Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the category “Zellfire”

Quotes from Tamriel

“Have you heard the one about the Telvanni chef?  Her idea of a hot meal was burning down the tower!”
– Guard at Kragenmoor, Stonefalls

“Sheesh, you forget one plate of Fishy Sticks in the oven, burn down one mushroom tower, you hear about it for years.  This is why I don’t cook.” – Zellfire

Zellfire’s ritual journal notes

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceI expected the Khajiit in Reaper’s March to be more concerned about my shadow-cat mount, given how strongly they react to their corrupted Dro-m’Atha kin, but no one seems to care – they seem to recognize their enemy Namira is not part of it.  The level of nuance in their understanding has surprised me several times, and not just in this.  It is possible that I have underestimated the strength and complexity of Khajiit magic.

I certainly did not expect them to ask me to help complete an extensive ritual to choose the new Mane.  Winning over Ayrenn and gaining access to the Altmer royal court was the largest coup I anticipated.  Nonetheless, the new Mane now considers me a friend and owes me a debt.  I’m sure Divayth would be pleased, if I told him.

And I find I’m missing the arrogant bastard, but when I think about contacting him, all I want to do is yell and argue.  Have to wait longer until that passes.

Apologizing is in neither of our natures, but I still do not understand why he reacted so badly – looking back, it seems it was the Dro-m’Atha mount that set him off.  Makes no sense; has to be something else going on in Tel Fyr – why should it bother him more than it does the Khajiit?

They are calling me “Hallowed” now, as a title.  It is… oddly touching.  As aware as I am that having the new Mane indebted to me will no doubt be useful in the future, I must admit, here if nowhere else, that’s not why I did it.  It was enough in the moment to follow the path to its end, and enjoy the satisfaction of fulfilling that purpose.  I do not generally put much stock into prophecies and sacred titles or duties – they are constructs – but… well.  I will repeat that there is more to the Khajiit magic and beliefs than I first suspected.  What I used to see as an obsession with the moons is actually a rich and powerful system.

Another surprise: I am nearly certain that Azura has become involved in my affairs.  I’ve suspected the Prince’s presence a couple of times since I summoned the Dro-m’Atha mount, but I am certain I felt it during the Moon Hallowed ritual, even though I have no proof.  It is interesting that I have caught “her” interest; we have not had many dealings in the past, though I know Divayth sometimes does.  I have never thought much about Azura, but given what I’ve seen, I can imagine it would be… interesting, at least.

It was incredibly satisfying to kill Javad Tharn; such a delight to find he was behind the attacks in Reaper’s March and the Mane.  I had to work with Abnur last week, and his continual, petty insults get under my skin.  I should have killed him when I had the chance, despite what Divayth wanted.

writing myself into various corners

@Zells - sepia stone - smallWhen I started this blog, I assumed I’d be writing regular story-line updates for my mains as I did the quests.  What actually happened is that I binge-played through a whole bunch of story very quickly during my downtime on the weekends, but didn’t have time to update the blog as much as I wanted during the week due to grad school.  So story-line-wise, the blog is way behind where the characters are.  That dampened my enthusiasm for writing the blog for a while, but lately I’ve been mostly farming motifs, so there’s been no real “story” for my characters, and I’m working on catching up with the threads I started.

On that note, however – couple of story issues have also been giving me trouble.  Generally speaking, TES world is well-realized and makes internal sense.  When I see things that exist solely because it’s a video game, I have to fan-wank it until I can smooth out the edges and make it fit. I saw the Dro-m’Atha mount and immediately wanted it, but I’m at a loss to explain how my reasonably-good-aligned characters are okay with riding a creature made by Namira specifically to bring corruption to the world.  (Both the Maw of Lorkhaj and the Reaper’s March zone quests directly involve fighting the Dro-m’Atha; they’re bad guys.)  Nyx wouldn’t touch anything of Namira’s with a ten-foot pole.  Zellfire is more morally flexible, but being a creature of fire she’s metaphysically opposed to Namira, as fire is traditionally what is used to cleanse corruption.

So my fan-wank was to decide the Dro-m’Atha also exist in Azura’s Twilight Realm, that there’s “overlap” of the spheres in Oblivion, and the “tame” mounts we’re all riding are Azura’s, not Namira’s.  That works fine in my head and soothes the “but whyyyyy” itch, but it’s also not canon, and as I proceed forward with Zellfire’s story, it includes more Azura and gets less canon.  I’ve been disinclined to write it here for fear the “what the hell is she on about?” quotient just gets too high, since it doesn’t exactly jibe with what’s in the game.

I didn’t intend for ‘Fire’s argument with Divayth to stretch out for weeks of real time, but I had to figure out if I wanted to resolve it in the way that I’d originally conceived, or if I wanted to change the approach and write-out Azura.  I don’t, though.  So I’m going to keep proceeding forward, and I’ll flag the non-canon bits as I can.

(“Nobody cares this much but you, Zells.”  Yeah, I’ve heard that before.)

Related note: before we lost “baby maw runs” to OneTamriel, I finished collecting all the motif pieces for the Dro-m’Atha armor and weapons, and they are awesome-looking.  Nyx is a night-themed character (“Nyx” in mythology is the Greek goddess of night) and she looks gorgeous in her Dro-m’Atha armor.  I’m looking forward to posting pictures. 🙂

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

Your courier caught up with me; I burned the letter unopened.  I told you I would let you know when my temper had cooled.  It hasn’t, yet.

Incidentally – you asked me not to attack Abnur Tharn unless he attacked me first.  He has not, but I did enjoy killing his nephew Javad, who did attack me.  I hope that is not “inconvenient” for you.



Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

I have received your messages.  Or rather, I received the first eleven of them, decided I had seen all I needed to see for a while and that eleven was a fortuitous number at which to stop.  I have instructed the Mage’s Guild to destroy any further communications from you until I give them different instructions.  They balked at first, but I told them they could charge your account three times the usual fee as compensation for the extra service and that resolved the matter quite nicely.

At this point you are already ranting aloud at me in your study, but honestly, if you wanted an obedient minion, you should not have crossed your own DNA with a fire atronach.  I have a difficult time feeling sorry for you regarding the “trials” I am putting on you – I mean that, as you should know, quite literally: sympathy is not an emotion that comes easily to me.  By your own design, as you might recall.

I am not normally inclined to justifying or defending my actions.  As you are not.  But out of respect and affection, I will address your concerns. Read more…

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceSer Paatr,

Have you ever met or had dealings with Abnur Tharn?  Is he a necessary contact or source of information?  Is he useful to you?

Am fantasizing about setting him on fire.  Please advise.

Your flame,

Zellfire’s ritual journal notes

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - face*Zells note: Most of the entries I do for the characters function at least partly as role-play explanations of things that happen in the game, but that’s especially true of this post, which is my version of how my characters got access to the Dro-m’Atha Senche limited edition mount.  (Besides “it was in the Crown Store” and “I’m a sucker”, I mean.)  There’s a little bit of in-game explanation, in that the people-shaped Dro-m’Athra are corrupted Khajiit, probably Namira’s doing originally, but the information’s a bit sketchy.  I took some liberties, and loosely tied the Dro-m’Atha Senche to Azura, given that she is also worshipped by the Khajiit (as Azurah), and the Dro-m’Atha Senche has twilight associations.  YMMV, as they say, but I’m not claiming this is canon, just my fan-wank.

new page4 DAYS LEFT!
Twilight-Senche summoning

Overheard this afternoon a pair of Bosmer and Khajiit mages discussing an unusual astrological conflux .  Apparently for a span of about 5 days, it will be possible to summon and form a bond with a senche mount made of twilight, using an adapted form of the ritual used to summon Azura’s winged twilight servants.  Must investigate.

rest of page filled with astrological glyphs and alignment configurations
Read more…

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceSer Paatr,

While the tree canopy still feels oppressive and continuously wet, and I cannot say that I’ve grown fond of Bosmer, I must concede that their spiritual practices are not entirely intolerable or without merit.  I had an experience with one of their holy men a few weeks ago that – although moving at the time – I did not expect to have lasting impact.  Nonetheless, it appears that it has.  I feel foolish bringing it up, but since the effects seem to keep making themselves known, I feel I should mention it to you.

There is a cult in Grahtwood who call themselves the Brackenleaf Briars.  As a side-effect of being a known associate and unofficial representative of Queen Ayrenn, the Briars offered to initiate me into their cult.  Under normal circumstances I would have declined, but under normal circumstances, they would not have offered.  However, Ayrenn requested I do everything I could to foment convivial relationships between the peoples of the Dominion whenever possible, so I acquiesced to the initiation.

I did not, as I said, expect to feel touched by the ceremony, but I was.  After proving myself to the cult, the initiation ritual connected me to a being they refer to as a “spirit animal”.  I have heard the expression before, and always assumed such a binding ritual would be bloody and horrific.  On the contrary, it was remarkably… it is difficult to describe.  Suffice to say, I was joined by the spirit of the Senche who live in the forest, and it was a profound and even beautiful experience.  Still, it was a memory I expected to enjoy and then let fade – yet that is not what has happened.  The Senche seem to have become a permanent part of my life in some way.  A spirit Senche helped me during a recent mission, and a group of them came to peacefully rest near me while I was crafting a new robe near the Belarata ruins in Malabal Tor.

A few nights ago I overheard a group of Bosmer mages discussing a quirk in the astrological alignments which will briefly allow the conjuring of a Senche-shaped twilight beast to use as a mount.  It’s apparently an adaptation of a ritual used to summon one of Azura’s winged minions – they inhabit similar shadow realms – but it can only be performed under certain conditions and within a very narrow timeframe.  I believe I will return to the Brackenleaf camp during the summoning window and see if I can conjure this Dro-m’Atha Senche; my spiritual connection to the Senche should be enough to help the beast manifest.

There is probably little relevance to this set of events, but since it appears to be a permanent effect, I felt I should make you aware in case it affects your own attunements.

Your Flame,

Zellfire, to Divayth

Zellfire close upSer Paatr,

I mentioned I had met Queen Ayrenn, and that it appeared she had taken me into her confidence.  I understated the matter somewhat, primarily because I assumed the warm demeanor was merely a gambit on her part.  It seemed inconceivable someone well trained in high court politics would so readily adopt a near-stranger into her inner circle.  It was more likely she recognized the name of my house and was attempting to curry favor from you, rather than wishing to form any real connection with me.

Apparently, however, it was no front.  Despite my name, my associations with the Telvanni, a thousand other details a Queen should certainly be expected to notice, she nonetheless assumes I am an Altmer.  Her rebellious days as an adventurer have not been misconstrued by rumor; deep in her heart she is truly a wild thing, and she still yearns to explore tombs and tussle with bandits, rather than ruling.  I originally cursed inwardly that I met her straight off the road, still covered in dust with fresh gouges in my staff and scorch marks on my robes, but now I understand it was the best possible introduction.  She trusts me, far more than she should, partly because she believes she sees herself in me; she has outright said as much.

Enough preamble; I have incredible, impossible news: the Orrery at Elden Root is once again functional.  It was not an easy task to accomplish, and it’s entirely possible that a Khajiit god is now angry with me, but I am certainly not fond of him, either, the rapacious bastard.  That’s a fight for another day, however, and it did have a purpose.  The Orrery was reconstructed and brought back to life because the Bosmer insisted they needed divine proof of the Queen’s right to rule, proof that only the Orrery could provide… they then tasked the Queen (or, more properly, the Queen’s agents) with finding the items necessary to reinvigorate the ancient machine and bring it back to life.  When the Bosmer mages explained the mantle of a god was needed to re-spark the Orrery, I had to repress a laugh – of all the ways to passively block Queen Ayrenn’s ascension, requiring her champion to take on a god is actually a fairly intelligent choice.  But I was successful.

The trick required the Khajiit god’s mantle because in order to fire the machine an operator has to be in three places simultaneously to manipulate the controls; the god’s mantle allowed this.  But you have other ways of being in three places at once, do you not?  It seems to me that some of the Ayleid ruins in your journals might be worth re-visiting, with this trick in mind.  Perhaps there’s another Orrery still undamaged enough to function, if fired correctly.

I am, of course, including a complete, detailed report of the machine’s functions, with sketches of the controls and relevant information about the Orrery’s construction, astral alignments, and other esoteric data you will require.

One additional note of import: Prince Naemon is dead.  The official story is that he died a hero.  The truth is that he attempted to subvert Ayrenn’s ascension by diving into the Orrery before her and claiming the right to rule for himself.  The machine transformed him to a monster, and I was finally allowed the joy of killing him, which – to be perfectly frank – has long needed doing.  It was obvious he was at least tacitly involved in his wife’s coup attempt, and if Ayrenn weren’t so soft she would have ordered his execution immediately after we discovered the depth of Esme’s treachery.  I started to suggest it, but understood it would have damaged Ayrenn’s trust in me, and it seemed reasonable to assume I’d be given a chance to kill him later, so I waited and the chance did indeed come to pass.

That is more than enough for now.  I will cease my ramblings and let you turn to the Orrery’s schematics, assuming you have not already done so.

Your Flame,

Zellfire, to Divayth

Zellfire close upSer Paatr,

Auridon was lovely, and I already miss it.  I had some concern when I first arrived that I would never get used to their architecture; it is so square and flat and dead compared to the living Telvanni towers of Tel Fyr, so strange to be in a building that doesn’t breathe or grow.

I became accustomed to the style, however, and even came to like it.  And I’m not just saying that because of how well those dead-wood houses burn… though I must admit there’s a certain appeal to a structure that large in the grips of a conflagration, whether I caused it or not.

But Queen Ayrenn requested I meet her in Grahtwood, and so I came to the Bosmer forest capitol of Elden Root.  I suppose it comes as no surprise that it’s filled with Bosmer, and yet I am, nonetheless, continually and unpleasantly surprised by them.  Their alcohol is simply disgusting, and I will spare you the details of it.  The biggest source of discomfort, however, are the trees and tree-houses.  Our mushrooms don’t  press in on one with such humid intensity; they don’t blot out the sun with branches and vines and leaves.  I should feel at home inside the Bosmer living-wood structures, circular and so much more similar to ours than the dead Altmer boxes, and yet I am always relieved to step back outside.  Naturally, of course, the Bosmer abjure teleportation or levitation magic, and you would not believe the number of steps I have been forced to climb since my arrival.  It is tedious and uncivilized.

I am enclosing some beautiful and unusual plant specimens from the region in case they are helpful with your medicinal research.  The Bosmer are sitting on an extraordinary wealth of potent fauna, but they have a religious prohibition that prevents them from picking a single flower or even harvesting ripe fruit.  I won’t pretend to understand their squeamishness, but am happy to benefit from it and harvest the plants they leave untouched.  The alchemist with whom I have contracted has been inspired by my shipments, and has sent me the most amazing tinctures as a result.  Nothing you couldn’t brew, of course, but far better than I expected from a freelancer.

Time presses; I must conclude.

Your Flame,

Post Navigation