[LP Skyrim Redone] Dungeons and Draugr - The Lay of Blind Bassus

LordAsteroth

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You'll also notice that my h/m/s stats have gone a bit wonky, numbers-wise. I'm still not quite wise to SkyRe's stat-fu - and indeed, I don't know if it's SkyRe or CCO at work. Whatever the case, putting a leveling point into a stat doesn't quite add round, predictable values, and I'm not sure what's scaling them to. It might be that there's a random element, or it might be that they're scaled to a racial ratio by CCO (i.e. perhaps high elves get more mana and less health per spent point). It is to shrug and carry on.
I'm not sure where, but I seem to remember reading that one of the mods, perhaps SkyRe or CCO changes the way it determines increases to lower the importance of your stat choice on leveling but also giving you an increase depending on what skills you are actually using, or what it considers your "class" to be or something. So you are getting increases both in what you decide you need and in what the mod decides you need.
 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
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It seems there's a lot more variety in the danger level posed by Briarhearts. In vanilla, these were always fairly tough high-level Forsworn ...
Turns out, according to uesp.net, this isn't true. Maybe I just didn't spent much time around Markarth at low levels, or maybe it's standard mod blindness. Whatever the case, there are, apparently, Briarhearts at all levels. So ... yay?

In other news, I've still never pickpocket-murdered one of the bastards, so I'll have to remember to take a stealthy sort yonder for yoinking.
 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
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MK2: The Mines of Markarth
Wherein NOT THIS AGAIN.

I bolt upright on what my innkeep Kleppr swears is a bed, convinced that I've forgotten something. Something important? My heart races as I dig my hand out from beneath a tangle of blankets, but Quintus is still there. A quiet moment's reflection, and it dawns on me: the Breton's note.

It reads: "Meet me at the Shrine of Talos. -Eltrys."


Well, I'm here.

Eltrys tells me that this isn't the first time Markarth's guards have turned a blind eye to a murder by a known Forsworn agent. He tells me that Margaret, the woman stabbed before my very eyes, will wait a while yet for justice. The investigation quietly wound down, like so many of them do, with the body still warm. His own father, he tells me, suffered a similar fate, and try as he might, Eltrys cannot ignore what's going on. It's not my affair, but I find myself liking Eltrys. He's digging deep in an anthill, and perhaps I should be the one stung. I cannot believe that Arkay wants this youth to walk his halls.

Margaret's trail leads me back to the Silver-blood Inn, where Kleppr is suddenly a magistrate, babbling on about something called the Pan-Tamrielic Summit on the Question of Innkeeper Confidentiality that I'm certain he made up on the spot.


Me? I don't babble. Five simple words get me a key.

Spoiler: Show
You can just see some green glowies around Kleppr. This is one of my new spells at work, Aura: Armoured Ascension. Auras are introduced by SkyRe, and work exactly as you'd expect them to. This particular one grants myself and any non-hostile creatures within range a 10% boost to melee damage and a 10% reduction against same. Once activated, it's permanently on, at a cost of a 25-pt penalty to my maximum mana. This is actually a rather good way to boost restoration, as it (very) slowly ticks up whenever your aura affects something. I will not be activating the aura and then memorizing different spells, as that strikes me as a bit of a dodge. If I'm running a passive of this sort, it'll take up one of my slots.

The other new spell is Chanthrax, a Restoration disease. Diseases are debuffs that spread, and various sorts available in both SkyRe and Apocalypse. This particular one is an Apoc addition, and adds a little damage over time that spreads to another target when its condition--the current victim casts a spell--is met. Note that when the spell says it spreads to a new target, it does just that: a target, any target. SkyRe curses work the same way, but SkyRe diseases do not--those only spread to hostile targets. Spreading a disease to the wrong target is bad for you, which I learned fighting spiders a bit later in this LP: it turns out the spider spit is considered a spell by the game engine, and that meant a newly infected ally turning on me. Oops.


Margaret's room is not quite as luxurious as Kleppr's description of it. I find a journal among her things, and learn something interesting: it seems she's an Imperial agent, spying on Thonar Silver-blood. Her employer is Tullius, the Imperial general sent to Skyrim to contain the Stormcloak revolts. I know Tullius, by reputation at least. If he's here, it's because somebody more important tired of his mouth. We're not so dissimilar, in that respect.

On the way out, a guard accosts me, and warns me to stop snooping around. Kleppr sweats a waterfall when I glance his way. I expect he'll be scarce in these coming days.

Margaret's murderer rooms in the Warrens, dwarven tunnels more soot than stone. The foreman is less easily swayed than Kleppr, and I'm forced to part with a bit of gold. I find a letter in a dingy room, addressed to the murderer, from 'N'.

I leave, and once again find someone lying in wait: some unwashed upstart who's been sent to teach me a lesson. He shows me his fists. Fists? I'm in full plate! For a moment, I wonder if he's one of those strange monks who forge their own bodies into weapons. I soon realize that's not the case.


I punch wolves. What chance do you have?

I've had about enough. I go to confront Thonar directly. The girl tending the Treasury House's desk tells me he's in a meeting, until I make it clear that I'm not requesting an audience. Thonar is surprisingly forthcoming, which leads me to wonder whether he has guards waiting outside. He admits to having had Margaret killed--not in so many words--and tells me to keep my Imperial nose out of his affairs.

But no sooner has he finished talking than his household staff reveal themselves as Forsworn infiltrators and attack, killing and raising Thonar's wife.


I fight them off. Thonar seems to think he's been betrayed, which I learn is the result of a deal between himself and an imprisoned Forsworn king, Madanach. Madanach was granted a stay of execution in return for keeping his followers docile, but it seems he's itching to get out. If offer to speak with Madanach. Thonar gives me an ugly smile and casts me out of his house. I think I dislike Thonar.

I feel that perhaps it's time to be making myself scarce. I've learned enough, I think, for Eltrys to understand what's going on. If he knows who this mysterious 'N' is, perhaps I'll help, but I get the sense that I've overstayed ...


... my welcome. Gentlemen.

Well. This feels familiar. No armour. No weapons. No Quintus. I am surrounded and taken to Cidhna Mine, where I'm pointed at pickaxes and told to work.


A prisoner by the fireside tells me to talk to Madanach. He's just on the other side of a great big orc.

Spoiler: Show

Alas, having been stripped of all my gear means I don't have my lantern, which means this whole area is too dark for good screenshots anywhere except the fireside. The lighting changes in Climates of Tamriel are excellent, but without a light, they can be quite difficult to work with.


The orc orders me to bring him a shiv before he'll let me speak to Madanach. I propose my fists instead, and he takes me up on my counter-offer. Orcs are a predictable lot, in the end.


QUINTUS!

I meet Madanach, who tells me all manner of stories about the repression his people face, and reveals that he's got a plan to leave. All he needs are a few more stout arms, and mine seem to impress him. He tells me to go kill a prison snitch. I'm not thrilled with the idea, but I need to get out of here.

The deed done, Madanach reveals his plan: hidden dwarven tunnels that exit into Markarth proper. I remind him that we don't pose much of a threat against city guards, but he tells me that one of his agents has arranged an armament drop. Quintus?

Quintus!

I ask Madanach what happens next. He threatens me.


Honestly. What is it with Markarth?

Our escape was not as quiet as I might have liked. Thonar awaits with a coterie of guards.



I've about tired of the bastard. When Madanach's Forsworn attack, I introduce Thonar's head to my shield and make a run for the city gates, guards in pursuit.

 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
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MK2: The Mines of Markarth, Part 2

I ride all through the night, a wanted man, pausing only to deal with some bandits.



Their friends have built some sort of clumsy deadfall over the road, and demand a toll. I ride past them before the fools have a chance to spring their trap, and don't stop until I'm in Solitude.

Spoiler: Show

But not from what the battle. Rather, I was walking back to my horse and got a Heavy Armour point. One of the little things I really like about SkyRe is that just moving around in a suit of armour is sufficient to (slowly) increase your skill with it. This is a big improvement over vanilla, where you skilled up only when you got hit. I don't know if this was ever changed, but I hope it was, because it created something of a perverse incentive: fight properly, using positioning and blocking to avoid damage, and your armour skills will fall far behind.

Also, as this was my 10th level, I got two perks. I think I mentioned this in the other thread, but SkyRe's bigger trees necessitate a larger perk income, which comes from both higher levels (due to a different cap on skill advancement) and an extra perk every fifth level. Ding!




I collapse before the altar in the Hall of the Dead. Arkay tells me he's impressed.



No nightmares tonight.

FIN

***

Not too much has changed with the character sheet. I'll probably update it after I've dealt with all the stuff in my bags and perhaps bought some new spells.

Where to next? There's a bounty on my head in Markarth (assault and murder!), and I likely won't be going back there until I have enough cash to pay it off (it's not hugely expensive at 1040 gold, but I need that cash for spells). I could get the main plot started, join the College, learn about Solitude's mild case of the undeads, or just go exploring.
 
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t@nya

Asgardian rainbow dragon
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Since bards in legend are sometimes blind, I vote for psuedo-Blind Bassus joining the College.
 

LordAsteroth

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This thread has me feeling tempted to do a LP too, if I can get myself in gear to get my mods sorted.
 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
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Ugh. It seems there's a time limit on editing threads. No Table of Contents for you lot.

LordAsteroth said:
This thread has me feeling tempted to do a LP too, if I can get myself in gear to get my mods sorted.
It's good fun (if quite a bit of work).

I've got the next episode's screenshots and all that jazz, but it's quite large, so I likely won't have the time to do an update until tomorrow or this weekend. Spoiler: Bassus has a bag of new toys.
 
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