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

LordAsteroth

Social Justice Dishwasher
Validated User
Ugh. It seems there's a time limit on editing threads. No Table of Contents for you lot.



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.
If I do it, I'll probably take a route of using accompanying video instead of pictures. Hopefully edited down to remove the boring parts and the "doomed timelines" where I have to reload.
 

Murazor

Undead assassin
Validated User
Good show :)

I'm putting an end to my personal modding madness (I need to play the actual game for a change!), so I will absolutely positively refrain from trying SkyRe. Buuut.... those wearable lanterns look very tasty. And the Categorized Favorites....
 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Categorized Favourites Menu is wonderful. I'm for anything that mitigates the damage done by Skyrim's interface.
 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Aha! Nested spoiler blocks. Eeexcellent.

Spoiler: Show


SO1: Wail of the Wolf Queen
Wherein our hero considers, however briefly, a change of employment.

Spoiler: Show

H 144
M 109
S 152

(I'm no longer listing base stats, because it's too annoying to take everything off; these include minor bonuses from gear and the 25-mana cost of keeping my aura up).


Light Weaponry 42 - 2 perks
Heavy Armour 41 - 1 perk
Block 39
Smithing 43 - 4 perks
Conjuration - 3 perks
Restoration 40 - 1 perk

Perks are still mainly entry-level stuff, so there's not too much to talk about here yet. Of note: the first rank of Bonebreaker in Light Weaponry, so my maces and clubs now ignore 25% of armour.

Most of my next perks will go into Restoration. At this point, I have only the novice-level entry perk, and I want at least Apprentice, Respite (which does the same thing it always did--heals replenish stamina), the first rank of recovery (25% increased mana regeneration speed) and an aura-specific perk that will extend my aura's range, thus making it easier to cover minions. I'll also be looking to beef up my melee through both light weaponry and armour perks. I probably won't be putting any points into block for some time yet, though.

Spellbook:

1) Healing
2) Conjure Draugr Warrior
3) Brutal Reanimation
4) Gate
5) Aura - Armoured Ascension
6) Circle of Scorn

New toys!



The vampire attacks have intensified. The stout Nords of the far-flung villages barricade themselves in their homes by night, swords held to their own throats. The cities fare better only because they have guards to throw at the problem, but what can such a man do to a creature of the night?

I find vampires fascinating and repellent at the same time. Quintus is a simpler soul: he is deathly afraid of them. I understand that. Vampires are undisciplined, animalistic, violent. They lack the quiet dignity of the peaceful dead, the men and women who are driven on by the simple joys of a duty fulfilled and an all-consuming, unholy hunger.

So when an upstart band of would-be vampire hunters extend an invitation...


... I feel it my duty to at least see whether they have the experience and the means to make a difference.

But first:



My exploits have not gone unnoticed. The Blue Palace steward, Falk Firebeard, sends a messenger requesting my presence. He tells me that I've been seen talking to the Dawnguard, and that theirs is important work--the court mage, rather obviously a vampire, seems unconvinced--but that there may be something for a man of my talents right here in Solitude.

Peasants from Dragon Bridge, he tells me, are complaining of strange noises and lights coming from Wolfskull Cave. Perhaps it's nothing of import--bandits, he suggests--but one man swears he saw the dead walking by night.

That's all I need to hear.


Cairns. Cairns everywhere. I should have come to Solitude first.

I find skeletons outside the cave. They respond poorly to my overtures, but of course they are bound to a different duty than I. Respectfully, lovingly, I smash them to flinders.



The cave is well lit and full of wagons and supplies. The peaceful dead have no need of such things--I expect I'll find their binders soon enough. Are you ready, Quintus?


"..."
"..."
"..."
"Have you gained weight?"

Spoiler: Show

We have upgraded our Quintus. This is Apocalypse's Conjure Draugr Warrior. Over the course of this adventure, he will confuse me time and time again by looking exactly like the hordes of other Draugr we will fight. He will, however, acquit himself quite well. Draugr are somewhat beefier than skeletons, and SkyRe has recently granted them a decent resistance against non-silver weapon damage. I'm not sure if that applies to the summons as well as Draugr out in the world, but it seems like it probably does--he's fairly tough.


The cave is full of necromancers. Their magic chills me to the bone, but Quintus thinks little of snow, magical or otherwise. With his help, we fight our way through the ruins, dispensing Arkay's justice. Now and again, I offer redemption: a chance for the fallen to return to serve a greater master.

Spoiler: Show

We have the first Reanimation spell we're going to be using--Brutal Reanimation--so it's time to talk about how the system has changed in SkyRe. First and foremost, Brutal Reanimation is not the first Reanimation spell. That honour goes to Forced Reanimation, a spell that brings back a corpse of any level but with hefty penalties--creatures raised by FR are 40% slower than they were in life, they hit less hard, and they have a penalty to fire resistance. Brutal Reanimation and all other reanimation spells from here on in work only on bodies of lower level than the caster, and have various effects. Brutal makes my beastie hit harder than it did in life, and grants low health regeneration. Other reanimations from here on in will grant the ability to heal other undead minions, do more damage with spells, etc. A perk not too far off (50 Conjuration, I believe) will make all reanimations permanent, and will prevent the body from disintegrating to ash if killed, allowing it to be raised again. Until then, we'll have to make do with a rather considerable duration--10 minutes--and only the one unlife.

We can't have Quintus out with a reanimation, because of course the summon limit prevents that, but we should soon have skeletal Quintii that care nothing for such paltry limitations on clerical achievement.



What have I stumbled into? A ritual of awesome power is taking place in Wolfskull Cave and the name repeated over and over is Potema. Potema? That Potema?

Spoiler: Show
Potema, the Wolf Queen of Solitude, has been appearing in the in-game books we never read since Morrowind.


That's ... interesting.


With ice and dwarf-metal, my new friend and I fight our way through Draugr and their necromantically inclined masters. I just want to see the ritual!


The onslaught feels like it will never end.

Spoiler: Show

See that shimmering ring in the above screenshot? That's Circle of Scorn. While I stand inside it, I do 40% more melee damage. It does cost quite a lot of mana given my rather low reserves and weak regeneration--we'll definitely be focusing on magicka for the next little while--so I do need to place it well and lure enemies inside, which is quite possible given its fairly long (40-ish seconds, I think) duration.

When I'm fighting something that doesn't want to close in for melee--an ice-hurling necromancer, say--I have another toy: Gate, a ranged Conjuration spell that teleports a target to my feet.

These are both Apocalypse spells, not SkyRe.


The ritual fails. Potema's power is too much for simple necromancy, and those that thought to bind her lie dead on the altar.


Disappointing. I should have liked to speak with her. Still, what a story I have for Falk.

Not far from the cave, I come across a shrine of Meridia, the patron deity of disapproving glares and disrespect for my profession and the living dead in general. I set myself to wilting her flowers and scattering the votive offerings of the cruel and ignorant.



I return to Solitude, drained and listless.

 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
RPGnet Member
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Spoiler: Show


I can't stop thinking about Potema. What secrets might she whisper? What tales might she tell?

I decide to read up on the subject, and my desire for study leads me to the Bard's College.


But the ponce at the door won't allow me access to his library unless I become an accredited bard. I try to convince him my need is great, but you know how it is with academics. Fine. I'll join.

"Can you sing?"
"... er ..."
"Dance?
"... well ..."
"You can tell tales, at least?"
"Well, there was that one time Quintus and I butchered a fortress full of Forsworn."
"Not ... not quite the sort of thing I had in mind. Tell you what, there is something a little less bardic that I need done. How do you feel about draugr crypts?"
" ... go on."

I am sent to the beautifully named Dead Men's Respite to find King Olaf's verse, and the very moment I arrive, I know I've made the right decision.


A ghostly bard points me at a strange claw, and when I take it, Draugr attack. Oh, happy day.

The crypt is full of:

Undying sentries;


Devious traps; and


Mindbending puzzles.

I reach a magically sealed door, and am clever enough to go in the only other direction available. There, I find the ghostly bard and his earthly remains, clutching the verse I have come to liberate.



When I take the book, he leads me through the door--unsealed now--and to the trickiest puzzle of all:


I stare at the strange door for hours, trying to make sense of bears and birds, until I spy an indentation shaped like claw marks. The claw! I try to turn it in the lock, but nothing happens. Hm. I study the claw to find the answer: in its palm, I see a pattern, and I turn stone wheels until the bears and birds match. This time, the lock turns. Truly, the ancient Nords were unmatched masters of security.


He leads me into a cavernous burial chamber styled after a throne room or mead hall, and I can't say I'm terribly surprised when Draugr leap from their thrones and attack.


Although I am somewhat taken aback when we fight King Olaf himself, who strikes with a marvelous axe of wrought ebony. It's a titanic battle, but between myself, the ghostly bard, and Quintus, Olaf meets his end.

Spoiler: Show
The ebony axe is by far the best weapon we've seen so far, but it's obviously of no use to a cleric. I've stowed it on my horse, and will probably either hand it to a follower or, eventually, melt it down for ingots.


Finally, with the Draugr dead and my mission carried out, I have a chance to glance at the verse I've come to liberate.


Yes, it's doggerel. But I've had a great day.

 

nonsense

Hey Nonny-Nonny
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Spoiler: Show


A message finds me in Morthal, where I've spent the night giddily counting Draugr in the hope that they might lull me to sleep. It's from Falk, who asks me to return to Solitude. Something about Potema!


The ritual wasn't a failure. She lives! Falk's obviously vampiric friend is as thrilled as I.

I race to the catacombs, heart pounding. Her voice greets me.


You're welcome! There's so much I want to ask you! What was Pelagius II like? How was your soul prepared for reanimation? What did those necromancers want, anyway?

Oh? Serve you in death? Well, that's a bit early, isn't it? We haven't even been properly introduced, and I do already serve Arkay. Let's talk it over. Oh, you'll send a minion to escort me? That sounds...


Vampires? Oh, Potema. I thought you were different.


I think not.


Let's.

Her Inner Council is a band of Draugr. I bludgeon and burn while Potema scours the room with lightning.


In the end, Quintus and I are victorious. Potema's soul retreats, and rallies in ghostly form, but she can't stand against us. Why, Potema? We could have had something.


Instead of ageless wisdom and incredible power, I'll have to settle for carrying your skull about.

Still, it's not all bad. Quintus and I have triumphed over a being of great power, and we did visit a true Draugr crypt and its oath-bound inhabitants. This is a land of secrets, beautiful and terrible, and I will hear them whispered in my ear.


Falk is impressed. He extols this virtue and that, but while he speaks, a strange feeling comes over me. Sybille Stentor offers me a lupine grin, all hunger and teeth.

No.


No!

I run from the throne room, heedless of all else, and collapse before Arkay's altar. Take this disease from me. Heal me. I don't want to hunger. I can't.

He whispers of mercy and love, and the thirst subsides.



Styrr does not know what he's witnessed, but his message of optimism is always appropriate. I hand him Potema's remains, and walk under the sun, happy for its warmth.




And we're done. The next episode will be a bit of housekeeping. I'll turn in the bardic quest, and then will probably head to the College of Winterhold. My Restoration is at the point where Adept spells should be on offer--though I'm not sure I'll be able to afford the mana costs just yet--and those can't be bought from court mages.

After that, I may start the main quest, if only to start seeing Deadly Dragons wheeling about, but if there's something you'd prefer (say, starting off with the Dawnguard), let me know.
 

Ultimoron

Inflammation expert
Validated User
I actually want to see the Blind Man take on the Companions, just because it amuses me that a Dark Clerk would lead the Warriors of Skyrim. :D
 

Voidnaut

Carcinogeneticist
Validated User
I'm not getting my double perks. D:

Hm, I wonder if I need to use that respec potion (I did start this character with SkyRe in, so it shouldn't be that...)

-Voidnaut
 
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