Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “Nyx – letters”

Nyx, to her sister

Screenshot_20160327_160937 - face only@Zells note: Major spoilers for main quest after the cut.


I have not wanted to write because I don’t like the news I have to share.  When I wrote home last, I was helping King Fahara’jad deal with the rising dead in Alik’r.  I did not mention my concern about who was causing the problem, but now I have to.

The local necromancer cult in Alik’r call themselves the Withered Hand, and they are ambitious.  Worse, however – they have been emboldened by Imperial authority.  The leader who moved in and stirred them to aggressive expansion was no less than Septima Tharn, Magus-General of the Seventh Legion, acting under the direct orders of Regent Clivia Tharn.   I cannot express the disgust, anger, and betrayal I felt when I learned who was behind the sudden increase of necromancy in Alik’r.  I did not want to say it until I knew it was true, but now I’m sure, and you and Papa must know how deep the corruption runs.  No one can be trusted, and the Regency is compromised – the throne cannot stay in her hands; she is actively working to give Mundus over to Molag Bal.

There is a lot I haven’t told you, actually, and I’m sorry for that.  When you’ve asked I have said letters are not a safe way to tell the story, but the truth is (again) that I was avoiding what needed to be said.  And in any case, the secrets that did need to be kept are now known by my enemies, so there is no longer a point to keeping you and Papa in the dark about what I have been doing. Read more…

Nyx, to her sister

Screenshot_20160327_160937 - face only

Dear Sissa,

I couldn’t stay long in Rivenspire – not only is it crawling with vampires, but everything about the place felt gloomy and creepy.  Maybe it’s the rain.  Fortunately, I had a good excuse to leave.  King Emeric’s wife is the daughter of King Fahara’jad of Alik’r, and she asked me to take a message to him.

The heat off the Alik’r sand was such a damn relief, I can’t even say.  It wasn’t how either of our parents wanted it, but for better or worse, I grew up a child of the desert.  And on that note…

Please tell Mother I understand now, why she feels as she does about the risen dead.  We have disagreed so often about her customs – our customs – and I thought I would never be able to understand why she is so unhappy when I talk about slaying the dead and putting them back to rest.  It seemed to me – and yes, Papa is to blame for my Imperial outlook on this – that not only was there no harm in killing the dead, not like with a person, but is in fact, a thing to celebrate, a little less evil in the world, a soul laid back to rest.  I arrived in Sentinel to find the docks overrun with undead, and I must admit I was not kind to the King’s soldiers, who were refusing to cut them down.  Lives were at risk, and I thought the soldiers were cowards.

Then I met the Ash’abah of Alik’r, and now I understand. Read more…

Nyx, to her sister

Screenshot_20160327_160937 - face only


I hear Papa’s home – tell him I’m proud of him for not freaking out any more than he did about the guild initiation.  It isn’t like he’s never been naked in public.  I am a little disappointed, tho’; I’ve accumulated a lot of great blackmail material about Papa from his friends here in Abah’s Landing that I was looking forward to using if he decided to fuss.  Turns out the crusty alchemist who makes Mother’s perfume is a delightful wealth of information about Papa’s younger days here.  If you’re very nice, I’ll share some with you when I’m home next.

Jokes aside, I have some serious news.  When I got Papa’s letter suggesting I spend more time in my clothes, doing work that needs to be done, I was already on my way to Rivenspire.  Now I’ve spent some time there, and the situation is disgusting.  Half the region’s nobility have been seduced by vampires, and the rest are vampires.  I’m not impressed with King Emeric.  Either he’s stupid or he’s corrupted, but he knows his nobles are leeches, and he thinks that’s okay.  Molag Bal’s dropping planemeld anchors right and left, the bloodsuckers are his spawn, and Emeric is fine with them being in control of his people.  He made me promise I would take no action; I have to keep my word.  But tell Papa he should contact his hunter friends and direct them to Rivenspire – in force – things are worse than anyone realizes.  Contacting the Vigilants is also a good idea.

I can’t speak much of the plan to address Molag Bal directly; that’s too dangerous to write down, even though our letters are reasonably secure.  A plan is in play, however.  The amulet will be found again, of that I have no doubt.

On an unrelated note – I’ve mentioned but didn’t really explain that I’ve joined a cross-alliance crafting consortium.  I send them materials as I find them, and they make me custom armor in exchange.  The racist Altmer who crafts my leathers recently summoned (yes, “summoned”, not “bought”) an amazing mount that she’s keeping in our community stable.  She said I could ride it whenever she wasn’t using it.  He’s difficult to describe, a huge cat composed of shadow and lightning – looks like something from a story about Azura.  Just… unspeakably beautiful.  He’s ridiculously flashy, tho’, and the boys in the Guild are giving me shit about being too memorable when the guards start asking questions, but I don’t even care.  I can’t believe the elf’s okay with me riding him, but she doesn’t seem to care much about her possessions.  Rich people, right? I asked his name and she said she hadn’t thought about it – I swear.  I’m calling him Umbra.

Tell Mother I found a nice wooden lapdesk I’m having shipped to her, but what’s inside the desk’s secret compartment is for you.  No hints on finding the drawer or accessing it – if you can’t figure it out, you don’t get the gift.  No cheating and asking Papa for help, either.


Nyx, to her sister

Screenshot_20160327_160937 - face onlySissa,

The situation in Abah’s Landing has eased somewhat – the Iron Wheel is moving their men out – but pass on to Papa that he should still avoid the region for a while longer.  I’ll let him know when.  You can tell him, too, that I had the chance to kill Nicolas, but I let him go.  If Papa wants to remedy that error, I can tell him where to find his former friend.  I just didn’t think it was my choice to make.

There’s a change in the air here, though; people are calming down all around town.  A witch hunt raining down makes everything muddy – the merchant lords all have their fingers in some sticky pie or another, so no one wanted close scrutiny.  So the ‘Landing is breathing a sigh of relief, but the Den is downright giddy as the Wheel pulls out.  A few nights ago, we were sitting around drinking, and I was told about an initiation challenge – apparently I wasn’t put through it because of the situation when I arrived.  They started making jokes about how I wasn’t really one of them, because I hadn’t done the initiation.  Couldn’t let that stand, right?

Indecent Exposure w NyxAnd that’s how I ended up getting arrested for theft and got to be naked in public when all my stolen clothing was repossessed by the guards.  The usual tactic is to carry a spare change of clothes, but I left all my things in the Den and walked back, crossed the place in my underwear, and retrieved my clothes from the banker while everyone laughed and applauded.  They certainly couldn’t say I didn’t commit; now I’m officially a full member of the club.

Speaking of questionable choices I’ve made lately… I succumbed to the wiles of a wild dog,jackal pet and now I have a pet.  I didn’t mean to, but he’s been showing up and wanting to follow me ever since I hit the ‘Landing docks.  The locals call them jackals, but the dock workers say they named this one Mischief… honestly, I do feel like a sucker, but how could I turn away a pet named Mischief?  Besides, he’s adorable and kills mice.  And I’m going to let him crawl all over your clothes when I come home next time, just to annoy you.  Turnabout is fair play and all that – don’t tell me since I’ve been away you haven’t ‘borrowed’ everything I own that’s still in the house.

Have to run – the spices Mother requested are double-bagged and separated from the rest of the items in the package; it should arrive shortly after this letter.  As usual, your real gift is hidden in the center of the bolt of cloth.  This fabric’s a nice damask you should enjoy – the dock handler who slipped it to me assures me it’s very fine quality.


Nyx, to her sister

Nyx in Song of the Night costume - side viewSissa,

I got the clothing you sent, and it’s beautiful.  Highly distracting as well – the merchant who owns the caravan I have been travelling with hires me as backup to his usual muscle, but I spend most of the trips lounging around looking like the his concubine, and none of the other caravan travelers or guards we pass ever notice my weapons, scars, or calluses.  My tailor groused about crafting my leather armor in the Bosmer style – because she’s a racist snob – but we were right; it’s completely camouflaged under the beads and fabric of the new gown.  Thank you.

Wasn’t able to tell you before why I needed the disguise.  The reason is that I stumbled into passage to Abah’s Landing.  Please get word to Pappa to stop trying to contact Nicolas.  At best Nicolas is dead, and at worst, he turned on his own crew – I haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of the story, but you can assure Pappa I’m pursuing it.  The reason he hasn’t been able to get shipments through or get word from anyone he knows is that Nicolas’s last big heist went sideways, and the Abah’s Landing association is in ruins.  No one here knows my face, so I’ve slipped in without disruption, but if Pappa shows up he’ll be in danger.  He won’t be happy to hear it, but tell him to stay away for a while.  I believe he’s crossed paths with the Iron Wheel before?  They are crawling all over Abah’s Landing; he can’t come here.

Months of Pappa sending letters, trying to get info from merchants or mages or shady dealers, looking for shipments that never arrived… I was fencing some goods in Daggerfall and passed by a young Altmer woman, Quen, trying to convince someone to agree to partner her on a heist.  She was laughably green, obviously untested, and her job was in Windhelm, of all places; I nearly passed her by.  But as I walked by, I caught the scent of her perfume – warm spices with an ambergris base; Mother’s favorite.  The only one who mixes that specific scent is that grumpy liar in Abah’s Landing, so despite all the obvious reasons not to agree to take the job, I did.  Got arrested by the Iron Wheel and thrown behind bars, naturally, because that’s what happens with impulsive choices.

But it was worth the hassle.  Once we’d broken out, Quen finally told me her story, and we travelled directly to Abah’s via a tiny little rowboat and the help of an Argonian contact.  Green as she is – Quen, not the Argonian – she’s not incompetent, and I’ve worked with her since, though I stepped up and took lead, so things went more smoothly.  I’m established here now, and I’ll find out about Nicolas and Pappa’s other friends as I get opportunities to investigate it.

I’m including a bottle of Mother’s perfume with this letter; I know how annoyed she’s been to be out of it.  The alchemist who crafts it is every bit as sour as Pappa always said, but his stall is heavenly to be in, as long as he’s not talking.  There’s also a bolt of silk for you to play with, and there should be another present for you, wrapped up in the core of the bolt, unless someone finds it along the way.


Zells Note: Shown in the picture is the Song of the Night costume from the Crown Store.  Props to the devs; the detail is amazing.  The picture doesn’t really do justice to what I’m seeing on my screen.  I play with my computer hooked up to a full-size HD flatscreen television, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have to kick back the settings when I went from the solo games to online, but nope, it’s great.  Overall I’d say there’s less texture on the meshes than is offered by the Skyrim texture packs and mods, but when special clothing goes as far as to show bunching at the seams and detail cording at the edges… that’s extra effort from the graphics team.  I’m impressed and appreciative.   

Nyx, to her sister

Nyx in Stros M'KaiSissa,

I would say the trip was uneventful, that I arrived safely and whole, but I’d be lying.  I won’t go into details now, but you, Mother, and Pappa must be on lookout for agents of Molag Bal.  I defied him by refusing death and enslavement, and in doing so, I made an enemy.

And so has he.

I am well, for now, don’t worry, and don’t join up with the first caravan headed this way.  Mother needs you.  Just stick together, and watch for cultists.

My trip took a detour, but I did finally make it to Stros M’Kai.  It took longer to establish a network than I expected – the war is heating up and everyone is distracted, to put it mildly.  But I got connections made, and can move any merchandise you send my way, if needed.  I also (finally!) have contracted craftsmen for my equipment.  The Altmer making my armor is a snobby, racist ass, but I can’t fault her work, at least.  You’d love the blacksmith I found – I think she said three words the entire meeting, but these blades can split a hair.

Stros M’Kai feels so much like home in so many ways: the sand, the plants, the clumsy dockhands trying to pick my pockets… I love it here.  I’ll head over to Glenumbra soon, but this was a nice layover while I sorted out the supply chain and caught my breath from the trip and its trials.

The first job I was hired to do involved breaking a thief out of jail.  I was unsympathetic, and I can already see the look on your face, because yes – he was the one dumb enough to get caught, right?  But I owed the woman who hired me, and she needed the jailbird’s help.  So I worked my down to the bottom of a petty warlord’s trap-filled dungeon, popped the guy’s cell door, got a heartfelt thanks, and then the bastard teleported himself out and left me to fight my way back out alone.  Way to have my back, Guy Whose Life I Just Saved.  Classy.

This “note” got long, so I’ll let you go.  More information as I have it, and I promise I’ll share details of the Molag Bal issue later.

All my love,

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