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Letters from Oblivion (Largely Blind Oblivion Playthrough)

Discussion in 'Oblivion Discussion' started by bulbaquil, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    The following letters detail the adventures of my Oblivion character Brantus Scalenius in the form of periodic letters written to his sister Fabiana, who resides in Whiterun. The letters have been officially published in 4E 10 with the permission of both Brantus and Fabiana.

    This is not hardcore playstyle. It is, however, my first playthrough of Oblivion, and I am trying to minimize all use of external sources of assistance (e.g. walkthroughs, FAQs, etc.) Thus, I am undergoing this playthrough largely blind.

    This adventure should be considered canon for the "Bear of Skyrim" universe. If the completion of particular questlines is necessary for Bethesda Skyrim canon to be valid, it is assumed they are completed contemporaneously by some other adventurer.

    The publisher in Whiterun has endeavored to correct most spelling and grammar mistakes for the benefit of a general audience.

    ---

    Expansions:
    - Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine are included.
    Mods:
    - Unofficial Oblivion Patch
    until 29th Frostfall 433:
    - TLB Prison Mod
    starting on 29th Frostfall 433:
    - Jail Shackles and updates to the mod, set to 25 bounty per in-game jail day


    Rules:
    - must sleep 8 hours/day (allowed to make situational exceptions). By implication, this means I cannot stave off level-ups when they come.
    - must keep street clothes in inventory, and switch to them when inside town
    - bounties are 10x Oblivion default (so if arrested, pay off bounty if possible, then immediately console-command bounty to 9x original bounty and speak to guard. May also adjust accordingly immediately if knowingly committing a crime).
    - death = 4 days of recovery, plus situational penalties depending on context (i.e. what killed me? Do I have Martin and his healing magic following me?)
    - may not fast-travel except to get to an inn after death.
    - after the Main Quest and Knights of the Nine are completed, dead is dead.
    - skooma and moon sugar are illegal and cannot be sold except to fences; if arrested for any reason with them in my inventory I must add 50 bounty per skooma and 10 bounty per moon sugar and drop the skooma/moon sugar.

    ---

    Background in Brief:

    Brantus Scalenius was born the 2nd of Sun's Dawn 3E 414 to a largely dysfunctional family. Under heavy pressure by his father, he joined the Legion in the summer of 431, shortly after turning seventeen, and remained a Legionnaire for about two years, mostly being assigned to sentry duty and other particularly boring tasks that entailed hardly any movement. In the spring 433, he entered into a full-fledged fight with his commanding officer, resulting in his discharge from the Legion and arrest in the Imperial Prison, where the events of Oblivion begin.

    Further background details will be indicated by "publisher's notes" appended to the letters.
     
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  2. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 1

    30th Last Seed 433

    Dear Fabiana,

    Sorry I havent been returning your letters lately. I’ve been in jail for the past, like, 4 months. I don’t think Commander Barricus took kindly to it when I told him I was sick and tired of sentry duty. I mean, where’s the fun in that - you hardly even move! And I’ve been in the Legion for 2 years already and they’re STILL not giving me the fun stuff?

    Anyway, so here I am, twiddling my thumbs and expecting 3 more years of the same when all of a sudden the EMPEROR shows up with a couple of his Blades. No, I’m not kidding. I think they decided they were going to execute me (or something), but no - there was some sort of mistake and I'd been sent to the wrong cell because there was an escape path in my cell, which we all used to try to get out.

    And I do mean ALL of us. Apparently the Emperor was under attack by something called the "Mythic dawn", which sounds ancient and scary, and they have really bright red robes that are apparently absolutely worthless at market. We tried to get him [n.b. the Emperor] out but they killed him, but not before he pardoned me and mentioned I was part of some sort of prophetic dream or something like that. I don’t really know what he meant.

    So, I’ve been busy the last few days. Dad kicked me out of the house because I got kicked out of the Legion, and so I decided to join the Arena, won a fight in it, and then just decided to head on to Chorrol, which is where the Emperor wanted me to go anyway. I think I’m supposed to go find his secret son in Kvatch, but I’m not sure if I really want to go there. That being said, I kind of also want to join the Fighters Guild and Kvatch is on the way to Anvil which is one of the places I can join it in. Plus I haven’t seen Mother in a while. [n.b.: Brantus's mother was separated from his father and lived in Anvil at the time.]

    And of course, it IS the Emperor’s dying wishes. Not to go to Anvil, I mean, but to go to Kvatch. I’m still not sure if I somehow managed to make myself one of the Blades without realizing it, but I think I may have just done so.

    U’m glad Whiterun is treating you well. Must be plenty of Nords to choose from there. Write me when you can. I’ll keep sending you letters as I go along - this is getting pretty crazy. I have another arena match tomorrow and then it’s off to Kvatch and Anvil. Will let you know how things go.

    - Brantus
     
  3. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 2 - 9th Heartfire 433

    Dear Fabi,

    Well, as you know, I was on my way to Kvatch and then to Anvil - but before I went to Kvatch, I of course had to make a stop in Skingrad. Skingrad is well a bit boring. There was some crazy guy named Glarthir who asked me to tail people. I didn’t like it much because it seemed too much like sentry duty but he promised me 150 gold for a day's work. I did have a mind to tell the guards if anything seemed fishy but then... somehow he died. Not sure what happened. Not my problem. I lost a day of my life because of him though. Never did pay me.

    And then I went to Kvatch but… I dont know how to say this, sis, but… Kvatch is gone. Destroyed. By daedra if you’d believe that. You’ll hear more about this, I’m sure - I just wanted you to hear it from me first. They had some sort of gateway up to Oblivion up there and Savlian Matius, the commander of Kvatch, asked me to go into it.

    I’m no longer technically part of the Legion and say as much, but Matius rebuffs me and says he didn’t care about that - what mattered was my blade. I like this guy much better than old Barricus already. I think Barricus hung out too much with Calamus Randilus* at the tavern - that guy is a total bore.

    It took me forever to figure out what I was even supposed to DO in Oblivion other than get that gate to it closed. I still have no idea how I managed to get transported outside the gate when I closed it from the inside but I'm not complaining. Probably magic of some sort - alteration?

    I have no clue how long it's been by now but Matius says we’re not done - we need to take Kvatch back. This I could get used to, and i wish i had been part of THIS part of the legion and not the one under Barricus. If it were him, he’d have me standing beside the tent at the camp in front of the city and I better keep my chin up and gut in and not move a muscle or Bad Things would happen.

    We had to fight a crap load of scamps and other Oblivion daedric demons. One of them badly hurt me and I had to stay in the temple of Akatosh for a few days, but was ready to keep fighting after that. We finally made it up to the castle, but the count was dead. I forget, what did they call counts in skyrim? "Yaruls"?

    Talk about a big bummer. I need to get Martin – that's the emperor’s secret son – over to the priory in Chorrol but I think that can probably wait until i’ve visited the Fighters Guild in Anvil. Now that I know i can fight, and fight well.

    Let me know how things are going up in Whiterun.

    - Brantus
     
  4. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 3 - 15th Heartfire 433

    Fabs,

    I thought you went to Skyrim because you liked NORDS, and now here you are telling me you are seeing a dark elf? Why not go to Morrowind for them, then? The fact that he’s only 35 is actually worse, because for a dark elf that is barely maturity - you are going to die way before he is; I’m sorry, but it's true. He’ll survive you for, like, centuries and probably do something stupid around the year 600-something [n.b. around 4E 200] like get himself caught in a spider web in one of those ancient Nordic barrows you have a lot of up there.

    Anyway, so much to tell you. Turns out I actually had joined the Fighters Guild back in either Chorrol or Skingrad, because when I got to Anvil I was already set up for my first contract involving rats. Except I somehow screwed that up, because I think she wants them dead (which only makes sense, right?), but she doesn’t. She wanted them alive, andI had already killed them. So the Redguard who runs the Anvil Fighters Guild barks at me some, but in fairness I deserved it.

    But he seems decent about it, and gives me another contract anyway. One of the merchants is being robbed nearly daily and I’m to scope out the place for the robbers. They come along one night and all but kill me – they take all my gold, but figure that’s enough and don’t rob the shop. I make it back to Mom’s place all right, though - and like the merchant said, they rob almost every night so I tried again when I felt back up to it. With a bit of running and dividing them, I was able to beat them down.

    After that, because Mom wanted me to, I talked with the prophet guy – there was an attack on the chapel of Dibella here and he says he wants a champion to avenge it or something, but I have to be blessed by all the Nine Divines first. I happened to pass by the wayshrine of Mara on my way into Anvil, but there were still eight left.

    I remembered then that one of the Orcs at the Arena told me about something at Crowhaven, which is in the area - and at any rate, I need gold. I got some from the Fighters Guild contract being fulfilled but not much. There was a guy in Crowhaven named Lord Leviticus or something and I was worried that by killing him i’d get a bounty, but it turns out he’s a vampire. I hope he didn’t bite me but i don’t think he did.

    For some stupid reason, I decided instead of heading back to Anvil, I’d wander through the wilderness all the way to Chorrol. On the way i found a lovely elven ruin called Trumbe, but it was getting late so I explored it the next morning—this morning. It had some pretty cool stuff. We (me and Martin) found another one called Nanangulo or something and then ANOTHER one called Wendir - but there was no way I could haul all the stuff around from them. Also came across the wayshrine to Dibella. Huh, funny that – Dibella and Mara both bless me. Maybe that’s a sign I'll have a hot wife.

    So around maybe five this afternoon, we finally get back to Chorrol, where I then hear someone scream that they’re killing everyone at Weynon Priory. No sooner do I have time to think about who “they” are then “they” attack me. It’s the Mythic Dawn again. I really hate those guys.

    Anyway, I am writing this at the blacksmith shop in Chorrol as I get my equipment repaired and get myself some better gauntlets and greaves. It looks like another sleepless night for me.

    - Brantus
     
  5. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 4 - 25th Hearthfire 433

    Fabs,

    This Oblivion gate thing is really starting to get on my nerves. Please don’t tell me they have them in Skyrim too. I’m FINALLY in Bruma now and am half-tempted to just cross over into whiterun. It may be cold up there, with winter approching, but I freaking hate being beat up by scamps.

    Sure enough, like I said in the last letter, Jauffre and the Weynon Priory were being attacked by the Mythic Dawn. He said something about keeping the Amulet of Kings in a secret location in the priory house but they managed to find and take it anyway. I thought, and said as much, that it was gonna take the whole night - but it didn’t; it only took a couple hours in the evening. I guess most of them had died off already.

    The next morning, on a whim, I decided to go mingle with the nobles in Chorrol Castle, which was a really stupid idea on my part, because I’m no good at mingling with nobility. They want me to investigate a theft, which would be fine if it was a commoner I could intimidate into submission, but dealing with people I can’t just threaten with swords and axes and stuff… maybe later.

    So I instead headed back eastward trying to find the road to Bruma as well as make a stop in the Imperial City to give the Leviticus journal to the Arena orc. No sooner have I left Chorral than that I found an Oblivion gate. I manage to get through it, but have to rest up in Chorrol for another week or so.

    Like i said, I was going back to the Imperial City after that Oblivion ordeal, and I did get rid of some of the crap I’ve accumulated that’s taking up my pack space. I gave Levidus’s journal (or whoever it was) to the orc at the Arena, who gives me some training, which I like. And no sooner have I made to leave the Imperial City than I read a wanted poster, and all of a sudden I’m summoned to the house of someone named Seridur who wants me to hunt vampires and says my “reputation preceeds me.”

    I have a reputation? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    They wanted me to go, find, and kill a Roland Jenserie. His house was locked and I probably should be less proud of myself than I am about this but I was able to pick the lock in only the second try. There was a love letter from his girlfriend directing me east, kind of in the direction of Cheydinhal, but when I get there he tells me SERIDUR is the vampire... and I’m not sure just what to think. At any rate neither Seridur nor Roland will likely be going anywhere soon so I figured I might as well just finally head to bruma now.

    But i had to stop by at the Roxy Inn nearby for the night – it was kind of a weird time of day i did this. I got there at like 6 pm and the owner wanted me to go kill necromancers. I don’t get why everyone tries to make me deal with their problems. It’s not like I don’t have hundreds of my own. Some stupid Breton in a blue hat told me it was because I was the “player character,” whatever that means. Anyway, I try to deal with it but these necromancers and their zombies just come at me like white on rice.

    Bruma is cold—freezing already and it’s still only Heartfire, and the Fighters Guild strangely is all but deserted. How do you stand Whiterun which is even further north? I get that the Nords have some built in resistance but… yeah.

    I’ll head on to Cloud Ruler Temple tomorrow and tell you more as I hear more. Don’t freeze to death in Skyrim’s winter.

    - Brantus
     
  6. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 5 - 1st Frostfall 433

    Okay, yeah. I guess Whiterun being in a valley would make it warmer. Doesn’t sound so bad. Might be tempted to visit you sometime soon as I’m STILL in bruma.

    I went to Cloud Ruler Temple as Martin and Jauffre asked, and NOW it seems I’m officially a Blade. Jauffre wants me to speak to Baurus in the Imperial City;I forget about what exactly—something to do with the Amulet of Kings. I’m kind of fuzzy on it - maybe I’ll go back to the temple and check on that, but I think I wrote it down in the journal. I like Baurus. Seems to have his head in the right place. I also had something else involving Bradon Lillian and vampires but that’s hardly a priority.

    Just as I left intending to head out, I received a summons from the countess who talked about Akaviri artifacts. She wants me to seek out a Draconian Madstone in Pale Pass up at the very border with Skyrim. She gave me a diary translated from an Akaviri soldier guy who was trying to take over Cyrodiil from Skyrim or something like that (I guess this was in one of those parts of history when the Nords didn’t control Skyrim). Well, I found this interesting enough and so I go wander there.

    It was a grueling quest. Reminded me of the later stages of Legion training. The first part, when I was just trying to find the Serpent's Trail where the diary's clues ended, that wasn’t so hard. Then I went into the Serpent’s Trail and find Akaviri orders, but of course I can’t read them - I'm hardly an Akaviri scholar. The enemies in the cave are a bit troublesome and I end up using ALL my healing potions - and there’s no one in Bruma to replace them; I’m going to have to head down to the Imperial City (which I need to do anyway) to replace them.

    The cave opened to a branch of Pale Pass which leads further north into Skyrim. I can see why most people take the western path that goes closer to Cloud Ruler Temple when heading towards Helgen rather than this more treacherous eastern path. By the time I got there it was already dark, and I shortly came across something—some bandit leaving a ring here 70 years ago, but could that possibly be the countess Bruma’s Madstone? Nah, couldn’t be, I thought, so I pressed on.

    There are massive ogres and numerous beasts as I traverse the pass and enter the dungeon proper. I lose track of how many repairs I need to make to my armor, and my gauntlets end up beyond repair. After fighting countless undead Akaviri soldiers I finally get the Madstone, and when I finally leave it’s already late morning the next day. Still, on the return trip, I encounter several treasure chests unopened, and they have good stuff in them—I’m getting better at the lockpicking as well, though I'm still left with a meager three lockpicks.

    So I returned to Bruma, got several days of much-needed rest and recuperation as what armor of mine that could be repaired was, returned the Madstone to the countess and sold off my excess discoveries. All of a sudden I have 2000 drakes to my name and an enchanted ring from the countess that’s worth as much.

    I’m heading back to the Imperial City tomorrow. Picked up some fur gauntlets temporarily, but really need to get myself a proper steel replacement.

    - Brantus
     
  7. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 6 - 3rd Frostfall 433

    It’s only been two days, but a bunch of things have happened since my last letter. I advanced in rank at the Arena today—for some reason they pit me against an archer who went down surprisingly easily. Either I’m a better fighter than I thought, or he really was weaker than I anticipated.

    I did in fact leave Bruma on my way to the Imperial city, but I have no healing potions and my healing spells stink. As it stands, I can’t even approach Oblivion gates because the scamps that hang out around them will all but kill me.

    Heck, I went to explore the Sercen elven ruin on the way and a group of BANDITS came close to knocking me out. I can’t be KO’d by bandits; they’d take all my stuff, including that very valuable ring. Also, I’m evidently not that great at unlocking stuff as I thought; I try desperately to open a difficult lock leaving me with only three picks.

    On the bright side, I passed by the wayshrine to Julianos and received his blessing. Julianos is the god of scholars—perhaps this explains why I seem to be writing much better than I used to.

    At any rate, I finally did arrive back at the Imperial City, and wasted little time blowing much of my money on healing potions and spells—the way things are shaping up, I’ll need them. There is a lot of discussion in the city about something called the “Gray Fox” and a Thieves Guild. The guy at the Merchants’ Inn says “the beggars are his eyes and ears,” but the ones I’ve been talking to—even at the Waterfront—know nothing about it or, like the guards, think the Guild is a myth.

    I’m beginning to wonder if Dad is bribing the guards to harass me when I come around, as I somehow had to pay off five drakes in bounty for a reason I’m not certain about. Either that or the Mythic Dawn is doing it. By the way, I learned a great deal about the Mythic Dawn from visiting Baurus as per my Blades orders. They worship Mehrunes Dagon and all things considered seem very unpleasant.

    Today is blustery and definitely feels like Frostfall. Baurus wanted me to go to Tar-Meena at the Arcane University, so I did. I have to acquire Mankar Cameron’s (I think that’s how you spell it) “Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes,” which come in four volumes and the 3rd and 4th are extremely rare. Obviously, I’m directed to the bookstore—seems logical, if you need a book, that’s where you’d go.

    The bookseller has volume 3, but it’s on loan to someone else named Gwen or something who apparently didn’t realize the Mythic Dawn had killed the Emperor and didn’t want to be associated with such a group, so he gave it to me. Neither do I, but at least I have Baurus and the Blades at my back if anyone asks. Volume 4 will be tricky. You have to get it from a Mythic Dawn member, which for me likely means killing someone.

    Still, it can wait. Gwen was originally supposed to meditate on volume 3 before approaching, so they’re not expecting him immediately. Maybe I’ll try to conquer some Oblivion gates or something. Daedra hearts do sell for a bit.

    - Brantus
     
  8. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 7 - 11th Frostfall 433

    Fabs,

    It’s all right. I don’t mind that your letters are less full of adventure than mine are. Really, I don’t. I’m a Blade now and it comes with the territory. But I definitely hope those rumors of an Oblivion gate opening near Elinhir are false. I was hoping they were just a Cyrodiil problem – if there can be one in Hammerfell there can be one anywhere in Tamriel.

    I’m in Cheydinhal now, which is a pretty lovely town, though there appear to be some problems with corruption in the guard. Basically, how I managed to end up here—I decided I might continue on with the Roland Jenseric quest regarding whether he or Seridur is the vampire. Of course, Seridur is all “well duh” when I tell him Roland claimed not to be the vampire. The trouble is Seridur has a lot of friends, so if he is the vampire, it will be tough to attack him.

    But I got sidetracked by Fort Empire, which is an awesome name for a fort and which was on my way. It’s troll-infested though. I killed several and their troll blood is pretty valuable but was stymied by a phantom will-o’-the-wisp creature which nearly killed me and caused me to soil my greaves as I made to escape. Not to mention all the magical injuries it inflicted on me.

    Anyway, while I headed back to recover from these injuries, Baurus came to talk to me and asked me what I’ve found out about the Mythic Dawn, so I told him, and promised to follow him as soon as I recovered and got replacement greaves. We headed into the sewers—Baurus moved so fast I barely had time to loot the rats and goblins we slew—in search of the sponsor the guy at the bookstore was originally going to meet.

    Baurus wants to be the one who actually meets him. I’m a little worried for his safety, as is he, but at the same time this requires a delicate touch with words and he may be better suited for it. But I think I screw it up somehow, or he did—not sure. They start attacking. I’m still not sure if Baurus survived it but I got the book, which was the main goal, and I didn’t see his corpse anywhere so I figure he must have left.

    It was late at night when I finally got out of the sewers, and I had to dip myself in Lake Rumare because I stank too bad for the inns to conduct business with me. At any rate, I headed back towards Roland when I remembered I still hadn’t dealt with the necromancers at Roxie Inn, which I take care of and get a nice reward.

    I talked with Roland who redirected me back to the Imperial City bookstore, but I was so far away from that then that I might as well head on to Cheydinhal. A cave with vampires stymies me—I think I got infected by their disease and had to make haste to the chapel in Cheydinhal to cure it.

    But at least the local Fighters Guild chapter actually has contracts for me, unlike in Bruma where there were none—I delivered a weapons shipment to a local mine and helped clear that mine out of goblins. It was nearly midnight before I made it back, but I’d rather face goblins than vampires any day.

    I feel confident enough to take on another Oblivion gate soon. Divines keep me alive.

    - Brantus
     
  9. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 8 - 28th Frostfall 433

    It’s been a while. I’m back in Cheydinhal, and once more fresh out from behind bars. At least they only kept me in there for five days this time rather than however long it was the last time. For selling stolen goods, if you’ll believe that. Turns out I sold moon sugar to a merchant, which is illegal. (Merchant didn’t seem to point this out though…)

    This Hjarkir guy you mentioned sounds like a decent Nord bloke. Let me know if he troubles you so I can come up there and thrash him. I hope I won’t have to. I do deal with daedra in Oblivion on occasion. Remind him of this fact.

    Actually, I dealt with them pretty recently. After talking to the guild master, he gave me an assignment in Chorrol—well, told me to talk to the guy in Chorrol for my assignment—and the Imperial City happens to be on the way. Also on the way is an Oblivion gate, which I decide to take on. Stupid Oblivion gates all but kill me every time. Maybe I should consider not trying to take them in one sitting? I lose my awesome Blades helmet as well as my greaves in the process, and it took me a day and a half just to get through it. And I mean a full day and a half—36 hours, not just a daytime and another morning.

    I woke up from my recovery rest at the weird hour of 1:30 a.m., and decided ultimately to go ahead and talk to Tar-Meena, the Argonian Baurus had asked me to talk to. He says Mankar Cameron hid a message so only the “enlightened ones” could find the Mythic Dawn, and asked me to check back the next day.

    I unfortunately had very little to do that day. The bookstore guy Roland wanted me to talk to didn’t want to have anything to do with me, it seemed—he certainly wouldn’t talk about Seridur. I decided ultimately to buy a small shack on the Waterfront with the proceeds from my travels (I had the 2000 gold now), so now you can come and visit me if you like. But I wouldn’t recommend it right now. Oblivion gates everywhere, you know.

    The Black Horse Courier has identified the Gray Fox, but again that’s news I didn’t really care about. I spent my afternoon trying to find Rumare slaughterfish outside of Weye for a quest I completely forgot I had, but they’re hard to find and hard to kill when you do find them—I only got one that afternoon. I did find a lockpick vendor, though, for dungeon chests. I also got some cool dwarven armor. I hope I don’t lose it by dying.

    I check back with Tar-Meena tomorrow. She (he? I can’t tell Argonian genders) told me that the first words of each paragraph may contain the message, but putting those words together makes no sense. Putting the first letters together, on the other hand, did, and managed to lead me to a clue with the location of the Mythic Dawn hideout. I’m not sure what magic they must have used to get that thing to work, let alone only at noon.

    However, with my purchases and replacements and repairs, I am very low on money, so I consider knocking out another Fighters Guild quest—the one in Chorrol, but the guy there directs me to Skingrad, and that’s out of the way. I’ll come back later for that—I still have these nirnroots I want to give to the guy in Skingrad—but I decided to go back to Cheydinhal and pursue the Mythic Dawn quest thingy.

    That was when I got sent to the slammer for fencing. I’ve done some thinking, though (jail gives you a lot of time for that), and I’ve decided I really want to obtain the blessings of all the Nine Divines before I take on such a fearsome foe. I’ve found four wayshrines (I found Stendarr’s on my way from the Imperial City to Cheydinhal this time) just by wandering, but I’m going to pull out that map the guy in Anvil gave me and find the other five.

    Again, tell your sweetheart Brantus says hi.

    - B.
     
  10. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 9 - 3rd Sun’s Dusk 433

    Fabiana,

    Again, I’d really like to meet this Hjarkir. In fact, I’d like to meet him so much that I will be crossing the border into Skyrim the next time I’m in that area. And seeing how the wayshrine to Akatosh is up near Bruma… that will be soon. I will be carrying a mace. Don’t worry, Hjarkir will be fine as long as he behaves himself. I’d bring Marcus along if he weren’t still fourteen.

    Bears seem to be out in full force, scavenging and foraging as we get into late fall. I encountered three just on my way to the shrine of Kynareth to the south of the Imperial City (where fall would be later anyway). I stopped by at the friendly Crestbridge Camp for the night, and they had a goblin problem with some of the caves in the north. Two warring factions—I have to either kill the leader or steal the totem.

    It got rough pretty quick. The goblin caves were enormous and the first one, at least, sent their entire army after me and I’m still not sure how I managed to survive that without any serious injuries. Probably by using almost all my potions. At any rate, I manage to find the totem and kill the leader, but it turns out it was the WRONG TRIBE, so I had to go kill off the other tribe. Well, that’s one way to stop a war: kill off both sides of it.

    The other problem with this part of Cyrodiil, besides the bears, was that it’s hilly. The southern Nibenay basin is full of hills and bluffs and cliffs and all sorts of things that made the Wayshrine of Kynareth hard to find. I found it, but it was already early evening when I did and in my haste to find a place to sleep I came across a cave that was full of terror and empty of bedrolls. I managed to find my way out of it and tries Crestbridge Camp again,but the bedrolls were already in use. I finally came alongside a fort—I forget what it was named—and, though I had to fight several conjurers and their magically spawned demons (they created dremorae for crying out loud!), I do at least get some sleep.

    I had no idea what time it was when I woke up, since a torrential rainstorm was going on when I left the cave. At any rate, on my way back to what I think is the Imperial City (I at least have a good sense of direction outdoors) I encountered another wayshrine to Julianos.

    With learning on my mind as I approached the Imperial City, I thought about seeing if Phintias at the bookstore will cave. He didn’t—until I bribed him. Seridur has evidently mentioned Memorial Cave. I considered going there—I passed it on the way back into the Imperial City—but as I was thinking, I received an urgent letter from “a friend” talking about… well, let’s just say it has to do with my recent imprisonment, and leave it at that.

    I decided to wait to meet with this “friend,” as there’s no rush, and to at least try to find the wayshrine to Talos and Zenithar, both again south of the Imperial City, but instead I get mauled by a humongous bear and have to rest up for a while. Gah. I cannot wait for winter so these bears will stop mauling me.

    When I return to that area, there is a freaking minotaur there. I trade a bear for a bull, but the bull is easier to take down—I do have to down two healing potions, though, which seems a bit overkill. While searching for the Talos and Zenithar shrines, I also found a shrine to Hircine. Hmm… maybe that’s it, now that I think of it. Hircine’s the god of the hunt, so no doubt there would be a lot of powerful beasts in an area affected by him. (Or her? I’m not sure which gender Hircine is)

    At any rate, as I returned to write this letter I passed by Fort Alessia, where I found a bandit with better armor than mine. Who did he swipe that armor from? At any rate, it’s mine now, even if an orcish cuirass looks very awkward with a dwarven helmet, but… eh, protection over aesthetics. I’m sure you’d agree with that—after all, you do like Nords :)

    - Brantus

    P.S.: The wayshrine to Akatosh is up near Bruma. I will be coming up to Skyrim when I head to that wayshrine. So help me, I don't care if it's Evening Star and it's snow up to my chest.
     
  11. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    (The following is a conversation that takes place on the evening of the 13th of Sun’s Dusk, 3E 433, at the Bannered Mare tavern in Whiterun.)

    BRANTUS: (removes helmet) “Fabiana! Hello!”

    FABIANA: “Brantus! How have you been? Any bear trouble on the way up here?”

    BRANTUS: “Always bear trouble. The brown bears are the worst. I hate to see those. But I took care of them. Don’t you worry about that.”

    FABIANA: *laughs* “I’m sure you did. I’ve been enjoying your letters. Did you get all the nine wayshrines?”

    BRANTUS: “Yeah, that I did. But before I tell you about my adventures since my last letter, where’s your boyfriend?”

    FABIANA: “Hjarkir? Probably still working on the Sun-Beards’ house.”

    BRANTUS: “Right, he’s a mason. You told me that in one of your replies. Well, I’m sure he’ll come in for a drink and I’ll get to talk to him. Nords seem to love their mead, especially here.”

    FABIANA: “That they do, that they do. So what have you been up to recently—besides slaying bears on your way to Whiterun?”

    BRANTUS: “Okay, well, that thing I told you with the midnight meeting was actually to join the Cyrodilic” (whispers) “…thieves’ guild.” (stops whispering) “You know, the… fraternity… our uncle is in.”

    FABIANA: “Right. That one. I’m sure Father would love for you to join that. Justify everything he now thinks about you.”

    BRANTUS: “I haven’t joined it yet. More important I got all the Nine Divines’ blessings before I do anything further about the Mythic Dawn, which I am probably gonna tackle when I return back south to Cyrodiil. So, I was in the Imperial City, and I went to Skingrad after exploring an elven ruin.”

    FABIANA: “Which one was that?”

    BRANTUS: “Fana…secul or something. They all have crazy weird names. It had ghosts, but I keep silver weaponry on hand for that. So, I get to Skingrad and talk to the guy deserting the Fighters Guild. He said he was supposed to clear out Fallen Rock Cave but he wasn’t getting paid enough for it—it wasn’t that hard a cave to clear out. Just kill the zombies and get a silver weapon.”

    FABIANA: “What did he do when you were done?”

    BRANTUS: “Ah, basically said do what I wanted about it. Either pass the job off as done by him, or admit I did the job he didn’t. Anyway, it dawned on me I still needed to talk to Sinderion about this nirnroot thing, so I did that. He wants me to collect ten samples.”

    FABIANA: “How many do you have now?”

    BRANTUS: “Five.”

    FABIANA: “So you talked to Sinderion. What did you do after that? Start collecting more nirnroot?”

    BRANTUS: “You think I’m the collecty type? Naw, I just pick ’em up as I see ’em. No, I decide to take on an Oblivion gate!”

    FABIANA: “Oh, brother…”

    BRANTUS: “Turned out not to be as great a deal as I’d hoped and like last time was, but it at least only took less than a full day—entered in the late afternoon, came out about midday the next day—but I used up way too many potions and not enough shinies for the trip. Ah, well, at least I closed off a daedra gate, and it only took a few days to recover not more than a week.”

    FABIANA: “That’s good to hear.”

    BRANTUS: “Anyway, there was a wayshrine to Arkay just outside of Skingrad, not the one my map showed, so I was able to pray at that one. From there I kind of head up towards Chorrol, to turn in the Fighters Guild quest and head up towards Bruma and the like. I stopped in an unfriendly village called Hackdirt—they try to kill me in my sleep because they didn’t like strangers!”

    FABIANA: “And this with an Imperial in the heart of the Empire?”

    BRANTUS: “Yeah, I know. I repay their ‘hospitality’ by stealing a mug of hard cider and drinking it—they have nothing valuable. Anyway, so the next Fighters Guild quest is to deal with some roughhousers in Leyawiin, which is way, way, way south of here. I’m hoping Hjarkir gets here soon; I need to practice playing the tough guy some more.”

    FABIANA: “That’s something you don’t need practice in, brother. But anyway, since you went to pray at the shrine of Akatosh near Bruma, what happened?”

    BRANTUS: “I kind of got a vision. Pelinal Whitestrake, the guy who dealt with Umaril earlier, told me where his lost shrine is. I have to go look for various relics and that’s where I need to start. It’s kind of between Riften and Cheydinhal. No, wait. That was the Mythic Dawn location. It was southeast of the Imperial City.”

    FABIANA: “Best of luck with that, I suppose. Oh, good, Hjarkir’s coming in now. Hi, sweetie!”

    BRANTUS: (groans)
     
  12. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 10 - 18th Sun’s Dusk 433

    I know it’s not been long since my last letter, but there’s been a LOT that has happened.

    All of a sudden I’m seeing daedric shrines pop up. I guess it makes sense, because what with all the Oblivion gates it doesn’t surprise me that people would be praying to the Daedra as well as the Aedra to close them, and then I think in Morrowind they used to worship the daedra to begin with. I passed a shrine to Namira but they don’t want anything to do with me because I wasn’t “loathsome enough,” whatever that means. I also came across Mephala’s shrine; they want only an offering of nightshade placed there between midnight and dawn. It’s easy enough to get nightshade, if I decide to go that route. Not sure if I’d retain the blessings of the Nine Divines if I did that, though. Stendarr in particular doesn’t seem that fond of daedra.

    Obviously to get to the Mythic Dawn’s shrine I needed to start in Cheydinhal, There’s a cave east of the Imperial City which I explored but which was confusing. It was kind of funny exploring it—I needed to down a potion of feather to carry all the stuff from it plus a glass mace from a bandit I met on the road to Cheydinhal, and it was a race to get to the “March Rider” before the potion ran out.

    I almost forgot I was supposedly joining the Mythic Dawn when I set out to find their camp that afternoon, but I remembered just in time. The warden wanted to take my equipment for the ceremony, but no. This isn’t prison, where they just want to keep me there. This was a place full of people trying to kill… well, everyone. So I decline and have to kill them. I also managed to open a tricky lock with only one lockpick, not sure how I managed that.

    The ceremony was weird. The guy leading it, Mankar Cameron or whatever his name was, basically vanished to something he calls “paradise,” which if it’s anything like what I’ve seen of Oblivion is anything but paradise. He again took the Amulet of Kings but at least I got my hands on the Mysterium Xarxes. I think I need to take it back to Cloud Ruler Temple, but I probably will visit Leyawiin first.

    Not to mention the shrine of the Crusader is on the way, as well as my shack in the Imperial City because I realized that I’ve been carting around my heavy Arena gear this whole time, which I’m NEVER going to use outside the Imperial City! Maybe it’s made my muscles buffer and my back stronger, but it’s also wasting space I could use for loot.

    Anyway, while I was shopping for potions and to get the house storage area, a Mythic Dawn agent tried to attack me in the city! I managed to kill it pretty easily, and the guards did come in my defense, which was nice. I really am glad we have competent guards in Cyrodiil.

    I did in fact go to Whitestrake’s shrine, which is submerged underwater for some reason. It was really awkward exploring. Lots of ghosts and surprisingly less water than you’d expect. Sir Amiel, one of the other knights with Whitestrake, had his skeleton there as well as his journal. I recovered that and the helm of the crusader, and returned to the Imperial City in preparation to head to Leyawiin. I haven’t read the journal yet (I need to) so I’m not yet sure where I have to go after that, but I’ll find out soon enough.

    - Brantus
     
  13. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 11 - 21st Sun’s Dusk 433

    I sent my previous letter on the morning of the 18th, and am writing this in the evening of the 21st so it’s really been more like 4 days than 3. Anyway, as I mentioned earlier I headed southward towards Bravil and ultimately Leyawiin. I spotted two Oblivion gates prior to Bravil and none between Bravil and Leyawiin.

    Of course, I encountered a few bears on the way. Brown bears are somehow much easier to kill than they were before. Maybe I’m stronger, maybe it’s the improvements I’ve made to my equipment, maybe the bears are having trouble foraging for food and are weak but aggressive because of it… I don’t know. I can also kill will-o’-the-wisps now, which is good.

    Rule number one of warfare: Know your enemy.
    Rule number two: Keep a silver weapon on you, just in case.

    Bravil, when I got there, struck me as a rough-around-the-edges type of town, but I’m a rough-around-the-edges type of guy. A Mythic Dawn member tried to kill me, of course, but they’re no threat. It occurred to me as I look out the inn’s window at Niben Bay that I should check out the mysterious door that appeared there, but that’s not really a priority anymore—I had, and still have, more important things to do. For all I know it was just the first Oblivion gate that opened, and so it got rumorized more quickly. I don’t know how well daedra can swim.

    Explorations in this area proved stymieing with a ton of locked doors—what’s up with all the locks? Finally I find Bawn south of Bravil, an Ayleid ruin I can actually explore chock-full of wraiths and ghosts and other spectral nasties. They dropped ectoplasms, which I returned to Bravil to sell. This fact will become important soon.

    Outside Leyawiin I met a Legion soldier I remembered from just after basic training, Lerexus Callidus. He was looking for skooma dealers, but they always recognize him and run off whenever he approaches. I told him I’d take care of the issue after I took care of the Fighter’s Guild issue, and I do (it wasn’t particularly difficult, which makes sense if they were scared of Callidus rather than trying to kill him). It takes less time than the Fighters Guild issue.

    Leyawiin itself was rather… yellow and kind of bleak-looking; I’m not sure if that’s Elsweyr, Black Marsh, or some other type of architecture but it’s not my cup of tea. Anyway, I went into the tavern and talked with the Fighters Guild guys like the Chorrol task-giver wanted me to, and they say it’s not so much that they’re causing trouble but that something called the Blackwood Company—mercenaries who were sent but failed to reclaim Imperial territory in Black Marsh—has been undercutting them and so they can’t get any guild jobs.

    They asked me to go around town in search of someone who needed Fighters Guild jobs. The first person I meet, an Argonian woman named Numeen, directed me to someone named Margarte just west of town. She’s an alchemist, who needs some difficult-to-get ingredients like ogre’s teeth and minotaur hide, and doesn’t trust the Blackwood Company. But she also didn’t trust me, so she asked me to get five portions of ectoplasm before she could trust me. Needless to say, I was going to do this quest.

    Rule number three of warfare: Know and befriend a good alchemist, preferably more than one.

    I had actually gathered some ectoplasm, but I sold it in Bravil! Hopefully the merchant still had it—I tried exploring the caves and such around Leyawiin, but they just had bandits. Bandits don’t tend to carry ectoplasm on them. Fortunately, the Bravil shop still had it, so I was able to go up there and buy it back.

    At this point I had three things I needed to do: 1. go to the Priory of the Nine which is kind of in the middle between Skingrad and Bravil, near Elsweyr’s northern border, 2. talk with Martin and (hopefully) Baurus at the Cloud Ruler Temple near Bruma which is on the exact opposite side of Cyrodiil now, and 3. return to Chorrol to report in to the Fighters Guild for that quest. I probably should also take another Arena match—it’s been a while. I chose the first option. From Skingrad, Chorrol is on the way to Bruma anyway.

    I thought about taking on an Oblivion gate on the way, but even the beasts outside it nearly killed me, and it was in the middle of nowhere—I don’t think I could have made it back to Skingrad, the Imperial City, or Bravil badly injured from the monsters that no doubt lurked inside. I get the feeling Fate will conspire against me soon to force me to take on an Oblivion gate, though.

    At any rate, I arrived at the Priory of the Nine and talked with Sir Amiel, one of the prior crusaders, whose ring I picked up in that underwater temple, about the Cuirass of the Crusader. It appears we’re building the thing up one part at a time. But first I had to duel each of the previous knights. They weren’t that hard to dispatch, which is probably a good thing because it means I have better chance of success.

    After the battles, I talk with Sir Casimir, who lost the Gauntlets of the Crusader after doing a very wrathful and highly non-merciful thing at the Chapel of Stendarr—killing an emaciated beggar in cold blood*. He says it wouldn’t be surprising if the gauntlets were still there—and that’s also around Chorrol, so that’s lucky.

    I’m in Skingrad now, but I may need to make an excursion to the Imperial City. If I’m going to have to pick every lock of every treasure chest in the bandit caves… I’ll need more lockpicks.

    - Brantus

    *(Author's note: Sjadbek would not approve ^_^)
     
  14. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 12 – 26th Sun’s Dusk 433

    Fabiana,

    I hope this letter reaches you safely. Even without all these Oblivion gates, it’s getting pretty close to winter here. I’m in Bruma now. If it’s this cold in Bruma, I’d hate to feel how cold it’s getting in Skyrim.

    At any rate, I did get more lockpicks in the Imperial City, and felt for some reason confident enough to take on an Oblivion gate on the way on my own. I managed to get through it surprisingly unscathed, courtesy in large part of enchanted weaponry gleaned from various sources. The Mages Guild in Bruma had someone who would re-enchant the weapons for me, though it’s very expensive. And I know you can use soul gems for it, but I don’t know where to get soul gems (though I could always try to buy from that enchanter?).

    But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. The structure of that plane of Oblivion was rather familiar, which probably helped in terms of timing—I entered the Oblivion plane in mid-morning and was in Chorrol by about 2 a.m. that night. It also turns out sigil stones from the Oblivion gates allow you to enchant stuff (though not recharge enchantments).

    Chorrol had no new Fighters Guild tasks for me, so I go along with trying to get the Gauntlets of the Crusader from the chapel of Stendarr in the city. The curse has affected not just Sir Casimir but has continued down the family line; the current bearer, Kellen of Hammerfell, resides in the chapel now. I’m told the only way to lift the curse is to take it on myself. What with the Oblivion gates, I’m not sure I want to do this, but it’s hardly Stendarr’s will that Mehrunes Dagon take over the world. That may sound presumptuous of me, to declare something inside or outside of divine will, but would a God of Mercy really want that?

    The curse is one of fatigue—I feel a bit more tired and need to rest more often, particularly after vigorous battles, but I’m young and the past several months of hard travel in heavy armor mean I have stamina to spare. After leaving Chorrol, I made my way to Bruma and Cloud Ruler Temple, stopping by an elven ruin, Hrotanda Vale, along the way.

    Martin has apparently hardly slept since I first left the Temple… what is that now, a month ago? Month and a half? I gave him the Mysterium Xarxes to peruse, and he told me Jauffre was concerned with spies in Bruma and that the only way to stop the Oblivion invasion was to relight the Dragonfires. (Okay, why not just head to the Imperial City and do that then?) Anyway, Captain Steffan, the head of the Blades after Jauffre there, told me that suspicious characters were seen around the runestone near the temple at dusk.

    It was sometime after five in the afternoon when I was told this, so I went to the runestone. An hour later, around 6:30, a Mythic Dawn agent named Jaerl or something shows up and she has a bunch of keys. Jauffre wanted me to report this to Burd, the captain of the Bruma guard, as well, so I do (arriving at a busy barracks as the changing of the guard was going on at that time). Burd authorizes me to search the house of that Mythic Dawn agent.

    It turns out there’s another spy, but even as I turn to report this to Jauffre another Blades agent comes in with the corpse of that spy!* With that suddenly taken care of, I ask Martin what the next step is. Apparently I must retrieve a daedric artifact, and that shrine to Mephala is coming to mind. I have the nightshade…

    He also, however, directed me to a book that might help. I haven’t read it yet, but I think I will as soon as I send this letter off. I’m not sure how wise it is for a Knight of the Nine to get mixed up in daedra worship, but I’m also pretty certain the gods don’t exactly want Tamriel to be overrun by Mehrunes freaking Dagon.

    - Brantus

    * (Explanation: Saveri, the other spy, probably died by the beasts in the wilderness, which according to the UESP article is normal. All I saw was that a notification popped up just after I talked to Jauffre about the first spy that Saveri was dead.)
     
  15. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 13 – 7 Evening Star 433

    I slept for a full twelve hours last night, Fabs, trying to clear out these Oblivion gates. The last thing I want to hear is that one popped up just outside of Falkreath. Please don’t tell me that.

    Anyway, I was on my way to Skingrad but stopped by the Priory of the Nine, as it was kind of on my way, and I noticed a surprising number of bears out for this time of year—even in southern Cyrodiil. Did they forget about hibernation, or did the Oblivion gates screw everything up like they usually do?

    There was an OBLIVION GATE BY THE PRIORY OF THE NINE—needless to say, this could not be allowed to persist. It had to go, and I took care of it. After that, I talked with Sir Ralvas, who wanted me to seek the mace of the Crusader in Leyawiin, and informed me there will be a test of faith—a chasm beyond which the mace lay. Stupid Leyawiin. Sir Juncan knows where the boots are, and Sir Henrik the shield, but it’s been such a long week I think I’ll have to go back and ask them again.

    There are at least two, possibly three, Oblivion gates on the east side of Skingrad, and it’s possible it’s because of these that the bears keep showing up. It takes a LOT of work just to get them closed, and several trips to the repair shop. I must have spent more time in Oblivion recently than in Cyrodiil, which is not very pleasant in the slightest. I’m sure there are SOME parts of Oblivion that probably aren’t that bad (like Sanguine’s realm perhaps), but Mehrunes Dagon is a sadistic [expletive deleted].

    To Kvatch and Anvil next, after making sure there aren’t even more gates on the west side of Skingrad.

    - Brantus
     
  16. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 14 – 14 Evening Star 433

    Dear Fabiana,

    Glad to hear Falkreath’s stalwarts took care of it. If there’s anything that can take down an Oblivion gate faster than—apparently—me, it’s a gang of battle-ready Nords.

    I am in Leyawiin right now, for several reasons, the first and most important of which of course was taking care of that Oblivion gate. It’s because of that gate that I’m writing this in the afternoon—I decided to pull an all-nighter getting rid of the gate, and grabbed the sigil stone just about dawn.

    I started out the time by heading to Kvatch—Savlian Matius remembered my help and gladly lent aid, then I headed to Anvil, had a good bite to eat from Mom’s table, and picked up a Fighters Guild contract while I was at it. They’ve had some more banditry problems which require Maglir’s help. Slipped my mind who Maglir was at first. We needed to recover an heirloom from a Bosmer bandit gang from Hrota Cave north of Anvil - which we, of course, did.

    The next contract was in Cheydinhal, and I figured I had to go there anyway, and it turns out that the count’s son Farwil had actually gone into the Oblivion gate outside the city! Turns out it wasn’t really so bad, though; the enemies were weaker and the path more straightforward—with the help of me and a couple other guards, we managed to clear it out in only a single evening.

    As a reward for my efforts, the count of Cheydinhal offered me the right to purchase property in the city, which I availed him of as I had more money than I knew what to do with and Skingrad wouldn’t let me. I then turned to Bravil and Leyawiin, since I still had work to do there.

    Some idiot Mythic Dawn member was stupid enough to try to ambush me in Castle Bravil, if you can believe it. Maybe he was ticked off I’d screwed with his beloved gate. Anyway, the guards were all over him like white on rice; even the count got in a couple good hits on him before he died.

    Leyawiin has a bit more intrigue than a simple, now-destroyed Oblivion gate. I approached the count, and he said something about a service for Leyawiin. Some Orc claims to be a knight but won’t tell anyone what she’s up to. And then of course there’s the Fighter’s Guild quest, and the Fort Bulwark where one of the Crusader items is located.

    And then it’s off to Bruma. I get the odd feeling I’m forgetting something…

    - Brantus
     
  17. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 15 – 22 Evening Star 433

    Much to talk about. As I said before, I was in Leyawiin, and this Orc person I was talking about is delusional, I think. She wanted me to take her to Fisherman’s Rock, after rebuffing an Argonian who didn’t want to. I did this, and she I guess had a score to settle with someone, and did so. I let her. Weird.

    The actual Fighters Guild quest that I was coming down to Leyawiin for required me to stop by Biene Amelion’s house. She needed me to retrieve valuable items from some dungeon so she could pay off a debt, but I had like 20,000 gold at the time and decided… you know what, it would be more convenient if I just paid it off for her.

    Fort Bulwark was quite a walk away, but I had to go there to get the Shield of the Crusader. It being Julianos’s dungeon, it naturally was rather… puzzling. There were also several conjurers in there, and I think I spent the better part of two days in the fort. At least a day and a half. There was one puzzle that was pretty simple—there were candles on the wall and I just had to step on the pressure plate however many candles away from that wall it was—and then one puzzle that was absolutely baffling. I had to figure out which of various items that randomly magically spawned went in which of several chests.

    Fortunately, that was the last puzzle.

    As I made the long way back to, as it happened, Cheydinhal, I came across a wayshrine and thinking it was going to be relief, I went to it, but it turned out to be a wayshrine to Nocturnal. I completely forgot what she asked about. It didn’t really matter—I have more pressing things to do right now, like get back to Bruma.

    What I had forgotten was that I hadn’t followed up on getting the armor of Talos, which sounds ridiculous even to say. Not to mention I forgot where Sancre Tor was—turned out to be somewhere between Bruma and Chorrol. Sancre Tor’s ruins were… to say the least… terrifying. They were full of undead wraiths, liches, and other various nasties, some of which were tougher opponents than the monsters of Oblivion!

    While I spent the better part of eternity in Sancre Tor, Martin found out that the third item needed was a Great Welkynd Stone, which I have to find in an Ayleid ruin of some sort, one which likewise will be filled with wraiths and liches—I’m sure of it. It’s about halfway between Skingrad and Kvatch.

    I’m in the Imperial City now, having dealt with an Oblivion gate too close to the road and attacking (and killing) poorly-equipped civilians.

    Hope that in between the winter and the Oblivion crisis the courier delivers this missive safely.

    - Brantus
     
  18. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    Letter 16 – 25 Evening Star 433

    Not much time’s passed but there’s so much to tell you about. I know I was supposed to be looking for Miscarcand, the Ayleid ruin I was talking about, but I thought I should also look for the Shrine to Kynareth with the Boots of the Crusader, since it’s in that same general way. I found it, but the acolytes there told me Kynareth had to test me, and she did so by sending me a bear that I am supposed to not attack. After I didn’t, Kynareth practically handed me the boots.

    After some debate in Skingrad, I decided I really should get the remaining Relics of the Crusader, which means I had to get the mace of Zenithar back down in Leyawiin. I really hate Leyawiin, even if I did collect my tenth nirnroot (but that’s another story) on the way there. Nocturnal also told me to go there and get the Eye, and it turns out that was in Tidewater Cave, right near the southern coast.

    But in the meantime, I went to the chapel of Zenithar. I was expecting some complicated puzzle, but it was much easier than it looked. I think it had something to do with wearing the boots of Kynareth—one of the priests said there was some sort of connection between Zenithar and Kynareth.

    Then it was off to Tidewater Cave, extremely close to Black Marsh. It actually wasn’t that hard to find the thing, though it was in an underwater chest. So, having done that, I decided to head back to the Priory of the Nine to find the remaining relics. Sadly, Sir Roderic died in the meantime, but they did at least manage to recover the Greaves of the Crusader. The challenge is that the traitor, Sir Berich, his ghost is still holding onto the sword.

    The sword’s location is between Chorrol and Bruma, so I figure I’ll take care of the Welkynd stone on the way there. I’m in Skingrad now, about to go out and get that stone. Also, the lady in Skingrad, Elsa God-Hater? I don’t know if I told you before, but she REALLY hates the Divines. Yeah, turns out she’s a mythic dawn agent—can’t say I’m surprised. The Nine appear to have smitten her, in the form of me.

    Also, Sinderion, the nirnroot guy, is insane and obsessed with nirnroots. Having recovered ten, he now wants me to get another twenty! I swear that Altmer is going to end up wandering a deep cave beneath some snowy mountain looking for some rare and heretofore undiscovered type of nirnroot, just to see what it does, and some bold explorer is going to have to collect thirty of those nirnroots for him. It won’t be me; I’ll tell you that much.

    - Brantus
     
  19. bulbaquil

    bulbaquil ...is not Sjadbek, he just runs him.

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    7th of Morning Star, 3E 434

    Fabiana,

    I am about to embark on something very dangerous, but very important. I am about to enter Mankar Camoran’s “Paradise” itself. If I die, Tamriel dies with me. Talos give me strength.

    So I finally went to Miscarcand, the place where the Great Welkynd stone was, and it made Sancre Tor seem easy. At one point I was rushed by an onslaught of like, five or six zombies and skeletons at the same time… that was a really tough battle; I had to use up just about all my healing potions just to stay alive. Heck, even just getting out of the elven ruin with the Stone was a problem.

    I then made my way to Underpall Cave, where the ghost of Sir Berich Vlindrel the traitorous Crusader Knight had “kidnapped” the Sword of the Crusader, forcing me to kidnap it back from him. It takes some doing, but I do manage to do that. I did have to backtrack to the Imperial City to get more potions, though, Miscarcand kind of ran me out of them.

    At any rate, I then returned to Bruma, where Martin laid upon me an absurd impossibility. He needed a Great Sigil Stone, like the ones used to hold open Oblivion gates, because it’s the opposite of the Great Welkynd Stone, like the Daedra are the opposite of the Divines. Evidently that meant we had to LET THEM OPEN A GREAT OBLIVION GATE JUST OUTSIDE OF BRUMA.

    You’re probably in shock at this audacity right now… assuming you haven’t already heard about it from outside sources; this happened several days ago now and news can sometimes outpace the couriers.

    Needless to say, the countess of Bruma was just as concerned as I am and as you would be. So was Captain Burd, who proclaimed the plan madness—but went alon with it. I had to go in and enter the gate before Bruma could be destroyed, which didn’t leave me with much time. I couldn’t stop to fight anyone on the way. Sadly, Baurus died in the fight, as did the soldier Skingrad sent to Bruma. They will be remembered honorably. May Arkay guide their souls safely to Aetherius.

    Martin said after that that preparations could be completed for entering Camoran’s Paradise straightaway, but I need to make preparations, and especially so because I accidentally equipped the Sword of the Crusader, which because of the curse was pretty nasty. I have to get it removed in the Cheydinhal temple, which is much more of a challenge than originally expected. The curse sapped my ability to withstand fire and shock such as those posed by Meridia’s Aurorans who—guess what?—also were attacking the Cheydinhal temple! Stupid Oblivion gates and their daedra.

    I managed to get rid of them, but laid up in the comfortable bed of my house in Cheydinhal for a good week. I don’t have a clue what happened on New Life Day, though I get the feeling it wasn’t heartily celebrated with the Oblivion issues going on.

    Hope you’re safe in the Skyrim winter. I’m sure not down here in a Cyrodiil that has become Mehrunes Dagon's punching bag.

    - Brantus
     

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