Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) part 2: Interior

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI had everything perfectly under control as of Thanksgiving.  Then December happened.  Now it’s mid-January, almost 2 months since my last post, and I honestly feel like it been simultaneously 6 years and about a week. Whew.

I was in the middle of a two-part post giving a tour of one of my houses.  Let’s finish that.  The tour of Zellfire’s Black Vine Villa workshop begins with part 1: the Garden.

Post begins after the cut.

I used every glowing crystal in the game to decorate this place, and one of the lovely side-effects is that every time I come in, I can switch different glowing things on and off, and the light is always different, and always pretty.  I changed them as I took the screencaps, so you can see the different varieties of light.

But I did a lot of preamble last post; let’s get right to it.  Here’s the view as you step through the front door:

Black Vine from front door

As soon as I saw that Clockwork bookshelf (far right, and thanks again, Icy!) I changed some plans so I could include it; it’s so perfect, such an unusual and innovative way to re-imagine bookshelves.  Big kudos to whichever dev came up with the design.  Much applause.  But let’s continue inside.

I wanted large workbenches built into the east wall (on the right).  I tried every large, flat surface I could think of to create them – tables, bookshelves, carts turned on their sides, paintings turned upside down… dozens of things.  I had already used the Daedric platforms to create the little summoning space in the back, and after messing with the benches for literally months, one day it finally occurred to me I could use the Daedric pieces as the bench-tops also.  D’uh, Zells.  Once I did that, all the rest came together quickly.

The support posts are “recycled” Dwemer pipes.  Since ‘Fire is my main crafter, I’m assuming that she built everything here just as she wanted it, using materials she salvaged.  The little “hooks” on the edges of the Daedric platforms are sunk inside the pipes.  The second, lower shelf is a painting turned upside down.workbench

 

My idea for this spot is that Fire is disassembling and re-constructing Dwemer spiders, trying to master the technique that changes a regular spider into an upgraded one with the lambent glow.  Under the bench on the floor is the trophy head from Darkshade Caverns, the Sentinel of Rkugamz.  I wanted to give the impression that Fire’s pulling parts out of other Dwemer objects.  That’s also the reason for the orrery globe on the bench, and the broken factotum – they’re being cannibalized for parts.

A working version of a lambent spider is on the floor, for reference, and the regular one is upside down on the bench by tools and a spare energy gem, awaiting “surgery”.  It’s hard to tell from a screenshot, but that little Theodolite pet looks so concerned about what’s going on, it’s adorable.

BV int workbench2 Dwemer pets

Mistress, what are you doing to Steve?!

I wish I had room for more pets in the house – I’d love to add the Clockwork Skeevaton pet and the Clockwork Dova-fly to this area, but item count is always my nemesis.

Around the corner, we get into the enchanting / power gems research area.

gems workshop area

One of my goals in this workshop was to build a Rube Goldberg machine made out of assembled bits.  I’m fairly pleased with the result, but I wish I’d had brass Dwemer bits to use.  (Dear ZOS, we need more small, Dwemer tinker-toy components!)

BV int contraption-nolabels

My idea here is that the Ayleid crystal thing is a power source, there’s an empty soul gem that’s been drained and combined with the energy from the Ayleid stone, and the combined energies are being refined into that blue flame baking the floating stone, which is the “Replica Stone of Ashalmawia” from Vvardenfell achievements.

Here is the same shot with the “parts” labeled.

BV int contraption

On the shelf above are more soul gems and energy crystals, ready for use in experiments.

The gems & energy crystals collection continues on the next shelf.  On the wall is a Dark Elf bookshelf, turned upside down so that ornamental rail can be a holder for scrolls.  All the way up on top, that white’ish crystal is actually Ice-Heart’s trophy head from Direfrost Keep – you’re looking at it from the side, and the wooden wall plaque is sunk into the bookshelf.

enchanting table area

Since Zellfire is my main crafter, and I had originally thought I’d put one of each of the crafting stations in the workshop, but as I neared the end (and my item count started bumping the ceiling), I realized the only stations that made sense here were enchanting and blacksmithing – this is a metal-and-gems workspace.  If/when we get jewelry crafting, I’ll add that in, but there’s no reason to include a clothing or wood-working station; that’s not what she does here.

You’ve seen the little banekin in other shots; here, near the summoning area, is a signed contract and a soul gem, from when ‘Fire contracted him to stand there and answer questions.

banekin contract

To the left of the contract, that’s a Shadows & Light skull-and-candle from Remains Silent, the Dark Brotherhood supplier, sitting next to the “disassembled” version of a Velothi Reliquary, most of which has been shoved behind the wall.  And, of course, a sigil stone floating above it.  On the shelf above is a (non-functional) dolmen pinion, with a Dreamshard inside.

The summoning area was the first thing I knew I wanted to do in this house, and I’m tickled with the way it came out, mostly.

BV Banekin

The gold ring of the summoning circle is a Redguard Ceremonial bowl, sunk into the floor.  Also under the floor is a Dark Elf censure, which is causing smoke and embers to float up around the banekin’s feet, tho’ it isn’t very obvious in the screencap.  Inside the summoning circle, those are Oblivion books sunk into the floor to create the circle of sigils.  I really wanted to double the number of those sigils – sink in another 8 books in between all those there – then use more, plain books, to fill up the remaining gaps to create a solid, even circle, so it wouldn’t so obviously be a bunch of books.  But alas: item count and I will never be friends, no matter how many of its Fb posts I Like.

And because I think I’m funny, I was careful about the book titles:

BV Banekin - w-title

Then there’s the “storage shelf”.  I love this, because every piece up there was tons of gold, it’s all rare and valuable, and ‘Fire has it stuffed into a storage space like last season’s tablecloths.

BV int storage space

That’s the trophy head from the Assembly General from the Halls of Fabrication, the large green glass cluster is from Vvardenfel, as is the blessing stone and its holder.  Behind those are the large Tanzelwil crystal, and the Engine Guardian trophy head.  And I’ll keep making this joke: if you don’t think that Engine Guardian trophy is the coolest thing ever, you’re dead inside, and I’m not sure we can be friends.  Lastly, on the far right, the Dwemer red-crystal contraption on the right is from the luxury vendor.

Then there are a few trophies here that are actually being displayed as trophies, and I chose each of them because they matter to me, personally:

BV int trophies

The very first group content I ever did was Maw of Lorkhaj, and I only worked up the nerve because a) I really, really wanted the Dro-m’Atha motif, and b) this was before One Tamriel dropped, back when ‘baby Maw’ runs were a thing and we could put the Crown on a baby toon, setting the dungeon to level 10, and just waltz through.  Then OneTam hit, ‘baby Maw’ was dead, and I fell back into the habit of being intimidated by group content.  So Rakkhat is hanging above the fireplace because he was my first. 🙂

After Morrowind came out, a group of friends talked me into doing a group dungeon – Elden Hollow – and when we were done, I got the Chokethorn trophy (upper right in the pic), which I had no idea was going to happen until it did – I had missed that in the patch notes, somehow.

And that was it; I was Officially Over being intimidated by group dungeons, because I needed all the trophy heads, immediately.  I have spent… I don’t even know how many hours of my life figuring out how to do mounted monster busts for my player home mods for the solo games.  I used to update the mods as my character killed new exciting bosses so I could add new heads to the wall as they were earned.

When Homestead came out, my one big disappointment was the lack of monster head trophies, and then, suddenly, there they were, exactly what I wanted.  Chokethorn is not at all my favorite trophy; it looks… ::two dozen dirty jokes retracted::  Anyway.  Not my fave.  But I will never forget the rush I got when it dropped into my collections, and I realized what it was.  So it’s here because it was the one that sucked me in for real.

The Grothdar bust on top of the Dwemer clock (luxury vendor) is because that was my first vet dungeon – and we were on vet by accident, didn’t even realize it until the bust fell into my collections.  Which is probably a good thing, because I would never have agreed to do a vet run, but we did just fine and that taught me more about not being intimidated.  Last but not least… Skoria’s head is on the wall.  Because of course it is.

Hey, Valkyn Skoria: ‘Fire’s wearing your head as a hat.  Finally.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

::ahem:: Back to the tour. 🙂

desk areaHere’s Fire’s little desk/office space.  That’s a Clockwork City desklamp on the desk, which is fab; and one of the Vvardenfell cabinets with a bottle of gears and parts (from the luxury vendor) on top by a scroll.

And coming full circle back to the entrance area:

Precursor

…there’s the Precursor training dummy, also from Clockwork City.  I use my training dummies, but the Precursor is here just because he’s shiny.  He fits into the things-what-Fire’s-assembling vibe, and… he talks, y’all.  “Your aim is improving!” sounds both cheery and condescending – what’s not to love?

And that’s my Black Vine Villa.  Thanks for touring!

Return to Black Vine pt 1: The Garden

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