Friday, July 31, 2015

Oblivion Day 30 - Counter-Assault on Oblivion, Part 5

27 Heartfire, 3E433

I woke this morning the hero of Anvil, receiving congratulations and even an offer to purchase a cheap manor in the city itself.  But Anvil is too far away from everything else for me to consider buying a house here and I had a lot that needed to be done today.

First on my list was to lighten myself of the Sigil Stones I have been collecting. I can transfer the magicka stored within each stone to enchant something, though I cannot be sure of what enchantment my item will receive until the process is done. Any enchantment is more valuable than no enchantment at all, so I have been carrying around the potential to make quite a bit of money.

This morning I visited Anvil's blacksmith and surprised him by purchasing all of his weapons. Thus burdened I staggered back to the Mages Guild with the large and very heavy sack of equipment and dumped them on the street in front of the Guild. Then, one by one, I matched a weapon with a Stone and soon had a pile of weakly enchanted bows, swords, and axes. The blacksmith, a Dunmer named Varel Morvayn, was even more surprised to see me return with his wares enchanted and for sale back to him. Varel eagerly bought back every enchanted weapon at considerable cost to himself, enriching me by several thousand Septims. I partially spent my new wealth at the Mages Guild for lessons in casting Illusion spells and to identify the amulet I found in Oblivion, which is just as valuable as I hoped: it will reflect a portion of an enemy's spell against them. Very useful!

That concluded my first order of business, finding the hidden agent of the Mythic Dawn cult was the second. With its constant flow of nearly anonymous sailors in and out Anvil's waterfront would serve as an excellent place to get a menial job while keeping one's identity a secret.
I noticed that an Altmer was pacing along the deck of one of the ships, apparently yelling and complaining to herself about something. As I walked by the ship's dock she called out to me saying that I looked like an adventurous, brave sort of person. Naturally.

Her name was Varulae and the problem was a deceptively simple one: In the holds of the ship lay her family's heirloom, a crystal ball. The catch was that the entire hired crew had been murdered overnight in a manner which left their spirits angrily floating about the lower decks, preventing Varulae from getting the crystal ball herself. My task of course was to descend into the ship, banish the hostile spirits, and retrieve the heirloom.

The spirits were actually Wraiths, souls of people killed unjustly enough for their anger to manifest into a spectral being bent on killing everyone else. The sailors' deaths must have been foul indeed, for there were many Wraiths aboard the ship, each wielding a sailor's cutlass and flinging frost magicka at me. Individually they were not particularly strong and the close confines of the ship meant not having to fight more than one at a time, so I had little difficulty in putting the spirits to rest and retrieving the Varulae's treasure.

My reward was a cutlass of my own, grimly enchanted to drain the life of any creature struck by the blade. I also kept one of the Wraiths' cutlasses to enchant with a Sigil Stone at a later date. A seaport town like Anvil would find many buyers for such a weapon.

I continued to prowl about the waterfront for any rumors of new residents and heard that there was a boarding house appropriately named 'The Forecastle' that catered exclusively to sailors' requirement for temporary lodging between voyages. I suspected that a sailor might be the perfect cover for a cultist and I was right.

She attacked as soon as I entered the boarding house, summoning the typical Mythic Dawn attire upon herself while rushing me with a mace. The rest of the sailors scrambled out of her way and during the ensuring chaos one of them accidentally tripped the cultist, sending her sprawling. A blow from Varulae's cutlass ended her life. On her body was a copy of 'Commentaries, Volume I'.
By then it was only early in the afternoon, so I figured I may as well go back to Skingrad in preparation for the trip to Bravil. The trip was uneventful save for a foolish bandit who was wielding a rather rare Dwemer dagger, which I am keeping for now.

When I arrived at Skingrad it seemed as though I might have been able to make it to Bravil before the night grew too long, but that wound up not happening.
Someone with a cruel sense of humor had opened a Gate directly over a small graveyard of Skingrad's, uprooting caskets and destroying the surrounding landscape. The plane of Oblivion the Gate sent me to was the smallest and easiest of any of the ones I have visited and aside from fighting a new type of well-equipped Dremora nothing about it surprised me.
Despite the time I spent closing the Gate I chose to push onwards towards Bravil, even though it meant arriving some time after midnight. On my way I found two more Gates in the trees near Bravil but they will be taken care of tomorrow.

Bravil's own Gate was not opened over a shrine, but instead over the decrepit remains of an ancient watchtower.
Extra guards were stationed at the city gate and the Captain there assured me that if Daedra started to pour out of the Gate they would be ready to meet them. After what happened to Kvatch I have my doubts, but I am sure an alarm would at least be raised in time, if nothing else.

For tonight I am trusting the guards' vigilance and renting a bed at 'Silverhome on the Water'. Tomorrow I have three Gates I need to close, quite a large order, but I am sure that I am up to the task, for if I am not then no one is.

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