The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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Jay_H
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

In my opinion, that's hitting a really high bar :D I'm glad to hear it. A lot of this is just tangling with what the game gives me and trying to make it readable. I hope to make a good narrative throughout.

One thing I can't do is screenshot and fight at the same time (not with this paper bag of a character), but I have a plan for that. I'm probably going to record myself playing the game, and then take screenshots of the video for uploading. That's how some of the pros do it, and I think it'd take little effort.

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Ralzar
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Ralzar »

I am really enjoying reading this. It also in some way works much better than watching a lets play because it just compacts it down to the interesting bits and the added story creation around the character really gives it more substance. This is pretty much how I play myself, but it is fun to see someone else do it :)
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

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Part III: Risk and Reward

Later that night...

I had scarcely gone to sleep when I began to feel very warm, even unnaturally so.

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My vision blurred, and as I turned over on my side, I unintentionally coughed very loudly before vomiting on the floor.

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This was nothing like the food illnesses I had experienced in the past. I tried to get lift myself up off the bed, but found my arms were numb.

My head started hurting severely. I heard the bartender shout from downstairs, "Are you all right up there?!" I barely managed to croak out, "No," before vomiting again. He may not have even heard it.

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He burst into my room and slapped my face a few times, trying to get me conscious again. My vision was deteriorating, and the pain in my head precluded nearly all conscious thought. I was rapidly declining and had no means of expressing it.

"We haven't had a death in this inn for a whole year, and by Mara you're not going to be the one!" The man shouted and started dragging me out by my arms.

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We made it outside, where the cool air of the night provided some minor relief, to the extent that I had feeling. I seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness by the second, perhaps thanks to his rough handling as he pulled me along the ground.

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"We're almost to the temple chum, just hold on a minute longer. We're almost there," he mumbled, partially to reassure himself. The temple door swung open, and as I was pulled within, I smelled fresh flowers and saw many semi-clothed people. I started to recall that the only temple in town was one dedicated to Dibella.

"Make way, please send for the healer! We have a disease of some kind here and I don't know how long he'll last!"

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I was delivered prostrate before the temple's healer. After a momentary inspection, he uttered a few simple words.

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I couldn't reason or speak, so I depended on the innsman to handle the transaction. He said, "Fine then, we'll see what all he's carrying. There's his pack."

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The innkeeper went ballistic. "THIS SODDING GIT! By the Dark Lord, I-- Fine, I'll pay what's missing! Just do it, now!!"

Everything went dark just as I saw the man begin an incantation over me.



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From that point I slept soundly the whole night through. I wasn't even aware of being returned to my inn room, so deep was my rest. I felt some hesitation to speak to the innkeeper downstairs, but I knew I would have to sooner or later.

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I finally decided to commit his name to memory, for calling him "the innkeeper" seemed so amiss, particularly since I wanted to make the Black Gnome my home-away-from-home in Pothago.

"You're awake," he said curtly. I paused to see if he would say anything else, but nothing followed. The air was heavy. "Yes, all thanks to you," I answered warmly. He didn't answer.

"I know you spent some money on me last night. How much was it?" "18 gold pieces, which you owe me, plus a hundred-coin security deposit for you to stay here any longer." I was taken aback. "Why a deposit?" He seemed insulted to even have to explain it. "You clearly aren't capable of taking care of yourself, and my tavern is no cemetery. You're lucky it's only a hundred, being a member of the Mages Guild. They bring me good business, but if you cause me any more financial harm, I'll take it up with them and your problem will be over in that guild hall of yours." Nhashrn slammed down the mug he was cleaning. "Whichever way it goes, you're paying me the 18 gold pieces, plus 100 more if you ever want to stay here again."

Right when I felt like I understood these people, I was bewildered once more. I had to ask. "With all due respect to the savior of my life, we speak of 118 gold pieces. I can have that in your hands by the end of the day. Why the severe reaction?" His glare turned even more sour. "Can you now? Prove it. Get me my money tonight or I'm raising my rates on all Mages Guild visitors to the tavern. No more discounts."

I felt backed into a corner. "Now, listen here," I said, both fear and indignation welling within me. "I can get you your money. But I need money to make money. I'm hungry right now and I don't have money. I can't get money if I can't eat. What are you asking me to do? Chew on my sandals for energy while I look for some gainful employment?" He stared at me in disbelief for a few seconds, merely considering my words. I thought I had gotten some sort of victory until he answered, "Are you daft or just overwhelmingly ignorant?" I hoped he wouldn't make me choose, but he stopped there. "I'll go with the latter, sir," I answered sheepishly.

"Then let me make it obvious for you. To the north of here is a building called a bank. You go there like a normal person and take out a loan, as much as they'll give you. Then you buy a horse and a wagon so you can start to do real business. Whatever's left over, you bring back that money and pay the debt you've rightfully incurred with me, and then we'll talk about your future here. Is that a very hard task?"

I had no expectation that a bank would loan me even twenty gold pieces, being a total stranger in this land, but I had to at least make the effort to prove it. Perhaps a good faith effort would soften him up.

In passing I attempted to ask his barmaid for work to find an easy way out of my quandary.

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Unsurprisingly, she didn't want to cross her employer's wishes for me, and stayed out of our fight.

The walk to the bank wasn't very far, so I ignored the hunger pangs that seemed to grow with every step. I was lucky enough to arrive shortly after the doors opened.

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"Yes? How can I help you, stranger?"

The word "stranger" only seemed to dishearten me further, but I had to make the effort, if only for proof's sake to Nhashrn. Maybe he could give me a receipt of refusal to take back and I could get out of this cruel dilemma.

"I-I would l-like a loan, please," I said, not even believing my own words.

"Very well. Name?" He asked politely, grabbing a quill.

"Kalaron Spellire, sir."

"Current place of residence?"

"The Black Gnome Inn, owned by... uh, Nhashrn."

"Yes, I'm familiar with the man. What local relationships do you have?"

I started to sweat. "I'm a member of the Mages Guild sir, an Apprentice among them. Though in Summerset Isle I'm known as a--"

He raised his hand, stopping my thought there. "That's all I need, sir. Thank you. Purpose of the loan?"

"I-I want to get a, uh, horse and cart with it." He continued writing in the agonizing silence. Finally he opened a drawer, saying, "Let me show you what I can offer you." He pulled out a small chart with several figures and percentages written on it. I required only minimal tutoring to understand what he was showing me.

"For a horse and cart you'll generally want to start around 10,000 or so. That would include quite a high-quality horse, perhaps more than you're looking for, but it would guarantee a purchase. Anything lower-quality than that would be your prerogative to save money. A cart isn't so expensive, perhaps about 2,000 gold depending on who you buy it from. If that sounds good to you, we can make the deal now and you can be on your way with your money."

My hands quivered. Was I hearing him right? 10,000 gold, I had never even seen that much in my life. What was even happening? I worried that I was having a fever dream, but I pressed my knuckles into my hand to feel pain, to know it was real. Could I actually do this?

"Yes sir, let's do it," I said, keeping a straight face somehow. I could not believe my eyes or my hears, but I fought to maintain normal breath while he filled out some papers. Finally, he showed me my account balance.

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"9,905 gold pieces, sir. I've taken the luxury of converting most of your gold into a letter of credit, which you can carry around with you to purchase things. Same as gold, just not as heavy." He gave me a piece of paper worth 9,905 gold pieces. I could barely keep myself from leaping into the air. "But before you go, we need to finalize the contract." He took out a black sphere, about the size of a skull, from a drawer and placed it on a pedestal. "Wrap your hand around this ball if you will, please." I did so. At his command, the ball lit up into a bright red hue for several seconds. My hand grew warm, but nothing else appeared to happen. "That's all, thank you. You may go now."

"What was that?" I asked. "That is how we find you in case you decide to renege on your commitment. It's an enchantment that will lead our bounty hunters to you, within a two-meter radius. If you go off to Black Marsh trying to evade us, we will find you, just as we have many others, and we will repossess your horse and cart and sell your organs to the medical societies." I waited for him to laugh. He didn't.

"Oh. I'll make sure to pay it back then, thank you." My voice quivered. He smiled and nodded. "You have a full year. Make the most of it, Kalaron! Well met!" He then turned to other business, and I left.

I stopped by the first general store in sight, which seemed sufficiently humble to me. I told the procurer what I needed.

"Horse and wagon, you've made a right choice coming here. But you won't want to go out into the desert without a spare wheel, will you? Dreadful fate." I agreed readily, and threw in a spare wagon wheel.

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I was surprised to get such a good deal. Half the principal was still in my hands. I now had a tremendous amount of liquidity on hand. What would I do with it?

"Now, I'll show you the fine horse you purchased. Gentle fellow, very nice. My daughter trained him right." True to the man's word, my horse seemed quite meek and obedient. Not a war horse, but I didn't want or need one. I needed a companion to see me through these trials I was now in. "What do you think to name him, elf?"

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"Ancano is as fine a name for a horse as anything I can think of," I answered. "Come Ancano!" His ears perked up, and he seemed to take immediately to it. The shopkeeper smiled broadly and waved me off with my new implements.

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"Well, this whole world is before us now, isn't it Ancano? I wonder how far we could travel, just the two of us!"

Before getting too ambitious, I returned to Nhashrn and delivered his money to him. His mood appeared to brighten significantly. As he went to deposit it, his assistant girl whispered, "He hates it when anyone owes him money. Just avoid that and you'll be fine." I answered, "18 gold pieces?" She nodded, recognizing how absurd his attitude was.

When he returned, I called, "This is time for a celebration. I'd like to try your most expensive meal!"

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In all honesty it was disgusting, and I swore never to taste it again. Nhashrn sat down with me near the end of it, much more pliable to conversation now.

"So you've got a horse and wagon now, and you won't run the risk of being bitten by any more plague-bearing rats on the road. What's your real plan, then?" I looked down in shame. It seems he and the priests had put the entire story together from my wounds.

"Well, the Mages Guild always has stuff to offer. If I made about a hundred gold a day, I'd pay off my loan before a half-year passed. That sounds attractive, doesn't it?"

"You could try that, elf. You could. But I have something else to suggest." He opened up his map and showed me a landmark just to the south of the city. "Did you see this when you first came? Castle Revir. Abandoned old castle, been there for a few centuries. It's a simple matter, what you do there. You run inside, try to grab up everything of value you can, and come back to town and sell it. It's much better than what the Mages Guild pays you, for certain."

"If it's abandoned, why would there be things worth selling?"

He smirked. "You know who likes to live in abandoned places? Outlaws, thieves, outcasts, and so on. They've got to live somewhere. You've just got to be lucky enough to go inside when they're not. They'll be storing their ill-gotten treasures somewhere inside. If you can snatch them up and bring them back to town, the profit is yours at the resale. And it helps the local economy, too, having some of our old wares returned to us."

I put aside the rest of my parmesan-flavored eel and stood up. "If I die out there, at least you'll know where to find my horse and cart." He laughed. "The bank would know anyway, dead or alive! Their loan tracker doesn't need you to be alive! But that's beside the point. If you're smart about it, you won't face any real danger. Just be smart, elf. That's all."

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He told me it was just to the south of the city. Large sand dunes blocked my view. I hoped it wouldn't be very far.

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Much to my surprise, less than an hour had passed before I saw a ruined tower protrude from the ground. This really was close to civilization. His theory of criminals hiding out here after robbing the city made a great deal of sense.

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I stored Ancano inside a nearby alcove. I feared for his security, but knew there was water nearby in case he needed a drink. "It won't be long, my little friend," I told him.

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I took a deep breath. What was I getting into?

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I cast my invisibility spell immediately before entering, and benefited greatly by it. A large, vicious bat flew to where it sensed I was, and would have attacked me had I not escaped its senses.

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I ran through the halls, trying to manage some balance between my stamina, my little magicka, and my well-being. This castle seemed quite the labyrinth, made of winding tunnels deep in the earth. Easy to defend from invasion, I suppose.

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Before my legs gave out on me, I found a small cache of treasure. I could scarcely believe it.

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Some very valuable-looking steel gauntlets lay on the floor, which I snatched up with as little noise as possible. I could not alert the bats nearby to my presence. I also wondered if the ivory could have some value, and pocketed it.

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Beside it I found a large bow made of bent steel. I considered this treasure enough, and raced for the exit to the extent I remembered where it was.

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My magics ran out just as I reached the exit. The bat I saw upon entrance flew in to the attack, but I dodged to one side as I burst outside.

"Ancano! Ancano we did it! We have treasure! I can't wait to see what this is worth!" I shouted joyfully as I placed my horse's saddle. "Oh, what an adventure! I can feel my blood flowing like never before!"

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Curiously, I could see Pothago almost immediately after departing the ruined castle. It seemed a ripe target for thieves from this perspective, and the journey felt much shorter on return.

I visited the blacksmith nearest to the city gates, hoping he would give a good exchange for my scavenged goods.

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I shook his hand without hesitation. 323 gold? This was triple or more what I would earn at the Mages Guild! By the Blue Divide, I'd have my loan paid off this month if things went so well!

My daring adventure had left me exhausted but full of thrill. I retired to my room immediately and set out to try again the following morning.

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I was glad the fog had chosen this day to arrive and not the previous. The thought of being lost in the foggy desert caused a sort of terrible fear in me. Before leaving, I made sure to purchase a spell I was certain to use among the filthy rodents.

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Upon returning to Castle Revir, I devised a new strategy. The same invisibility spell I used against the thief would allow me to engage in combat. Why not slay a bat rather than evade it?

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The task was, however, significantly more difficult than I expected. I thought to merely cut the bat in half with a swing, but it proved quite tough in substance.

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I recast my spell and dodged, again and again, to confuse it into submission. My plan generally worked, but it was quite costly.

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I had spent most of my energies downing a single foe. This couldn't be my solution in the future, but it did teach me about fighting animals, something I had rarely dedicated thought to previously.

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Sneaking down the tunnels, I found a door with no air passing below. Perhaps it was a treasure room? Right before I opened it, the roar of a bear sounded from behind it, changing my mind immediately. Even if there were goods stockpiled within, there was no sense risking an encounter with it. Perhaps the burglars even used bears to guard their goods!

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I was at the last of my magicka when I found the end of a tunnel with a bear nearby, lending credence to my guard-bear theory. The beast failed to notice me, perhaps distrusting its nose over its eyes. I flew past it and burst into the room it guarded.

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Success! A real store room, a treasure house, a stockpile! It was all here, and all mine! I hurried to gather up everything I could before my last enchantment wore off.

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Some more steel gauntlets lay before me. I swiftly grabbed them, knowing their great value on the market.

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I pocketed the pauldron, greaves, and potion. The tower shield was too heavy for me, for my arms already burned from the meager weight they carried.

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More steel awaited me next to it, which I gladly grabbed. Last of all, I found a steel staff for the taking.

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I considered my hoard to be tremendously valuable. Now to hurry back. My looting seemed to have awakened every animal in the castle, and I would have a hard way to go.

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Trying hard to conserve my energies, I half-walked, half-jogged to the exit. I could hear the bear lumbering behind me, and a rat appeared to be hunting my heel as I ran. I feared lest I would contract another filthy disease from the creature, but I couldn't risk combat with it.

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My luck won out, though, as the rodent turned on the bear and picked a very short fight with it instead, resulting in some pitiful death-squeals echoing through the hall. I sighed in relief as I took a slightly more leisurely pace, trying to maintain all in moderation to the end.

Finally, my struggles delivered and I breathed in the fresh, arid air of the desert once more. I hurried back to Ancano and we returned to the city. My mind raced to consider the worth of the goods I carried with me.

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I bowed gratefully before the blacksmith, who equally treasured the goods I had delivered him. This would be a very profitable business for us both indeed...

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Ralzar
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Ralzar »

Aw man having barely started the game and then getting the plague. Classic Daggerfall :D

Btw, you might consider turning off the healthbar mod for better screenshots.
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Jay_H
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

In some I do, when the view is most important (the screenshot after buying Ancano), or during the illness sequence. Most of the time I keep it on to show how my character's really doing. It's one thing for me to say I'm exhausted and near death, but when you see all 3 bars nearly run out, it shows I was having a bad time!

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Ralzar
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Ralzar »

I was thinking of the one for monster healthbars :D
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

Oh, that. Thanks for pointing that out. If it's really distracting to the readers I could; I depend on it to know who my allies are in complex battles, but I might not be facing many of those in this playthrough. I'll think about it as I continue along.

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Interkarma
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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Interkarma »

Thank you for part 3! I love how you translate the raw mechanics into an adventure based on how your character would react or feel, or how NPCs might treat you after some event. This is what I do inside my imagination when playing a game like Daggerfall and it's wonderful to see it realised so clearly here.

The use of blurring and upward facing camera while being carried to the healer was brilliant. Likewise overcoming the shortage of gold by way of a debt to the innkeeper, which in turn led to discovering bank loans (with consequences!). And you worked through the dungeon just like a low-level intelligent spellcaster would.

It's great. :)

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Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by Jay_H »

Interkarma wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:41 pmLikewise overcoming the shortage of gold by way of a debt to the innkeeper, which in turn led to discovering bank loans (with consequences!).
You might be surprised, but I don't plan any of this out ahead of time. I just jump into the game and sort of think, "What'll I do next?" I cheated death with the innkeeper narrative (but of course, it'd be dumb to end the LP like that), but the whole deal of bank loans is actually Ralzar's intended method of starting the game. Traveling in the wilderness with C&C is extremely dangerous due to exposure, and he raised horse prices to like 4000+ with Realistic Wagon (and you can't use a wagon without a horse with the mod). Now banks are no longer luxuries, but necessary parts of the economy for a poor, struggling adventurer. Once I ran out of money with Kalaron, the idea just jumped into my head and I said "All right, we'll do the Ralzar bank thing." Up until that point, I didn't even know if Pothago had a bank.

I based the innkeeper's character on a landlord I once had, who hated it when anyone owed him money. The guy down the hall ordered pizza for like $14 but wasn't around to receive it, so the landlord had to pay for it instead. Against a monthly rent of about $700, he was furious over $14. Gotta draw from sources you know best :lol:

You know what's really great about this LP? We can repeat it with a hundred different characters in a hundred different backgrounds, all facing the random world of Daggerfall from different angles. Seriously, this game is the gift that keeps on giving. Even with the few mods that exist we could do this over and over again and probably not run out of content for years.

Part IV: Kalaron Rising

The next morning, I woke up to tremendously stiff legs. The previous two days had probably elicited more exercise from me than months past, and I was not ready for it. I needed a day off.

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Nhashrn laughed at my peg-legged movements. "What's wrong chap? Got a new illness to tell me?" I shook my head. "This scavenging stuff is lucrative, but I think I'll have to grow into it. I couldn't handle another trip out to the castle today."

He nodded in agreement. "Then take a day off, mate. Your bill's cleared with me, I've got my deposit, and you have money to spend. Why not take a look around town? Can't be laboring all the time, now."

It was true; I had been in such a hurry recently that the east half of town was a mystery to me. I thanked him for his advice and enjoyed a small plate of beets with goat cheese, which I was rapidly starting to adore. "By the way, you don't mind if I leave my horse outside, do you?"

"Not at all, elf. Here in Pothago we do things right. That horse won't get stolen in a hundred years, I'm sure. Just keep him fed with some rations and tell him to drink from our pool out front, and you can tie him to the innpost."

I took Ancano out for a leisurely stroll, studying the buildings around the city.

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I stopped abruptly at what appeared to be a bookstore. "I don't have much money, but I've got to see what they have in stock."

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"Excuse me my Breton friend, how much do you charge for books here?" I called out, and only got laughter as a response. I was getting tired of misunderstanding the Pothago ways.

"No charge at all friend, this is a library. I'm merely the steward here." My eyes lit up. Pothago had a public library? I thought such luxuries could only be found in Cyrodiil and Summerset! I thanked him for the explanation and ravenously began searching through the shelves.

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"What's this Real Barenziah thing? You've got a lot of its copies here." The man turned red momentarily and laughed nervously. "Ah, how old are you mate?" I cocked my head. "Old enough to be on my own without supervision. Why?" He chuckled. "Better save yourself not reading that one, mate. It's got some stuff you'll... never forget once it's in your head. Better not, friend. I don't control our inventory, it comes directly from the palace. They pay for this place."

"And this is your employ?" I asked. "Well, I'm retired. My home is paid for, and for my service here, they give foodstuffs to my wife so we can eat." I was grateful that, rather than spending his last days in idleness, this man gave his time to the community. No one needed this library more than I did.

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Mara's Tear and the Memory Stone? These were the two books I had brought to this voyage, that I had sold in Damu-Ij! These were clearly different copies, but now that the library held them, I did not hesitate to devour their contents. I sat down on the floor, lacking any furniture, and spent the next four hours enrapt in literature.

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My growling stomach was the only thing that could have lifted me from the floor. I satisfied my hunger at a local general store, and then headed over to the Mages Guild now that it was open.

Exploring its second wing, I found a man hunched over, reviewing a fairly thick book. I asked him what his study was.

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"I can train you to improve your magical skills, High Elf. 200 gold for a novice like yourself gets a full three-hour session." I certainly had the money, but was it worth it? "I can train myself at a lower cost than that, sir. What motivates me to take a lesson from you?" He shrugged. "The guild needs money, child. My service is one way we keep this chapter running. Another is when people buy spells, another identification, and yet another the quests in the front hall. If you wish to support this guild hall, you'll train with us." I felt torn between my all-important money and the Mages Guild's well-being, but reasoned that my 200 gold pieces would not be the end of Pothago's chapter. I thanked him for his time and promised to return when I was wealthier.

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Perusing the spell merchant, I found several entries listed as "Self-Study." I asked what they were, and was informed that poorer students were welcome to buy these cheap cantrips and study them through practical use. I considered myself the poorest of all, having no home, and bought all the incantations available.

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I also bought a much more combat-worthy spell than those I carried up until now. The Slow Burn spell ran the risk of leaving me vulnerable to attack while it did searing damage, but if I were smart like Nhashrn said, I wouldn't need to worry about my foes' attacks.

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I bought a couple of other spells that would doubtless prove useful in the future.

A passing glance at a general store on the way to the inn reminded me that they sold camping kits, which I would certainly need sooner or later. Traveling to and from Castle Revir was not a significant chore, but it was tiring, and I'd prefer to be able to rest inside the castle when possible.

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I then returned to the Black Gnome after a splendid day of rest.

As my head hit the pillow, I found I wasn't tired enough to sleep yet, and began thinking. The Mages Guild's training would do me tremendous good. I needed to be self-sufficient. What would happen when I next faced some robber, or even worse than that?

I turned over in my bed just as I turned the thoughts over in my head. Could I even defend myself? Was I a helpless child, needing an escort to and fro so dangerous rats wouldn't consume me in the desert? Would I ever be able to stand up to a bear? Was I just not made out for this?

I began to worry that I was involved in something much larger than myself. Within the city gates I was generally safe, but I couldn't stay in shelter forever. What would happen when the Mages Guild would send me to a different city to pick up supplies for them? Or face a foe that possessed supernatural powers? Would I be capable of fighting these foes?

My doubts and uncertainty began to creep in and take over my mind, but along with them, a sense of determination. Perhaps it was pride. After my mental struggle deepened considerably, I stood up in bed and said aloud, "I'm going to find out for myself. No more wondering. I'm going to learn for myself." I then began casting the basic Destruction cantrip against the wall, again and again.

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"What's going on up there?!" Nhashrn shouted from below. I called down, "It's me, Nhashrn. Everything's fine, I'm just practicing some magic." "Well then, let me give you a different room. Don't want you bothering the folks on the other side!" I assented to his decision and was given the top room of the inn once more.

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I spent the next several days in a heated determination to practice, to improve, to see what I was truly capable of.

Hours and hours passed in a sort of trance, where nothing seemed to matter except trying to see where my potential was. I went down occasionally for breakfast or dinner to simulate normal activity, but the innkeeper wasn't fooled. Still, so long as I was healthy and paying my room, he didn't interfere with what I was doing. I was glad the cantrip didn't cause any damage to my surroundings.

Days and days passed. I didn't keep track of them. It felt so short, but it may have been weeks in reality. I didn't want to think of time or my far-off obligations. I just wanted to gain power.

Then one morning before dawn, I had a sort of epiphany.

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It wasn't one that could be put into words. It sort of felt like a sunrise in my mind, a growing sense of light or understanding or confidence. Words fail to describe what was beginning to grow within me. My studies among the Sepiarchs had given me knowledge, but this that I was doing now, it was knowledge in action -- it was power. I thrilled as I seemed to feel my mind unlock its inhibitions, releasing itself from internal boundaries I had never before recognized.

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The sole interruption to my time in the inn was due to my finishing the bag of rations I had brought with me from the ship to Morrowind. It was a crumbly, dry sort of food, hard to get down at first but mildly nourishing. It kept me alive while I engaged in this insistent study of mine. After a quick trip to the general store and ensuring plenty more food for Ancano, I once more shut myself into my room and dedicated all energies to my labor.

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A second epiphany followed days later. I felt as though my mind was full of light, and what seemed nebulous before was now plain. The Destruction spells I previously cast in a slipshod manner now obeyed my strict will. I was no master mage, but I was flourishing at my own level. Surely I'd be able to stand against my equal now.

I couldn't restrain myself from finding foes to prove my power. I flew downstairs and thanked Nhashrn for not worrying about me, ordered a quick antelope stew, and raced out to mount Ancano.

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This time I detached the wagon from him, and he trotted forward joyfully. We crossed the desert much more quickly without the cart's weight behind him. This meant I would be able to take fewer goods from the castle, but material wealth was my lesser priority now.

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I found the castle just as I left it. I began to retrace my steps to find one of the simpler foes I remembered seeing.

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At the top of a slope I found a rat that had previously wounded me deeply. I took aim and shot forth the Slow Burn enchantment I had previously bought.

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Once I was sure it took hold, I turned and fled in the opposite direction. Only seconds passed before I heard a painful squeal, followed by silence. I was surprised even at the power I had demonstrated. My vicious fights against the desert rats held no comparison.

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Further up the hall I found another hairy rat and tagged it from afar with the spell. It expired almost instantly under the overwhelming magical heat. My internal confidence began to be external, for my foes could no longer withstand me.

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I returned to the first treasure room I had found and was surprised to see the guard bear engaged in fighting one of the bats. Perhaps the rebels had trained it to clear out the local wildlife in their absence.

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If so, it did its job well. Faster than I expected, it then turned on me.

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I cast my veil of concealment, but only too late. With a single swipe I felt a tremendous amount of my blood leave me.

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Fearing for my life, I hurried to flee the castle. Such a foe as this could surely take my life with another misstep. I lay down to sleep in the same alcove where Ancano waited patiently. I sort of hoped he would call out in case some danger showed up, but it wasn't necessary this time. My short rest turned into five full hours, and when I awoke, the sun was setting.

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I returned to the bear's location and did not find it, but did encounter two bats instead. I prepared the usual treatment and hit one of them squarely in the body.

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I had fled only a little before its body hit the ground.

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Having done the same to its companion, I set up camp in this treasure room. I would need a permanent sanctuary while I explored if I wanted to clear this place's dangers.

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Opening the door on the far end, I was horrified to see the bear torn apart. The bats here had gotten their victory, and their bite marks were vicious. I could not afford to underestimate them.

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I proposed to fight them from afar, my only concern being marksmanship. I did fairly well.

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Then, entirely by accident, I found the closed door with the bear behind it from my previous visit. My heart started racing as I imagined the encounter. Could I actually kill a bear myself? The sage in me departed as the fool took control. I joyfully pulled the door open and let loose a battle cry to get its attention.

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I could not afford to get hit by the creature. I concealed myself and prepared my attack.

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"HA HA HA HA! YES! I'VE DONE IT!!" I shouted with all the force left within me. No more would I be a victim! I was no target of anyone, prey had become predator! By the forces of magic, I was now the victor! Fear him, Castle Revir! Kalaron could now defend himself from you!

With the bear defeated, I had eliminated every foe within the keep that I knew of. All that remained was the underwater section in the left wing.

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An easy way to get down would be through the chute from the treasure room, but I feared not to survive the fall. I was no swimmer in any sense. I took the stairs from the first floor instead.

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To my rejoicing, I found yet another treasure room. This one was well-concealed, for few would be foolish enough to swim all the way down this treacherous passage. My magic allowed me swift movement and water breathing, but many others would depend on their raw might and drown.

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However, before I could search properly, my ears were nearly split by the wail of an undead creature. Turning to my side, I barely evaded a swing from a skeleton's axe. Two more joined the chorus and started toward me. I hurried back out of the water and to my camp for safety, as I was now soaking wet and quite cold from it.

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One of the skeletons had trailed me to camp, but was caught by an orc who had somehow infiltrated the castle without our knowing. The two engaged in combat as I hid across the way.

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The orc was surprised by the skeleton's raw strength and fell instantly to its attack. The monster then rushed for me, as I prepared in kind.

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On its body I found only eight gold pieces, the axe being far too old to withstand more combat. The orc, however, carried significant goods.

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I gathered up the camping materials and put them away. My time here was done, for I wanted nothing to do with skeletons, and the rest of the keep was empty.

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Once out of the room, though, I found that a group of spiders had started to infest the castle. They even overcame the skeletons that had pursued me. I presumed the situation was getting more hostile by the second, and hurried out before daedra or vampires began appearing out of thin air to spite me.

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"Hurry Ancano! Terrible things are in there, let's be going!"

The trip back was much more tiring since I carried all the goods myself rather than having the wagon at my disposition. I would want to reconsider my approach in the future, faster though it was.

I failed to notice that the helmet I had brought back was made of plated silver. I assumed it to be an ordinary iron helmet, and was pleasantly surprised to hear the blacksmith's offer for it.

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"Actually belongs to one of the lords of the palace, I reckon. Has his name inscribed on it. I'll pay you well because he'll pay me well, just you watch." I was very pleased at his fair-handedness. What a place Pothago was.

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While in town, I visited the Mages Guild. I was quite excited to see what this magical equipment I had picked up would be.

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"It's... not worth very much, is it?" The mage shook his head, disappointed. "No chum, not worth it. Better luck next time."

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The blacksmith sighed, "Most of the value in this business comes from finding a good piece of equipment you can enchant. Something like that? Garbage bin. Nobody wants an unenchantable pauldron like that. Find me a way to pull the enchantment from the armor, High Elf, and we'll both be rich as Gothryd for it."

I returned to the Mages Guild and bought a few more spells for my utility.

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Finally, I stopped by the bank before it closed.

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"Mr. Spellire, you do realize that partial payments on the debt mean nothing, don't you? If you pay 10999 coins and fail the last one, we're still sending the bounty hunters after you. You may as well hold on to your money until you pay in full." I shook my head. "I don't want to hold on to so much money. People might get word of a very wealthy High Elf wandering around town and get some bad ideas." The clerk laughed. "That'll be a problem when you actually become wealthy!"

While he updated my loan record, I took a look at a periodical with some house listings within the city.

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"700,000 gold... No wonder. I'm nowhere near wealthy yet."

On my way to the inn I stopped a guard and asked where I could sell a potion I had been holding on to for several weeks.

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It was a bit far, but it was my only option to get rid of it. I stored the idea away and headed for the Black Gnome.

Once inside, I found the parlor empty. Nhashrn must have been on some errand, and his barmaid was off for the day. While I waited for him to return, I sat down in front of the fireplace and closed my eyes, giving in to a much-needed rest...

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I'm going to have to take a break now that 0.11.4 is out so we can get the mods up to date. Not sure how long the break is going to be, but as this is a lot of fun to write, I hope it's not very long.

The extremely low-value pauldron is due to my Ridiculous Spells Mod. Somehow "Never-Tiring" got linked to the spell "Training: Mysticism." I thought I had avoided that, but the break gives me an opportunity to fix it.

theJF
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:34 am

Re: The Tale of Kalaron Spellire

Post by theJF »

This is great Jay! Can't wait for the next instalment!

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