Friday, June 29, 2012

A Realization

Dear Diary,

While doing some shopping and running of errands in Solitude, I went to sell some gems to the court wizard Sybille.  As I reached out to collect her payment I looked into her eyes and realized they were a fiery orange.  A vampire!  My heart skipped a beat and I quickly excused myself from the room.  Without raising suspicion I asked around and no one seemed to know about it.  Call it a coincidence but the Vampire problem in Skyrim is worse than I thought.  This will have to wait.

Until next time,

- ST


Dear Diary,

We left Riften and headed north.  I had traveled this way before but it had been quite some time. This time I was after Gunmar, a man Isran insisted on recruiting to the Dawnguard.

Other than a few wild animals the first half of the trip was fairly uneventful.  Lots of reagent picking and watching a dragon circle to the west carefully.  At one point we came to a ridge, and laughing back at Belrand I slid down the side of the craggy slope.  To my surprise I landed on the top of some very old battlements of some forgotten ruin.  Right in front of me on the round tower was a hatch to go lower, and to my right tucked into the mountain wall was a door that looked to go further up into the ruins and mountain.

I peeked over the edge of the tower and saw nothing and heard no one around, so I tried the door.  It was locked, so I opted to go down into the tower.

I snuck quietly down the ladder and around the corner. There was a open gate with a dead farmer woman inside, I searched around but saw no evidence other than a note mentioning she had put up a fight. Through the darkness only lit by a campfire, I could hear a bit of rustling around the curve of the tower.  I carefully crept forward and hard a rustling, some shouts, and then the clang of battle.  The unmistakable call of Stendarr and a familiar's wolfish howl made me realize I had forgotten all about Belrand and he had tromped his way through the front door.  I whispered to myself for him to hold on and drew Void.  Coming around the bend I spotted my first target, a bandit with bow drawn.  I quickly loosed an arrow, shocking him and dropping him to the ground.

I pushed forward just as the two other men got the upper hand on Belrand and pushed him down the stairs.  I saw an open opportunity and as they turned to investigate this figure that just stood their eyes went wide.  I shouted them not only down the stairs, but their bodies went airborne and flew to the other side of Belrand.  As the meaner one landed I put an electric crackling arrow into him.  Belrand rose, and with a massive clang of magical energy, steeled his conjured armor and charged with his ebony axe.  The man reached up for forgiveness and out of fear, but Belrand was angry.

His conjured wolf disappeared, and he sheathed his weapon muttering something about foul bandits.  We pressed on and found another door.  This one went outside and to more ramparts and another tower-top hatch leading lower. I peeked over the edge again and saw a man leaning against a battlement half-wall.  I knocked an arrow and let loose.  It his it's mark and he cursed - drawing his own bow and looking for us.  The three of us traded arrows for a few minutes, all missing, until Belrand's wolf almost knocked me off the edge, and I thought to forget it and meet this man outside.  So we waved a white flag and went down into the tower.

Coming from a hallway to the side of the hall - an unusual break in the architecture from the rest of this building, we saw some lantern light and I peeked around the corner.  There was a man sat huddled there.  He seemed rather wimpy and in despair so I snuck up and talked to him.  Turns out the bandits here had kidnapped his wife and were holding her here. I worried that the woman in the prison cell before was her, and was about to say something when he handed me a key he had stolen.  I figured I was going to check on that top door anyway, so I would wait and report on the way back down.  I mentioned the bandits outside and told him to hide.

We ran back up to the very top and entered the door I could not before.  A woman was sitting there indeed, but she was clearly a bandit.  She saw us instantly and spoke - turns out she was the wife of the man, and she had seen him creeping around outside.  She wanted nothing to do with him, gave me her wedding ring and told me to tell the man whatever I liked.

As I turned I considered killing the woman, since if I had to tell the man she was dead it might as well have been the truth, and she was a bandit after all.  However I decided against it while he was still around, and went back down to him.  I told him we found her but she was dead, and there was her ring.  He was saddened, but at least he had closure.  I would rather have told him the truth, but I just couldn't find the words.  We left ahead of him and saw the bandit out front was dead.  The wolf must have made it all the way down and taken care of him without me knowing.

We camped out in some bedrolls, as it was late.  I lamented for a second wasting almost a full day here, but quickly realized this man was safe and had closure, and that was worth it.  But time to steel my focus.  The next day we headed north to find Grunmar.  He was where Isran said he would be, hunting for some bear.  A bear I could certainly take care of, and did.  Grunmar was thankful and agreed to head south.

Seeing the next mark on the map being somewhere between Solitude and Markarth, I headed to Windhelm to catch a carriage.  We did so, doing a bit of shopping, catching up with friends and just enjoying the city before dusk.  The next day we took a carriage to Solitude and stopped at home for a bit.

Tomorrow - south to find this other person for Isran.

Until next time,

- ST

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blood or Skooma, Ma'am?

Dear Diary,

Milling about Whiterun, we were approached by an Orc in a strange leather outfit I had never seen before.  He said he was looking for recruits for his group - the Dawnguard.  He explained there was a new vampire menace in the world, and it was their duty to stop it.

It seemed pretty interesting, and I wanted a suit of his armor, so we jumped a carriage to Riften and searched out their home.  The castle Dawnguard was very impressive, dwarfing most architecture I had seen thus far in Skyrim.

I met their leader, Isran, who must be an avid pipe smoker.  Isran was adamant I check out a nearby cave along with Vigilant Tolan.  After dispatching some of the weaker fledglings, we came upon Lokir interrogating another Vigilant, but we were too late.  The vampire killed the man and set off for a strange structure in the center of the cavern.  Before his foot could hit the nearby bridge, I skewered his throat with an arrow, and felled his companions as well.

Belrand wasn't keen on this area of the cave, and I agreed it looked quite strange. After solving the riddle of the central area, the middle of the room dropped down and revealed an enclosure.  Upon opening a woman fell out, gasping for air, seemingly asleep previously.  She introduced herself as Serana and asked who I was.  She was obviously a vampire and it surprised her that the one releasing her was not.  I also noticed the Elder Scroll she carried with her.  She seemed very nice so I offered to lead her back to her home - a castle to the west of Markarth and Solitude.

We went south, as it was now dusk and out of consideration of our companion we decided to travel at night, and walked quietly around the eastern side of Whiterun and quickly grabbed a carraige to Markarth.  When we arrived, we wasted no time with the town and started north.  The mountains were treacherous and I often became separated with my companions.  But by dawn we had met at a small jetty and crossed to the castle.

The castle itself was quite impressive and had a ominous feel to it.  The gate keeper who looked of scurvy allowed us in once he saw Serana.  The inside was grand and beautiful, but tarnished by ghastly sights.  These vampires were not the classy type I had heard of in Cyrodiil, but were quite bestial and made a mess of all of their meals upon the tables and floors.

There was much celebration.  I was offered the "gift" of becoming a vampire, but I realized my mistake in leading this woman here and quickly and politely left the castle.  I think I have done something terrible, so I decided to officially join the Dawnguard to set this right.  We walked to Solitude and quickly took stock of our supplies at home, and then grabbed a carriage to Riften.

Isran was not pleased, and was more hoarse than ever.  He tasked me with finding a few important people to rally to the cause out in the world.  There was nothing else I could help with that was grander at the moment, and I felt guilty so quickly agreed.  Belrand and I left the castle and decided to stay in Riften for the rest of the day and night.  We did a good bit of shopping, selling off some treasure.  I have quite a bit of gold now, almost 6 digits.  I am not sure why I have this compulsion to horde money, but it is there.

We returned to the Thieves guild, sold some more goods and caught up with the locals down there.  I received more contracts from Vex and Malloy.  They sounded like fun!  I did enjoy sneaking around a rich person's house, if I had a reason to.  Otherwise, felt a bit guilty.  I also realized looking into the pool of water in the cistern, I had grown a bit older.  I am more beautiful, if I do say so myself, but since the last time I saw my reflection I am much more mature and regal looking.  Ah well.  Even I someday will look like the old hags in the cistern!

Returning to the surface and poking around a bit more, I heard rumors of Skooma and spoke to an Argonian in the Bunkhouse.  The poor woman had lost everything using Skooma, but fortunately had finally kicked the habit out of desperation.  The stuff can be dangerous, and Riften is likely full of it being a first stop from the land of the red mountain. She finally let it be known who her supplier was, so I spoke to Maven about it.  With her information and influence behind us Belrand and I went to a nearby cave where it was suspected it was being created.  We dispatched a couple of ragged guards in the entrance, and went deeper.  There was a group of people gambling over dog fights.  The poor things were tearing each other apart for a couple of coins for their masters.  I swiftly put each out of their misery, and this did not please the onlookers.  They charged up the stairs and were caught by Belrand, who flipped one in the air and over the rails, and then froze another to death before shattering him.  I supported Belrand with my bow, but was surprised from behind me by a huge brute of an Orc with a sinister looking hammer.  As he swung I heard and dodged his blow, his hammer sticking in the decking.  It was too close to Belrand to shout or use my bow, so I drew Thirsty and had at him.  I must admit he was tough, and I found myself forced to try a bit of the skooma in a lull.  It tasted horrible, but gave me a vitality unlike anything I had tasted before, which was more than enough to kill the man and come to Belrands rescue.  Belrand asked why I was so excited, but I waved him off and we gathered all the evidence.  There were tons of skooma and supplies to make it.

We headed back to Riften, and just as we entered we saw some guards being attacked by vampires.  We took care of them without loss, and the guards thanked me.  A stern reminder my next objective needed to be finding those two people.  No more getting distracted!

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New Beginning

Dear Diary,

- Narfi is a nice guy.  

- Defeated Alduin.

- Expected much more cheering when I returned to Whiterun.

After leaving Ivarstead, we went once again to the top of the Throat, and discussed the growing threat and a peace treaty.  I agreed to most of the Imperial terms.  It was also nice to see Mr. E again.  We had convinced Balgruuf of Whiterun to allow us to try and trap a dragon.

We succeeded despite some of Jzargo's classic antics.  The dragon and I agreed to the terms that he would be released and take me to where I could find Alduin.  A ride upon a dragon?  Of course I was very excited!  So excited I forgot poor Jzargo behind...

He flew me to Skuldafn, a place rucked away in the peaks of the mountains.  Through a portal inside, I made my way to Sovengarde.  I was distressed to be unable to help any of the souls making their way to the great hall, so I pressed on and made my way inside.  I was blessed with the company of three Nords, and the four of us shouted the evil Alduin into dust.  Not the most difficult opponent I have had to fight so far, and let the history books show the World Eater was defeated by a budding librarian.

I was brought back to the Throat, where Parthuurnax and others met me.  They said their goodbyes and flew off into the storm.  I climbed down in a fluster.  I missed poor Jzargo and did not want to leave him waiting any longer.  I hoped he had not thought I deserted him intentionally.

When I returned to Dragonsreach I was greeted by the steward.  Jzargo had left a note, which read:

"Dear Friend,

Jzargo must return to college.  Jzargo had many adventures and good fun, but studies beckon.  Jzargo remember always, and woman remember always - travel nose first!.

See you at Winterhold,

- Jzargo"

I must admit I was quite sad.  I did not expect him to leave my side so suddenly.  I took a cart back to Solitude and put away some of my items.  My house is quite a mess and could use a good cleaning.
But I was much too sad for that, and spent a few days milling about town and in the bar.  A man approached and offered me to join him in a drinking game.  I felt quite sure of myself having a couple already.  I seemed to be winning, and the next thing I new I was in a strange temple with two other people.  One, a priestess the other a scruffy bald man.

The priestess was yelling at the man, who was trying to calm her down.  He saw me awaken and ran over to me. 

"HELLO!" He yelled.

I replied in kind.  The priestess followed and turned her ramblings to me.  After a long while of explaining, I finally figured out I had lost the bet, and I was in Markarth in the temple of Dibella.  I was confused as to how I got here, so I asked this man.  He introduced himself as Belrand and said he had been watching the drinking game and decided to follow in case I needed help, although I could tell from his attitude it was more because he found whatever I did humorous.  Unfortunately he was quite drunk as well and did not remember how he got there either...

So we left the temple and hit the road.  Our first stop was somewhere east.  We puttered along at a slow pace, as he was quite bored and we both hung over.  I told him he was free to leave, but he insisted he was there to defend me and help.  Quite humorous, as I was the one in full Ebony plate whereas he had a butter knife and rags.

"We should stop at the next town and buy you some leather." I said.

"That'll do missy, I am quite fond of the lighter armors." he responded.

We went on our way.  As the sun set, we passed a strange looking Argonian who walked as one who was in a big hurry but was also trying to conceal that fact.  He looked sheepishly at us with a large bag tucked over his shoulder, and dressed in fancy but dirty full glass armor.  As he passed, I noticed jewels slipping out of his bag.  A thief! I quickly yelled at Belrand to grab him, which he did surprisingly quicky, and I clonked the slippery lizard on the head.

Belrand was quite transfixed by the hefty bag of jewels, and my slap over the head knocked him out of his daze.

"Hey doofus, glass armor."

"Oh.......OH!" He replied, and quickly stripped the Argonian and put on his new suit.  I must admit he looked quite the regal battle mage in his new gear.

Anyway, enough for today.  We made our way to Whiterun just as sun is setting.  My Breezehome is sometimes quite convenient!

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Dear Diary,

I forgot to mention something last time.  In all of the ruckus going on in Riften I forgot I also happened to kill some old hag who was torturing some orphans and keeping them captive.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, so I didn't think much of it.  Turns out she was a contract for the Dark Brotherhood, and I wasn't supposed to do that.

We went to sleep in the inn, and next thing I knew I woke up in a shack.  A woman was in one corner, and three people were tied up on the other side of the room.  She explained I had to repay my debt for killing Grelod, by killing one of these people.  I was going to refuse, but she said one of them already had a contract on them and I had to figure out which one.  It seemed rather sick to play games with people like that, but I decided to play along for the moment to see if I could find a way out.

I interviewed each one.  One was an honorable Nord who just happened to be a mercenary.  Seemed like an honest heart.  The second was a mother of six, so that was out.  The third was a bit of a jerk, and with some persuasion told me he had killed plenty himself, and was a crime lord.  Well, seemed like a win win.  We would all get to leave and this one Khajiit who would probably be dead by either a competitor, someone seeking vengeance or the law.

So I shot him.  In hindsight it seems rather cold but at the moment I felt I had no choice.  The woman in the corner introduced herself as Astrid, and I recognized her name from all the notes I had collected from failed assassins.  She said I could join them if I liked, and I agreed.  It was part just wanting to get out of the shack, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to go and check them out.  If nothing else I am sure they had some interesting books to swipe.

I left the shack and realized I was just south of Dawnstar.  I found a courier and wrote a note to Jzargo back at the inn, in case he was still there. I also made note that he needs to be a better  I then went south to their hiding place.

The Sanctuary was west of Falkreath and kinda creepy.  As I walked inside I found a group of members gathered, having a conversation.  They seemed rather friendly, chatting about their latest contracts.  While they dealt in murder, they were fairly chipper and seemed all there.  I expected a bunch of psychos screaming while lifting dead animals, or practicing on fresh corpses.  One of them was even a little girl, Babette, who I traded potions and recipes with.

I found Nazir, a redguard, in the back working on something.  He mentioned since I was a "new member" I could do some contracts.  I'm not one for wanton murder, but I figure I could check these people out and if they seemed bad it's a good chunk of gold for doing it.  Another win win.  The first was in Ivarstead, just east of here.

I scoped out the rest of the Sanctuary, swiped a few books I had never seen before, and went east to Falkreath.  I found Jzargo outside the gate, and told him what happened.  He apologized, and made note not to drink milk before sleeping in an unfamiliar place, it makes him pass out.  I gave him a hug and we then took care of business around town, selling a few things, making a few items, and then staying at the inn for the night (minus any milk).  Before we slept we walked around the inn and chatted up the people there.  One man I had talked to before said an ancient ancestor had risen from the dead recently and was a vampire.  He said he had gathered followers and taken up residence in Bloodlet Throne just east.  It was on the way to Ivarstead, so I agreed and we left town.

We climbed the mountains east of Falkreath and got to Bloodlet Throne later in the day.  There was a blizzard outside so we were glad to get inside, even with the strange wolves howling from somewhere deeper in the ruin.  We fought our way to the interior past a few weaker vampires and hired thugs, and eventually came to a large opening in the cave wall.  We looked in and it was like a small fighting pit.  There were cages in the walls all around full of wolves and above them in a throne sat the vampire flanked by cronies.  He said  something to them and released the wolves, refusing to fight but rather wanted to watch me fight the wolves.  The animals were no match, although I felt bad for them.  After we had whooped them the vampires decended, angry we had killed their pets.  The vampire lord was quite tough, but I singled him out while Jzargo fried the others.  I gave the vampire a taste of his own medicine with Mr. Thirsty, but the axe only got a taste of him before the Razor kicked in and obliterated him.  Dagon had something against this vampire it seemed.  Jzargo was right behind me with a goofy grin on his face.  In his mismatched dwarven gauntlets (note: need to keep an eye out for that final piece of his ebony armor) he held up two of the vampires proudly by the hair, like and his mouse.  I stared and he dropped them, realizing what he was holding.  We checked for loot and left out the back.

It was getting late, so we camped out behind the old fort (sleeping lightly).  The next day we left for Ivarstead.  We are staying at the inn here and scoping out the first target for the brotherhood: Narfi.  Haven't found him yet, but we will see what he's up to.

Until next time,

- ST

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Uncovering the Truth

Dear Diary,

We spent the night in Solitude, staying up late going over our gear.  I had become more skilled in enchanting magical extras onto our weapons and armor, so I made some new things for our next trip out.  Jzargo finally got his own personal set of matching ebony armor.  He looks quite dashing.

I also retired my old bow Aether, the one that had seen me through the past few months.  Since I arrived in Skyrim in fact.  I hung it on the wall beneath Mr. Frosty and made two new ones.  Void, an Ebony bow that saps the life of my enemies, and Dreamcatcher, another that retrieves the souls of my enemies for future enchanting.  

The next day we walked to the carriage and checked out our map.  We decided on Riften, to get away from it all for a bit and see a new city. We paid the fare and arrived later in the day.  We paid for a room in the Bee and Barb and then hung around the bar for a bit talking to locals.  It seemed there was a hushed tone when it came to goings on in the city.  Some people had some things to say, although nothing direct, of a thieves guild in town and how they were in a massive triangle of power with Maven Black Briar, the Jarl, and the Guild.  Now being one for the people and disliking someone abusing their power, I decided to see what it was all about.  I chatted up some more locals and after a few days of playing the part of the eager new member, I had made my way into the thieves guild.

As it turned out, there were conspiracies within the conspiracies, and I ended up spending most of my time helping the Guild get revenge on an old member that had turned their back. I forgot all about my goal of uncovering the Black Briars, but I do plan to return to that soon. The Guild is actually a bunch of relatively nice people, and I have no qualms against them.  

In my work for the Guild I did end up having to take a carriage back to Markarth, which I wasn't looking forward to.  It was a short trip though, and it was made up for by getting to spend more time with good old Enthir, a good friend of both myself and Jzargo from back at the College.

There was also a notable attack on the College itself, by no less than two dragons.  It would have been a pretty memorable fight, but the dragons picked about the worst place to attack, and the mages of the guild.

We are now staying at an inn, preparing for our next outing.  So many options on where to go next!

Until next time,

- ST

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oghma Infinium

Dear Diary,

The three of us set out from Solitude and headed for Dawnstar.  When we arrived, we spent the night and then talked to Silus the next morning, handing him the last piece of the Razor. He said he was going to reforge it at Mehrunes' shrine, and we agreed to follow him there.  The four of us made our way south and arrived mid day.  Dagon seemed to want nothing to do with his loyal follower, but he did speak.  He said that in order to get the dagger I had to kill Silus.  I wanted no part in it, but before I could say anything the dog had jumped on Silus and knocked him off the cliff!  Dagon was amused at the method in which the deed was carried out, and reforged the Razor.  It feels like an ordinary dagger in my hand, but there is something creepy about it.

We were near a cave Urag had marked on my map as a location of a missing book, so we stopped by.  What I thought would take a few minutes ended up being a day long ordeal.  We found the journal of a man who had been researching the tomb, and it mentioned having to find two ceremonial weapons in order to proceed further.  It took a while and we had to deal with countless undead, but we finally found them and opened up the main burial chamber, in which someone crafty hid the book.

Leaving the cave, we took the long trek to Winterhold.  It was a days journey and we stopped in town to sell some things and spend the night.  The next day we stopped to see Urag, giving him the book and letting Jzargo pick up some things of his. 

We returned north to Septimus and the Dwemer contraption.  With the blood samples in hand, he opened the massive cube, which opened into a round corridor going deeper into the heart of it.  Inside Septimus was unhappy, there was just a book on a pedestal.  I however was ecstatic, as it looked ancient and rare.  Indeed it was the Oghma Infinium, a relic of ancient days containing secret knowledge, surpassed only by an Elder Scroll.  This was definitely going in the collection.  As I left, Mora thanked me for my service and named me his champion.

We then took a walk south to Windhelm and again spent the night, but after running into a very creepy little kid who was hacking away at a dead body and requesting I go murder some mean old lady, we skipped town and head south further.

We returned to Vile's shrine, and he was quite grateful for returning his axe.  He asked to kill the dog but I of course refused!  The dog thanked me of course, and instead Vile gave me his boon, a strange mask with charming properties.  The dog disappeared and merged with the shrine, forever returning to his masters shrine.  I will miss that dog, but I guess I can always come back and see him.

Back to just Jzargo and myself, we decided to hit Whiterun, and see what the locals were up to.  We've been here a few days and the city is quite a lot of fun late at night.  Can't stay too much longer though, Jzargo is getting tired of lugging stuff around...

Until next time,