Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Skyrim Day 056 - Time Travel & Real Estate

11 Frostfall, 4E201

When Savos and his fellow students explored Labyrinthian they uncovered more than they had hoped for. One by one, the inexperienced students fell to traps or creatures, until just Savos and two others were left. In Labyrinthian's final chamber they encountered the Dragon Priest Morokei, a creature which I suspect is tied to the Dragon cult that keeps assaulting me, though how exactly I cannot yet say.

The only thing that remained of Morokei after its defeat was a stern-looking metal mask that served as the thing's face. It matched a wooden mask I found in a small dome above Labyrinthian, but I recall not paying the masks much attention then.

The place was still infested with trolls, but my new silvered blade, due to Adrianne's attention this morning, cut through them effortlessly. She was eager to accept the carved blade I had found a week or so ago in exchange for a little work in finishing my weapon, which suited me just fine.
The dome where I had found the wooden mask (which stays warm in any weather) was still there, of course and just as run-down as the first time I had seen it.
The headless skeleton was still there, as well as the scraps of parchment the man's mercenaries had been using for their journal. A particular passage, which I either failed to notice the first time or have simply forgotten, caught my eye: their employer had a wooden mask, the one I found next to the corpse, and upon placing it on his face while inside the dome, he vanished instantly. Judging by the decapitated skeleton at my feet he eventually came back, so I guessed it was safe to try it myself so long as I left no irate mercenaries behind.

I pressed the mask to my face and everything went white for a moment. When my vision cleared, I was still in the same place, but apparently at a very different time.
I may have been in a more prosperous time for Labyrinthian, but it was not a busier time. The ruin was still abandoned and utterly silent. The restored altar had eight small statues of a hooded figure, the robe just large enough to fit the wooden mask. I tried fitting it on each of the statues. but could discover no way to make it stay. On a hunch I pulled out the metal mask I had taken off of Morokei's remains and tried the same thing. The mask snapped on to one of the statues with such force that it almost took my fingers off.
That left seven statues unadorned with no clue as to where their masks were. At least I know where to go if I find any more. Placing the wooden mask back on to my face sent me to the frozen ruin I was more familiar with and I left Labyrinthian for Solitude so that I could tell Elisif that her husband's horn was safely at the feet of Talos.

I decided to pass through Morthal and its swamp to shorten my walk to Solitude. While sloshing through the marsh I came upon an empty campsite nestled alongside a large Nordic ruin I had ignored while I was in the marsh collecting Deathbells. The requisite left-behind journal briefly chronicled the efforts of one Daynas Valen to acquire an amulet that was said to be inside. Interestingly, the Daynas admitted to murdering a merchant in Bravil in order to steal the Dragon Claw key (Ivory, this time) required to breach the lowest level of the ruin. I never thought about the possibility that some of these Claws would find their way out of Skyrim.

Enroute from Cyrodiil, he recruited two adventurers to assist with the expected Draugr and mechanical traps, then burned all his possessions (except his journal!) before he led his small band inside.
There is not much to say about what I found inside. Two dead adventurers, of course, and a bunch of Draugr. Daynas had not made it much further than his companions and still had the cumbersome Dragon Claw key on his body. Next to his corpse was a second journal, this one explaining what the amulet he sought was, something called the Gauldur Amulet. He had gone through the trouble to write down the entire history of an ancient family of mages whose elder fathered three sons. The sons murdered the father, Gauldur, so that they would have the amulet, then ravaged the surrounding countryside for no discernible reason.

A local noble dispatched warriors and mages to track down the sons and end them, each being isolated and followed to remote corners of Skyrim. The eldest, Jyrick, was the ancient Draugr Tolfdir and I had fought in front of the Eye of Magnus and the youngest son, Mikrul, was entombed in the ruin Daynas had hopefully invaded. The middle son, Sigdis, fell near Ivarstead.

Each of the sons had a fragment of their father's amulet, the three together would produce what I can only assume would be an item potent enough to be worth all the trouble they went through.
After a few more Draugr I almost had the opportunity to ask Mikrul himself about his amulet, but he burst from his coffin in a decidedly hostile manner which led to me to believe stabbing him in the back, much as he did to his father, was a healthier decision.
Gauldur's youngest proved to be a perceptive, if weak, opponent. Undead though he was, my attempt to sneak up on him was foiled, only for him to fall rather effortlessly to my blade. His cohorts were simple Draugr armed with bows so old that I could probably have caught their arrows if I wanted to waste my time. On Mikrul's body was a scroll with a similar condemnation as his brother's had and his fragment of the amulet, which his condemners had not saw fit to separate him from.
Past Mikrul's resting place was a portcullis opened with the Claw with a wall of ancient words behind it. Standing before it allowed me to learn the word for 'cold': krah, a very useful thing to know here in Skyrim. The expected secret exit was quite clever this time, using an empty Draugr coffin leaning against the door to disguise it.

My curiosity satiated for the moment, I left the ruin and completed my trip back to Solitude. I needed to deliver the Ring of Pure Mixtures to the old alchemist and inform Jarl Elisif of the completion of her task.

However, I had made a mistake. I had thought the name of the alchemist in Solitude to be Frida, but she was Angeline of 'Angeline's Aromatics'. Bemused, Angeline politely informed me that Frida was a bit younger and far to the east, in Dawnstar. I thanked her and left feeling a bit foolish.

But Jarl Elisif was certainly in Solitude, no mistake there. Though the day was crawling into the evening the Blue Palace was still seeing visitors and as I entered the court I heard the Jarl discussing an idea with her steward to have the Legion parade around the town to bolster the peoples' morale. The steward gently replied that a parade would be seen as inciting the Stormcloaks and Elisif agreed, sounding disappointed.
Her reaction to my return was...unexpected. After I told her that Torygg's horn was safely at the feet of Talos, she clapped her hands (once) and announced that such a deed was worthy of a Thane...but she hoped I would settle on being able to purchase a home in Solitude at discount, instead. She then called her steward over to tell him that I would be buying 'Proudspire Manor' at the reduced price of twenty-five thousand Septims.

It was an embarrassing situation for myself and the Steward, Falk Firebeard. He pulled me aside as Elisif became distracted with someone new entering the room and told me that I was under no actual obligation to buy anything if I did not wish to, or could not.

But I thought the idea was a good one. I have been traveling between Whiterun, where I have a home, and Solitude, where I do not, regularly as of late. The price was steep, even if it was reduced, but my various adventures over the past two months have brought great, and largely useless, wealth. What is the point of money if it cannot be spent? There are just over forty-thousand Septims hidden about Breezehome in five-hundred Septim ingots, a ploy made possible by living next door to a smelter.

So why not buy Proudspire? I gave Falk the one thousand Septims I was carrying with me and signed a document as Thane of Whiterun promising payment of the remainder. Rank occasionally has its privileges. An additional six thousand Septims purchased living accommodations for several rooms, much in the same way as Breezehome.

With key in pocket, I thanked the Jarl and her Steward and left to examine my new home. Arriving in front of it, I was just in time to witness a guardsman run a vampire through with his blade, right on my doorstep. A lovely welcoming, but also a sign of the growing vampire problem I am supposed to be helping fight against.
The manor is squeezed in-between a school for bards and another house, but has more rooms than Whiterun has buildings. I am not sure what to do with the place, but it is nice to be sleeping in a bed free of louses. I should start to make my way back to the Dawnguard's fortress and stop at Dawnstar to see Frida about her ring. I have also to find the last piece of Mehrune's accursed dagger, but I do not feel that is a high priority.

I will start on my journey back to the east tomorrow, perhaps even chance a visit to Windhelm.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately a system update bricked my phone, preventing me from logging into Steam using the two-factor authentication. I won't be able to play Skyrim again until my ticket with Steam Support is resolved.

    Hopefully it will not be long.