She spent a comfortable night at the Moorside Inn and left at around 6am the next morning. Before she left she asked the breakfast maid about Nord ruins nearby. She laughed out loud stating that Bromjunaar was just up the road. She added that Se’rith couldn’t miss it as it was huge. The maid went on to add that as a child she used to run around the old stones but the children have stopped going up there years back. Something, not right with the place, as if there was a presence that didn’t want people around it. Finishing her tea (yes Imps More Complex Needs adds tea to the game) Se’rith left a gold coin as payment on the bar and left Morthal. The maids instructions were true. Not half an hour up the road she saw the first of the many impressive ruins she would see that fateful day. A long stone hewn staircase led up into a metropolis built upon a plateaux overlooking Hjaalmarch.
Bromjuaar was a myriad of rising stairways, raised platforms, flying buttresses and carved motifs and stone faces. It was unmistakably old, the eons seemed to permeate through the stone. There was snow everywhere and a musty smell of wet fur and rotting meat wafted through the air. Something was making its lair here and Se’rith was instantly alert. She walked up a long stairway reaching a dias that gave her a commanding view of the ruins. The scale of them took her breath away. Several doorways set into the stone told her the buildings continued inside the mountain and underground. Thats when she caught sight of the movement, a white shadow hugging the stairs in a primordial four legged sort of way.
She moved further back into the shadow being cast by a monumental entranceway carved into some sort of animal head shape. She could smell the beast before she heard it as it growled and sniffed its ways up the stairs. It smelled of carrion and blood, it carried the scent of death on the wind. She finally saw it clearly as it made the bottom of the stairwell. It was a troll, hunched up and bounding upwards. It must have caught her scent as it roared bestially. Its open mouth sported curved fangs its sharp claws rasping against the old stone of Bromjunaar. Having read in the Arcaneum of the trolls fear of and inherent weakness to fire she wanted to get the immediate upper hand. Calling forth her Flames spell she bathed the beast in roaring flame as it made the dias. It screeched in pain and anger but Se’rith did not relent. She poured more magika into her spell increasing its intensity and power. The stench of charred fur and meat filled her nostrils as the magical fire stopped the beast’s natural ability to regenerate. With a resigned grunt it eventually collapsed in a smoking heap never to rise again.
OT-Trolling courtesy of Skyrim Monster Mod.
The effort had left Se’rith exhausted so she entered the building behind her to recover. The sight that greeted her left her perplexed. A headless skeleton lay against some sort of altar. Brown blood stains covered the floor under the skeleton. A small carved, wooden mask was in the skeletons right hand while a note lay at its feet. A rusted dagger and a decrepit bow, its string broken also lay at its feet. The altar itself was of a most peculiar construction. It was roughly semi circular in shape and had five cowled figures missing their faces standing on either side of a reptilian (Se’rith swore almost dragonlike) visage. She picked up the mask and gingerly placed it in her pack to take by the Winterhold. A strange encounter indeed. As her strength recovered she ascended the largest flight of stairs yet seen in Bromjunaar to stand before a very ornate circular door with a knocker holder in the shape of a dragon’s mouth open ready to breath its fire. She fished in her pack for the Labyrinthian Torc Mirabelle had given her and inserted it into the dragons mouth. It shone briefly then disappeared as the circular door spun away to reveal a dark entry way that to be honest smelt most foul. Thats when she saw Arch Mage Savos!
Well it was a ghostly Savos and a very young looking Savos. An instant later it was joined by several other ghostly figures all dressed in the garbs of members of the College. They were oblivious to Se’rith’s presence and they seemed to be reliving events of a distant past. They spoke of the journey to Bromjunaar and of the quest they were going to undertake. One spoke of ‘failure’ once again, another of fear. One blustered that full members of the College had nothing to fear. Another, an Argonian spoke of the treasures and riches to come. A woman warned of the ghastly thing rumoured to be inside Labyrinthian. Young Savos pressed them on, he sounded almost, almost desperate! One by one they winked out of existence and from the darkness inside he could here Savos’s voice asking her to follow.
The entry way gradually lit up as torch scones lit up of their own volition as she walked in. Death greeted her. Rotting skeletons, dessicated corpses, rusted armour and cloven shields, broken swords and split spears littered the floor. Bromunjaar was a massive tomb. She stepped carefully knowing that the dead of Skyrim have an unhealthy habit of getting up and going for a walk. These however were truly dead. The ones in a cavernous chamber were most certainly not dead. A host of ambling skeletons attacked her as soon as the rusty portcullis she had walked under clanged down noisily behind her. Many she blasted to bits easily with her lightning staff until a massive shreik made them all scower away. Rising from a pit about 50 yards was something straight out of Se’rith’s nightmares. A dragon was rising from it, well a skeletal dragon clumsily rose itself from its pit and roared through a mouth full of sharp bony teeth. It flapped its skinless wings at let out a massive cone of frost that came from a meatless chest. In that instant Se’rith knew she was dead.
OT-this scene made me think of the old Forgotten Realms book cover Spellfire. Well done Bethesda on this one, very atmospheric build up to a very hard fight!