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Thread: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 20th May 2018]

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    Default A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 20th May 2018]



    This is a Skyrim AAR that doesn't start in Skyrim. This is a Skyrim AAR that doesn't even start in the same world as Skyrim. This is the story of a man who doesn't know where he is, doesn't know why he's there, and hasn't the first idea what to do about it. And then the dragons arrive...



    This AAR takes the form of a journal written by the protagonist. He's writing it as he goes along, whenever he gets the chance to, which means he's writing down what he thought at the time. He might be wrong, or he might have misunderstood something he was told. In those cases, the journal entry will reflect his error. If he discovers it was an error, a later entry will probably correct it.


    Potentially useful stuff:

    Links to Maps
    Tamriel map

    Cyrodiil map

    Skyrim map

    If you find those particular maps unhelpful, I recommend this page:

    UESP map page

    which has links to others.


    Links to Chapters
    Prologue
    Chapter One: The Library
    Chapter Two: The Tavern
    Chapter Three: Bruma
    Chapter Four: The Shortsword
    Chapter Five: Ma'Jhan
    Chapter Six: The Bear
    Chapter Seven: Skyrim
    Chapter Eight: Escape
    Chapter Nine: A Real Bed
    Chapter Ten: The Stones
    Chapter Eleven: The Gate
    Chapter Twelve: The Jarl
    Chapter Thirteen: Riverwood
    Chapter Fourteen: The Ruin
    Chapter Fifteen: The Elf
    Chapter Sixteen: The Golden Claw
    Chapter Seventeen: The Dead
    Chapter Eighteen: Dragonstone
    Chapter Nineteen: Dragonborn
    Chapter Twenty: The Greybeards' Summons
    Chapter Twenty-One: Magic Lessons
    Chapter Twenty-Two: The Spider
    Chapter Twenty-Three: Lost
    Chapter Twenty-Four: Shulgak
    Chapter Twenty-Five: Windhelm
    Chapter Twenty-Six: Forming a Plan
    Chapter Twenty-Seven: Cold-Weather Farming
    Chapter Twenty-Eight: Leaving Windhelm
    Chapter Twenty-Nine: Training
    Chapter Thirty: The Companions
    Chapter Thirty-One: Aela's Test
    Chapter Thirty-Two: A Dead Hunter
    Chapter Thirty-Three: Lydia
    Chapter Thirty-Four: Breezehome
    Chapter Thirty-Five: Bandits
    Chapter Thirty-Six: A Powerful Voice
    Chapter Thirty-Seven: Companionship
    Chapter Thirty-Eight: Shimmermist Cave
    Chapter Thirty-Nine: North-West by West (ish)
    Chapter Forty: Rorik's Stead and Dragon Bridge
    Chapter Forty-One: Northwatch Keep
    Chapter Forty-Two: The Prisoner


    Character List - possible spoilers

    Part One: In Cyrodiil (Chapters 1 to 6)
    our protagonist

    Ma'Jhan – a khajiit (a big-cat-like humanoid); the first person our protagonist meets


    Part Two
    Yannick Morgan – our protagonist, now with added name!

    Ralof – a Stormcloak, who escapes Helgen with Yannick

    Gerdur – Ralof's sister, who lives in Riverwood

    Balgruuf – Jarl of Whiterun

    Irileth – Balgruuf's housecarl and general of his troops

    Farengar – court wizard in Whiterun

    Lydia – Yannick's housecarl (whatever one of those is...)

    Shulgak – an orc living near Windhelm







    List of Mods - and (sometimes) reasons for using them
    Not mods, as such, but I have Dawnguard, Hearthfires and Dragonborn as well as Skyrim itself.

    Actual mods:
    SKSE
    SkyUI
    Because some of the other mods require one or both of them – and because I rather like SkyUI.

    A Quality World Map - With Roads by IcePenguin
    I get hopelessly lost trying to find places if the roads aren't on the map. This mod puts the roads on the map, so now I just get ordinarily lost.

    Weapon and Armor Fixes by kryptopyr
    Complete Crafting Overhaul by kryptopyr
    Smithing Perks Overhaul by kryptopyr
    Mostly because it seemed handy to be able to break down armour for its components, and then the other bits just kind of seemed logical additions to that.

    Gemling Queen Jewelry by Saerileth This one's just because it's pretty.

    Winter is Coming by Nivea
    It's Skyrim. It's cold. It stands to reason we're going to need a furry cloak sooner or later.

    Timing is Everything by kryptopyr
    To stop NPCs who are important to the plot dying in a random vampire attack our protagonist can't handle yet.

    Pure Weather (Brighter Nights) by Laast
    Really gorgeous weather – but dark nights...

    Moon Phase Affects Brightness at Night by qqqbbb
    ...so this one makes the nights slightly lighter, at least sometimes...

    Wearable Lanterns by Chesko
    ...and this one's for when our protagonist can't avoid the darkness.

    Pure Waters by Laast
    Goes with Pure Weather, and makes the water look better.

    Skyfalls and Skymills by SjoertJansen
    Having the distant waterfalls move makes for nicer screenshots even though you can't see the movement in a still picture.

    Final Younger Characters by Toshiki
    Because our protagonist thinks he might be a student. Without this, that would be less plausible.

    Amazing Follower Tweaks by Dheuster
    A handy way to control a follower's outfit (otherwise, if you give them things to carry, they have a tendency to wear them). And if the plot ever requires Yannick to have more than one person travelling with him, this solves that problem too!


    Special thanks are due to Alwyn, who provided the spark of inspiration that set this whole thing going.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; May 20, 2018 at 11:48 AM.

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR

    Prologue

    Notes to me (from me):


    You are writing this because...

    ...you keep forgetting. At least, there are great big blank patches in your memory, so either you keep forgetting stuff, or you're having blackouts where you don't experience stuff in the first place, or there's someone out there who keeps knocking you unconscious (or maybe drugging you) for days at a time. And you'd think they'd have turned up to say hi by now. Probably a really menacing “Now do what I say or the whole rest of your life is full of blanks” kind of hi, but some sort of variation on hi, all the same.

    ...you don't know where you are. People have told you some names of places, but none of them are right. You've never heard of any of them.

    ...or maybe you don't know when you are. People here don't seem to use electricity, and the soldiers (and there are a lot of those around) are all carrying really old-fashioned weapons – swords, axes and hammers – and wearing armour. Not “body-armour”, like the stuff you see journalists on TV wearing whenever they're in a war zone. Armour.

    To start with, you thought maybe you'd wandered into the middle of some re-enactment society get-together or one of those weird live role-playing things. But those groups don't actually kill people for real (they don't, do they? Maybe they do, and I just don't remember that any more... No, that's silly. If they did that, they'd be dangerous – probably banned – and I'm sure that's not true. I know someone who went live role-playing once. What was her name...?) and there's a fair amount of killing going on round here.

    ...you don't know how you got here. You vaguely remember living a more-or-less ordinary, more-or-less boring life (although you've forgotten a lot of the details) up until a day when you remember walking on to the university campus and into the library. Then the next thing you remember... no, that should come later. Let's keep all the memories since the weirdness started together, so you can read through them in order.

    Anyway, whatever happened, wherever you are, you seem to have been here a while now. A few days? A few months? Possibly even a year or so? Difficult to say when you don't know how much you can't remember. So your plan is to write down the bits you do remember. You're going to write them down in the order you think they happened, although you can't be sure your recollections are right. And then you're going to keep writing down what happens, every single day. Yes, I know, you think writing diaries is a bit girly, but if you write it down and DON'T LOSE THIS NOTEBOOK, you'll be able to find out what happened during all the bits of your life you were actually properly awake and conscious for. Well, except any bits that are already missing. But you won't lose any more of them.


    And maybe, eventually, you'll be able to work out where you are and how you got here. And then, maybe, you can work out how to get home...
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; February 07, 2015 at 06:32 AM.

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR

    Very, very interesting start. This is definitely a really fresh take on the genre and I really like it. It feels like the beginning section of a game and thats a narration as you wander out Skyrim clueless. Or kind of like a diary from a horror movie or story and the protagonist is trying to keep their sanity.

    Wonderful start and good to see a tidy OP, with a magnificent picture and map links. Very promising start

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    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR

    Ditto what Merchant said.

    A really interesting take and perspective on an AAR - one I am looking forward to reading and discovering how this all happened and what a modern-man will get up to in RPG world. +rep
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR

    Thank you, Merchant of Venice and Shankbot. You're very kind.

    Time for Chapter 1, I think...

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th Feb 2015]

    Chapter One: The Library

    What do I remember...?

    So, well, there's the whole of my life up to the point where I walked into the library, obviously.

    Except that isn't true. Not really. I mean, I remember a lot. My name, my mother's name, my address, my favourite foods... Playing with the other kids when I was little, school, homework... And I know where I live. But... some things are missing. I can't quite remember what my job was. If I had one. Or why exactly I was walking into the university library. (Maybe I was a student? That would explain why I don't remember my job.)

    Anyway, I walked into the library. For some reason. I walked past the desk at the door and turned left, towards... the history section? I don't know. Possibly the history section. It was a horrible, dark, rainy day, and I was soaked. I was trying to dry my hands on my clothes so I could open books without getting them wet, and rainwater was dripping on the floor from the hems of my coat. I was looking at the shelves of books as I walked past them. Rows and rows of those little labels librarians stick on the spines of books.




    And then I was lying on a hillside. In the sun. Perfectly dry. Warm. A bit too warm, since I was still wearing my heavy (but now dry) coat and my warmest sweater.

    And there was a lion staring into my eyes.

    I think I probably screamed.

    I certainly tried to scramble to my feet and run. I failed. Instead, I fell over and rolled several yards down the hill.

    The lion had followed me. “Good morning,” it said. “This one apologises for startling you.”

    I don't think I screamed again. I'm not sure. I remember panicking. I remember wondering whether I was hallucinating, and whether I'd taken drugs. I remember noticing the lion was bipedal, and wearing clothes, and didn't really look quite like a lion anyway. I think I probably sat there with my mouth gaping open, looking scared, or stupid, or both.

    “Did you hit your head?” asked the not-a-lion, politely.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 15, 2018 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th Feb 2015]

    Good chapter, the lion talking kind of reminded me of the Cheshire cat until it stopped talking

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th Feb 2015]

    Good job, he is having quite the day... maybe I should go the library more often.
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th Feb 2015]

    Thank you, Merchant of Venice and Shankbot. It's great to know you're enjoying it so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Good chapter, the lion talking kind of reminded me of the Cheshire cat until it stopped talking
    That wouldn't have occurred to me, but there's certainly a parallel, if only that the Cheshire Cat and the not-a-lion are both residents of strange lands. As such, they have information that could be useful to visitors from other places - if they're prepared to share that information...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Good job, he is having quite the day... maybe I should go the library more often.
    Libraries are cool. (Although probably only rarely as exciting as this one seems to have been. )

    And I suspect our protagonist's problems adventures aren't quite over yet...

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 13th Feb 2015]

    Chapter Two: The Tavern

    The next thing I remember is some time – I'm not sure how much – later. I was sitting in a – well, I suppose you'd call it a tavern, or maybe an inn. What is the difference between those two? Regardless, I was sitting at a small table in this run-down looking place, and a woman in an apron and a long dress – presumably the landlady, or at least one of the staff – was talking to me. I don't remember how I got there, but it must have been more or less under my own power, because the woman was saying “Are you feeling better today? You looked in a bad way when you walked in with your friend yesterday.”

    Now, the day before I must have been more competent than I'd looked. Or, no, maybe I'd been more competent some time before I arrived at the tavern, and something had gone wrong just before the woman had seen me walk in, since I didn't even remember arriving. But I knew who she meant when she said “your friend”. I knew that was Ma'Jhan, and that Ma'Jhan was the not-a-lion who'd found me on the hillside, and that “Khajiit” was the right word to use for a not-a-lion person unless you wanted to see from right up close how much Khajiit fighting skills resembled lion fighting skills. So I said, “Ma'Jhan?”

    “If that's his name. He left an hour or so ago – said he had to get back to his hunting, or he'd have no pelts to sell in the Imperial City. Said to tell you he was heading north-west for the hunt, but he'd be back here in a few days so he'd see you then. Mind you, in my experience, you can't rely on hunters. They just get caught up in the stalking and forget they promised to meet you.” She sounded bitter. “Ha. They like animals so much they eventually turn into animals, if you ask me. So hunters have to pay up front. And their friends. If you want to stay tonight, you pay me now.”

    Well, this was a problem. This place didn't look like home, so my money – what there was of it – wasn't likely to be accepted. On the other hand, the woman wasn't asking for payment for the previous night. Presumably Ma'Jhan had had to 'pay upfront' for that, which meant I owed him money, but also meant I didn't have to produce any money right now. I thanked the woman but said I wouldn't be staying the night, and left the tavern to see if I could find out where I was. The sooner I knew that, the sooner I could get home, where people would accept my money.

    With hindsight, maybe I should have tried offering her my money. I mean, maybe this whole thing is a hallucination. (Talking lions who call themselves 'Khajiit'? Really?) And surely hallucinations would take my money. Wouldn't they? Or maybe all the people I see are real, normal people, but I'm hallucinating the lion heads and the weird clothes and the lack of electricity and the really large quantities of really old weapons. Real people would definitely take my money, even if they thought I was behaving a bit oddly. But then, what if they didn't? And what – even worse – if it's all real? No. No, I'm not going to think that. I'm not even going to think about that. I'm ill. Or someone's drugged me and I've had a really bad reaction. Or something. I'm going to find out where I am, and I'm going to go home, and I'm going to get help. Maybe not in that order...


    The moment I opened the door of the tavern, I was glad of my big winter coat. The gust of wind blowing in was chilly, to say the least, and I hurried out before someone yelled at me to close the door.



    Outside, it was freezing. Icicles hung from the tavern eaves; snow fell in large flakes and lay picturesquely on the wooden roofs of the buildings around me. In the distance, on the other side of what looked like a very substantial stone wall, there were mountains. Real mountains, that looked like the pictures I'd seen of the Alps, or the Rockies. This place, wherever it is, is beautiful, although it looks to me rather like some kind of medieval theme park. Except for the complete absence (apart from me) of tourists in modern clothes. And the way it all looks too lived-in. Maybe it's one of those historical reconstructions, where people live the way we would have done in some particular era of the past. You wouldn't think they'd build one of those bigger than a village, though. Still, maybe someone did. I've certainly seen no sign at all of modern life. No modern clothes, no mobile phones, no roads with pavements or tarmac or cars. No electricity pylons in the distance, even.



    It could all be hallucination, I know. Or somebody could be deliberately keeping me away from modernity, or at least drugging me into blackouts whenever I get too close to it (although I can't think how that would benefit anyone). Still, I haven't seen a single modern thing since I was in the library.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM.

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 13th Feb 2015]

    A cool start. I like our slightly punch-drunk protagonist and his slowly evaporating memories. Make sure he stays away from those pesky Stormcloaks!

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 13th Feb 2015]

    Thank you, Hitai!

    I'll pass your message about the Stormcloaks on to him.

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 22nd Feb 2015]

    Chapter Three: Bruma

    As the snow stopped and the sky cleared, I wandered towards what looked like the centre of town, since I had no idea where I was going, and finally, I had a stroke of luck. The guards patrolling the streets all wanted to stop and talk as they went by, and seemed happy to tell visitors all about their town. So at last I knew where I was; a place called Bruma (never heard of it). I wondered if I should just explain that I had no idea where I was or how I'd arrived, but it occurred to me that if I tried that at home, the police would assume I was drunk, or drugged, and quite possibly arrest me, so I decided to try a more subtle approach. By asking questions about the best things to see in the area, and what other towns I should visit, and a bit more wandering around, I think I worked out the following things:

    Bruma is a city, not a town (despite the fact that once I'd walked round it, I'd have called it a large village).



    The Imperial City, where Ma'Jhan intended to sell the results of his hunting, is the capital of a place called Cyril (I think), and the Imperial City is south of Bruma. (Surely he can't have said 'Cyril'. I've never heard of a country called Cyril. Besides, calling a country by a man's name would just be silly. Although, isn't there a town in County Durham called 'Pity Me'? Maybe you could call a country 'Cyril'...)

    Bruma is the most northerly city of Cyril, and the next country north is called Skyrim. There's a range of mountains – the Jerall Mountains – between Cyril and Skyrim along this part of the border, so it's difficult to cross the border near here. That suits the people of Bruma down to the ground because apparently there's some political unrest in Skyrim at the moment, although I didn't understand a single word of why, when the guard tried to explain that. Something about a High King, and someone with a voice. (Don't most people have voices? I tell you, if this is a hallucination, my subconscious is way more inventive than I ever suspected.) And I have a feeling he said something about elves, but I can't possibly have heard that right. Can I? I suppose it's no more improbable than talking lions...

    There was a huge church there – almost a cathedral, really. It had pews and stained-glass windows, just the way you'd expect, but pretty much everything else in there was not what I expected. There were eight gods, all sharing the church quite happily, with one shrine each in niches round the walls. There was one empty niche, without a shrine in; maybe they use that for some particular festival or ceremony or something. According to the priests, people go to the church to pray for healing. Well, I suppose people do that at home.



    Bruma also has a castle, and a count, and people seemed to take that very seriously. More seriously than I'd expect of a historical reconstruction. Although, now I think of it, I suppose if it's a worthwhile reconstruction, maybe you do take that sort of thing seriously.

    What Bruma didn't seem to have was anyone who could give me directions home, or to the nearest railway station or airport. When I asked about flights or trains home, people started looking at me as if I wasn't making any sense. Mostly, they found ways of ending the conversation as quickly as they could. Perhaps they were worried in case I was the dangerous kind of mad.

    I headed towards the church, thinking it would be a good place to sit while I worked out what to do. As I approached the church door, several people came out, and I had to dodge quite sharply to go around them. My coat flapped around my legs, and something heavy in my pocket hit me in the thigh. My mobile phone! How could I have forgotten I had that? I might not know how I was going to get out of here, but at least I could let me family know I was all right. I pulled the phone from my pocket. No signal. Not even the smallest hint of one. Not even the “emergencies only” message. I walked round the town twice, hoping to find a spot with reception, but there was nothing. Perhaps Bruma was in an awkward spot for reception because of the mountains. If I could reach flatter land, or a high point, maybe there'd be a signal. In the meantime, although I was horribly tempted to leave my phone on in case Mum called, I needed to conserve what battery charge I had, so I switched my phone off. Instead of putting it back in my coat pocket, where I'd notice it every so often, and probably take it out and turn it on to check for messages, I put it in one of the inside pockets of my rucksack.

    There wasn't much else in there – I'd only been going to the library. I had a notepad and some pens, my house keys, a box of matches, a random conker I picked up last autumn, a few other bits and pieces. Nothing that seemed to be of any great use. Except the wind-up torch, which might be as handy in a town with no electric street-lighting as it was along the darker paths on the university campus.

    I sat in the church for a while, trying to work out what to do. I had no idea where I was, and I couldn't get anyone to tell me how I could get home. How could that happen? Everyone – even the lions! – spoke perfectly good English. Even if they didn't know exactly which train I needed to catch, surely someone must know where the nearest station was! Or an airport, or something. So maybe I wasn't saying the words I thought I was. Perhaps I'd had some kind of stroke, or something, and my brain had been damaged, so I wasn't seeing what was really there, and I wasn't saying the words I thought I was saying.

    Or, I suppose, if I'm not seeing what's really there – however that's happening – maybe I'm already at home. Asking for directions to the place you're in would sound a bit weird. Maybe I don't need to go anywhere. Maybe I just need medical help.

    That's hard to find here, though. I asked the priests in the church what people did if they were sick and needed a doctor, and one of them offered to heal me. I wasn't sure it was a good idea – you hear about weird stuff some people think will cure things – but she did it while I was still trying to find the right words to say “No, thank you,” without being too offensive. It was a bit odd. She waved her hand at me, and then there was a golden-white light that sort of spiralled around me. Nice effect; I'd love to know how she did that. I admit I felt good afterwards, but that was probably just my relief that no goats had been sacrificed. And everything still looked the same as it had before the golden light. (What am I saying? Of course it was still the same. How on earth could spiralling golden lights cure anybody?) It was disturbing, though, because how would I find a doctor if people just produced sparkly-light effects every time I asked about one?

    After that, I felt I should leave the church. But where should I go? I had no way home, no way of contacting my family, probably no usable money, no way of finding a doctor, and I owed money to someone who could almost certainly bite my arm off with very little effort. Well, maybe it was time to go and find Ma'Jhan. His best chance of being repaid was helping me to get home – or to get medical help, whichever it turned out I actually needed. North-west, the tavern landlady had said, so that was the way I went.



    The views outside Bruma are dramatic. Mountains, forest, and cold, cold snow. Even with my coat, I had to keep walking briskly to stay warm. I'd been walking for an hour or so when it suddenly occurred to me that hunters were hardly likely to hunt on the road, and that it was possible I'd already gone further than I should have done. What an idiot, to think I could just go out and find someone I hardly knew in a place I didn't know at all. Still, I was already looking for Ma'Jhan. I decided I'd keep walking for another half-hour, and turn back if I hadn't come across any sign of hunters.


    . . .


    Author's notes:

    1. You know it isn't called Cyril; I know it isn't called Cyril; our protagonist just misheard what the guard said.

    2. Do people outside Britain call them conkers? Just in case it's only a British name, conkers are the seeds of the horse-chestnut tree.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 15, 2018 at 11:20 AM.

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  14. #14

    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 22nd Feb 2015]

    What mod are you using? I haven't seen it before, it looks quite different to any Skyrim I've seen.

    There is a nice mix of comedy in this AAR, excellent update

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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 22nd Feb 2015]

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    There is a nice mix of comedy in this AAR, excellent update
    Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    What mod are you using? I haven't seen it before, it looks quite different to any Skyrim I've seen.
    Ah. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get away with it for long. You see, the thing is, I've been kind of cheating; it's not so much a mod as TES IV: Oblivion. It seemed like a good idea to have pictures of the place the story's supposed to be in - Bruma, in Cyrodiil, for Chapter Three. Since they're places that don't appear in Skyrim, Oblivion was the obvious way to get those pictures.

    We will reach Skyrim, though. And when we get there, I promise you it will recognisably be Skyrim; I don't have any mods weird enough to change that. And I'll put up a mod list when we get there.

    Sorry I confused you.

    But I really appreciate that you paid enough attention to wonder what was making the screenshots odd. That's a huge compliment in itself. Thank you.

    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  16. #16
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 1st March 2015]

    Chapter Four: The shortsword

    And then... I don't know how far I'd walked. I was still on the road, but when I turned to look behind me I could no longer see Bruma. But then I heard voices ahead. People. People would be able to tell me where I was. I kept going, moving quickly so I'd catch up with them.



    Just round the next bend, I saw the people I'd heard. It wasn't the friendly conversation I'd thought it was; it looked as if a couple of people were trying to rob someone. Fortunately for the victim, a man wearing what looked like Roman armour was defending him, and it looked as if he'd almost beaten one of the attackers. I speeded up, thinking I could at least try and get the victim out of the way of the fight, but as I got closer, another robber popped up out of the trees where he'd been hiding and ran towards me, clearly intending to use the dagger he was carrying. The Roman must have thought I was volunteering to help, because he kicked the first, now-defeated, bandit's shortsword towards me before turning to deal with the second one.

    I have no idea what I was thinking – well, I suppose it was probably, “He has a dagger. Picking up the shortsword might scare him” – but I picked up the shortsword. I don't really remember what happened next. At least, I do. I mean, it wasn't a blackout, it isn't a gap in my memory. But I can't explain it. I don't know how I did it, but I killed him. I just seemed to know how to use the sword. I didn't need to think about it, I just did it. How do I know how to fight with a sword?


    I think there's another gap in my memory there, but only a small one. Maybe just from the shock of the attack, and killing a man, and somehow – somehow – knowing how to use a sword. Anyway, then I was sitting by the side of the road, with the man in Roman armour looking down at me.

    “You all right?”

    I nodded.

    “You turned up just in time. Thanks for the help. I'm sure this gentleman will want to thank you, too.”

    What looked like an enormous, clothed, bipedal lizard peered out from behind the Roman. First lions, now lizards. Maybe the guard really did say 'elves'. I'd have to keep an eye out for pointy-eared people sailing off to a western continent. Or was it an island? No, maybe it was Tir-na-nÓg that was an island. Or maybe not. I couldn't remember.

    I blinked at the lizard and said, “Hi,” because I couldn't think of anything else.

    “You should keep that shortsword,” said the Roman, dragging my attention back to him. “It's not a good idea to travel alone in these parts without a weapon. One of the others might have something that would suit you better, but you seem to know what you're doing with that. I'll leave you to check – I have a patrol to get back to.”

    And off he went, striding down the road the way I'd come.

    “That's a good idea,” said the lizard. “You're not wearing armour, either; you might want some.” He went over to where the bodies of the bandits lay on the ground, and started turning them over, and looking from the bodies to me and back again. “This one looks about your size,” he said. “Come and look.”

    I went over to him. I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to steal the armour from a dead bandit, but the Roman had seemed official, and he obviously thought taking things from dead bodies was acceptable. Presumably only from dead bandits who'd been trying to kill you, though, rather than dead people in general. And I had to admit that armour sounded quite attractive if the area was a haven for bandits.

    “I have still not thanked you,” said the lizard. “Thank you. Not everyone would stop to help an Argonian.”

    “You're welcome.” (What else could I say?) And now I knew lizard-people were called Argonians. That would probably keep me out of a few fights.

    “I was heading for my cousin's farm when those bandits jumped out at me. If the Imperial Guard patrol had been a minute or two later – or if you hadn't shown up – my cousin would have been waiting a long time for me, I think.”

    He looked at me for a moment, and handed me a leather pouch.

    “Here, I found this on the bandits. I think you should take it.”

    I looked inside, and found eight large coins. I'd been right not to offer anyone my money – this was unlike any money I'd ever seen. I was going to have to hope eight coins would buy more than eight pound coins would back home, or else this money wasn't going to last very long.

    “Don't forget to take whichever armour you like best,” said the Argonian. “And anything else you want, of course. I have to go – if I don't keep that Imperial Guard in sight, I'm bound to be dealing with wolves. Or more bandits, of course. Thanks again!”

    He headed off at a fair speed, leaving me with the rather sticky problem of choosing, obtaining, and cleaning my armour.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 15, 2018 at 11:18 AM.

    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  17. #17

    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 1st March 2015]

    Good, some action, always love a protagonist's first kill. Appreciated the LOTR reference as well.

    You should definitely enter this into the MAARC. If you don't know, MAARC stands for the Monthly AAR Competition and is a place where you can put your AAR up against other AARs in a bid to win cool WS points, that lead to a cool badge like Hitai and I have. It's also a great way to gain exposure for your AAR. This month's submission thread can be found here
    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; March 02, 2015 at 02:43 AM.

  18. #18
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR

    Thank you, Merchant of Venice!

    Yes, I'm afraid our unidentified (so far) protagonist has been rather too preoccupied with his confusion to get out there and indulge in the traditional Elder Scrolls sport of killing things - and people. Still, he seems to have made a start now, so presumably he'll be leaving the usual trail of bodies behind him from now on.

    I'm glad you thought it worked all right - I thought it might be a bit underwhelming. But, at the same time, I wanted to carry on doing what you so perceptively spotted right at the start:

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    It feels like the beginning section of a game and thats a narration as you wander out Skyrim clueless.
    - trying to make it a little bit like playing Skyrim.

    After all, in real life, if you gave me a sword and put me in a position where I had to defend myself with it, I'd probably be dead pretty fast. (Even if my opponent was also using a sword, rather than a gun.) But in Skyrim, I can survive remarkably well. And our protagonist's memory issues mean he can share that experience of being surprised he can use a sword at all. Naturally, he has a better reason for his competence than I do; he just can't remember it.


    I'm very flattered you think this is good enough for the MAARC. All the entries so far in the current MAARC are excellent. If I come last against those AARs, I'll still be impressed, so now is obviously the perfect time to enter.

    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th March 2015]

    Chapter Five: Ma'Jhan

    I didn't find Ma'Jhan that day. That night I slept fitfully, curled up in all my clothes - including my new armour - under a rock overhang, out of the wind. In the morning, cold and hungry, I set off along the road again.

    I hadn't expected to meet a wolf while I was on the road. I'd always heard that wolves generally avoided people. At the time, I assumed it was driven to attack me by desperate hunger, although now I'm not so sure.

    Fortunately, I was wearing the armour I'd taken from the bandit. It wasn't much – really just animal skins sewn together – but it was better protection against teeth and claws than even the heaviest of my mum's knitting. Somehow I'd managed to fit my big coat over the top of the armour – it was cold in those mountains – and that probably helped, too. I reckon the armour, or the coat, or both, bought me a couple of extra seconds when the wolf leapt at me from behind, seconds I spent in pulling out my sword and turning to see the wolf. After that, things were pretty much over for the wolf; my uncanny ability to use a sword surfaced once more. Did I fence back at home? But surely that wouldn't be quite the same as using a sword to kill things, would it?

    Once the wolf was dead, I skinned it with a dagger I'd taken from the dead bandits; if Ma'Jhan could make a living selling pelts, it must be worth something. I was beginning to be glad the Imperial Guard and the Argonian had urged me to take a weapon and armour. Without them, I'd have had no chance against the wolf.



    . . .

    I must either have killed a deer, or met someone who could provide me with venison, because by the time of my next memory, I was carrying several packets of meat. Not to mention having two wolf pelts, instead of one, strapped to the outside of my rucksack. As usual, I had no idea where I was, but I could see a town in the distance, and a road leading towards it, so I headed that way. I was hoping that sooner or later I'd find someone who could help me.

    As I was starting to think about finding shelter for the night, I caught sight of a campfire not far from the road. Not wanting to run into a group of bandits, I tried to move past the campsite as quickly as possible, but without being seen. When the sound of running footsteps behind me made it obvious I'd been less than stealthy, I panicked and ran. There was no way I could take on two or three bandits on my own. Then a voice called out:

    “My friend! Please wait! This one fears it has startled you once more!” I had found Ma'Jhan.

    We walked together back to Ma'Jhan's camp. As we walked, Ma'Jhan talked.

    “It is a surprise to meet you here,” he said. “Well, it is a surprise that either of us is here. So close to the border with Skyrim, there is a danger of their problems crossing over into Cyrodiil.” Cyrodiil. Not Cyril, after all. Still nowhere I'd ever heard of, though. “But there was a fine stag. He would have escaped a more prudent hunter. You are perhaps hunting also?”

    “No. Not really. Not much, anyway.” I hesitated. I should probably already know the answer to my next question. But Ma'Jhan already thought I'd been knocked on the head. I risked it. “What do you mean, 'their problems crossing over into Cyrodiil'?”

    “Truly, it is usually someone running away from the authorities. As you see, the border here is difficult to cross, through the mountains. Only the most desperate would try it – and only the strongest, the most determined, survive. Since they are trying to hide from whichever authority they have offended, they are not often keen to have their arrival in Cyrodiil witnessed. The bodies of several local people have been found in this area – and always there follow soldiers asking about a fugitive. Mostly Imperial soldiers, but sometimes Thalmor. Once, even, there was one dressed as a hunter, though she carried a Stormcloak knife. But, of course, she may have taken the knife from a Stormcloak without being one herself.”

    'Imperial' presumably referred to people like the Imperial Guard I'd met, although why the guards of this country would be in the next country north when they didn't seem to be at war was puzzling. Maybe 'Imperial' really meant there was an Empire, rather than just referring to the name of the Imperial City. But 'Thalmor' and 'Stormcloak'? Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the stories people had told me in Bruma...
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 15, 2018 at 11:16 AM.

    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Long Way From Home - A Skyrim AAR [updated 8th March 2015]

    This is awesome! No idea what is going on (never played skyrim or tes) but I am really enjoying it. Good luck to our poor protagonist!
    [CW] Zero Kelvin [in progress]
    [MTW2 SS] Weder heilig noch Römisch [on a ridiculously long hiatus]
    [RTW RS] My dearest Clymene [a single-chapter commemoration]
    [RTW RS] The enemy of my enemy [suspended]
    [MTW2 SS] Snakes in the sands [suspended]
    [MTW2 SS] Omnes viae Romam ducunt [suspended]



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