Saturday, 27 May 2017

Nameless: Ruined

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

The village of the tree folk was in tatters, littered with debris, damaged surroundings and recent blood splatters. Most worryingly, it was deserted. There were no survivors hiding among the ruins, no bodies left lying in the mud. Silvain tried to comfort Magnolia, who was beside herself in tears.

"What lies to the North of here?" asked Fayina as she and Tabitha returned from scouting the nearby area.

"Some forgotten, ruined temple," replied Magnolia between sobs. "Why?"

"There are a lot of tracks going in that direction, it's possible some of your people are alive," explained Tabitha. "We're going after them."

Hearing this Magnolia recomposed herself as best she could and nodded.

*****


The old stone temple, now covered in vines, sat in a steep valley, giving the girls a good view from the edge of the treeline. Sure enough, a small band of tree folk, bound together at the wrists, were being led into the main plaza by reptilian-like humanoids each carrying a spear and shield.

"What are those?" whispered Fayina. Magnolia could only shrug as she too had never seen them before.

"Doesn't matter what they are," growled Tabitha as she unsheathed her blade. "Not after we're through with them."

Friday, 26 May 2017

Nameless: Mount Verini

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

With a scream, Nessa swung her sword down hard into the shoulder of the Shadowstar soldier who collapsed in a shower of blood with a horrified look on his face. The last thing they expected to find at the gates of the ancient temple built into the volcano was an entire regiment of enemies laying siege to it.

An entire regiment now dead or dying.

With the battle over, Nessa surveyed the losses to her allies and they were equally severe. Of her team, which was reinforced by three other mages who Jann had freed from cursed paintings, only Ladel the cook remained upright, puffing with exhaustion.

Her eyes then came across a familiar thin body lying in a broken position near the middle of the field - the merchant Notaku. With a missing leg and a clearly broken arm his lifeless eyes just stared across towards the massive gates of the temple.


Gates which slowly began to open with a loud grinding noise. Lizard like figures walking up right on two legs, each with a spear and shield marched out and surrounded the two wary survivors. Their leader, marked by a different coloration on her helmet stepped forward.

"Enemies of our enemies are our friends," she hissed with a slight bow. "Please come in." Nessa and Ladel were happy to oblige, since the artifact they sought was supposedly within the temple anyway. Nessa noticed that half of their entourage remained behind to collect equipment and the dead.

"I am Rhone," said the guard captain as she led them into a huge, gold-gilded hall with magnificently carved figures decorating both sides. "Welcome to Verini."

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Nameless: The Other Problem

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

"Someone mind telling me what this magic crystal is doing in an active mine?" grumbled Buster openly as his team drew closer to the divide in the solid rock face ahead. It was Dariya who replied. "It was decided when we first found the artifacts that it was too dangerous to keep them together, lest the Wizard King claim all of them in one fell swoop. So, we only kept the urn under guard and hid the others with magic in hard to reach places."

As she finished, the group was mere paces away from the large, black maw in the divide that served as the mine entrance. Beside it was a large wooden building that served both as a guard post and the foreman's office. From it a tall woman with short hair, a plain face and a physique so muscular that it was easy to mistake her as a man stepped out to meet them.

"You don't look like a dig team," she uttered in a deep baritone voice. "Are you here about the other problem?"

"Whaddother problem?" asked Arslan without thinking.

"Problems in the lower levels. Not just our usual monsters either, entire dig teams are vanishing without a trace. There's a bounty posted for anyone that can sort it out."

After a brief awkward silence as the men folk exchanged dubious glances, Dariya edged her way forward and in her strange tone said "Yes, that's what we came for."

The man-lady hesitated a little at this but eventually produced a small roster sheet for them to sign their names on, pay a small entrance fee, and then directed them to a small store of supplies they'd need like oil, flints, lanterns and helmets. Once fully kitted out, the four finally headed towards the pitch black tunnel that served as the mine entrance.


Despite the brave faces, not one of them was eager to enter.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

TESO: What is dead may never die

Adventures of Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

It turns out I was beaten to the very item I was sent to fetch by the Queen's own Vice Reeve who reveals himself as part of the Veiled Heritance who are present in large numbers here, as well as their sea elf allies the Maromer. Nearby orc clans also cause trouble for the locals but they are just road kill on my chase for the Vice Reeve whom I finally catch up to in an ocean confrontation thanks to a tip from Hermaeus Mora (seriously, don't steal from a Daedric Prince).

As for the Vice Reeve: I sunk his battleship.

The second half is more interesting, as the evil Prince Naemon who I had already killed last time had been revived as a lich by the late Vice Reeve, and is attempting to bring this part of the forest into the shadow realm. Slaying his undead minions, shades and ultimately the Prince himself (again) is quite fun as warping between the two states changes the spawn on the map. Doesn't matter so much for people who just kill everything but for a sneak like me I quite appreciated it.

Raz and Mai'q get honorable mentions for being my travelling "companions" in the zone since they keep showing up unexpectedly. Also on my journey I do ponder why some skeletons hold torches. Does it let them see better? Anyway it's then on to Malabal Tor which is under attack by... Redguards?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Nameless: Dinner Reservations

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]

"Is that a giant?" asked Fayina in a hushed whisper, earning her a glare from Silvain with one finger on her lips. Tabitha in the lead, simply rolled her one good eye as she edged closer to her target.

The trio had been drawn off course while traversing the woods by the sounds of crying which led them straight into a shallow hovel with a wide mouth. Close to the entrance was a small weeping woman, bound by a chain tied to a stake in the ground.


Tabitha was only a few feet away from her when the large shape deeper in suddenly stirred. With a snort, the giant rolled to his side and blinking his eyes awake slowly realized his captive was gone. Startled, he tried to get up quickly but instead hit his head on the cavern roof, knocking himself back into a stupor.

*******

"Thank you," sobbed the grateful and now unbound captive a good distance away from the giant's hovel. "I wasn't sure what that brute was going to do to me."

"What's a giant doing down here anyway? I thought they live up in the mountains?" questioned Tabitha as she sheathed her blade.

The woman shrugged "I was just coming to collect herbs like I do every week, and this time he was there. He said I was trespassing and since I was on his property, he owned me."

"You are of the tree folk yes?" asked Silvain out of the blue.

"Y.. yes. I am called Magnolia. Why?"

Silvain smiled. "Your people were once given a special cup for safe keeping long ago by members our group."

"You ... are veils?" Magnolia asked in awe as she shook in excitement. "Veiled alliance," corrected Tabitha to no one but herself as Magnolia had already begun skipping off in glee deeper into the woods, trying to drag Fayina and Silvain with one hand each.

"Come on slow poke!" she called over her shoulder to Tabitha. "The village will be so excited to have you over for dinner!"

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nameless: All the Way up Here

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]


"We're making good time," announced Romila as she shrugged off the soreness in her arms. Beside her, Florin looked across the desert expanse below to the distant red mountains, obviously concerned about the rest of his team. Romila saw this and slapped him on the back.

"They probably aren't even there yet," she mused. "Get your head back in the game, mercenary."

"Lady Romila," called Jann from up ahead. He was flanked by a pair of mage sisters, that he had freed from the cursed portraits just days ago. "There's a village up ahead."

"All the way up here?"

Curious, the stern woman took point with Florin close behind to see for herself. There was indeed a small village up ahead, but each structure was nearly twice the size of a regular dwelling. The damaged furniture inside was of the same scale.

"Giants lived here," Jann mused.

"But where are they now?" asked Romila with a hint of trepidation.

"I'm more concerned about what made them leave," said Florin plainly as he poked at a pile of rubble with a stick.

"Let's not hang around to find out, our climb is just beginning."

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Nameless: Crossroads

[This is part of my Creative Writing Experiment.]


"I didn't ever think I'd miss trees," mused Buster as he looked up at the large jungle canopy they were marching through. Arslan, marching along side him at the front of the line just laughed. "The desert only looks like it goes on forever, baldy."

Behind them was Fayina still sporting bruises from Arslan's latest beating and Tabitha who was keeping close to the abused girl, followed by Silvain, a slim and freckled brunette who just days ago served as the alliance book keeper.

"This should be the place," Silvain said as she pushed her spectacles back to the bridge of her nose. The others stopped and looked around. Ironically it was the one eyed Tabitha who first spotted the pair camouflaged in the bushes, her hand instinctively reaching for the hilt of her blade.

"Easy there," said the taller of the two strangers as he pulled off his shimmering cloak to reveal a youthful yet bearded face. "I am Dmitri, and I believe some of you know my mother."

"Dariya!" squealed Silvain excitedly as she rushed over to hug the second figure whose hood had fallen enough to reveal a very old and wrinkled woman beneath. After a short exchange of introductions the grim reality of the task ahead set in once more.

"The seven of us here now just have to decide, who goes after the magic crystal and who goes after the cup of life," stated Dariya in an off kilter tone.

"Bags going for the crystal," said Arslan, proud with himself that he managed to speak up first. Tabitha quickly used it against him.

"I think the men should go after the crystal and we ladies go after the cup."

"The wh... Fayina stays with me!" Arslan demanded.

"No," interrupted Dariya - her weak voice still somehow managing a good measure of authority. "I will go with you, with my son. I expect you ladies to have the cup when we return."

"I swear we will," bowed Tabitha slightly. "On my life."