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.