Friday, April 28, 2017

Skyrim Day 067 - From the Skies, Death

22 Frostfall, 4E201

Sorine Jurard was the remaining individual that Isran had asked me to find. A Breton, she was known to him as an inventor of some kind, he described her as being endlessly fascinated with mechanical things and was usually camping at one Dwemer ruin or another.

The last he had heard, she was seen in Markarth buying supplies for a trip into the hills north of the city. If there was a Dwemer ruin there, she would likely be found near or within it.
I used the trip as an opportunity to practice my Illusion magicka, using calming spells on the wildlife and quieting spells on myself when I wished to sneak by something instead. Despite being named the "Archmage" of Winterhold, my range of spells is quite narrow and not much used. I find that I simply do not require the use of it often. Besides, even calmed, a Sabre Cat is not a pleasant creature to walk near.
Unsurprisingly I found a Forsworn camp north of Markarth. With their leader no longer under the Silver-Blood family's thumb the strange bandits have grown more hostile and chaotic. Two attacked me with their wood-and-stone weapons, falling quickly. The melee failed to attract the attention of their brethren in the camp and I was able to sneak by without further trouble.

I came to one of the many meandering streams that run from the mountains and thought nothing of it other than to avoid the mudcrabs and avoid falling into the water.
But as I approached the water I noticed a shimmering between myself and the stream that I could not readily explain. The shimmering became more opaque and green as I drew closer, when suddenly it exploded into tendrils of angry light, flinging balls of energy at me.
I was not wholly unprepared, one of the balls careened off my shield, sending me staggering backwards as it sped towards the sky. Others followed and soon I was beset by four of these things, each trying its best to bludgeon me into submission.

They were similar to the energies that escaped at Winterhold while I was away searching for the 'Staff of Magnus'. The shimmering in the air was not familiar to me though and this is something I will have to return to the College in order to investigate further. If there are repercussions from the Eye of Magnus that we are not yet aware of they need to be dealt with as soon as possible, preferably by someone else, if I can have that hope. My sword-arm proved effective against the angry magicka and the shimmering thing disappeared once the last of its spawn did.

My quarry, Sorine Jurard, I found standing by...something that looked related to the Dwemer, but there was no true ruin around at all.
She greeted me, obviously distracted, not even asking why I was there to begin with. For all she knew then I could have been seeking her coins or her life, but she was too preoccupied with finding a satchel full of Dwemer gears that she had misplaced somewhere in the area. I had no interest in searching for her missing satchel and told her that Isran had sent me across the entire province just to find her.

Sorine was just as surprised as Gunmar to hear that her services were in demand. She said Isran had made it "exceedingly clear" that he was not interested in her help, implying quite a parting between him, Sorine, and Gunmar.

Much like Gunmar, Sorine demanded to know why Isran was having a change of heart and she was not surprised to hear of the newly awakened vampire menace. She told me that she had tried to explain to Isran three scenarios which would result in vampires overrunning the province, but he had not listened to her then. Again much like Gunmar, she appeared hesitant to help until I told her the vampires had an Elder Scroll, after which she was positively eager to start exploring this unforeseen event. Whatever got her walking back to Isran was good enough for me.
Of course I found her satchel of gears seconds after she left. A mud crab must have dragged it away from her, yet it was not more than twenty feet away...completely lost to Sorine. I wonder what help she could possibly be against vampires.

Rather than follow the foolish Breton back to Isran I proceeded around the hillside to make my way back across the opposite side. The tell-tale sounds of mining were echoing between the hills and I soon found a palisade encircling a mine of some kind. I figured the camp was for bandits or Forsworn, but I had stumbled upon another Orsimer Stronghold.
Though an outsider I would be welcome to trade so long as I did not step inside the gate...or so I thought. I approached, but instead of the cold greeting I expected I received the closest thing a Khajiit could get to a hero's welcome at an Orsimer camp. The resident wise-woman, Sharamph, declared me favorably marked by Malacath and I was hailed as Orsimer-friend, allowed inside to freely wander and mingle.

I spoke to Chief Larak, but he had little to say. I walked over to where Sharamph was mixing some concoction and opened my mouth to say...something, I forget what, when a roar from the mountains arrested everyone's attention.
The Dragon circled about harmlessly, giving every Orsimer time to don axe and bow before it chose to land at the gate. The entire tribe save for Sharamph rushed the beast, who took flight, sending streams of icy magicka down upon the angry Orsimer warriors.
Chief Larak fell at the first blast and I decided to join the fray lest more of them senselessly lost their lives. The Dragon chose to land near the gate again and I rushed it hoping to work the Dragon's great size against the confines of the hillside.
Between my Ebony blade and the remaining Orsimer, the Dragon was quickly weakened and overcome. The killing blow was mine, right between the eyes from atop its head. Daring, but I felt the Orsimer would appreciate such audacity in the wake of their Chief's death.
The way back to Solitude was quiet after that, almost unnaturally so. On a tiny island sitting amid a very small lake I found the remains of a Spriggan, long since dead, curled up against a tree trunk. Something about it unsettled me and I left quickly and walked the rest of the way to Solitude much faster.
I reached Solitude as the sun was beginning to set, the guards claiming that the Dragon and Vampire attacks were growing more frequent, heralding the end of the world. At least their end will come outside. To this day I have nightmares born from uncertain memories, being trapped underground in endless tunnels flowing with lava while a man in a golden mask stalks me. Dagoth Ur probably, but I cannot remember anything certain from my time then.

I suppose I should make for Winterhold College tomorrow. Sorine will likely take a few days to meet up with Isran, so I shall have to find something else to be bothered with or perhaps nothing if I can remember how to even do that anymore.

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