The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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Ralzar
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Ralzar »

Phew! Man, I got all sweaty just reading about that desert trek :D
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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I really did intend to walk all the way from Myrkwasa to the Wayrest-ish area, but I couldn't handle it any longer. This game is enormous!! Kalaron and I were feeling about the same, and we were only like 1/4 of the way through.

For reference, Kalaron arrived in Ayasofya on the 13th of the month, and started on the first. So that's 12 days out in the desert.

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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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Right? You think with the Travel Options mod and roads it will be fine but it still takes so much time, not to mention with C&C etc there is a lot of management that has to go right. One slipup and you just succumb to the desert.
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

I'll admit that playing a mage is sort of Easy Mode, since I can Recall out of problems and only moderately plan for food and things like that. I wondered what it would be like to play this narrative as a warrior, or even moreso, some kind of barbarian that never visited towns, only living off of any naturally-obtained food.

That's not in my plans, but who knows? :P

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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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I remembewr my barbarian character who joined no guilds, only doing random quests until he earned as much gold as his current level x 1000.
Then he dumped all gold in a tavern (symbolising recklessly spending it) and rode off to the next region.

He started in the SW corner of the map and traveled up the coast. It was fun but took a lot of time and got a bit tedious. In the end he got turned into a vmapire and the playstyle kinda broke.
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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Part X: Of Nobles and Mages

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We had passed diverse biomes on the way to Menevia. The ship stopped at various cities along the way, letting me spy some of the journey I had omitted. Tropical rainforests, jungles, swamps, and much more desert would have provided significant challenges for us, had we taken the long way. I was certain I had saved both money and time by picking the first boat east of Sentinel.

In contrast, this climate was absolutely delightful. The smell was different, but the colors greatly resembled Summerset Isle. The Bretons left their trees to grow naturally here, whereas we High Elves tended to carefully maintain our surroundings. Quite frankly, Menevia might have looked ugly had I arrived directly from Summerset, but now I only had Alik'r to compare. I was therefore very pleased with my new environment.

It appeared the signposts from Hammerfell were in use here as well. I spied the name of the ruling noble here.

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"Poor Mixers of Mara," I mused as I committed her name to memory.

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I first wished to get some proper Breton clothing. The people in town stared at me in a rather unfriendly way, and rarely at my face.

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Now clad in what felt like proper mage gear, I set out for the palace. Menevia had the appearance of a right place to settle, and I wanted to get my connections going immediately.

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Strangely enough, the palace was empty. I searched around as far as I was permitted, but found almost no one of noble wear inside. I interrupted a housekeeper for information.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for Lady Hawkham in this palace. Is she not present?"

The girl rolled her eyes. "That fox comes here every three weeks to collect her taxes, and spends the rest of her time on her plantation out north. You'll know when she's in town. You'll see people bowing and oohing and awwing all day long 'til she's out of sight."

This didn't sound pleasant at all. Still, the Mages Guild had to have some significant pull here, from what I had heard in Ayasofya. Perhaps I needed to bide my time with this ruler woman as yet... or bypass her entirely.

I thanked the maid girl and passed her a couple of coins for her help, just in case she had power to pass my name along. It was a faint hope, but it cost me little.

Once outside, I studied my map and found only a temple to Dibella in the city. I hailed a city guard and asked him about followers of Kynareth.

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"Well, at least there's a little hope there." I hoped to settle in the capital city, but knowing I would have friends in other cities gave me courage.

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I stopped by a tavern to grab some food, passing the time before the Mages Guild opened. No more would I enjoy antelope or venison stew here, but what strange meals they offered!

"What bizarre names are these, bartender?" I put down the menu.

"We here serve Dark Elf cuisine, stranger. Indoril is one of the Dark Elf houses. Ash yams are a common food among the desert peoples of Vvardenfell. Kwama eggs are one of the staple foods among the middle class in Morrowind." He put down the mug he was cleaning. "If I have to explain Akavir and pork to you, you need more help than I think." I glared at him before ordering the one thing on the menu that sounded normal.

The pork was good, but the millet grated on my teeth too much. The portion was generous enough to stave off hunger, in any case.

There was no question Menevia was a city of wealth, based on these prices. A basic meal cost far more than even in Pothago. I hoped to find an inn partnered with the Mages Guild, as was the case with the Black Gnome.

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I shortly took up Ancano and headed to the guild hall.

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The two members by the entrance gave me a cordial wave as I entered. Unlike in Hammerfell, I noticed these people were far more accustomed to elven visitors. My arrival raised few or no questions here.

"Hail, fellow mages. I traveled here from Hammerfell and wish to resume my work here. What need I do to establish my membership?"

The one on the right, bearing the insignia of a questor, beckoned me to come closer. He brought out a large crystal orb and peered into it. "Name and city of provenance?" "Kalaron Spellire," I said, spelling it out, "From the towns of Syroccoreg, Myrkwasa, and Pothago, capital city." The man looked into the sphere, which showed the familiar interior of the Pothago Mages Guild. He then pointed the lens at a desk and gave a few orders to the other side, copying information down on paper.

"Here. This is your membership record in High Rock. Make sure not to lose it," he said, handing me the completed parchment. I folded it and kept it close. Glillon's method was more convenient; this was simply arcane.

Having verified my guild rank, I went down the halls in search of the spellmaker. She rose respectfully when I entered and asked how she could help.

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"Create Atronach? That wasn't in Hammerfell," I thought aloud. The girl answered that the spell had been standardized in High Rock a few months previous and would likely take some time to move to the outer regions.

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Once I realized how much money I had charged against my credit, I started to regret my purchases. I needed to recoup all that money now.

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"Hello, Evoker. Any particular line of work you're hoping for today?" Questor Kingwing asked.

"To be honest, I've come with a purpose. I wish to meet the ruling class of Menevia as soon as I can. Have we any tasks relating to them?"

"By 'them' you mean 'her,' for there is one ruling lady in this land," he said, leafing through parchments. "If you hear 'Lord this' or 'Lady that' without Belladorya Hawkham attached, you'll know it's some inbred child who has no actual power." I was startled by his frankness. In Hammerfell the rulers were close to the people and entertained great respect among them. The Bretons spoke rather with contempt, it sounded like.

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I crossed my arms. "One mage can certainly vanquish another. Tell me where she is."

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"It's very close by, hence the danger to the city. I will repeat: her power is immense. Once the Create Atronach spell was made public, she studied and practiced it day and night. Be sure you're ready for them." He then looked down and filled the assignment sheet. "A fitting task for an Evoker, I'd say. Report your success within 9 days."

I neglected to ask what an atronach even was. I had heard the word back in Summerset occasionally, at best.

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Spring was in full effect, and the smells of the wild forest were many and wondrous. Something made me want to sneeze occasionally when the wind picked up. I didn't feel sick, and had no idea what could be causing it.

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I arrived at the ruin after nightfall. I once more I hoped to sneak in unnoticed, and once more my wish was vain.

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Once I entered, a human-like figure came lumbering toward me.

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With one swing from its stiff arm, I was thrown back and nearly off my feet. Had I lost my balance, I would have died there with no chance for escape.

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Worse yet, this zombie-like creature had tremendous magical resistance. Nothing I cast seemed to damage its flesh!

I began to fear I had come for a target far beyond my level.

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No matter how much magicka I wasted, this golem seemed impenetrable. My final resort was to render myself invisible and flee further down.

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To my horror, the door on my right was magically locked. Even this zombie creature would be unable to knock it down, with all its might. I had an unlocking spell but never practiced it. Out of magicka and needing a rest, I hurried outside, hoping the creature would be incapable of reporting my appearance to the sorceress.

If she was behind that door, this mission would be a failure.

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Upon entering anew, I gave priority to stealth and hurried down the tunnels. The golem had heard my footsteps, and I heard its feet pounding the floor after me. Once more I began to fear for my life, for its power so far exceeded mine that catching me would leave me without options.

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Running and watching over my shoulder, I almost ran into an actual undead human! It howled and began to chase after me as well. This one didn't seem so packed with meat or enchantments, and I could probably down it with a spell, but I needed to be certain what was behind it. Wasting magicka on an unnecessary for would have served no purpose.

Then I heard a struggle behind me, and the sound of skin being struck. I looked back.

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Eureka! The monsters were taught to fight any invaders, but had not been brought in proximity! With no reference, they each considered the other an intruder, and fought among themselves! I finally had a plan!

Taking advantage the muscle golem's sense of hearing, I loudly ran to the nearest zombie and pushed it aside. The creature was dumbfounded at my nonviolent approach, and lost sight of me as I hurried on. I next heard a body fall to the earth. This magess was powerful, but I was clever!

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I followed the tunnel as far as it went, and in my caution heard a woman's voice echo across the bricks. My muscles stiffened, and I took my pace down to a crawl. I had to be sure she would not hear me.

I entered into a grand chamber with a large ramp leading to her altar. Here, I presume, she had to create her walking soldiers. I ensured I was invisible before entering.

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"Hmm? What was that?" She asked, looking in my direction. My heart raced as she stared through me. What if she saw me? I lost all sense of control and frantically began to cast spells at her.

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As her body fell, the golem beside her seemed to groan with disappointment. It then started to wander around, seeking a purpose. This was the woman; it had to be her!

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This whole task would not make me rich in the slightest. These guardians carried nothing at all, and this woman scarcely had anything to pilfer. It was mine, though, and I claimed it as my privilege for the guild.

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After a few hours' rest outside, I returned to Menevia atop my horse.

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"I do hope the Countess knows my name," I said expectantly. The questor nodded as he filled out a report.

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The garment's enchantment was powerful, that much I could tell. The identifier told me it was worth a tremendous amount, too, as much as dwarven armor.

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"Lumbering Strength? What spell is this?"

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"Well, it'll probably have some use or another, won't it?"

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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

If you're wondering where I've been, the answer is "Shadowrun." Imgur is misbehaving today, so I'm using ImgBB for this post. I hope that doesn't come back to bite me.

I changed out Brutal Monsters for Meaner Monsters. I don't know how much it helped, but immortal atronachs are not good for Kalaron's future. I also added Mighty Magicka to help Kalaron's miserable magicka pool, and World of Daggerfall.

Part XI: Self-Employment

"By the way," the identifier continued, "I hear we received some more spell tomes last night. If you're interested, they want some of our members to test them out for any defects." He pointed down the way at a small, dim room.

This intrigued me greatly. If I could have any advantage over the competing mad wizards of Menevia, I would gladly take it.

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"Hail, friend," I greeted the spellmaker. He greeted me in turn with a loud yawn. The day had been long for him, showing the new spells to all manner of initiates wanting to see the "fascinating imports from Cyrodiil." I seemed to be more experienced than the usual comer, and required little orientation.

"Detect Quest? What does this mean?" I thumbed through it. He responded glumly, "The name's a little odd, but you'll find it quite fitting. Whenever you're given some task to find someone or something deep under the earth, cast it. You'll get an indication of where the thing is."

"Really? Let me see that." This could be groundbreaking if it worked as he said.

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"The only problem is that it costs quite a lot of magicka. Many of our members would like to try it, but the power is out of their reach as yet," he warned.

I looked at the spell script once and again. There had to be something...

I found it. "I've got it. Change this syllable. You see what it says here? Edit that and let me write on it." He hesitated for a moment, but trusted in my Evoker rank. I wouldn't be dangerously reckless, would I?

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"There. Now it costs less than 20% the magicka it did before, and gives the same effect. Trivial." I handed it back to him. He yawned and rubbed his eyes and looked at it. Then he started again. Pausing, he said, "This is ingenious. I'm going to inform the other initiates right now. If we can make this change general, even our newest members will be able to cast this spell. Huzzah and good fortune, elf!"

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I copied down my version of it and paid him for the time I took. "May Magnus' Eye guide me to my foes," I wished in my mind.

He saw me put on my cloak and said, "Not so fast! There's a new tome for Levitate here. It's got the same problem, but much more severe. Almost no one here can cast it, even among the elder wizards. It could be very powerful if someone mastered it. Can you take a look?"

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"I get it," I mused. "You can choose the speed you float at. At high enough spellpower, you'd soar through the skies like a bird." "But that variation in power makes it exorbitant," he added, as I confirmed through reading. I tried looking for any possible change I could make in the incantation, but it was airtight. "No, my friend, our luck has run out. Send it back to Cyrodiil. If we can't cast it, it's of no use to us," I said before leaving the guild hall.

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On my way to the tavern, I heard some rustling in the bush behind me. An arrow grazed my shoulder. I winced from the pain, but spun around and cast my invisibility spell. Moving behind my foe, I shouted in his ear, "The gods cannot save you now!" He cried out in fear and looked around, pleading, "A spirit have I offended! My life is forfeit!" Taking pity on him, I ended his life quickly.

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His goods were few. Sadly, poverty tends to crime, and he was a prime example of it. I found an unidentified potion among his belongings, though.

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In the morning, I breathed in the rich, cool air outside the tavern while the sun rose. Then I saw what appeared to be an abandoned weapon close by.

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"My mistake! Forgive me, no harm intended!" I shouted, raising my hands into the air.

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Once I met the Lady of Menevia, the last thing I wanted was a reputation as a thief of cheap weaponry.

I returned to the guild hall and made a beeline for the questor. "Anything I can do to help the Countess of Menevia?" He creased his lips and gave me a bored glare. His eyes seemed to say, "Is this guild nothing more than a tool to you?"

"No, nothing relating to her unfortunately. Or anyone, of late. With so many initiates pouring into the guild hall, practically all the work is taken." I was shocked by the thought. "There's nothing to do here? Really?" He shook his head. "All my assignments are spoken for. Slay the sorceress, find a shapeshifter, get Werewolf Blood, retrieve a scholar's notes. Take a look." I shuffled through his papers and found a different name on each page, all initiates wanting to earn gold and fame through the guild. "Not a good time to be unemployed, I fear," he said.

I was lucky to have money enough to live for a few weeks, but it would run out. What would I do?

He saw the concern in my face and spoke up. "There are still things to do in Menevia, child. There's an old practice we have for self-employment out here. Help the city guard and keep everything you earn from your kills." I wasn't above killing a person, so long as they were guilty. "What's the task?" I asked.

"Take that horse and wagon of yours and head out of the city, any direction you want. Get a ways off the road and set up a camp. Take some food with you, too. You'll be there for awhile. Just spend some time out in nature and try to make yourself obvious. When you're out there long enough, some criminal or other will try to prey on you. Be ready, and when they least suspect it, you turn around and--" He made a gesture suggesting lightning flying through the air. "Whatever they have is yours. If they attack you first, you're justified in self-defense. Fewer criminals for the guards to worry about, and more gold for you."

I shifted about uneasily. "A time-honored tradition, is it?" He responded, "Oh, absolutely. Menevia has long been a place of prosperity, where Wayrest intrudes to solve our few problems. I doubt this will be the last day our work is all spoken for. Perhaps you should make a practice of earning your own money."

It seemed terribly risky to me. What stopped some vagabond from putting an arrow into me from afar? No one would be able to help me so far from the city. "You're absolutely certain people come back alive from this?" He grew irritated at my question. "Well, it's not a job for cowards as you seem to be. Make your decision, Evoker." My pride rose up in me and I almost came to blows with him, but my mind restrained my muscles long enough to get out the door without harming my reputation.

I returned to the tavern to stock up food for my imminent camp. As I waited for the food to come out, a barmaid called at me.

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"I suppose I couldn't do any harm," I thought as I took it in my hands.

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"Aw, I'm sorry elf. I thought someone nice and tall like you would be able to get it off. My mistake," she said rather thoughtlessly. My previous spat with the questor had already tapped into my anger, and this clueless woman struck another blow to my pride. This time, I failed to keep my words inside. "Then go find some sodding hero to open your blasted jar, you daughter of a cow!" I regretted my sayings then (and still do to this day), but an elf can't simply turn time back to pull them out of the air. She returned to her tasks with tears in her eyes. The barkeep didn't seem to hear me, and I vacated as soon as physically possible once my food was ready. My pride was great, but so was my pity for that poor maid.

I rode out into the wilderness, carrying that pain in my heart. I hoped she would forget about it. I wouldn't be able to survive infamy in a city of strangers.

"Do you judge me, Ancano?" I asked as we rode into the wilderness. His ears perked up when he heard his name, and then forgot about it and pressed on. "I didn't mean to say that. I hope she forgives me." Saying it out loud seemed to give me some relief.

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I rode west and made camp under the shadow of an enormous cairn. "This should be a good enough landmark," I said. Hopefully my campfire would attract attention. I soon found it did, for the vast majority of my attacks were suffered under the guise of night.

"Well, let's settle down now," I told Ancano. I took out one of my books and started reading. I didn't know whether to tense up and ready for battle, or relax for the long wait ahead of me.

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My first several encounters were fruitless. The walking corpse was wearing a ruined shirt. The effort of taking it and washing it was worth more than the four gold pieces I would receive for selling it.

I next encountered a Nightblade, but met a serious complication in the struggle.

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Quicker than I, he managed to cast a Silence spell on me. Panic set in. I tried a variety of methods, but no words would come out. He swung his dagger around, coming lethally close to slicing me apart. I was in real peril. Without spells, what was I to do? I briefly considered jumping on Ancano and fleeing, preferring to lose my wagon than my life.

I reached back into my pack as I dodged his attacks. Then I felt a prize I had forgotten.

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I pulled a blade I had stored for cutting food and activated the long shirt's enchantment.

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I felt as though I had the strength of five men, and swung viciously with my knife. Unfortunately for me, he was quick, far more than I expected. He knew that a single hit would end his life, and danced wildly to keep from my blade. He hit me several times with his edge, but I was so much stronger than the ordinary mortal now. On and on our duel went, and I could see him tire as much as I did.

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Then he made his fatal mistake. My knife cut through his abdomen, snapping his spinal cord like a twig. A horrible scream escaped his lips, and he collapsed instantly. I inspected his wound and found I had shattered two ribs as well.

"What a great long shirt," I said as I sat down to loot his belongings. I would really need to get better at swordsmanship before I could properly utilize its power, though. I conserved its enchantment for the time being. I wanted to save it for real emergencies, like the preceding event.

Exhausted from the struggle, I slept soundly until morning.

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Perhaps it was my advancement in power at work, but I found the wereboars of High Rock to be weaklings compared to the one I fought near Pothago. I was certain the rugged environment of the peninsula produced stronger, hardier creatures than in this soft clime.

I decided I had had enough. I mounted Ancano and we returned to town to sell the criminals' equipment, the little we had procured.

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I looked at the huge cairn we had rested by. Its form rising sharply from the ground reminded me of the Ghost Road, and of Pothago. Why couldn't I stop thinking about that place?

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The people of Menevia confirmed the questor's words; there simply were no problems to solve in Menevia. Our curse was to live in too much prosperity, it seemed.

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It wasn't as much as I would get from raiding a bandit camp, but it was enough to keep me going for another month. I needed to climb the social ladder, and fast.

As the sun set, a loud woman approached me from behind.

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"Work? In Menevia? Of course I'll take it," I said.

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I was deeply unimpressed, but I feigned gratitude. I think she believed me.

I had spent about a week out of the city. Perhaps some new work had accumulated in the guild hall needing an Evoker's touch.

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"Will the Countess know that I helped?" I asked. The questor rolled his eyes. "Evoker, ask that question once more. I dare you." I decided not to tempt my superior, and accepted the assignment.

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"Look for a lithe woman, an assassin who moves quickly," he said as my surroundings warped around me.

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A warrior nearby let loose a startled gasp. True to the guild's plan, she never expected someone to appear out of thin air.

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"Uh oh," I thought. I wasn't as quick to dodge as I expected.

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I managed to shield most of the blow, though. My magic sent her crumpling on the floor.

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I wished I had asked more questions. All I knew was that my target was a lithe woman, one who preferred light armor and speed over plate and steel.

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And then our paths crossed. Or I crossed hers, really, for her arrow flew by my head as I recognized her form. I lunged at her and cast my invisibility spell.

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"Imbecile! I can see right through your enchantment!" She then gave me a cut on the arm. "What?!" I shouted. Who was this criminal they had sent me to dispatch, who had the power to ignore my magic?

The pain threw me into a fury. "Sight or no, I care not!" I then raised my hands, and her eyes filled with terror as the Creeping Cold spell began to envelop her body.

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Her movements slowed, and her accuracy began to fail her. She could indeed see me and tried hard to fight, but the spell exercised its might on her frame. Eventually, she succumbed to the frigid cold. Her stiff body clattered to the floor.

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However, I did not feel right. I looked at the wound on my arm and noticed a dark liquid around it, distinct from my blood. Then a burning pain began to set in.

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My head began to swim, and nausea assaulted my senses. I was rapidly losing control of my magicka. I had to get out of this place quickly, before I ran out of power.

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The questor was alarmed to see me collapse as I gated back to the guild hall. He called for help, and an apprentice hurried over to cure my poison. I thanked him by handing him 50 gold pieces. He looked a little underwhelmed, but thanked me for the gift nonetheless. I saw a bit of my attitude in him.

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"Wow, I didn't even expect this much," I thought out loud. The questor smiled broadly, "The Countess pays well. We probably could have extracted even more funds from her had we tried." Then his smile disappeared. "But she's a fickle woman. Once you meet her, you will see."


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theJF
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by theJF »

Good to see Kalaron's still knocking about. Lucky he didn't manage to open that jar...would hate for his adventure to be cut short ;)

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Jay_H
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

theJF wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 2:55 pm Good to see Kalaron's still knocking about. Lucky he didn't manage to open that jar...would hate for his adventure to be cut short ;)
Oh heck. What happens if you open the jar? Now you've got me curious :shock:

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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

Part XII: Word of Prophecy

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Though I was cured of the poison, I still felt sick to my stomach. "Come now, Ancano. I need a good night's rest after that last antic."

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At daybreak we trotted out into the community and talked to some passers by, hoping to find something to do. The Mages Guild here was oversaturated, and unless the people helped us find something, we would be on course for an involuntary vacation.

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"You know what, madame? Perhaps I will." I grabbed the reins and turned Ancano off another way. We headed to the city gate and looked out into the wilderness.

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"All of Menevia can't be this way, can it? We need to find some place where our talents are appreciated, boy."

I looked at my map and scouted out several points of interest. The nearest large city was Baelbrone, a few hours to the south. With any luck, there would be a Mages Guild there with fewer aspirants crowding the halls.

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A storm broke out shortly after we passed a hostel in the way. The arid heat of Hammerfell was far worse to manage, but I was also uncomfortable here. Winter had not yet released its grip on Menevia, and I could see my breath fade into the air as we walked.

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We set a leisurely pace and arrived the following day. I shouldn't have been surprised to be free of ambushes all across the way. Menevia was a paradise of a sordid kind. I, for one, wanted problems and enemies to overcome.

I spoke to a man splitting wood outside his home, hoping for better answers in Baelbrone.

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"No, it cannot be!" I exclaimed, startling him. I thanked him and turned away.

"Ancano, what are we going to do?" I asked as we trotted. Passing through the various residences, I saw the Mages Guild hall in the distance. "It's worth a shot," I thought aloud. "It won't be open yet, though."

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"A town that doesn't serve food from Morrowind? Color me shocked," I told the barkeep. He shook his head. "That stuff's for ninnies. You'll find a lot of it up north in the capital. Trying to attract all manner of elven visitors with their 'exotic finery,' it seems. Apparently that stuff doesn't work on real elves," he said, eyeing me up and down. I answered, "I do fine with a crab cake and a biscuit, myself. No need to get eccentric in the kitchen." He smiled, "You're welcome here mate. Glad to see a sensible fellow under those pointy ears."

I engaged in idle chatter to pass the time, grateful for a reasonable barkeep to talk to. He had quite a head for economics, it turned out. He wished he had studied magic in his youth, and ended up inheriting his father's tavern. "It gets me by and feeds my children," he shrugged. "And the ex-wife, but we don't talk about her."

Finding several hours had passed us by, I thanked him for his time and led Ancano to the guild hall. This one was much quieter and more reverent than that of Menevia. A few students passed me in the hall as I headed to the questor's office, though, so I had reason enough to suppose that this chapter was in passable condition.

"Hail, milord. My name is Kalaron, visiting from Menevia. Is there any humble task that needs to be done to serve my superiors?"

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I stood up straight. "Yes sir. What is it?"

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"What?" The news left me bewildered. No one had known of my coming here. What was happening?

I couldn't wait to read the letter. I broke the seal and silently read it in front of him.

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"Ancano, we need to go! Now!"

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I asked the attendant by the door whom to look for within. She answered, "He calls himself The Acolyte. No one knows his name, merely of his works throughout Hammerfell. The very fact that he's looking for you suggests that something serious is afoot." My heart started racing. What terrible thing was underway, and why was I involved in it?

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I knelt before him, lacking any better idea. He bowed in response. "You must be Kalaron. My mistress described your likeness perfectly to me. I could've drawn a painting of you prior to your appearance." I began to grow worried, for I was dealing with people of serious ability now. My desires to get wrapped up in something greater were precipitous, it appeared. I felt small and insignificant.

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I took notes of what he told me, and then recited them in my mind. Panic started to take over. I tried getting the facts right, but everything seemed to be spinning in my mind. He put his hand on my shoulder and remarked with an amazing calm, "Things will be fine. My lady has foreseen the disaster, but also whom would avert it. Just act. The very gods have chosen you."

His words didn't register in my mind. I heard them and remembered them later, but they meant nothing to me as I left the temple. I fought to keep my inner terror at bay as I mounted Ancano.

He had marked down on my map where to find Chrystayne Copperton. I hurried there at once. If I were capable of convincing her, then I could prevent this disaster from the very start.

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Talking to her seemed to take the edge off of me. She did not have the appearance of royalty, though she had to have been important to Menevia in some way. "The Crypt of Morivulon. Where does that lie, milady?"

She pointed to my map and showed me a place to the north, not a day's journey away. "Where the roads diverge, find the crypt between them."

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"And if I find your partner, you will heed our advice and hide?" I asked, my hands tingling. She nodded. "I swear it. Prove that this isn't all superstition and signs in the sky. I will obey your voice if you will obey mine."

Leaving the house, I looked at my map to see Ipsham, where the Oracle was staying.

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It was more than two days' journey to the east, though, and near the borders of Orsinium. The crypt was much closer, and every day that passed left this lady vulnerable to whatever disaster approached.

"Ancano, we're headed to the crypt. Come on."

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It rained miserably the whole way north. The weather seemed to reflect my grave mission. Were I to fail, all Menevia would have cause to mourn, the Acolyte had said.

The tears falling from the sky gave his words great power.

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I stopped in a tavern shortly before the road split, signaling the entrance to the crypt. Whatever this poutine food was, it was outrageously delicious. The bartender refused to give me the recipe, but informed me that poutine consisted of potato, melted cheese, and gravy. I wondered how anyone could serve Vvardenfell food when poutine was an option.

After resting for the night, I took up the journey at the break of dawn. I felt an urgency to be moving, to do my part as the Acolyte had done his and Chrystayne Copperton promised she would do hers. I reflected on the man's assurance; all I had to do was act. The rest would fall into place.

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We arrived at the crypt. I dismounted and hasted to enter.

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Unlike my previous foes, I knew from my training in Summerset that invisibility would not fool the undead. These skeletons were animated by a fairly frail magic, so I took confidence that I would be able to dispatch them.

So weak were they that the Creeping Cold spell was enough to shatter their bones. Popular wisdom suggests that cold spells do not work on the undead, but that is why we must practice magic and not just study it.

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Still, seeing their bones char was more satisfying.

I started down the hall and looked in the first door to my right. To my surprise, a middle-aged man was captive there, surrounded by a magic field. I dispelled it with no difficulty and asked, "Are you related to Chrystayne Copperton?"

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"I'm her fiancé, if that's what you mean," he looked at me, raising an eyebrow. "Has she sent you?"

I clapped my hands for joy. "Yes, from Baelbrone! We need to get back to her right away. Her life is in danger, and she refuses to seek protection unless you go with her."

His heart skipped a beat. "Elf, let us hurry. I can't bear to think that she would remain in danger for my sake. Foolish woman," he said, hurrying out of the crypt. I followed him outside, and then said, "Grab my horse. I have a spell." We both put our hands on Ancano's neck, and I recited the Recall spell.

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"Who captured you?" I asked as we rode Ancano with all haste to the Gaersley residence.

"I don't know. I went into the crypt on behalf of the Archaeologists. I'm one of their field agents in Menevia. Once inside, I had only turned a few corners when a pair of hooded people attacked me and rendered me unconscious. When I woke up, I was in that room, and they told me I was in Wrothgaria, far from civilization. I took their word for it, never trying to escape. Was I seriously in the same crypt that whole time?" I nodded respectfully, trying not to offend him for his poor choice.

"Cursed Darvak, I never should have believed them. But then again..." he trailed off as he saw the rapidly-approaching Gaersly Residence.

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Edwane Greening gave me a bear hug with tears in his eyes for making the journey to save him and, by proxy, his fianceé. A much humbler Chrystayne Copperton bowed before me and thanked me with all sincerity. Then they sent word for their bodyguards to arrive, and left the house.

With them gone, it was all silent. I reflected on everything that had just happened. Talk of gods, prophecy, and disaster seemed to buzz around in my mind. I needed a break.

Ancano and I slowly walked to the Gold Hedgehog inn once more.

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Then I saw a ladder placed against the wall which led to the roof. No one seemed to be using it, and I presumed it would be no crime to take momentary advantage of it.

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The water drops fell gently around me, dancing in their descent like seraphs of Aetherius. I looked out into the horizon, breathing in the rich smell of fresh rain. I thought back to Lord Vlevur, and his belief that I had been led to Pothago by the will of the gods. Now the Oracle echoed his words, speaking of prophecy that I would fulfill.

I resisted the thought. We Elves knew of Anu, not this bizarre pantheon that the northerners believed in. Let them talk all they wanted; that didn't make any of it true.

The thought still lingered in my mind, though. Why was the letter sent to Baelbrone, a place I had never visited? Why not to Menevia where I had some presence established? Who would have even expected me to visit Baelbrone that month, much less that day?

This would be a wild story to tell the College once I returned.


This quest, and the dungeon it was assigned to, happened on the first try. Daggerfall certainly knows how to pick its stories.

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