Post Issac

Well, hurricane, or tropical storm, Issac is over. I live in Louisiana, so I keep an eye on the gulf as far as hurricanes are concerned. Fortunately I was on the good side of the hurricane so it wasn’t too bad for me. No power outages and no downed trees in my neighborhood… I don’t know the full scope of the damage all over the place though. Last night the winds and rain was at its worst. All I had to do was sit back in my home and wait for it to pass.

Hope everyone else is safe and dry. =)

Mists are parting

So today is the big day when patch 5.0.4 is released. I considered patch 5 to be the actual MoP patch,but the official MoP isn’t launching until September 25th. To me, I’d think that this was patch 4.5…. just switch the numbers around a lil’bit!

Anyway, I’ve always known that Theramore Isle would get sacked sooner or later. With the Alliance there, it’s like being in the Horde’s backyard, and with Jaina living there… well, if Theramore is coming under Horde attack, it makes me wonder what will happen. Clearly they weren’t there in the Pit of Saron when she froze the reanimated soldiers and killed them. “Forgive me!” she says softly. On the Horde side, it’s Sylvanis who kills her own troops while cursing them out to be incompetent. Different ways of looking at your world. The Horde also were not there in the Throne Room. While my party of 5 was killing spirits and fighting bosses in the room where the sword was resting, Jaina runs on ahead and takes on the Lich King singlehandedly. Nowadays we can probably kill him easily… if Jaina doesn’t freeze him in place and say that we have to make a run for it. But the point is, she spent maybe 5-10 minutes soloing him alone while the 5 of us dealt with trash mobs and the two bosses in the sword room. She can kick some serious butt when she wants too.

My advice to the Horde? I wouldn’t be surprised if she learned how to cast Mass Polymorph… I can hear the Bahhhs from here in Stormwind. I could port on over on my own mage and visit Jaina to find her surrounded by hundreds of sheep with helmets on their heads and weapons cluttering up the floor about them.

“Jaina, what’s going on?”

“Oh, well the Horde decided to make an unprovoked attack upon my castle, so I decided to test my newest spell, Mass Polymorph. It seems to be working well.”

“SWEET! Can you teach me that!? PLEASE!!!”

Can you imagine if this was a real spell? First thing on a battle ground like in Warsong Gultch, or worse yet Alterac Valley, an enemy mage casts it and all 10-40 players are sheeped for ten seconds. Yeah. Blizzard is as close to doing this as they are to removing fear from the game, which is no chance at all.

So anyway, since Theramore is supposed to be destroyed, I don’t know what Jaina’s fate will be. My comical version would be that she sheeps the entire Horde army, but what I think is really going to happen is that she’ll teleport to SW and hang out there, or she’ll die. Either way I hope to find a sheep somewhere in all this, heh.

Last night I went into the game and took some images of Theramore, recording some of it. And then I edited it to music and put it on Youtube. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

The Horn, the Inn, and the Dragon

Okay, procrastinating over. I decided to go and find the tomb where the founder of the Greybeards is buried and find this horn of his and bring it back to High Hrothgar. First thing inside are a couple of wizards who’ve resurrected dead bodies to do all the digging for them, and I hide behind a fallen pillar for a minute to listen in. Turns out that raising the dead only lasts so long and the reanimated corpses wind up turning to dust and being unable to be used again. They complain about that for a second, then go down a tunnel to see what their friends found. I follow them and watch then take on some Draugr, and they actually won!

(Note: In past playings, I’ve killed the wizards in the first chamber, then went down the tunnel to find one or two wizards fighting the draugr, and the draugr usually won, so this time when I waited and followed and saw the wizards win the fight I thought to myself, “Oh.” and went ahead and killed the wizards as per usual.)

So in between killing wizards and draugr and the occasional spider, I also take gold out of any urns I can find and open any treasure chests I see. Eventually I find the main chamber, and when I get up to the tomb, there is a sort of statue on top of it shaped like a hand, and it was holding a note. Wait… no horn? Where’s the horn!?

So I grab the note and read it. Apparently a friend wants me to meet them at the Inn in Riverwood. It says to rent the attic room, but I don’t recall them having an attic room. Hmm. Behind the tomb I spot a door and go through it. There I find a lot more gold, several coins strewn on the floor. My guess was that whoever took the horn used this secret passage, which would explain why I had to fight past draugr and spiders (the wizards must have just moved in recently). I get out of the secret passage in a room I already visited, which is full of urns that I had already emptied. I exit the room and make my way back to the entrance to the crypt.

After a nice long walk I make it back to Riverwood. They have a few guards there now. I had gone to Whiterun to tell the Jarl about the attack on Helgen and request guards to help defend Riverwood in case of a dragon attack. Hopefully it’s also helped defend the town from bandits. So I go up to the inn and head on inside and just out of curiosity, I look up. Nothing up there but rafters. I glance around, and see no stairs. Right. Attic room. Sure. I go and ask Delphine if I can rent the attic room. And I pay her the ten gold even though I don’t sleep in there. She states that there is no attic room, but I can have the room on the left. I head into it, and nobody’s there.

Next thing I know, Delphine is right behind me, and she gives me the horn. Well how about that! After a long conversation in a secret basement of hers, she informs me that I can kill dragons permanently by stealing the dragon’s souls. Apparently, as a dragonborn, when I absorb a slain-dragon’s soul, then that dragon can never come back to life ever again. And in the past, several dragons were killed and buried in this big mounds (I’ve seen a few that were still intact and one or two that looked like a meteor impact… in which case a live dragon was nearby). Delphine knows where the next one is supposed to be resurrected, so we head out of the inn and go to Kynesgrove. Just behind the town up on the hill is a dragon burial mound.

And we arrive just in time to see a big black dragon shout at it, and the result is that the earth seems to blast open and a dragon comes out of the ground. So it’s true. Dragons are coming back to life. And this black dragon is the culprit… not only that, but I’ve seen this dragon before. It was the same one that attacked Helgen just before I was to be executed. I’d thank him right there and then…. But he tells his newly revived pal to eat me, so… nah. I’ll get to you later! While the black dragon flies away, I kill the revived dragon, and then I take it’s soul. Delphine is now convinced and tells me everything I wanted to know.

Delphine is the last member of The Blades, an order soldiers who used to work with the dragonborns and slay dragons. When the dragons seemed the be gone for good, they went on to become the king’s personal guard, but after the great war 20 years ago, the Blades have all but disappeared. But now that I’m around, The Blades have a purpose again… even if it is just one member. Delphine headed back to Riverwood to plan what to do next. Meanwhile I’m heading up to High Hrothgar. I have a horn to return.

Legends of Skyrim

Catching up on my reading. No newspapers in this world, it’s all word of mouth news from inn keepers and couriers.

So I flip flopped back to Whiterun and hung out for a bit. I had a lot of things to sell, and several items to disenchant. While I was in Dragonsreach I enchanted a few rings, bought a few spellbooks and sold all my rings to Farengar. This resulted in a profit for me in more ways than one. Got as much gold as I could from the transaction as well as some new spells.

Then I spotted a small room to the left of the Alchemy and Enchanting tables and peeked inside and found several books I had yet to read. Three of them started quests. You can probably find these books by random chance, but I found them all in one room. Nice.

The first book is called Lost Legends, which mentions the Pale Lady, the Red Eagle legend of the reach, and also hints at one legend that starts the quest in question, and that would be the forbidden legend of the Archmage Galdur. The book tells of how Galdur was wise and just and many people sought out his aid and counsel. Then he was murdered, and his three sons fled and were pursued and put down. Once dead, all their names were struck from history by order of king Harold. The only known mention is, well… in this book, and it hints that one of the brothers died in a tomb known as Folgunthar, which is just south of Solitude. So it’s something to check out. =)

The second book is the Legend of Red Eagle, which tells the story of a man born in the reach who was named Faolan, which means Red Eagle in the tongue of the Reach. I wonder what Amaki’dar would mean to them… maybe “throw-rug” since I’m a cat. Anyway, he’s in this tomb now, and it turns out that if his sword is returned, then he will rise again to rule the people in the Reach when they are free again. So now I wonder where the sword is now, and if his tomb holds anything of significant value… and maybe Faolan might be a Draugr now and should be put out of his misery… hmm.

(Dawnguard content here:) Then there was the third book, The Aetherium Wars. It details on an element called Aetherium, which is described as a luminescent blue crystal that is found in some Dwemer ruins, although it is very rare to find any these days since the Dwemer are extinct and their great cities lie in ruins. The book also hints at a forge that can process the crystal and forge things out of it. I’m curious as to what I can make. I’m up to the level of Blacksmithing where I can make elven armor, so I’m hoping I can handle the Aetherium. We’ll see.

Well, that’s enough reading for me. *puts book back on shelf* Now I get to go find out more about these legends, or go get the horn for those Greybeard guys. Up to me. =)

Markarth: The City of Stone

Front entrance to Markarth, a city made entirely of stone and where half the buildings are built into the mountainside.

So I made it to Markarth. All the buildings were carved out of the very rocks, and the Palace of Stone is set into the face of the mountainside. Almost all the buildings have an underground feel to them. Even the beds are made of stone, but then they do say a harder mattress is better for your back.

A young woman named Margaret gets brutally murdered, and her killer shouts out, “The Reach belongs to the Forsworn!” and goes about on a rampage before the guards kill him.

The city of stone they call it, and first thing when I set foot into town, I witness a miner stab a woman in the back right there in the marketplace. A shop keeper yelled something about the Forsworn, but then the guards intervened and said there was no forsworn in the city at all. Then a man who just exited the inn comes up to ask what happened. I told him what I saw, and then he presses a note into my hand, claiming I dropped it and that it was mine. Once he left, I opened it and read it. “Meet me at the Shrine of Talos” it says. Hmm.

Eltrys' Note

The note Eltrys said I dropped. Right. Okay then!

So I go into the shrine of Talos, and there he is, leaning against a stone pillar near the shrine to Talos. He tells me that his name is Eltrys, that his father died to the Forsworn, and he has a son on the way and wants the Forsworn threat to end. Turns out people are murdered in the streets and the Forsworn attacks aren’t being handled by the guards at all. He wants to find out why, so he asks you to look into the most recent murder.

Eltrys met me here in the dimly lit shrine of Talos. Here he tells me about the Forsworn attacks and wants me to try and stop it.

To start I check out the victim’s room that was rented at the Silver Blood Inn and I found her journal, which stated something about Thonar Silver-Blood, so I go question Thonar. Long story short, he was supposedly controlling the Forsworn, but they’re getting out of hand somehow.

Then I went to look into the living quarters of the murderer, and I found that he had received a note telling him to attack the marketplace, and it was signed with the initial N. Once I was outside, I met a thug who thought to teach me a lesson, so I brawled with him. I wound up teaching him a lession: Never brawl with a Kajiit – Claws FTW! I asked him who sent him, and he tells me Nepos the Nose. What an alias…. So I go to the house belonging to Nepos and met with him. Nepos sends the letter to the murderer, and has done so repeatedly, all on the orders of The King in Rags, Madanach, who is currently imprisoned in Cidna Mine, which is also the jail for Markarth. Nepos tells me how he receives orders from Madanach and carries them out, and that they are the Forsworn who are the true rulers of the Reach. Then he and his servants try to kill me.

Needless to say, his house now needs cleaning.

After I killed Nepos I raced back into the Shrine of Talos to tell Eltrys everything I found out, but Eltrys is dead… at the hands of the city guards! It seems that the guards had it easy, but now that I had been snooping around they have to work, work, work, and so they framed me for murdering Eltrys. I had two choices. I could go quietly, or I could fight my way out.

But Eltrys wanted to stop the Forsworn, and their leader was in Cidna Mine… So I went quietly. After all, the easiest way to get into prison is to be a prisoner. Why break into prison?

Once in jail, I was in some ragged trousers and I had nothing on me. All my armor and weapons were gone. I had no keys, no lock picks, no nothing. I could serve time by digging up silver ore and then be freed, but I had ulterior motives. I did mine up as much silver as I could though – I figured once I broke out of jail I’d have to find some way to buy armor and weapons and all. I am pretty good at pickpocketing by this point… and you won’t believe how many prisoners carried Skooma on them. Pretty soon my pockets were weighed down with silver and skooma. I traded a bottle of skooma with one prisoner to get a shiv, which is a very small blade that I could use for fighting (yeah, I have claws, but I decided to get a shiv anyway), and then I bribed an Orc guard with a bottle to get through a tunnel and see Madanach.

He’s an old man, wearing the same rags as anyone else in the prison, working at a table writing a letter or something. Two stabs later and he was dead. May Eltrys’ soul rest in peace knowing that I found the cause of his father’s death and ended his influence on the Reach. Then I looked through his pockets and found a key and a note. Turns out Madanach had an escape route dug out in the prison that led into some dwarven ruins! I snag the key, use it on a gate leading into an empty prison cell, and take off down the tunnel and into the ruins.

One dead frostbite spider later, I was back in the streets, and right there in front of me was Thonar Silver-Blood. The Forsworn had killed his wife, even though they were supposed to be under his control. But now he knows that Madanach is dead now, so the Forsworn attacks in the city should stop. He rewards me with a family ring made out of silver and returns all of the things the guards confiscated from me when I was imprisoned, and told me I was cleared of all charges. I’m a free citizen again in Skyrim.

Skooma making 101

So I tried using the Creation Kit to make my own Mod for Skyrim today. I focused on making it possible to craft your own Skooma. There are already many various addons for Skooma in the game, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so I made my own mod, and now it’s online for all to try out.

Now according to the Skyrim wiki website, Skooma is made from moonsugar and nightshade, and I made one recipe based on that, and there is a high-grade skooma recipe as well that required the same ingredients, but you add powdered mammoth tusk to it. Then I remembered the Redwater Skooma from the Dawnguard expansion and I decided to make my own variety: Red Leaf Skooma, which takes moonsugar, nightshade, and purple mountain flowers. I know, I could have used red mountain flowers, but the red ones restore magicka while the purple ones restore stamina, and Skooma restores stamina. I might change the recipe up a bit more in the future, and I might even come up with my own version of Balmora Blue.

Of course I can’t hope to compete with other mod-makers out there, but I made this for myself mostly, and if other players enjoy it and use it and love it, then I’m glad I was able to contribute to the gaming community. ^_^

Trip Through The Reach

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So I departed Whiterun and decided to run all the way to Markarth. It’s the city that is farthest west in Skyrim and is set back into some mountains, as such it is a very long and perilous journey for travelers. Still, I am a great archer and not too bad with a couple of daggers, as long as I have the element of surprise that is. So naturally it took several slashes of my daggers to kill this Orc that suddenly runs up and starts attacking me. He was clothed in some ragged trousers, along with some imperial gauntlets and boots. But he was unarmed; just attacking with his fists, so I drew my daggers and stabbed and sliced away. When I checked his pockets, he had some food and drink, including an apple pie, which I took and I left the rest.

Then as I continued along the road I met this farmer who was walking with a cow behind him, but the cow looked different. The cows of Skyrim are actually wooly cattle, cows that have long coats of fur that help keep them warm, which is necessary since Skyrim is mostly an icy cold climate. But the thing that is odd with this cow is that it has blue paint over it’s body in strange patterns.

I chat with the farmer, and it turns out he’s offering the cow to some giants nearby, and the paint on the cow is to symbolize it so the giants know it is a gift. The farmer assures me that he needs no help, so I leave him be. He mentioned something about how offering the giants something keeps them from attacking the rest of his herd, and he gives the giants an animal once a year. So I leave, and wish him the best of luck as he leads the wooly cow away.

Eventually I leave the wide open plains of Whiterun Hold and start to follow a path that leads the way through some mountains. Juniper trees grow along the roads, which I pick because the berries are good in alchemy. The properties of Juniper are Weakness to Fire, Fortify Marksman, Regenerate Health, and Damage Stamina Regeneration. I might make some potions for archery later.

Along the way through the valley of rock and waterfalls, I find Old Hroldan, which is a historic site of the first victory for Tiber Septim. An inn is here and you can rent the very bed that Tiber Septim slept in. I just hope they changed the sheets because he’s been dead for hundreds of years.

Back on the road then, I find another Orc. This time I spotted him from a distance and immediately crouched down to sneak by, but even when he saw me he made no move to attack me. Instead, he commented on how tired I was and offered a pick-me-up.

My pointed ears twitch, though he can’t see it because of my helmet, and I can almost smell the moon sugar on him. So I sneak around behind him and pick his pocket. Sure enough, he’s a Skooma dealer.

((Note: Skooma is a potion that restores stamina, and stamina is used for power attacks with melee weapons, zooming in your view with archery if you have the perk, and for sprinting so you can run faster from place to place. In the game, Skooma is made from Moon Sugar and Nightshade, and is a highly addictive narcotic, and is also illegal in Skyrim and many other realms I guess. Kajiit are infamous and making and selling it as well as Moon Sugar, and they are naturally resistant to it and are less effected than other races. The side effects of Skooma are euphoria, followed by protracted lethargy.))

Looking through pockets, I find that this Orc has 3 bowls full of Moon Sugar, 6 bottles of Skooma, and 2 bottles of Sleeping Tree Sap. I never had the sap before, but the Skooma is great. Being a Kajiit, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. So instead of buying it, I pick the orc’s pockets clean.

((Note: If your pickpocket ability is low, like below 30 or so, then take one or two items at a time, exit the pickpocket menu, then quick-save the game. Then pick pocket a few more items, then quick save, again and again until you’ve cleared out his pockets. This helps so you can just quick load if you get caught pick pocketing and then try again without having to start completely over. It takes time, but it is doable. Just FWI.))

After the Orc was Skooma-less, I drew my daggers, came up behind him and slashed his throat. Sure, it would have probably been better to let him live so he could get more Skooma and stuff later, so later on I could pick pocket him again, but I had no guarantee that he’d recognize me and attack me in the future.

Or the past… It occurs to me now that the Orc-Skooma Dealer looked exactly like the Orc I killed in Whiterun. Maybe the Whiterun Orc was the future version of the Orc-Skooma Dealer and he traveled back in time to try and kill me before I went into the reach to pick his pockets. So I killed his future self, then his past self… So maybe I didn’t kill his future self at all now… Maybe I should go back to Whiterun and see if his body has disappeared since I already killed him and therefore I couldn’t kill him twice.

But if I killed his future self, which should no longer exist, then what’s this apple pie doing in my bags? I think I created a time paradox. I hope it only destroys the pie instead of the whole universe. I need Dr. E. L. Brown on this one…

Anyway, back to my travels through The Reach.

Beautiful Day!

The sun’s out for a change! We’ve been getting a lot of rain over the last few days, or weeks, so we’ve have plenty of water. I sat outside in the sun for a bit, as if to welcome it’s return. Now it’s back to work, and my coffee is waiting, hahaha!

New info on MoP: Rep Grinds

There is a mathematical solution to rep grinding in today’s WoW, and it started in Wrath and might just end with Cataclysm. The formula is thus:

Faction Tabbard + Dungeons = Reputation Points

Well, We’ll still have tabbards come Mists, but they won’t be available at friendly. Looks more like we’re going back to the Burning Crusade type of reputations where the Tabbards are really the rewards rather than the tools, which on one level I think is nice. I used to say we ought to have two tabbards per faction. One should be available at friendly that provides a small reward per monster kill in the dungeons, and the other tabbard would be available once you are exaulted with said faction. The difference would be in the artwork of the tabbards. The friendly version would be very simple while the exaulted version would feature better artwork and would be easy to distinguish, so people could look at you and if they see which tabbard you have they could go, “Oh wow! They have a different tabbard than mine, but it looks familiar! Hey! You! How did you get that? Oh, okay, thanks! Can’t wait to get mine.” It’d be like changing the tassel on your hat from one side to the other at your graduation ceremony…. and then you throw the hat into the air with everyone else even though the elders told you not to during rehearsal. 😛

Now in this article, they mentioned a lot of factions, and since it’ll take a lot of quests to grind them all to exaulted, they didn’t have the 25 daily quest limit when they tested it all. Whether it’s been permanently lifted from the game, we don’t know, but if they have so many daily quests, we’d best keep our fingers crossed.

Here is the link to the website that has the news article I read this morning on reputation grinds. The fishing faction does offer a new fishing pole, but it doesn’t increase the skill any higher than the pole I got from the Kalu’ak, the tribe of Tuskarr that’s in Northrend. But there are plenty of rewards out there, and I hope to get my hands on most of them asap! =)

http://www.wowjuju.com/_/wowarticles/mop-factions-quick-preview-and-quartemasters-l-r209

Amaki’Dar and her journey to the Greybeards (plus random journeying)

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So I, Amaki’Dar, left the province of Whiterun and journeyed along the southern road that winds around the mountain. It’s been a week since I was first captured crossing the border into Skyrim and my escape from the chopping block in Helgen, and I passed up the town and saw that it was now left in ruins, and that bandits have occupied it. Nice. I passed them by.

Eventually the road becomes snowy and the air much more chilly and I encounter a trio of men standing around in the snow, drinking. They’re revelers, three buddies who are sometimes sighted in the wilderness usually off the side of the road, and one of them offers me a drink, which I accepted. Then they wished me well and started walking away. One of them was… well, almost naked. I had to wonder how drunk you’d have to get to want to take off your clothes in such a snowy climate. I just shrugged my shoulders and continued my journey.

Along the way as I enter a warmer area I encounter a lot of wild creatures back to back. I’m talking about giant frost spiders, wild wolves, and to top it all off a dragon swooped down and started attacking me and the wolves!

Once the dragon is vanquished I make it to the small village of Ivarstead and I overhear a conversation from a man named Klimmek who travels up the 7000 steps to High Hrothgar, my destination, to drop off supplies to the Greybeards. He’s too tired to make the journey so I offer to do it for him.

Sure enough my journey is slowed by the occasional spider or wolf, and in one instance a creature called and Ice Waith, which is a floating snake made of ice crystals that gives off a frosty mist and makes a strange hissing noise. I  reached to top of the mountain where a small castle-like building is situated. Once inside I learn two new words of power and then I get a new task to do. I have to go to a crypt and retrieve a horn that belonged to the founder of the Greybeards.

As predicted, I procrastinate. I went down to Falkreath and help the Jarl there by clearing out some bandits and becoming a Thane of Falkreath. Then once that’s done I go up to Hjaalmarch and enter the small town of Morthal where I saw one ruined building and learned that it was destroyed by a fire. After investigating, I learned that the town was under a secret attack by vampires who planned to make everyone slaves and to be used as “cattle” for the vampires. Turns out that the vampires didn’t kill their victims, but merely feed enough to slake their blood thirst and they leave their victims alive. The victims however become mindless slaves, commonly known as thralls, and will serve the vampire loyally. So the local vampires were planning to take over the town for themselves. I put an end to the threat and slayed the master vampire, Movarth Piguine, who is actually a few centuries old. So vampires are immortal after all… but that doesn’t mean they can’t die. ^_^

Actually, Movarth was in a book I found called Immortal Blood, which was written by a priest who met Movarth. According to the book, Movarth wanted to learn as much as he could about all vampires and set out to slay them all. The priest gave him a lot of help and Movarth would return with some feedback, so they both gained some insight from it all. The book ends when Movarth returns one last time and the priest reveals his own vampirism and feeds on Movarth. The book ended there, but I’m guessing Movarth became a vampire as a result of this last meeting with the priest. Wonder how he felt becoming the very thing he had been hunting all that time, and how he spent the next few centuries.

Well, lately he was trying to take over the town of Morthal, and I put a stop to it. So now I’m Thane of Hjaalmarch. Yay.

So currently I am thane of Whiterun, Falkreath, and of Hjaalmarch. Now, why am I working on becoming Thane for all these various holds of the realm of Skyrim? So I can use the title to avoid another execution like back in Helgen. Friends in high places, you know? It’ll come in handy if and when I join certain organizations like the Dark Brotherhood or the Thieves Guild. The Dark Brotherhood is an assassin group and the Thieves Guild is… well… made up of thieves… so yeah… having a title of Thane could come in handy.

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For now though, time to feed the chickens, and then I’ll move on. Either to Riften or to Markarth, so hard to choose. Markarth’s area is mountainous and has a rebel group called the Forsworn constantly attacking travelers and citizens alike, and Riften is supposedly home to the thieves guild. I’ll flip a coin. Heads to Markarth, tails to Riften.

*FLIP!*

Rats… it landed on it’s edge… I’ll just knock it over to one side without looking… ^_^ See ya next time!

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