Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Skyrim Day 037 - What's Old is New Again

21 Heartfire, 4E201

Can no one do anything for themselves in this province? Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but today I have risked my life for very little, visited a place I have already been to, and am now ending the day in a freezing, broken tower with almost nothing to show for my troubles and discomfort. Meanwhile, the reason I am out here is probably settling down to a nice supper at a comfortable table in a heated hall. I must remember to murder Enthir when I next get the chance.

Before leaving the College this morning I dumped the engraved plaque I had taken from Bleak Falls Barrow and asked Tolfdir to take a look at it, maybe show it around a bit, try to figure out just what the thing actually is. The dragon's head on the plaque closely matches the engravings I have been seeing just before ancient, useless words are burned into my head, but I cannot quite make the connection between the two.

I had not planned on staying at the College today and I happened to run into Arniel as he was heading to breakfast, so I asked him if there was anything else he needed for his experiment. I really should have expected that he did. Unfortunately for me, what he needed could only be acquired through Enthir, my rapidly least-favorite individual at the College.

Enthir could provide what Arniel needed...for a price, of course. I was ready to hand over any number of Septims just to avoid another droll task from the slippery Bosmer, but the cost of his assistance was the retrieval of yet another piece of merchandise he parted with too hastily. The job was no more attractive for the fact that the staff had made its way to Fellglow Keep, the place where the late Orthorn had stolen away to with the College's books and where I was sent two weeks ago to undo that little event. 

Apparently more necromancers had moved in and started delicately sourcing magical items for some sort of ritual. Enthir, never one to turn his nose up at profit, sold one of their number a staff that he was now having seller's remorse over. He asked that I travel to the ruined keep and bring back the staff. The survival of his former customers was not a concern. I also strangled him right then and there. I wish I had.

And so it was back into the hills of north Skyrim. I passed by a wrecked horse-and-cart and its former occupants, all of them frozen solid into the ground.
Continuing along the rough-hewn path I came upon a shrine of some sort built up against the mountainside. There were mages examining the shrine's wall, but when I drew closer one of them shouted and started flinging spells at me.
I was very quickly engaged by four mages and spent a lovely time running and jumping all over the place, firing my bow when I could between the giant icicles and fireballs they threw at me. Eventually the last of them fell into the snow clutching an arrow sticking from his chest and I returned to the shrine to see what it was that interested them.
Unaccustomed to finding the things outside, I realized too late that it was another teaching-wall and before I could get away I had a terrific headache and the knowledge of how to spell "ice" in a language no one else is using. Very useful.

Cursing my luck and curiosity I resolved to waste no further time in getting to Fellglow Keep and immediately broke my own promise. Trudging along the road I heard two people arguing and just had to know what it was they were angry about. Their names were Salma and Beem-Ja, a Redguard and Argonian. They were undecided as to whether they should enter the barrow they were camping in front of, but my arrival emboldened the adventurers and they dove inside, calling for me to follow.
The two of them dealt with the spiders and Draugr that infested the barrow and we soon came upon a rather imposing dome of granite. They paid my warnings no heed and rushed up the stairs and inside what I knew to be the tomb of whomever the barrow had been dug for.
The barrow's owner, a hulking seven-foot armored Draugr, was not pleased to have visitors.
In its bony hand the Draugr wielded an Ebony blade, guaranteed to lop off an arm or a leg with a single blow. Against this and his retinue of skeleton archers I had a brave but rather inexperienced Redguard warrior and an Argonian mage above us. Beem-Ja was actually very helpful, killing the skeleton archers with bolts of lightning before turning his magicka against the Draugr Salma and I were dancing around.

The Draugr fell and Salma re-joined Beem-Ja above the little pit we had been fighting in, but they started arguing almost immediately, so I walked back to them to see what the trouble was after their victory.

Their trouble turned out to be the small matter of Beem-Ja announcing he would kill us both and use our blood to enact a ritual designed to siphon the Draugr's power into his own body. I have no idea why these sort of plans are always boastfully declared beforehand. The Argonian had hardly stopped speaking before my battle-ax cleaved his skull in two, greatly startling Salma. Understandable she was very upset and tearfully made an announcement of her own: a retirement from adventuring and a return to her father's home in High Rock. I wished her well and began to walk past the Draugr's ancient throne, when my head exploded.
I had not even noticed the wall of runes this time. A blast of pain and another word: "Fade", spoken and written in the ancient style. Two words in the same day and I could barely see for the pain lancing through my skull. I stumbled out of the barrow and back outside, the sunlight elevating my headache to new, undiscovered heights.

Fortunately the pain diminished somewhat to a dull hammering by the time I found the road again and when a thief jumped out of the bushes demanding my money I irritably asked him to look at the ax on my belt and reconsider his demand. He fled, wisely.

Fellglow Keep had not changed in the two weeks since I had last seen it and I remembered the layout quite well, enabling me to slay the entire group of wayward mages with not a single alarm or shout. Enthir's staff was in a chest stuffed into an alcove at the back of the ruin. When I exited Fellglow it was already night and I decided to investigate the two towers that spanned the river nearby. If they were still abandoned from the last time I visited I would stay there for the night, saving myself an hour's walk in the dark with my head feeling like it was about to split open.

Luck finally showed its hand to me today for the towers were free of inhabitants. I chose the least-frozen bedroll in the least-ruined of the two towers and am not looking forward to a very cold night. Still, I know I will fall asleep eventually and feel all the better for it tomorrow morning, frozen or not. 

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