalk mushrooms grew everywhere, and I began eagerly collecting them for my alchemy. The grottoes were also inhabited by a lot of mudcrabs and rats, and I hunted them for their meat as I went.

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The goblins had set up a comfortable home for themselves in the caves, and I killed every one of the savage creatures that I could find. By early evening I had worked my way deep into the grottoes, and I was getting tired. My day had started very early, and I wanted to get a good night's sleep so that I would be ready to explore the rest of the caverns the next morning.

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I found a small room that seemed to be safe and quiet, and was able to make myself a cozy little camp in the corner. I was afraid to build a fire, because I didn't want to draw any attention to myself. At least these caves weren't as cold and damp as some of the places that I had camped in. I ate a cold supper of bread and cheese by candlelight (I had found some tallow candles in a chest while exploring), and wrote in my journal while I ate. I wore all of my armor when I went to sleep, just to be safe.

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Note: Kira reached level 2.

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#9 Mairi

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  • 6 posts

Posted 04 January 2009 - 06:48 PM

From the journal of Kira Shardmoon:

The Main Quest: Delivering the Amulet

Heartfire 9

I woke up, sore and stiff from sleeping in my armor again, and had a light breakfast of bread with a handful of blackberries. I felt much better by the time I got done eating, and it didn't take me long to pack up my camp and continue on my way.

The section of caves that I was in ended soon, but I found a door at the bottom of a small canyon.

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The door led to a sloping passage that opened into another section of caverns. The ground continued to slope downward as I explored, and I knew that I must be very deep underground.

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I had to be careful, because there were a lot of cave-ins in this cavern complex, and the stone walls rumbled ominously around me from time to time.

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I killed a few more goblins who were roaming the caverns, and looted some crates and barrels for gold and bits of edible food that they had stashed away.

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I found a locked chest with another petty soul gem and a few assorted potions and poisons, which was a useful discovery.

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I found a human body that had been locked in a small stockade that the goblins had built, who had died next to a much older skeleton. Seeing that made me realize just how cruel and sadistic the goblins were, and made me even more eager to hunt them.

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I eventually found myself at the bottom of a huge cavern that stretched far overhead. I could hear more goblins on the cliffs high above me. They were such noisy creatures.

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I found a passage that wound its way up towards the upper level of the cavern, and surprised two goblins in a small room along the way.

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When I reached the top of the passage, it opened out into the top level of the room, and the view was spectacular. The goblins were too busy fighting among themselves to see me at first, and I was able to take most of them out from a distance fairly easily.

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A series of crude bridges made from wooden planks bridged the huge gulfs between the cliff ledges, and I was glad that they seemed to be fairly sturdy. A fall onto the rocks below would probably mean my death.

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The goblins had set up several crude traps, which were easy for me to bypass. I was glad that they were fairly stupid creatures, because it was easy to wait until one wandered too close to a trap, and then spring it with a well-placed arrow, making short work of the unsuspecting creature.

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I reached a final room that had a large goblin who was probably their leader. Fortunately, he was on the other side of a large chasm, and I was able to bring him down before he could get to me.

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By the time I had explored the entire complex, it was late, and I was getting very hungry. I returned to a small camp that I had seen earlier at the bottom of the chasm in the large central cavern.

I spent a few minutes experimenting with my imp galls after supper, and determined that they might be good for a potion that would enhance a person's charisma, and put them in a good mood.

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After putting my alchemy tools away, I got ready for bed. My camp was warm and dry, thanks to a huge bonfire that was burning nearby, and I enjoyed a good night's sleep.

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Heartfire 10

I left the caverns early that afternoon (it was a long walk back to the surface), and emerged into a beautiful day. I was getting hungry for lunch, so I roasted myself some rat meat and a potato on the beach outside the cave entrance before heading out.

I really wanted a bath, but this day was much colder than the day before, and I didn't want to take the time to warm myself back up afterward. I could wait until I got back to the city, and then I would enjoy a good hot soak at the bathhouse.

I worked my way north along the coastline. I had made nearly a complete circuit of the isle. I discovered another singing plant, and took a sprig.

It was late evening when I reached the Imperial city's Waterfront District. I decided to stop and stay in one of the dockside inns. One of the ships, called the Bloated Float, had been converted into an inn, and it looked like a fun place to visit. I didn't ever want to travel on a ship again, but I didn't mind sleeping on one that was docked.

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I stopped at the district's bathhouse and had a good bath, and walked along the docks toward the Bloated Float.

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When I got there, I spoke to the innkeeper, a man named Ormil, and rented a room for the night. I ordered a hearty meal of beef and cabbage stew for supper, and washed it down with several bottles of mead.

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A tall Khajiit tried to strike up a conversation with me, and I barely resisted the urge to tell him to leave me the hell alone. I nodded politely at him, instead, and excused myself. Ormil must have seen the look on my face when I encountered the Khajiit, because he seemed ready to kick both of us out the door.

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I hurried downstairs to my room before I ended up getting myself into trouble. The room was only ten gold pieces, half as much as a room at the Merchants Inn, but it wasn't nearly as nice. The bed was relatively comfortable, though the blankets were scratchy and probably infested with fleas.

#10 -Guest-

  • Guest

Posted 23 May 2009 - 03:21 PM

You are a really skilled writer... I hope you continue writing down your adventures in oblivion as they are genuinely interesting. PS. How did you get your character too do the potion making animation as the AI do? I looked at your screenshot of you sitting in the throne in the ayleid ruin and wondered, that's all.

#11 Renegade-R

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  • 1 posts

Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:57 PM

This is an incredible story, do not stop your oblivion journals, they are truly wonderful in capturing the emotions, and all of the small details that count.

#12 Mairi

  • Member
  • 6 posts

Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the kind comments! Writing is one of my passions, and I indulge in it whenever I can (mostly for my own enjoyment). I reinstalled and restarted the game after spending the better part of last year working on some mods that I wanted to make, and playing around with some other characters in the meantime. I may pick this little project up again one of these days, when I have some more spare time.


Edited by Mairi, 30 November 2009 - 04:49 AM.

#13 -???-

  • Guest

Posted 12 July 2010 - 01:12 AM

Totally awesome! i had so much fun reading this, you have the potential to be a great writer someday. MAKE MORE PLEASE!

#14 -Jackout-

  • Guest

Posted 04 February 2011 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for the kind comments! Writing is one of my passions, and I indulge in it whenever I can (mostly for my own enjoyment). I reinstalled and restarted the game after spending the better part of last year working on some mods that I wanted to make, and playing around with some other characters in the meantime. I may pick this little project up again one of these days, when I have some more spare time.


I too am a writer, though Instead of typing my work a prefer to observe the world with a pencil and notebook.

#15 -Silas-

  • Guest

Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:12 AM

Awh, I was hoping to see some new stuff on here </3