Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at the Etihad Stadium

Disastrous result. Gutted. United weakest in all areas with Smalling looking like the non league level he came from in City’s goal. If SAF said he wasn’t playing for draw in his post match interview he was kidding us all. Surely this his to be Park’s last ever game for United. City now in the driving seat and deservedly so. The old codger even had a spat with Mancini on the sideline telling the idiot with the scarf to fuck and piss off. Pity his players didn’t show the same character on the pitch. Gutted. City ow have a difficult game away at Newcastle, United at home to Swansea City. City top on goal difference. What I don’t get is the Sky wankfest over City and they vilify Ambramovich at Chelsea for doing essentially the same thing.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

12 Chris Smalling

5   Rio Ferdinand

4   Phil Jones

13 Ji Sung Park

11 Ryan Giggs

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

17 Nani

10 Wayne Rooney


Danny Welbeck on for Ji Sung Park

Antonio Valencia on for Paul Scholes

Ashley Young on for Nani

Skyrim: A New Life

Tolfdir was still admiring the orb. He told Se’rith he was totally captivated by it. From his observations he went on, he could sense its immense power as it virtually radiated magika. The runes were something he’d never seen before. They were neither men nor mer, a total mystery which the Archmage was totally engrossed in trying to solve. At this point that bastard Ancano came over and very rudely told Tolfdir that he needed to speak to Se’rith and that he was to make himself scarce. It hurt her to hear her mentor being spoken to in such a manner and her eyes blazed with rage. Tolfdir himself, in a rare lapse of self control, showed his anger but tempered it remembering that Ancano had the weight of the Aldemri Dominion behind him.

Ancano, arrogant bastard that he was, cut to the chase. There was a Psijic Monk here in the College that had asked for Se’rith by name. Ancano wanted Se’rith to find out what he wanted and was then to report straight to him! He roughly grabbed her by the shoulder and dragged her in the direction of the Archmage’s quarters. Se’rith’s anger flared and her left hand automatically called forth her lightning bolt. Ancano smirked arrogantly, ‘you wouldn’t dare you stupid dunmer bitch.’ Se’rith charged up her spell but it was Mirabelle that came to her resuce by putting her arm down and telling her now wasn’t the time. The Ambassador laughed out loud and pushed Mirabelle out of the way and snapped his fingers to indicate that Se’rith was to follow.

Inside the Archmages quarters she saw a brightly garbed monk in deep conversation with the Archmage. As they approached the Psijic looked at Se’rith and his eyes suddenly flared with gold. Time seemed to stop. Ancano and Soren where there but standing as if transfixed. The monk introduced himself as Quaranir a Psijic Monk. he said time was short and that the Order had tried to contact Se’rith before but had not been able too because of the orb, which he called The Eye of Magnus. The Eye was a powerful artefact that needed to be dealt with. It was immensely powerful and things had been set in motion that had the Eye at its centre. An impending misuse would make things happen, things with unfortunate circumstances. As Se’rith had found the object in Saarthal fate had decreed it would be her that would deal with the Eye of Magnus. He told her she should seek the Augur of Dunlain. It was somewhere in the College but somewhere beyond the sight of the Psijic’s. The Augur, Quaranir said, would guide her in how to deal with the Eye of Magnus. At that time rushed back. Ancano seemed dazed but Soren nodded at the monk. The usual vitriol and threats came from Ancano, but inside her mind she heard Quaranir’s voice uttering the name ‘Tolfdir.’

Se’rith found him still seething in the Hall of Attainment wolfing down a sweet roll. He almost choked when Se’rith mentioned the Augur. Tolfdir siad he hadn’t spoken to him for a while and assumed he was still in the Midden, a series of catacombs under the College. The Augur of Dunlain, as it turned out, was a ghost of a College member that had died when an experiment went wrong. If the Pisijic believed that the Augur had the answers they needed then Se’rith should descend into the Midden. Tolfidr warned her however that the dead walked those halls and that she would need to be prepared. Se’rith wondered if Brelnya was ready or willing for another sortie!

Skyrim: A New Life

Upon arrival back at Winterhold Se’rith and Brelyna parted ways but both sure in the knowledge that bonds made in battle are hard to break. After resting in her quarters for a while, she sorted out her equipment and changed out of her adventuring gear (it felt she hadn’t been out of her boots for an Era). She sifted through some of the musty old tomes she’d got from Fellglow Keep. The three tomes Urag wanted were of great interest. One was titled ‘The Last King of the Aeylids’ and it dealt with the expulsion of the Aeylids from the Imperial Province. On Atreaum was of great interest to Se’rith as it was about the Psijic Order while the last tome ‘Night of Tears’ was a history of Saarthal. It described the elves sacking of the city and the subsequent human counter led by Ysgramor and his 500. It also talked about a dark secret that Ysgramor hope would stay buried under Saarthal. Was this what Tolfdir and her had found in Saarthal. She gathered the books up and headed to the Arcaneum. She dropped all three when she entered the Hall of Elements to be greeted with this sight!

What in Oblivion was that thing doing there? It spun of its own volition and runes of an undetermined script glowed on its surface. It bathed the Hall of Elements in an eerie blue light. Tolfdir was there and so was Ancano, looking longingly at it. Tolfdir saw her and beckoned her over telling her Urag had been asking around for her. Great! The orc was probably annoyed, no surprise there. He asked her to hold off nay questions until she’d seen Urag.

The orc was there in his usual place, sat at his desk like a Daedric Prince overlooking some small plane of Oblivion. His deep, growly voice boomed across the Library when he saw her carrying the three bulky tomes. He was impressed she was still alive, the closest thing this tusked green giant had ever told her to a compliment. He took the books over and his clawed hands did not match the care and attention with which he handled them. He noticed ‘Night of Tears’ and told Se’rith that Tolfdir would want to know the information contained therein, he’d assumed Se’rith had already read them. His face broke into what must have been a grin, not a pretty sight I tell you, when she produced Shalidor’s writing. He bellowed out a hearty laugh and grabbed the rolled up scrolls. He then went off  muttering to himself about translating them, but not before he gave Se’rith a gift! Her jaw dropped ot the floor, Urag giving her a gift. What next dragons flying through the air?

Urag had bestowed 5 books to Se’rith, 5 books he said, ‘that are going to help keep that skinny little dark arse of yours alive.’ Very nicely put Urag. Se’rith browsed the titles, A Complete Catalogue of Weapon Enchantments. Daughter of the Niben. Racial Phylogeny. Response to Bero’s Speech, Se’rith knew Bero was a destruction specialist of years gone by. The last title was The Black Arts on Trial, its cover was adorned with a sundered skull and finished in exquisite black leather. She’d certainly be busy reading through them tonight. But first to find out what that thing down below was.

Skyrim: A New Life

Fellglow Keep was very near to Shimmermist Cave. Brelyna had recovered well after the potion had worked its magic and after a warm meal and some mead at The Drunken Hunstman just inside the gate at Whiterun, the Dunmer were ready to confront this Orthorn. The keep itself was in a ruined and dilapidated state. Its walls virtually non existent and its gatehouse had almost sunk into the earth itself. The keep still stood, however, and any notions of receiving a friendly welcome from former College members were soon put to sleep as spikes of ice began to rain down on them from one of the ruined towers.

Making quick work of the attacker Se’rith and Brelyna went down a steep, stone stair case. The steps were worn and had dark stains as if something had been dragged down into the depths. A rickety  door was opened to reveal a dimly lit interior. Torchlight flickered as the breeze caught it in its path. A horrible stench hit both their nostrils as well. Se’rith began to retch as Brelyna walked past her. They had obviously entered the Keep’s dungeons. A rusting torture rack was set on the wall and old blood stains splattered the floor and the walls. A second hostile mage engaged them as they turned a corner. Brelnya’s firebolts made short work of him but what they found in the room he came from sent a chill down both their spines.

Four large metal cages were set around the room. Inside each cage sat one individual. Se’rith immediately began to move to set them free but a sense of dread came over her as she approached the first cage. The woman inside, an elf, looked up and hissed at her. Her eyes were as black as night and as she lunged forward her mouth opened to reveal to curved fangs. Vampires! The inmates of the other cells started to hiss but none of them came close to the bars of the cages themselves. Some sort of spell must have been cast on them to act as a damper field against the vampire’s power. The Dunmer moved ahead into an adjoining room and entered a charnel house.

Bodies in different states of dismemberment lay on various tables strewn across the room. Two other vampires lay side by side, their chest cavities ripped open, the crude implements used to perform the act left bloodied beside the corpses. A Breton male with an amputated arm lay on another table while on a third one a dead khajit lay face down in a pool of blood. What in Oblivion was going on here? How deep had these former colleagues fallen to. Speechless at the sights before them they moved on wondering if this Orthorn was going to be more of a hindrance than a help.

OT-I use dDefinders Enhanced Blood Textures mod for all blood effects in game.

They found Orthorn locked in a cell not far from the torture chamber. He was guarded by three elemental mages and a brace fo wolves. They put up a tough fight as fire and lightning joined ice being flung across the room. Se’rith was hit by an ice spike that glanced off her right wrist forcing her to drop her staff. Th wolves immediately jumped on her and she had to resort to her dagger to finish them off. Brelyna was her fir spouting usual self. Two of the enemy mages lay as smoking corpses at her feet while the third was finished off by a Flame Atronach the dark elf had summoned.

Orthorn proved to be an Imperial that was full of pentience for what he’d done. He said a conjurer only known as The Caller had removed the three books upon his arrival and then had him thrown into the cells. He’d been kept there for a number of weeks. There had been other prisoners when he’d arrive but one by one they had taken them away to partake in some experiments, none however had yet returned. Se’rith was in doubt they had just witnessed the result of these experiments in the torture chamber. Orthorn was eager to make amends and swore to assist them if they were to release him. He’d then accompany them back to the College to answer for his crimes and put himself at the Archmage’s justice. Se’rith was moved by his passionate plea and released him. With a word of gratitude he gestured to a set of stairs that he said would lead to the Undercroft, a place where the coven’s necromancers worked their magic. It provided some sort of antechamber to The Caller’s quarters.

The necromancers and their undead charges fought long and hard to kill Se’rith and her companions. Orthorn was true to his word and fought alongside her and Brelyna adding his spells to their already considerable arsenal. Skeletons were balsted aside and their masters put to the flame. If these walking dead were products of ‘experimets’ then Se’rith and her companions were exacting righteous justice on these evil men and women. This ‘Caller’ would have a lot to answer for.

A long, candle lit stairway rose from the Undercroft. Orthorn indicated that The Caller had her chambers at the top. He started to ascend them and the Dunmer followed. A short instant later Orthorn was flying through the air stumbling into them. An ice spike was embedded into the centre of his forehead. His lifeless eyes were wide open as Se’rith tried but saw there was no way they were bringing him back. The sounds of battle from atop the stairs told her Brelyna had engaged the enemy. Saying a prayer to Arkay to grant Orthorn’s soul peace she left his corpse there and ran up to help Brelyna finish off the foe. As the last of her bolts dropped the final enemy they turned to a majestic door covered in runes and adorned with a great horned skull at its apex. The Caller awaited them on the other side. Readying their protective magics she turned the handle and was greeted by a haunting, seductive laugh. A slender woman in blue robes stood by a plinth in the centre of a summoning circle. With a voice dripping with scorn she demanded an whose authority had they invaded her home and disrupted her work?

When Se’rith told her they were from the College of Winterhold she laughed with great sarcasm. She was surprised that Aren would send such younglings as his lackeys to do his dirty work. She would not give the books over but perhaps might send their corpses back to Winterhold as a warning to the mages there. With that she raised her arms and uttered the words of a summoning spell. Two Atronachs appeared in the small chambers to either side of the circle. Fireballs and lightning bolts began to rain down on the Dunmer as The Caller began to hurl frost bolts. Se’rith was involved in the hardest fight of her life so far. Everytime they seemed to have bested her she teleported to one of the small rooms that also had plinths. Once again she would call forth Atronachs to serve her. Se’rith almost exhausted her supply of restore health potions and her she could feel her connection to the magical weave get weaker as her supply of magika fell desperately low. The Caller, however, was also governed by the same rules and her magic was also weakening, her frost bolts didn’t hurt as much and her robes were burnt and frayed. Blood flowed freely from her many wounds and one of her eyes was swollen shut. Her hair was fringed and burnt, she was on her last legs. Charging at her together they brought her down in a combined attack of fire and lighting. The Caller went down spitting curses at the College and Archmage. As she fell dead so did the Dunmer, exhausted but also bloodied and bruised. The books were in their possession but at great cost.

Brelyna wearing a circlet and amulet Se'rith had given her as thanks.


Skyrim: A New Life

Se’rith and Brelyna made good time through The Pale, for once the weather was on their side and soon enough they were descending into the tundra that surrounds Whiterun. As they neared the city Brelyna stopped asked Se’rith if she could return the favour of aid by helping her fetch something for Urag for a cave nearby. She showed Se’rith a map with a cave called Shimmermist Cave marked on it. The orc had asked her to retrieve some long writings by a mage called Shalidor. Apparently this mage had made himself a home and a research lab in Shimmermist Cave but this had been several years ago and nothing had been heard of him since. As the cave was just off the track where they had stopped Se’rith couldn’t see why they couldn’t indulge the surly orc.

Shimmermist Cave was true to its name as an eerie green mist wafted through its passages. A type of glowing mushroom grew on its walls adding its incandescent light to the already spook atmosphere. Se’rith knew that is this had been a lab or a home once it certainly wasn’t any more. A small tripwire linked to wickedly, sharp, curved piece of chitin indicated so. She told Brelyna to be wary and she stepped over the tripwire an arrow thudded into her shoulder. The pain was intense and for a moment her vision glazed over as she stumbled over. The the warmth spread and her vision returned. Brelyna was channelling healing energy into Se’rith’s body with her right had while her right hand was shooting bolts of fire upwards. Each bolt was greeted by a screech and an humanoid shape was outlined in flames as each bolt  consumed its energy upon impact. Several more arrows rained down but as Se’rith recovered and added her lighting bolts to Berlyna’s fire whatever creature was up there soon stopped firing.

The creature seemed a cross between an elf and a goblin. It had pale blue skin and sported webbed feet and long spindly fingers. It appeared to be sightless as its eye sockets were empty. The lack of a visual organ was obviously no impediment to its aim or proficiency with a bow though. It had  a distinctively evil look to it and both mages knew that the cave was not empty. The creature had stood behind a small barricade the seemed to be made from mixture of a dark leather and hard black chitin. It seemed to have been guarding a passage leading deeper into the cave and sloping downwards.

As they descended the air became staler and the earth around them increasingly damp. Chattering and chittering could be heard down side passages but no more of the creatures were seen. Yet both Dunmer had the uncomfortable sensation of being watched. They entered a large chamber at one point that had luminescent egg sacs made from a tough leather and some sort of blue skin. There were hundreds of them. Se’rith popped one open and found two very small hard shelled eggs in mottled blue inside. She stored them carefully to take back to the college for further study. A small passage leading from the chamber abruptly came to a large brass dorr set in stone. Brelyna let out a surprised gasp and told Se’rith that this door was of Dwemer construction. The Dwemer, the dwarves of myth and legend whose ruins dotted Morrowind had also expanded into Skyrim as well.

The door creaked open and revealed a small room that was full of archaic machinery that pumped and spun with a devilry of their own. Strange etchings covered the walls and pieces of brass machinery covered the floor. Se’rith knew of several College professors whose field of study was Dwemer history. They would love a place like this. She was captivated by the motion of the machinery and the gushing of steam from cogs and pistons. It was so alien to her. A type of magic that needed no magician to work. She was so lost in thought that she did spot the creature until it was swinging an axe made of chitin bone towards her head. It was wearing an oddly shaped helm and carrying a shield that seemed to have been made from a mudcrab’s pincer and shell.

Dwemer machinery

She brought up her weapon to parry and adopted a defensive stance. The creature had meanwhile skulked off to the rear of the room. He pressed a series of buttons and the back wall virtually disintegrated as a brass giant stomped its way through. It was a gigantic machine that gushed steam from its joints as it moved. It wielded an immense hammer in one hand. It crushed debris and machinery alike as it headed to the brace of Dunmer. Brelyna ducked under a wild swing of its hammer and struck at it with lighting she shot from a staff she had unstrapped from her back. The creature reared back as the electricity raced through its metal frame. The hammer continued its swing until it hit the wall with a massive boom. Shards of stone went flying all over the place and there was a partial collapse as the ceiling and tons of earth fell into the chamber. The construct had obviously been hurt and though its moulded countenance did not change it did howl. It took in a sharp breath, which the dunmer found strange, and then let out a massive cloud of boiling hot steam. Se’rith screamed as the whole left side of her body was scalded. Her blue robes were in tatters, her right arm a field of boilers and blisters and red raw meat. Brelyna was down. Her hair smoking, her staff broken in two. Yet it was the breaking of the staff that hd saved them. The Dwemer construct was rocking wildly on its large brass feet as lightning from the torn staff run through it. It had hold of the construct as if it were a web of live electrical energy coursing through its vitals. With an almighty crash it fell backwards totally obliterating a stone table sending debris and shards of brass all around.

As the dust settled Se’rith ran to Brelyna. She looked in a bad way. The left side of her face was raw and one ear had almost been melted away. Her left leg was also severely scalded. Checking for a pulse Se’rith was releived to find a faint one. She dug into her potion satchel and found a potion of restoration. She uncorked it and cradled her fellow dunmer’s head in her hands. She gently prised Brelyna’s lips open and began to feed small doses of the potion down her throat. The enchantment must have been powerful as once the whole concoction had gone Brelnya’s skin began to remould. Se’rith tried to make her as comfortable as possible and then explored the chamber. She found the creature that attacked her, well its webbed feet, sticking out from under a boulder that had come down in the partial collapse. Inside a shell like looking container she found an old, leather bound book. The pages were covered in schematics and runes should could not understand, this must have been what Urag was after. She hoped the orc would at least show some grace especially after how much it cost to get it. Se’rith stood guard over her friend as she recovered. Soon enough they were back on the road to Whiterun.

OT-look what I found in the Tundra. I guess its from the Skyrim Monster Mod. I know its lore breaking but I like variety.

Se'rith in her new robes she bought in Whiterun to replace the blue ones.

OT-I use Mage and Monk Outfits Texture Replacer V1.0 by darthsloth 74 for robes, however I cannot find the file on Nexus so it may have been removed.

Skyrim: A New Life

Se’rith next went into the Arcaneum too see what she could find on dragons. It was made perfectly clear that dragons and dragon lore played a massive role in the history of Skyrim. She read several legends about Olaf and of why the palace of the Jarl of Whiterun is called Dragonsreach. She spent a couple of hours over a tome called ‘The Dragonborn’. It detailed the history of the Tiber Septims and how St Alessia sealed a pact in blood with Akatosh thus mingling dragon and human blood. These ‘Dragonborn’ are said top be infused with some of the powers of dragons. A second book she had picked up looking for information on dragons called ‘Lost Legends’ did provide a nugget of information on the incidents at Saarthal.

It detailed the legend of Gauldur, an archmage of immense power that acted as advisor to King Harald and the Jarls of Skyrim during the 1st Era. Jealous of his influence and power someone had him murdered. The suspects ranged from one of his three sons to the King himself. As it was no one was ever accused but feeling persecuted his sons fled which led to chase by the King’s men. One of his sons is said to have perished near Solitude, in a place known in antiquity as Folgonthur. Gauldur himself was buried in some location with wards. Some sources said that those accused of murder and betrayal were buried with parts of the keys to these wards. This rang a bell in Se’rith’s mind and she dug into her satchel to look for the note found on the revenant. Jyrik was named betrayer and murderer and the amulet he wore was still in her pack. Should she find herself in or around Solitude she should inquire about this Folgonthur. Urag’s burly voice interrupted her reading as he towered over her inquiring if she’d got those books from Orthorn yet. She replied that she hadn’t and the orc seemed to look down at her mumbling something about elves and not being surprised.

Irked at his attitude she went back to her quarters. Once she had calmed down she realised the orc was in the right. Sat opposite her room, in her own chambers, she saw Brelyna. She went up to her and greeted her warmly.The   Telvanni retorted in kind and invited her to sit and share some wine and bread. Se’rith told her of her recent journey to Whiterun, but left out the bit of the dragons! She also told her about her visit to the Shrine of Azura and what Aranea had told her. Then she came to the crux of it, Saarthal. she told Brelyna everything she knew including the bit about Orthorn. She then posed the question. The journey would be long and she was in no doubt that these conjurers Orthorn had shacked up with would not be welcoming to College members, but Se’rith would ask Brelyna for her aid. The other Dunmer did not hesitate to accept claiming that leaving the College would do her well in gaining experience. They both agreed to leave at first light on the morrow taking the road through The Pale and approaching Whiterun from the North. Resupply there and then break East to search for Orthorn.

Two resilient Dunmer leave the College of Winterhold on a quest of utmost importance

OT-I have a mod called Specialized Followers by Kevin Kidder that greatly enhances followers in the game. Highly recommended!

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

The Solomons Campaign, Chapter 14: Munda

By the evening of June 13th all Japanese opposition in Munda had been eradicated and the runway had almost been repaired. 24 hours earlier the place had been awash with thunder and fire as no less than 5 on Japan’s main battleline pounded the soldiers on Munda. The actual battle had started a few days ago with both the Pennsylvania and the South Dakota claiming 3 light cruisers that had tried to disrupt the landings. Despite the loss of the old carrier Long Island, Nimitz was relatively pleased with the news. Especially when USAAF and USMC planes flying from Rossell Island and Lunga kept the skies clear, other than the Betties that did the Long Island. Losses were light and the Army’s 27th Regiment was ashore with three tank battalions for support.

The second day of the battle saw the second wave hit the beaches and, in a master class of amphibious landing deposited all support units that included the 14th Marine Defence Battalion and two artillery regiments before the arrival of Japanese carrier planes. Yet further to the south 5 transports of the first wave were savaged by a pack of enemy submarines. The brave merchant mariners had done their job in the teeth of the enemy only to robbed of life by submarines so close to home. The first aerial attacks were easily defeated and nearly 40 enemy planes were reported shot down. But these were just a first wave to exhaust our CAP. Catalina’s and PBY’s, who’d been savaged in an attack over enemy carriers, landed on Lunga at midday with reports that the sea to the north of Green and Island and Shortlands was a grey mass of Japanese shipping. Indeed Japan had brought the mass of the Combined Fleet to bear, amid a carpet of submarines as 25 subs were moving against them. Against it Nimitz had the CVE Sangamon! Orders to depart Munda were given but landings were to continue. The Arizona and her battle group were sent north from Guadalcanal to add their AA batteries to the defence.

Providence however smiled on the USN. As morning turned to afternoon a very heavy weather front came in from the West. According to Japanese sources some of their carriers could not launch their planes and this may have averted a major disaster. The weather however also affected our CAP. Thunderbolts and Corsairs were grounded at Lunga while Lightnings got lost in the weather. The only fighters to meet the IJN crews were the Hellcats of the Sangamon and a battered flight of Marine F4F-4’s from Rossell. As it was they did a sterling job of engaging the enemy fighters who suffered heavier losses than we did. Yet numbers told and 6 ships were sunk by the enemy carrier bombers, the heaviest a destroyer escort. The Arizona, whose guns blazed until they glowed from the effort, took 8 bombs from Vals and Judys but it stood proudly at sundown to escort the now fleeing transports south.

Day three dawned bright and by 8:15 50 Thunderbolts and 16 Corsairs were flying LRCAP over Munda and several task forces. Today however it was time for revenge. USMC Dauntless bombers and USAAF A-24’s and B-25’s were shocked to receive news that Japanese cruisers were within range and without top cover. Though the battlewagons that had hit Lunga were long gone three enemy light cruisers and one destroyer would not get home. Plane after plane dove and swooped down on the Japanese ships as bomb after bomb tore into their structures. As the sun settled over the horizon oily plumes marked the resting place of sunk Japanese ships. The days action were complete when VMF-214 reported its arrival at Munda. The only sour note on Nimitz’s desk was the report from the skipper of the SS Gurnard that had attacked and missed an Akagi class carrier with a spread of 6 torpedoes. Though the loss of the transports and one submarine were hard to take, Japan was six cruisers down while America had hundreds of transports waiting to join the fight.

Skyrim: A New Life

Se’rith was back on the road. She took the North Road out of Riverwood and went on past Whiterun, the tundra seemed to go on forever and a multitude of travellers and peddlers travelled to and from Whiterun, obviously a trade hub for the Hold. Se’rith was amazed at the diversity of insect life. Colourful butterflies fluttered peacefully along the sides of the round, some even hovering curiously near the dark elf. She did not have the heart to pluck them out of the air knowing full the alchemical properties of many of their wings.

OT-diversity in bud and insect life comes from 83Willows 101 Bugs by 83Willow.

The road back to The Pale was uneventful and soon enough Se’rith was back in the Nightgate Inn enjoying a spot of lunch, some cooked beef washed down with an ale and finished off with a delicious sweet roll. As was expected the weather was foul. Snow fell endlessly and the wind howled. Yet she went on until nearing Winterhold. She was suddenly set upon just as the South Road dips into the village. An argonian materialised out thin air and drove a short sword into her side. It dug in painfully and the wound begun to sting instantly, poison! Se’rith quickly gathered her wits  and as she pushed the would be assassin back with a blast of lightning, she pulled at a scroll on her belt. She had acquired a brace of Fireball scrolls from a wandering wizard staying at the Whiterun Stables and one of them saved her life as she blasted the super heated ball of magical fire at the feet of the argonian. As she inspected the still smouldering body she saw a tattoo of a hand on the argonian’s left palm. Her weapons were of exquisite quality and her blade was still coated with some residue of the poison Se’rith seemed to have resisted. Most worrying of all was small note she found folded and ticked into the assassin’s pouch. It seemed the Dark Brotherhood, the Assassin’s Guild was after her for some reason or other. Se’rith suddenly felt very scared!

She took the road back to the College with greater haste and did not feel safe until she felt its stone walls around her. She went to her room in the Hall of Attainement and changed out of her travelling clothes, after bathing. The road had been long and tiresome but she was not afforded the luxury of rest as a feline voice was suddenly asking her if his scrolls worked. J’zargo was somewhat shocked to hear Se’rith’s rpeorts. Yes they did work destroying the undead that got anywhere near the shrouding flames but the damage to the caster left them weak and vulnerable. His whiskers seemed to droop at this and for the first time since meeting him Se’rith noticed him somewhat subdued. She told him to keep working at it as the spell was clearly potent, it just needed tweaking. At this the khajit perked up and thanked the Dunmer. He proclaimed he was in her debt and if she needed any assistance J’zargo would be happy to provide it. With that he gave her a curt bow and left her to rest.

Once rested, she went into the Hall of Elements and found Sergius. She handed Ahlam’s necklace over and passed on the Redguard’s message. The somewhat dour Sergius was quite pleased however and passed over a small pouch holding a not so insignificant amount of gold for her troubles. She knew exactly what she’d be doing with that. A travelling mage, calling himself and ambassador of the Manatis was staying in the College peddling a number of new and very rare spells. Serguis’s gold would go to purchasing one of these spells. Though the tome was difficult to master, Se’rith was able to commit it to memory.

OT-Spells courtesy of Phendrix’s Magic Evolved mod (Highly recommended if you are going to play mage).

Se’rith had one more matter of business to deal with, dragons! She sought out Mirabelle and showed her the adventurers journal she had found when she was assaulted at the Guardian Stones. She also showed her a very peculiar stone she had found in an ancient barrow she was investigating in the mountains above Riverwood. Mirabelle did not laugh as Se’rith expected but instead advised her not to show this to anyone else and to seek out Farengar Secret Fire, a former College student and widely recognised as Skyrim’s authority on dragon lore. As luck would have it, or unluck, he was now in the employ of the Jarl of Whiterun as court wizard. Mirabelle told her she had found a dragon stone, something of which she knew very little about. Farengar would be in a much better position to tell her more. Though she laughed off Se’rith’s question about the existence of dragons there was something in her countenance that sent a shiver down the Dunmer’s spine.

Skyrim: A New Life

The Guardian Stones stood in a very pitcutresque location near the quait village of Riverwood that was to the south of Whiterun. Covered in vines and extremely weathered, the stones had constellations carved into them and had a hole in the top section. Se’rith approached them reverently fully aware of their significance.

Closing her eyes and whispering a prayer to the Nine, she placed her hand on the stone with the carved constellation know as the mage. The stone began to shimmer and a radiate green light. The circular hole began to crackle with lightning and without warning a straight column of green light shot up into the sky. It lasted a mere moment and Se’rith could detect no immediate change. The drawing of steel and a deranged shout behind her however did make her change as pain flared across her back as sharp steel cut through linen and robe to score deeply in her back.

Some insane woman, she was even frothing at the mouth, was slashing wildly at her with a dagger. She was clearly not in control of her own senses. Se’rith tried to back away but when the crazy woman opened a second wound on her left forearm instinct took over and soon enough another smoking corpse was at Se’rith’s feet. During the fight a journal had fallen out of the woman’s backpack and as Se’rith recovered from the fight she read it as she rested her back on the Mage Stone.

A dragon! This woman must have been insane indeed!

OT-I think this is Arthmoor’s Live another Life’s way of getting the main quest started. The mod allows for alternative starts to the game without having to go through Helgen.

Skyrim: A New Life

The difference between The Pale and the lowlands of Whiterun Hold could be no different. Snowy hills and rocky outcrops gave way to rugged lowlands interspersed with tufts of hardy grass. Tall pine trees gave way to bushy, wider trees. Green replacing white but they both shared the ruggedness Skyrim was renowned for.

Whiterun Hold

The weather, however was not an improvement. Snow flurries had given way to dark, overcast skies and a constant rainfall that made her robes sodden and uncomfortable to move in. The road from The Pale led into a deep, wide valley dominated by a massive mountain peak. High Hrothgar, The Throat of the World towered imperiously over Skyrim. In the mid distance Se’rith saw an unmistakably Nord palace atop a large hill. This must have been the Dragonreach she had heard about at the College. Her destination of Whiterun was close indeed.

As she moved towards the city she saw a man garbed in armour approached her and warned her of bandits on the road. Ha inquired as to her destination and when she replied she was heading to Whiterun he informed her that events in some place called Helgen had raised the level of alert and security in the city. Strangers and new arrivals were not being regarded kindly. Not that Se’rith hadn’t seen that side of the Nords yet! The guard also recommended a place called the Bannered Mare should she be wanting to stay long.

OT-I am using the Various Guard Replacers mod by JulianP that varies all the guard outfits in all of Skyrim’s cities. Adds a lot of chrome but also immersion as it gives each city a distinctive look.

Whiterun proved to be a decently sized city, much bigger than Winterhold. Se’rith inquired about the location of the woman Ahlam and she directed to a small tavern called The Drunken Huntsman. There a Redguard woman entrusted her with a gold necklace. Se’rith was to tell Sergius of the precise enchantment she required. Se’rith assured the woman that all would be well. She spent the morning exploring Whiterun and dabbled in some alchemy by concocting a number of potions in a shop owned by a cranky Imperial. She also ascended to the Dragonreach and once again Skyrim’s stark and rugged beauty took her breath away. Not only was the building itself of masterful quality but the view from its steps was something to behold.

Having had her fill of Whiterun she loaded up on rations and water skins for the journey back home. Being the pious sort she inquired about where she could worship locally and she was directed to the Hall of the Dead where the local priest had a shrine to Araky. There she was surprised to find the priest in a high state of agitation. He had lost his Holy Symbol somewhere in the catacombs but dared not enter as her feared the dead had awakened with out the proper care of Arkay. This made Se’rith think of the deal she had made with J’zargo and indeed his scrolls were still tucked into her belt. A good opportunity here to kill two cliffracers with one stone. Help the priest and please the divines and see if J’zargo’s bluster had some substance!

She wasn’t as confident when the catacomb doors slammed behind her. The rattling of bones and the drawing of steel caputured her attention as a walking skeleton lunged at her with a wickedly curved sword that appeared of a very ancient design. Having prepared one of the scrolls she read the magic words out loud. A blazing shroud of flame burst from her body completely shattering the skeleton apart. Impressive J’zargo she thought. But she changed her assessment as soon as the racking pains began. Her sides felt aflame and she could feel an immense weakness. Had the spell tapped into her own life force to power itself? Whatever the case the kahjit had created a powerful spell indeed as the only thing left of the skeleton were small shards scattered over a large area. The priest and his amulet were reunited and Se’rith made for Winterhold but would pay a visit to the Guardian Stones that were nearby.

OT-I have included the above screenie to show the variety introduced by the Skyrim Monster Mod.