Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 52

Thread: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

  1. #1
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    [IMG]A Sword for the Nine.jpg[IMG]

    Foreword:
    Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by stories. From picture and chapter books in my early days, to novels and mythology in my teen years. I have always enjoyed the power of narratives to bring people together and share their ideas, emotions, and dreams in these stories. It has always brought me immeasurable joy to impose myself into a characterís perspective, and experience their actions and surroundings as if I was there by the characterís side. That brings me to my second love: video games. When I first started gaming, I was exhilarated by the possibility to control a character of my own. Now, I could use my protagonist to interact with, then affect, the story, thus giving me the power to shape the narrative, as much as the game would allow me. For that reason, when I discovered an open world RPG like the Elder Scrolls, it was as if my very hopes and dreams had come true. Finally, I had more control over who my character will be and what they will do, and see it all affect the life-like NPCís and the environment, which, rich with lore and backstory, was a joy to immerse myself in. In other words, I was given a powerful tool to create my own story, enhanced by the captivating setting of the Elder Scrolls Universe. So, starting today, I thought I could share the story Iíve always wanted to create in the Elder Scrolls with you, the reader, on a PC-port of Skyrim, which, through mods and the like, can allow me to make my mark on the story even more.

    Enjoy!

    Prologue:
    My name is Tertius Valerius Colovians, son of Secundus Valerius Colovians and Julia Phillida, heir to the Barony of Sutch-Colovia. That is, at least, what my adoptive father, Tasilis Herannus, tells me. My parents died when I was only two, and I was raised by Herannus ever since. I was told that my house was a noble yet unfortunate one. My great-great-great grandfather, Aulus Valerius, was the Hero of Kvatch and the Champion of Cyrodiil. A prisoner of the Imperial Government, captured in the forests of Colovia for reasons unknown, he was later pardoned by the Emperor himself before his assassination, and with the Imperial heir, Martin Septim, led the soldiers of Cyrodiil to victory over the Daedric hordes in 3E433 during the Oblivion Crisis. He was given the honorific ĎColoviansí, in honor of his obscure origins, and was named Baron of Sutch-Colovia by Potentate Ocato. He established an order of crusaders, the Knights of Nine, and fought in the name of the Empire and the Nine, until he disappeared in 4E03, shortly after birthing a son. Since then, the wealth of my family diminished, such that by the time my father took the title of Baron, we were noble only in name. My father sold much of his lands, and hunted what was left of it to provide for his wife and, since my birth in 4E180, his only son. He owed vast sums to some very bad people, and so, in 4E182, both my parents were killed by hired thugs and the land razed while I was hidden in a basket, until I was rescued by legionnaires. My fatherís will said that I would be given to his loyal friend, Herannus, who fought beside him in the Great War. He was stern, yet affectionate, and allowed me to be taught by tutors in the Imperial City, who taught me history, letters, religion, and natural science. Then, at age 12, I was sent to a military boarding school to become a future Imperial Legion officer. It was a tough life there, hardened by the taunts of my peers and the punishments issued by our cadre, yet it there was some room for childish mischief, and besides a fine education in the arts of war, I also developed a keen sense of humor. Coincidentally, that humor also made me a lot better at push-ups, thanks to my drill masters. By 18, I had graduated the school to become a Decurion of the Legion, and was sent to a coastal outpost near Daggerfall, in High Rock. For the next three years, my unit and I defended the coast and the lands beyond from Redguard corsairs and Breton insurrectionists, which made me an able small unit leader and a competent swordsman. That career would end soon enough, when my centurion heard that our new tribune, Cirroc Blackheart, planned on murdering me to avenge his ancestor, Azani Blackheart, who fell at the hands of mine. So, he had me stowed aboard a ship to Blacklight, and told everyone that I was ambushed and killed by cultists while out on patrol. He had no doubt expected me to find work there, and live out my life in exile, but I had other plans. I convinced the captain to land me at Jehanna, where I planned on getting passage to Skyrim. I heard stories that after my ancestorís disappearance, his squire was entrusted with the Relics of Pelinal Whitestrake, his weapons and armor. The descendants of that squire held the Relics until Aldmeri forces destroyed the Orderís headquarters during the Great War. His descendant held the relics in secret until 4E199 he planned on relocating to Winterhold, in Skyrim with the other survivors, far from the reach of the Thalmor, and reestablish the Knights there. However, after obtaining supplies in Solitude, his ship capsized off the coast. I intend to find those relics, and through service to the Nine rebuild the fortunes of my house. I would have to reach Solitude by any means, as it is my only lead to reclaiming my birthright. So, after buying a set of armor and a greatsword, I set off across the Druadach Mountains, to Skyrim.

  2. #2
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR


  3. #3
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Mods Used As of Sept. 30th, 2016

    VioLens
    SKSE
    SkyUI
    Civil War Overhaul
    JRC's Longsword Pack
    Knights of Nine, V2.6
    Imperial Armors: Upgraded!
    Stormcloak Armors: Upgraded!
    Amazing Race Tweaks! Imperial
    BIG Higher Kill Moves Chance
    BIG More Kill Moves
    Imp's More Complex Needs
    Elder Scrolls Online Books
    The Paarthunax Dilemma
    Amulets of the Divine
    Followers can Relax
    We are Legion
    The Eyes of Beauty
    Lore Weapon Expansion- Relics of the Crusader
    Duel- Combat Realism 8
    Immersive Patrols
    Path of the Divine
    Random Alternate Start
    Better Combat AI
    Customizeable Camera

  4. #4
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Chapter One: A Warm Skyrim Welcome
    17th Last Seed, 4E201

    Dammit to Oblivion, I knew that carriage driver had no idea what he was doing. Anything with the phrase "Discount" has to be just a mistake waiting to happen. When I stepped off back at Jehanna, I thought I was purchasing passage to Solitude. Confident that my driver would have the common sense and competency to at least strike out in the direction of the city. What does he do? Goes south to Evermor. It looks like now, I will have to cross the Druadach Mountains to Falkreath, head north through the Reach, and arrive at Solitude from the south. I have little money left for a guide, so I purchased a map of a trail leading into Skyrim, plus provisions, and struck out on my own through the mountains.

    The hike wasn't difficult: it seems that the path was well used decades earlier for trade caravans, and so it was pretty level in most places, with only a few foothills to negotiate. Ever since the Great War, and rumors of insurrection in Skyrim, the road has been abandoned, supposedly due to swarms of bandits in the region. I saw nothing, as the air became cooler as I approached Skyrim from the West. Fir trees began to replace the usual oaks and maples of Eastern High Rock, some soaring high as the palace towers of Daggerfall. The pleasant aromas of the sap and needles wisped through the air, as the morning mist condensed into fog knee high. Although it was a damp morning, I felt comfortable in my iron armor: a humble chestplate, greaves, and gauntlets, worn over a leather jerkin and linen trousers. Many a cold night on patrol in the Legion had at least prepared me for at least the chills of Southern Skyrim, though I hadn't the faintest idea of how I might fare in the tundras of the northern coast. I was continuously going up in elevation for a good six hours, when it started sloping down ever so slightly. Thank the Divines, I've crossed the boarder. I could see the valley of Falkreath Hold below, as well as snaking pillars of smoke in the distance, which I could only assume was the town itself. Closer to me, nestled in the foothills below, was another trail of smoke, no doubt a camp. I could rest there for the night, and be off for Falkreath in the morning.

    As I finished my descent from the mountains into the foothills of Skyrim, I could see the camp proper. It was surrounded by a wooden palisade, which at first glance struck me as very odd,but then, remembering the 'ubiquity' of bandits in this part of the country, I suppressed my doubts and approached it. I found a gate there, and began calling out to whoever could hear me. I received no answer. I called again, my voice echoing off of the cliffs and hills. Silence. I gave the gate a little shove, and found that it was unbarred. I peaked inside the camp. There were a collection of tents, as well as a tower in the middle of camp, as well as another at the opposite end of the camp. There was nothing but charred logs in the fire pits, so, thoroughly convinced that the place was abandoned, I let myself in.

    I scoped out the tents of the camp, and found still no signs of habitation. As I neared the tower at the center of camp, a horn suddenly blared called out from its top, and the hills itself bristled with arms. I could count five, seven, nine bandits in total, clad in leather or iron armor, swords and axes ready to cleave me in two. Archers suddenly posted themselves at the tower, and began taking shots at me. Outnumbered, and with no shield, I fled to the opposite gate as fast as I could, dodging the arrows flying overhead, hoping to get out of range. A hatchet wielding Argonian leaped from atop the gate's tower, hand raised to strike. My Legion training kicked in, as I stepped to my right, dodging his blow, spun myself around his rear, and sliced him in half at the waist with my greatsword. Seeing his comrades approach me from behind, I kicked the gate open and sprinted down a path winding down to a crop of rocks, out of range of the archers. I turned around to face my assailants, and planted myself in a solid stance. The bandits trickled out of the gate one by one, so dispatching them wouldn't prove too much of a challenge. An iron-clad Nord sprints at me, sword ready, hoping to impale me, but as he begins to thrust, I parried the blade to the left and drew my sword back across his leg, bringing him to his knees. He uttered a particularly nasty curse at my mother, and I imagined he would have finished with something about my father, before I buried my blade deep into his skull. I left it there, as I took up his hide shield and steel sword, and resumed my stance as the remainder of my foes continued their headlong charge.



    An Orc, battle-ax in hand, charges me from the front, as a bare-fisted Khajit ally flanks me from the left. He brings it crashing down on my shield, as it dents the iron boss in the center and glances off. I pushed him away with my shield, as his feline compatriot lunged at me and knocked me to the ground. Struggling to regain my footing, he brings his claws to my left side, and buries them as deep as they can go. I grunt in agony, as I manage to take my sword, and plunge it into his left side. He gives a mighty roar of pain, and goes limp. I free my left hand from my shield as I ready a healing spell. Suddenly, that damn Orc is upon me again, and buries the head of his ax a mere foot away from my head. I roll away and, swinging my sword upwards, managed to catch the Orc unbalanced at his neck and decapitated him. I finished my healing spell, and turned to meet the last two foes, a pair of Nords, and dispatched them with relative ease.

    Shield raised, I charged back into the camp, absorbing the hail of missiles from the bandit archers as I slowly advanced towards the tower. Storming up the ramp, I ran right threw one of the archers, as his comrade stumbles off the tower, and escapes back through the gate. Exhausted and a little banged up, I issued a roar of triumph as the adrenaline within me mellowed out. The camp was still again. With that business finished, I fixed myself a well deserved meal: salt pork, bread, and some mead I found in the camp, and turned in for some rest.

  5. #5
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
    Content Director Citizen

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    the British Isles
    Posts
    4,499

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    I think he's earned that rest!

    Nice start - and I like that you know the background of your main character, and his motivations, so clearly. I look forward to seeing where that background will lead him.
    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  6. #6
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,543

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Welcome to the Writers' Study, TheKnightofDay! I enjoyed your first chapter, your first line - with its annoyance and regret at your main character's decision to choose this carriage - made me went to read on. The action is exciting and your descriptions are well done. hen I wrote my first AAR, a reader suggested that I remove the UI from screenshots (either by selecting graphics options in the game before taking screenshots, or by cropping out the parts of the images which contain the UI using software such as Paint.net, which is available free online). I look forward to more!

  7. #7
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Chapter Two: The Men of 'Kreath
    18th Last Seed 4E201

    I woke up the next morning shaking. The temperature must have plummeted greatly overnight, and I noticed that everything outside my tent was covered in morning dew: nothing like the windswept crags of High Rock. While leaving my soaked gear out to dry over the fire, I fixed breakfast: several apples I found in camp, a wedge of eidar cheese, and one of my old pet pleasures: Akaviri tea. These bandits must have hit an East Empire Company caravan hauling cargo from Solitude to the Iliac Bay, no easy feat for any ordinary brigand. Perhaps this band might be larger than I thought. With that in mind, I sipped down the warm draught with glee, gathered my gear, and struck off eastwards, towards Falkreath. The morning got warm quickly, the dew drying up by the time I got a mile out of the camp. It is quite the scenic route if you ask me: full of humble bucolic charm that reminded me of the Great Forest back in Cyrodiil. Towering pines and stark rock formations dominate the land, as I wind across the valley on narrow deer trails.



    I continued my walk undisturbed for about an hour, when suddenly crashing from the brush came one of the strangest displays to ever greet my eyes. An unkempt Nord runs out onto the trail, panting like an overweight sow, and begs me to hold onto some iron shield that he was carrying, threatening me if I were to 'rat him out'. I could smell the Moonsugar and ale off his breath: it took me every ounce of fortitude I had to keep myself from passing out from the stench.



    And then, he runs off. As quickly as it happened, he disappears. I stood there for almost ten minutes, simply processing the bizarre nature of this event. It was as if it were pulled straight out of one of those comedic plays I saw as a boy. Then, rushing down the trail at full canter came another Nord, this time with a little more regard for his appearance. He asks me if he saw someone run past here, at which point I emerged from my trance, and realized that the shield no doubt belonged to him. So, without wasting a single moment, I returned the shield to him, and sent him on his merry way, towards the direction that his friend had gone. By merry, of course, it probably went something like bloody revenge. Just glad that the episode was over, I continued on my way. Eventually, I came across a paved road, and followed it for another hour when, at long last, I reached the gates of Falkreath.



    As I entered the town, I could feel a somber, melancholic spirit sink into my bones. The very air felt heavy, and smelt vaguely of embalmed corpses. I have always been told that in Falkreath, death itself could be counted among its citizens, but entering it that very day validated its reputation. As I came through the gates, I was met by the silent glances of many of its denizens. Most seemed uninterested in me, and after a brief exchange of looks, went about their business. Only the exclamation of "Shor's bones, a handsome man in Falkreath" by a young, fairly charming bar-maid as I walked past the tavern gave me anything in the way of a warm welcome. To be fair though, I would pray to Dibella for hours everyday just to be greeted like that each time I came across a settlement, my cheeks blushing red from those flowered words in the cool Skyrim morning. As I walked towards the Great Hall in the center of town, I came across an elderly man, wearing more armor than a man at his age needs. I strike up a brief conversation, in which he introduces himself as Thadgeir, a retired warrior. He said he finished giving an old comrade a cremation, as is Nordic custom, and asks me if I could make a trip to the Hall of the Dead on the opposite side of town, and ask the Priest of Arkay to perform a blessing of the ashes before being spread in the cemetery. I agreed, having nothing in particular to do and out of kindness to this old man, who looked like he's seen his fair share of heartbreaks and rainy days.



    Urn in hand, I made my way to the cemetery, where a tall, brown robed Altmer was standing alongside a couple, administering last rites to what looked like a fresh grave. I stood aside and listened, waiting for him to finish his ceremony before approaching him. He spoke tenderly to the couple, who, from what I gathered, lost their young daughter in an untimely death. Such is the way of Arkay, I thought to myself, as the flattering remarks of the bar-maid suddenly went sour in my mind. He soon finished, and I strode towards him with the urn. I offered it to him, which he took reverently, referring to the departed man as "Berit", then handed me a purse of Septims. He then went on to say that war is nothing new around Skyrim, and that he's been well acquainted with the unavoidable facts of death ever since his time as an Aldmeri Battlemage in the Great War. Upon hearing this, I mentioned to him that my father too was a Great War veteran. A small yet genuine smile broke across his face, as he asked me what unit my father fought in. I told him he was a Centurion in the 2nd Colovian Highland Cohort, at which he told me he'd heard of my father. "Secundus Valerius? My unit skirmished with his century around Skingrad, after the Battle of Anvil. A brave man, your father. I'm sure he's lionized back in Cyrodiil." It was at that moment my heart sunk a little. I told him the unfortunate fate of my father in the years after the war, which affected him as much as me. "My condolences, my son. I'm sure your father awaits your arrival to Aetherius with open arms." I thanked him for his sincerity. He then introduced himself as Runil, the Priest, and then asked a favor of me. He said that while exploring Sunderstone Gorge, not far from Falkreath, he lost his journal, and said that by the looks of me, I could handle myself. I agreed, and he marked the location of the cave on my map. I settled down near the gate of town, ate my midday meal, and made my way to Sunderstone.

    I took the paved road, going northeast, and then west, coming to the rear of the ridge that the cave was located in. As I approached the ridge, I found a bridge spanning a small creek, with a lumber mill close to it. I could see a small Legion patrol begin to cross the far side, when shrieks of "For Skyrim" erupted from the treeline near the mill. A dozen or so warriors emerged from the trees, clad in mail and wearing blue cloaks, charging the Imperials in irregular ranks. Outnumbered, the Legionnaires never stood a chance.



    I was filled with rage and anger at the slaughter of my former comrades, but knowing I couldn't take on such a well armed warband, let them go, as they looted their victims for anything useful, and walked back the way they came. These must be the Stormcloak rebels that I've heard rumors of in High Rock. I may not be a Legionnaire any longer, but my heart still belongs with the Legion. As soon as I was sure that the rebels had left, I arranged their bodies in a more dignified manner, said a few prayers to Arkay, and took up a sword and shield that was left over from the ambush. It felt good having Legion steel back in my hand, even at the cost of some of my brothers, and I continued on my way. As I crossed over the ridge, I came up to another paved road, and took it to the south, towards the entrance of Sunderstone Gorge. As soon as I did, I saw a heap of rebel bodies by the side of the road, and a Legion planted into the ground right next to them. War never changes, I murmured to myself, and continued down the road, at least satisfied that those Legionnaires did not go unavenged. At about two hours after the noontime sun, I finally came across the entrance of the gorge, and was met by a ghastly sight. Bones were piled on the ground all around the entrance, and several small cairns were stacked nearby, spattered with blood and gore. A black robed man charged at me, dagger in one hand, and fire spell in the other. I absorbed the heat of the spell on my shield, and lunged forward, catching the mage off guard. I plunged my blade deep into his gut, wrenched it back out, and kicked him back down. Sticking my blade into the earth to clean it, I stood back up and approached the mouth of the gave, and had only the stench of death to greet me.

  8. #8
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Another successful chapter. However, readers, bear in mind that I do my screenshots in week long (in-game) batches, and for this first one I forgot to make my HUD transparent. This problem will be addressed in the next one, and I will crop my screenshots to the best of my ability, but if you do see a cursor or two in the shots in the next few chapters, please forgive me. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
    Content Director Citizen

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    the British Isles
    Posts
    4,499

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by TheKnightofDay View Post
    Another successful chapter. However, readers, bear in mind that I do my screenshots in week long (in-game) batches, and for this first one I forgot to make my HUD transparent. This problem will be addressed in the next one, and I will crop my screenshots to the best of my ability, but if you do see a cursor or two in the shots in the next few chapters, please forgive me. Thanks!
    Heh. When I read Alwyn's post, I wondered whether I should point out (to him, if not to you) that there are easier ways than cropping to remove the Skyrim UI from a screenshot.

    I like your latest chapter very much; that sounds entirely like my usual experience of Skyrim - everybody in towns trying to give me jobs to do, and everybody outside towns either trying to kill me, or to kill each other. Sometimes both...

    The conversation between Tertius and Runil is particularly well done, and I like the atmospheric screenshots of Falkreath. I'm looking forward to the next chapter already.
    Under the patronage of Shankbot de Bodemloze

  10. #10
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,543

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Good chapter! I enjoy your descriptions and your use of details, such as the way that you describe the unkempt Nord and the atmosphere of Falkreath. Your screenshots are good, the occasional cursor doesn't really matter.

  11. #11
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Chapter Three: Death in Sunderstone Gorge
    18th of Last Seed, 4E201

    The stench of death only became stronger as I advanced further into Sunderstone Gorge. By the smell of it, this necromancer coven must have set up shop for almost a year. I turn a corner, and begin to descend down a gravel ramp, when a patrolling mage popped out of the other corner. He shuddered with fear at my approach and drew his dagger while gathering frost into his free hand, but I cut him down before he could cast anything. Him and his friend outside were probably weaker apprentices: more experienced mages would have been able to channel magicka into a spell quicker and to much more devastating effect. The way of most covens is that their lairs are protected by rings of resistance that decreases in size but increases in potency: the outermost ring is occupied by novices and apprentices, usually numbering a dozen, the ring behind that is occupied by a handful of more veteran acolytes, and at the very center is their master and one or two bodyguards. This is a system half attributed to strategy, and the other to arrogance. By making any invading force have to push through more expendable novices to reach the coven's trained core wears them down and allows the master to organize and react to any intrusion appropriately. This, however, is merely a consequence of a more petty motive: the master simply feels that he is unworthy to participate in more mundane security concerns, and leaves all but the most hardened foes to kill or be killed by his servants. Some outlaw bands are organized in a similar fashion, especially the Forsworn insurgents in the Reach.

    With that in mind, it is little surprise that I dispatched several novices and their skeletal allies with ease. I came up to a small, subterranean stream, and followed it deeper into the cave.



    I began to notice that rocky ledges sturdy enough for people to stand on top were forming near the roof of the cave, when suddenly a fireball spirals over my left shoulder and explodes on a rock wall behind me, knocking me onto my knees. I recovered to see three mages charge me, spells ready, spearheaded by a frost atronarch. "Talos' beard!" I exclaimed as I saw the entourage rush towards me. I would have to identify the atronarch's summoner and take them out if I stood any chance of surviving. I sprinted towards them. The atronarch readied one of its limbs for a thrust, and lunged at me. I darted to the side, and managed to dodge the blow. A Breton woman unleashed a torrent of flame from her palm as I ran towards her. I raised my shield in front of my face, charged at full steam, and knocked her aside. I had a clear shot to a series of stone ramps that led to the ledges I saw earlier. I could draw the mages out in more manageable numbers, from their, and weed out the atronarch's summoner. I climbed up one ramp, and turned to face my attackers. An Argonian with a shortsword came up, casting lighting above my head in a rushed attempt to nail me. I landed a quick slash at his waist, and, turning in pain, I caught him with a thrust to the back. I heard a loud throosh and brought my shield up again as an ice bolt slammed into it, staggering me back a good deal. The female Breton was casting bolts at me safely behind the lumbering hulk of the atronarch. Seeing a path around a stalagmite allowing me to flank her and bypass the atronach, I seized the opportunity and lept down from the ledge. Using the pillar of rock as cover, I dodged her bolts, came around, and caught her off guard. She desperately thrusts her dagger towards me, glancing harmlessly off my breastplate, as I use my shield to sweep her off her feet, sprawling her on the cave floor. Without hesitation, I brought my blade down on her. Her mouth opened wide in a silent scream, her entire body trembling under the shock of my blow, glances at me, hazel eyes full of anguish and fear, and then breathes her last. A pang of pity goes through me, as I noticed the atronarch fade in a blue-violet haze. What could seduce people to do commit to something as heinous as necromancy. I stood up, and looked back towards the stream. A bald Nord with a pointy beard stood frozen, mouth agape. I take a single, exaggerated step towards him, causing him to start screaming, sprinting headlong down the path towards the entrance of the cave. At least someone learned.

    I continued further into the gorge, and noticed that it began to transition from a cave into roughly cut stone chambers. The necromancers must have dug into a Nordic tomb. I went through a stone arch into a narrow hallway with shelves cut into the sides of the walls. Embalmed bodies lined the passage on either side. One such body leaned upright against the wall in a niche at a corner, an ax clutched in one of its hands. I thought nothing of it, and continued walking through. I was about a few paces away from the body when its eyes opened in an unholy hew of blue, and in a rustle of bones and dry flesh climbed out of its niche and readied the ax in its hands. Taken by surprise, I took a swing at the corpse, only to be parried by its ax. It disengaged and wound its ax to make a chop at my head. In response, I slashed my sword back across its left leg, staggering it, and then thrust my sword through its chest. It let out a low growl, and crumpled to the floor as the blue of its eyes disappeared. Draugr: an undead threat much more deadlier than zombies back in Cyrodiil due to the fact that they can wield weapons. On the bright side, they're at least a little easier on the eyes due to the Nord's more advanced embalming techniques.

    I dispatched a few more of these walking corpses as I continued through the tomb. Now that I expected the threat, the draugr were easy to handle, and were no more difficult to hack apart than any living counterpart. I descended a set of stairs, and found my self at the entrance of a large chamber. Immediately in front of me was a floor about twenty paces long by thirty wide, with a pair of stairs winding up a platform in opposite directions that stood a full three times my height. Stone slab altars and etched dragon heads furnished the platforms, as a large brass vessel was suspended above the chamber, providing light from the flames that streaked up above its rim. I only managed to get a foot through the threshold when someone yelled out "What in Oblivion!" from the top of the platform. Coming to the edge of the platform then was a black robed Dunmer, and gods, he didn't look too happy to see me. "Hmph, you're corpse will make a nice plaything, Imperial cur" he said in a haughty, nasal tone. He then channeled a fireball into both his hands, wound up, and unleashed it right at me. I dropped right to the ground in the nick of time, as it singed over my head and slammed into the hallway behind me. He then shot two ice bolts right at me. One flew right past me, and the other clipped my leg. It managed to glance off a piece of armor harmlessly, as I spun around the wall for cover, but it gave me an idea. I took a skin of wine that was hanging at my side and emptied it on the floor, letting out an agonizing cry of pain, hoping to draw him in with this lure. I panted heavily, hoping to seal the deal, and remained in cover for a good minute. Then, back inside the chamber, the elf let out a hearty laugh. "Can you feel it, man filth? The jaws of death closing on you," he said, laughing as he went. The noise of his footsteps got closer, so I let out a few more groans and readied my blade. As soon as he crossed the threshold, I thrust my blade deep into his side. He screamed, and with one of his free hands cast a plume of flame at my face. I turned my head, catching it with the side of my helm. I could feel my hair and skin singe. I pushed him to the floor, left the sword in his side and drew my dagger as I took him by the neck and began stabbing into his chest repeatedly. Soon, he collapsed and the flames stopped. Exhausted, I picked myself up, sat a little ways from the Dunmer's body, and grabbed a healing potion from my knapsack. I dug out the cork from the bottle and raised it to my lips. "Mages." I said to myself, as I downed the metallic tasting liquid.

    After a few minutes rest to allow the potion to heal me completely, I retrieved both my blades from the necromancer's body, and staggered through the chamber. I climbed up the stairs and looked at the altars all around the platform. A few had bodies on them, pale and shriveled from rigor mortis. They couldn't be more than a few days old. I noticed at the end of one of them there was a leather-bound book. I picked it up, and rifled through its leaves. I looked for a signature in one of the cover pages and sure enough I found a "Runil of Firsthold" etched neatly in ink. I picked it up and began to place it into my knapsack when I heard a faint drum and dull chanting in the distance. I turned around and saw a wall covered in strange markings. As I approached my vision began to blur, and the chanting grew stronger. One of the words on the wall began to glow, and blue and orange lights began pouring out of it. I stood at the wall, and the chants became nearly deafening, as my vision grew dark. Darting in my head, I could see visions of flame dart through it. A voice in my head droned in a foreign language:
    QETHSEGOL VahRUKIV KiiR
    JUN JAFNHAR WO LOS AG
    NahLaaS NaaL YOL DO
    LOT DOVah LODUNOST



    One word stood out among the others, "Yol", bringing with it visions of the very air igniting from my breath. A great pang of pain then darted through my head, causing me to squint in pain and stagger backwards. Suddenly, the chanting stopped, and as I opened my eyes again, my vision returned to normal. "What in the name of the Gods was that." I said to myself.

    The road back to Falkreath was calm as the sun began its descent below the horizon. I felt strangely curious, and thumbed through some of the entries in Runil's journal. They described some of his comings and goings through Skyrim: how he was avoiding the Thalmor, tending to the spiritual needs of the people of Falkreath, and his encounters with the hand of Arkay and death. One entry, near the very end of the journal, stood out to me. It describes a dream of his about the Great War, about how he was conducting some sort of raid in Imperial territory. Suddenly, a shadow passed over him and blotted out the sun, letting out a roar that frightened him. He then was back in Falkreath, performing his duties, when he saw someone from the corner of his eye, but when he turned to look the shadow appeared again. It was intriguing, but not just in an intellectual sort of way. Somehow, my spirit felt drawn to this, as if my very essence dwelt within those word, but I could not for the life of me figure out why. I reached Falkreath, where I found Runil walking out in the street on some errand. He was pleased to see me, and when I presented his journal back to him, he thanked me and clasped my arm in a gesture of gratitude. He then drew a purse of coins and offered it to me. "Take it" he said, "if not for your services, then out of kindness for your loss. You and your father will ever be in my prayers, my son." I smiled, and accepted the offer, knowing that I will need more provisions for the trip to Solitude.

    I went up to Dead Man's Drink, the local tavern, to sup for the evening. I walked inside, and found a bench and table next to a roaring hearth in the middle of the inn. The bar-maid from earlier saw me, and smiled. "Thank Dibella, I was hoping I'd see you again, milord," she said, "I'll happily wait on you." I returned the smile, and asked for a mug of mead, half a loaf of bread, and a wedge of eidar. She walked away, adding an all too deliberate emphasis on the movement of her hips. I fought back my urges as lewd thoughts poured through my head. I took off my helm, and set it by my side, when to my right I heard someone sigh "Another milk-drinker. Bad enough your government leaves me out to dry, and now one of you has to go and spoil my supper."

    I turned to find that an elderly Nord in fine green garments sat at a table behind me, dining upon a very rare cut of venison, juices pouring from his mouth and staining his beard. "I'd advise against such a title, old man," I replied "my respect for my elders extends only as far as theirs for me." He scowled and gave me a deathly stare. "You are speaking to Dengeir of Stuhn, true Jarl of Falkreath, Imperial dog. Your respect is required, mutual or not." The bar-maid returned with my meal. "Leave the man alone, Dengeir, at least he doesn't need to piss twice an hour," she said to the codger. "Bah, Narri! You and that milk-drinker'd do well to get the hell out of Falkreath and leave us true Nords in peace." She scoffed, then turned to me. "My apologies, Dengeir's not the pleasant sort. I'll seat you near the bar if that'll help your appetite any better." Dengeir laughed. "Lead the way, love." I said.
    I finished my meal all the while listening to the bard play. The songs of Skyrim were pretty strange to me: Ragnar the Red, the Age of Aggression, all were fascinating. The one that haunted me the most, however, was the Dragonborn Comes. It had been a long time since any song had chilled my bones, but the tender melody of the ballad put me in such a mood that I almost felt twelve years old again.
    "With a voice wielding power of the ancient Nord art" I sang to myself, mulling over the words.

    I paid the bar-maid Narri for the meal and for a bed for the night, and with that I took my things, changed into some spare clothes, and set myself on the mattress, almost instantly falling asleep.

  12. #12
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Sorry for the delay on this chapter. My computer was having problems, so I took it to someone for repairs. Evidently punctuality wasn't covered in the bill.

  13. #13
    waveman's Avatar Calix meus inebrians
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Nice wordwall, and ypu've certainly got an interesting Aldmer there!

    And as for technical issues, well, unfortunately they're nothing new around here. Can't tell you how many times I've downloaded Shogun 2 in the year since I started writing about it...

    I also kind of like how maybe he can take on a handful of scruffy bandits, but can't obliterate a Stormcloak warband single-handedly even though he wishes he could save his comrades in arms

    My AARs/writing: Link
    Letters for writing: Ģ, ū ś

  14. #14
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,543

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Nicely done - both in action sequences and dialogue. I like the explanation which you give for the necromancer coven to put their novices and apprentices in the outer ring of their lair. I wonder if we will come across Dengeir again.

  15. #15

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Nice updates! An Aldmer learning the Words of Power, now that is something the world of TES hasn't seen yet, if I recall correctly. Waveman is right, you certainly got an interesting Aldmer there!
    "Never Knows Best"
    The Saga of Haraldr Yngling and the Nordmanna - A M2TW Last Kingdom AAR
    Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front - A NTW The Great War Mod AAR

  16. #16
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Thanks, but my character is an Imperial. He was taking a quest on behalf of an Aldmer.

  17. #17
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Chapter Four: A Stranger Sight
    19th of Last Seed, 4E201

    I woke up to a crisp, cool morning. The valley was covered in mist, and I could taste the moisture in each breath. It was almost as intoxicating as the ale I had with my breakfast: it was fresh, invigorating, almost as if youth itself stirred within the very air. It reminded me of my childhood, when my military school took all of its charges for exercises in the lakelands near Cheydinhal. The day would be full of intense drills with heavy shields and clubs, and we'd always return to camp at dusk sweating and covered from head to toe in welts and bruises, but at dawn, I would always take the last fireguard shift before wake-up and first formation. I enjoyed the dampness of the air as it caressed my skin; tan from the sun and black from the bruising, and the quietness in which I could collect my own thoughts as I caught glances of the sunrise. That and the simple fact that no one ever wanted to be woken up for a shift in the middle of the night, but I digress.

    I finished my breakfast of venison and apples and set out again on the open road, making sure to leave a substantial tip for the barmaid, Narri, as I left. I hoped for her sake one day a man comes by to settle down with her, I know I would have been tempted to give it a shot had I not a greater purpose in mind. I headed north, hoping to take the road to Rorikstead, then head west towards Markarth to rest. It was an uneventful walk as I left Falkreath Hold and entered the Plains of Whiterun. I passed a couple of ruins on my way, and I could feel a heavy presence of Kynareth lingering over it, a telltale sign that it was the lair of a spriggan, so I gave it a wide berth. As the path started to wind into the plains, I saw a dead horse at a fork in the road, riddled with arrows. As I approached it, I saw a large bloodstain right above the saddle of the fallen horse, with a small blood trail winding down to a small creek nearby, and a complete set of Imperial heavy armor lying right there. An Imperial officer must have been ambushed by Stormcloak rebels while riding on the road, had gotten injured, stripped to his clothing to lighten his load, and set off down the creek so that the enemy wouldn't follow his trail. If the officer was still there, I might have aided in the escape, but past the stream I couldn't see any other traces, so I helped myself to the armor. He probably would have wanted it to be kept out of the hands of the Stormcloaks anyway. I wondered how much of this war would I see on my journey.

    I continued for another hour, when I could hear shouts and the clashing of steel. I crept low to the ground and moved up to a hillock off the side of the road and looked ahead. I could see a detachment of Imperials engaging a Stormcloak warband near a crossroad: two patrols skirmishing, no doubt. Looks like I spoke too soon...It seemed like the Stormcloaks were slowly pushing the Imperials off the road and into the foothills of the Reach, and I, an Imperial clad in Imperial armor, would be hard pressed explaining to a group of Nord soldiers how I was a non-combatant. Therefore, I would have to go around this battle and into the folds of the plains nearby.



    I managed to skirt around the engagement for another hour, all the while hearing the cries of the battle to my left getting fainter and fainter. As I maneuvered over the folds and dips of the grasslands, I could see a stark, grey monolith towering in the distance. This was in contrast to the flat nothingness of the Western Plains of Whiterun, where nothing but a scarce number of trees and boulders dotted the landscape. Curiously, I closed the distance with it, hoping to discover some engraving or other clue to figure out what the landmark was. I looked around the scene, but I could not find an engraving of any sort, save for one on the southern face of the monolith: "Gjukar's Resting Place". I had no idea who this could have been, but in the air I could sense the feeling of loneliness and sorrow, as if I was sundered from all that was good in the world, and forced to see it from the dull, grey lens of purgatory. The place had a magnitude that I could quite grasp, but knowing I had to continue, I left the place, and determined that one day I might return and solve the mystery of that place.



    Right around midday, I had finally reached the village of Rorikstead. It was quaint, as children were playing in the streets and cows lowed in the pastures near the village. It somewhat reminded me of the vineyards of the West Weald, of their bucolic charm. It was the kind of place I'd hope to spend my final years in, away from the noise of the cities. A quiet retirement among friends, where I could go about the whole day enjoying tea in the morning, Cyrodillic brandy in the evening, my nose deep in books as I lounged in the wheat fields in the summer and next to my hearth in the winter. As I passed through the streets, I could see the farmers heading towards the tavern for their midday meal. I waved towards a boy attending to the troughs in front of the tavern, and asked him for a loaf of bread and a flask of fresh water. He darted inside and in a minute returned outside, bundle in hand quicker than I had expected. He handed the items to me, wrapped in cloth and I gave him a handful of septims in payment. "With that kind of speed, I'm surprised you're not training to be in the arenas." I said to him, smiling. "Thanks, mister" he replied shyly, and returned to his post as I passed the north side of town.



    I finally found a foot path winding away from the village into the west, into the Reach. I took it, finishing my snack, as the calm gusts of wind over the grasslands slowly transformed into steeper hillocks covered in low rock formations and diminutive dead trees. I could feel the Reach as I traversed these borderlands: it was a realm thick with the gloom of strife, of contention, of cruelty and hatred. Despite our reputation as snotty, arrogant imperialists, the people of Cyrodiil aren't unfamiliar with history. I know that the Reach has been the scene of many battles and insurgencies over the centuries. The Nords and the Reachmen, who are more akin to the Bretons of High Rock, had fought for control of these lands in a war of races. The Nords had more than once threatened the natives here with slavery and extinction, and the Reachmen fought back with ferocity, all the while committing atrocities of their own upon Nordic colonists. This peaked during the Great War, when the natives had at last overthrown the Nords ruling from Markarth and declared themselves an independent kingdom. That lasted a couple of years before Ulfric Stormcloak, a pretender to the throne of Skyrim these days, led a counter-revolt and massacred the Reachmen there, imprisoned their king, and sent the rest into hiding. Thus, it was no wonder the climate had turned dour as I traversed the craggy landscape, ruins of old forts strewn about.



    I continued down the path, as the terrain went from getting higher to slowly beginning to dip downwards. I was approaching the lands near the Karth River. Soon, I could see the smoke of a smelter near a large rock formation. I approached it and found a man standing there with a uniformed guard, desperately debating something with him. I approached the men and asked them what the problem is. The unarmored man turned to face me. He was a Breton man, wearing miner's clothes and red facial tattoos, a custom I assumed was common among Reach natives. "Well, um, stranger..." he replied, surprised at my arrival, "my mine here has been overrun by draugr. They've killed some of my workers, and I've been forced to close the mine until I figure out someway to dispose of them. I thought the Jarl might care enough about the prosperity of his hold and the safety of his subjects to send some soldiers here to clear the mine, but it seems to me he's only interested in making a profit of some kind!" The guard's glance quickly darted back at the Breton. "Look, all I'm saying is it's going to take some time for the Jarl to respond. He'd need some kind of compensation for sending his men here all the way from Markarth to risk their lives to rescue a private venture." He replied, exacerbated by the Breton's accusations. "Hmmph, I bet the Jarl would do it if I offered to sell my mine to him," the Breton said, "that greedy..." I interrupted: "I could help you out, if you'll give me provisions and let me camp out here for the night." The two of them looked at me, dumbfounded. "R-r-r-really?" the Breton asked, "I never offered any payment." I shrugged my shoulders. "I really don't need all that much, just something for the road. Besides, I'm not sure I'd sleep if a cave's worth of draugr got out and started marauding the land." "Well........" the Breton stammered, but in a much more relieved tone, "I don't see why not. I don't think I'll see the Guard come to our rescue any time soon. Go ahead."

    I grinned, set my baggage down at the mouth of the cave, and proceeded in.

    Clearing the first half of the cave wasn't hard at all. These draugr weren't as lithe as the ones I encountered in Sunderstone Gorge: they were just recently awoken. I dodged their blows and placed my own on them with ease, and in twenty minutes or so, I had cleared most of the shafts and chambers in the mine. I passed several veins of moonstone, and it was clear to me that the owner outside had a potential fortune in the making here. Perhaps his accusations of the Jarl's motives might have a little truth to them after all. But how did the draugr fit into all of this? I'd be pretty surprised if the Jarl was practicing a little necromancy on the side, but more than likely the miners dug into an ancient Nordic tomb and activated the magical wards in the place. As I proceeded further into the cave, the rocky walls and wooden supporting structures began to transition into a stony sepulcher, further validating my previous theory. The draugr there were a little stronger and better armed, perhaps they were bodyguards for an ancient Nord warlord. They still fell to my blade all the same, and I continued even further, when I came across a large open chamber. It was mostly excavated dirt, but to the right side of the room was two dragon totems and an open, black metal sarcophagus. Then, behind me, I heard a low grumble, a raspy in-ward breath, then three words spoken in a loud, airy voice: Fus Ro Dah!
    Suddenly, I was knocked off my feet and I fell forward to the ground. I turned around and saw a well armored draugr, greatsword in hand, slowly advancing towards me. Had the crusty set of bones cast a spell on me? Perhaps, but no kind of magic I knew of involved speaking words...or rather, shouting them in this instance. It felt powerful, primal, and strangely familiar, despite me never witnessing anything like this. I shook the fleeting thoughts out of my mind and picked myself up. The draugr let out another raspy grumble and poised his sword above his head, bringing it back down towards me in a mighty swing, but I managed to step to the right and dodge the blow. As the blade crashed into the floor, I took my shield and in an upward movement, bashed it against the draugr's right shoulder. It was sent reeling back to its right, off balance. I charged right at it as it tried to regain its composure, readying my sword for a blow across the left. The draugr managed to parry my attack with its blade, so I quickly disengaged and pivoted my forearm down and to the left so as to go underneath the grip of the draugr's greatsword and leave it's rightside exposed. I was able to put a decent sized gash into its right thigh, it's ancient sinews and muscles tearing open like thick folds of dusty parchment. It growled deeply and pushed me back, putting its wounded leg behind it and its left shoulder towards me. He tilted his sword parallel to the ground and scuffled towards me in a charge. I brought my shield up high, and as the draugr closed the distance with me, I let the sword strike my shield, allowing the momentum to glance to the left as I brought my sword from its chambered position down on the draugr's neck, just below the lower rim of its helmet. Buckling under the blow, the draugr was brought to its knees, releasing its sword as it fell to the ground in a mighty clatter upon the stone floor. I stepped back, wound my blade for a thrust, and, picking a point just below its breastplate, ran it through. Its blue lights finally flickered off, and I let the now lifeless corpse collapse to the floor.



    I returned to the entrance of the cave, piqued at what I had witnessed in that cave. In Nordic legends I had heard that there were warriors that could bring down city gates by shouting at them and combining their voices in one mighty roar. They called them Tongues, and though the legends of these warriors are well sung, the details about this power are few and far in between. Perhaps I had encountered something like that in there, perhaps that draugr was one of those Tongues. But what it doesn't explain is my feeling of familiarity with the spell. Truly, I had never seen anything like it, yet the words that the undead warrior spoke seemed crisp and clear in my mind. The first word in particular, fus, rattled a bit in my head, and brought forth visions of objects gently brushed aside by wind, but I couldn't picture a concrete concept like the word I had encountered in Sunderstone Gorge, yol. Perhaps there was a wall just like that somewhere where that same word is written. When I left the cave, the Breton was so astonished and excited, he leaped towards me and embraced me without warning, pecking at my cheek with quick kisses of gratitude. "Oh thank you, milord, thank you thank you thank you!" he squealed with glee, "I never thought I'd be able to go back to work." I gently nudged him off of me back to a more reasonable distance. "Uh, yeah, I was just about to say, the mine is safe now." The Breton laughed, and danced a jig before composing himself properly and said. "Well, anyways. I thank you for your service. Here, a reasonable compensation for your effort, and as promised, you may spend the night at my house." He handed a coin purse to me, which felt a little heavier than I had expected. "Well, you don't need to give me this much..." I said, but the Breton interrupted me mid-sentence, saying: "ah-ah-ah, nonsense! You saved my livelihood. I can make a lot more than 200 septims by the end of the month, now that the mine is safe again. I just can't wait to get back to it in the morning with the workers." I was about to say something else, but saw the futility in my effort, so I put the purse into my knapsack and headed towards the miner's house. It was a simple cabin, and he had a decent rabbit stew simmering on the hearth fire, with mead to spare. So, I helped myself to a quick supper, and found myself a bed in the basement, and got myself a well deserved rest, determined tomorrow to finally reach Markarth.

  18. #18
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,543

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Great chapter! I like the way that your Imperial character works out what happened in the ambush of the Imperial soldier - knowing (from an earlier chapter) that his 'heart belongs to the Legion', I imagine that would have been a worrying sight. The encounter with the Draugr who was (perhaps) one of the Tongues is well done. I look forward to finding out what will happen in Markarth - if Tertius does, indeed, reach it tomorrow. I wonder if you would like to enter the MAARC.

  19. #19
    TheKnightofDay's Avatar Foederatus
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Sure, what exactly do I need to do, and do I need to do another AAR to do it?

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Sword for the Nine: A Skyrim AAR

    Great AAR! I'm really interested to see what happens next!

    And perhaps I can help with your question. To enter the MAARC, you don't need to start another AAR. You can simply post on the MAARC Submission/Nomination Thread with a link to your AAR, the title of the AAR, the author, and a short description. It's quite simple really. If you'd like to join, feel free! Even if you don't win, it helps to advertise your AAR to other potential readers.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •