June 11th, 2014
|03:01 am - Skyrim Part 8 - Rita Oidrom And The Sphere of Secrets|
So that E3, huh? Oh man. We here at Casa del Wuufnsqrl are casually eyeballing prices on a Wii U and checking out the market of games we'd wanna snag right now. We are firmly on Team Colorful And Happy 2014 and things are looking brighter than ever. I'm actually thinking of picking up multiplayer Mario Kart 8 or Splatoon or god save my soul MONSTER HUNTER and I DON'T EVEN PLAY multiplayer games! Goddamn Nintendo prions, man! They get in your BRAIN.
So yeah, Nintendo's E3 line-up made me really happy.
That said, we're playing Skyrim here! Rita has a house to build, she has to become a magical girl and go to school, and the world needs saving! Let's get back on that, shall we?
After dropping off all her heavy building supplies back at her home, Rita is left with quite a long walk to Winterhold. We could probably get there fairly quickly and safely using the roads, but that's not what you guys voted for, is it? I've been playing it safe, walking on the roads to get here and there quickly and trying to avoid any big sidetracks. That's not what Skyrim is really about. If we be adventurers, then LET US ADVENTURE. Let's see some of the stuff that's between us and Winterhold.
There is one other thing we're leaving at home, though. Lydia. We need someone we can trust to look after Ritabode, and who better than our brave housecarl? It's right there in her job description. Lydia is honored, and even sprouts a new menu of conversation options.
I give her a couple hundred gold to pick up wood with, and she suggests hitting up various stores in towns for straw and glass. Then the two of us part ways for now. Rita to explore, Lydia to manage the homefront. I can't help feeling it'll be tough out there without her at my back.
Along the way, Rita discovers:
-- A wrecked boat!
In the wreckage is a scimitar and a book, "Daughter of the Niben". Also there's a bag with a copy of "The Wolf Queen v7" and... oh my. A very expensive Tribunal Gold Mask.
What do you think? Maybe if we enchant it... hm. That goes back in the bag for safe-keeping for a while. ... It goes back in the bag. ... It goes back in the BAG, Ri-- Okay fine, Rita keeps the creepy mask on her face while exploring in sub-zero weather. Sue me if it freezes that way.
-- A frost troll! He is NOT happy to see us, but in the little hollow he was guarding is a nice set of ringmail bracers and a book, "The Death Blow of Abernanit". The universe loves giving Rita books as loot, and Rita loves it right back.
-- A couple of Imperial camps. Rita largely edges around them nervously. She remembers being arrested for no reason... but then, she remembers being helped out of the flaming ruins of Helgen by an Imperial, too. They leave her alone, she leaves them alone.
-- Someone's flaming, smouldering remains. Their necklace identifies them as "Yirsa". Nearby is a spellbook of Flame Cloak. Rita casually picks it up and learns the spell for later. She's a much better mage than whoever that was.
-- The Tower Stone. Automatically open any lock of "Expert" or lower level. Tempting, but right now Rita could learn more by cracking them by hand.
-- An apprentice Fire Mage and an apprentice Ice Mage. The ice mage takes out the fire-user, then turns on Rita and charges at her. She shows him the power of lightning bolts. Maybe this IS Pokemon.
-- A tomb called Saarthal. Rita makes a note of this and keeps going, as by now the wolves and trolls and mages are starting to wear her down.
-- The Town of Winterhold! Where a couple is having a domestic dispute in the street. Something about the guy wanting to go off and drink while the lady is all like "Don't you just walk away from me!" and whatever it probably is nothing to do with Rita.
Finally, the College of Winterhold. The bridge is blocked off by someone named Faralda, who first demands to know what Rita wants to learn at College (I skip over the answers like "To destroy all around me in flame!" and such and settle on "To decypher the mysteries of Aetherius!" because we're gonna reach for the stars) and then demands that Rita cast a spell.
Faralda: "Can you cast Healing Hands for me?"
Faralda: "Pfft. Then why--"
Rita: "...but only because I don't know it yet."
Faralda: "Yeah? ... Thirty gold."
Rita: *pay, get spellbook, glance at spellbook* *VWOM*
Faralda: "...okay you're in."
Rita is then introduced to Mirabelle Ervine, Master Wizard of the college, who is busy chewing out a Thalmor member of the college for being overly presumptuous in some way that isn't clear. As it is, she'd like to give Rita a tour.
"I'd like to take a tour of the grounds." Rita agrees.
"Wonderful. The College in Winterhold has been a fixture in Skyrim for thousands of years." Mirabelle explains, as she walks over to the door. Then she whips around and her arms catch fire. "YOU WILL DIE!" she screams in Rita's face, and then hurls a fireball past Rita's shoulder at a snarling werewolf that's just come running in the front gates.
Okay, for a second there I thought Rita had just signed up for Magical Boot Camp.
With the sudden werewolf threat subdued, Mirabelle looks at Rita again. "Please follow me, and don't wander off." she sniffs, and starts the college tour over. "We've had to implement more stringent entry procedures, due to some problems with the local Nords. We don't anticipate any real violence, but it never hurts to be prepared." she explains, absent-mindedly kicking the dead werewolf out of the way.
I decide I like Mirabelle.
Rita is shown to her quarters, a small simple room for apprentice mages while they're staying on-campus.
No time to stay and check out the books or anything, as we're quickly ushered to Rita's first class. "What you learn here will last you a lifetime." Mirabelle concludes. "Several, if you're talented." In class, Rita learns a little bit about Wards, uses one to block a spell, and then is assigned to head out to... hey! Saarthal! "An excellent place to learn practical applications." her teacher explains.
First it's back to Rita's room for a seven hour nap and to grab that copy of "Azura and the Box" on her nightstand. Then Rita chats around the college, learning that necromancy is no longer illegal ("It's a tool to be used, like any other. Mind, some might not see it that way. Summoning undead outside the grounds is... frowned upon.") She also picks up a bunch of magical training (and a level), and the spells of Chain Lightning, Lightning Rune, Ice Spike, and Firebolt.
Then it's off to Saarthal, where Rita is assigned to hunt through the ruins for enchanted items as part of an archeological dig. Ah yes, student labor. Cheapest of all labors. The very first object Rita takes is an amulet on a wall, which... traps her and her tutor behind iron bars. Happily, putting on the amulet creates a "resonance" between her and certain places which she can now blast through with spells. YAY BLOWIN' STUFF UP. The TRUE reason to go to
engineering magical college.
As Rita explores onward, there's a flash of light, and a pre-recorded message fades into view.
"Know, mage, that Judgement has not yet been passed." it pompouses at Rita. "Judgment will be passed on your actions to come. This warning is passed to you because the Psijic Order believes in you." Well whoever they are, they have excellent taste. Her tutor, Tolfdir, explains that the Psijic Order are part of a group of mages who vanished mysteriously over a hundred years ago. He elects to stay and research. Rita presses on. There are, of course, undead.
They're barely a speedbump.
The ruins are long but not particularly dangerous. There's a few spinning-pillar puzzles, and eventually Rita finds an enormous glowing THING of some sort, guarded by a draugr who refuses to take any damage at all. Eventually Tolfdir realizes that this is because all the damage is being siphoned off by the glowball, and he runs over and does Magic Shit to it until the draugr becomes attackable, at which point Rita blows its face off. Good teamwork, Tolfdir. Excellent hustle.
Rita finds on the body a Writ of Sealing...
Be bound here, Jyrik, murderer, betrayer
Condemned by your crimes against realm and lord.
May your name and your deeds be forgotten forever
And the charm which you bear be sealed by our ward.
...a Gauldur Amulet Fragment, of +30 Magic Points... and a Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson, which hurts people and drains their magic. Very nice indeed. Comes to that, Rita rolls a lore check and remembers reading about this stuff in the book Lost Legends of Skyrim. Oh, BOOKS. Where would we be without YOU?
Anyway, Tolfdir doesn't want to leave the big floaty thing alone. He votes for Rita to hoof back to the College and tell the Archmage all about this.
...I really can't blame him, I don't want to leave whatever this is alone either. On the way out of the ruins, however, Rita finds a word wall!
Noble Nord, remember these words of the
hoar father: Fear not the specter of
death, for he is (the) herald of glory
and your guide to great Sovngarde.
This one gives us Fear, part of the "Dismay" shout. It makes people run away. ... Okay cool. They can't all be awesome. Anyway, Rita races back to the college to inform the Archmage...
Archmage: "Please don't tell me that another one of the apprentices has been incinerated. I have enough to deal with right now."
Rita: "... is that comm-- nevermind. Tolfdir found some kind of orb in Saarthal, and he thinks you should see it!"
The Archmage sighs and nods, and sends Rita off to the library to read up on anything that might tell her more about the orb or Saarthal. Quite proud of her first day in College, what with having uncovered a major magical artifact and made contact with an ancient lost secret society and whatnot, Rita struts off.
More of her adventures next time!
Bonus! Rita's Reading Corner!
The Talos Mistake is a work of pure propaganda, designed to turn the people against the worship of Talos. If you read between the lines, there's a lot here: Worshipping a human as a divine being gives humans power. If you take that away, argue that only the gods the Thalmor recognize are worth worshipping, you give that power back to the Thalmor. It's subtle cultural control.
Of note is the fact that the Imperials next-to-never enforce the law against Talos worship. There's a dude loudly worshipping Talos right in the middle of Whiterun, for example, which is Imperial-controlled. Nothing done about him. Agreeing to revoke Talos worship was purely a polticial move to pacify the Thalmor. ... Probably.
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E3 did seem to be rather a dead loss, as far as the big names went, other than Nintendo. (Not that I'm forgetting Nintendo's quite deliberate decision to excise same-gender couples in Tomodachi Life - which had been present in the Japanese release, followed by that wretched excuse, on a par with Ubisoft's "females would've doubled the development effort" for homeopathic grade weak sauce)
If I were to buy a console, it'd be a Wii U. As is, though, I can't really justify the expense - I've got enough stuff that'll run games well, between the rMBP and the iPad Air, and FSM knows, no shortage of titles to either play or buy & forget about. =:) (Monument Valley, of course, was beautiful. Kiwanuka too, though brief. Still haven't got far with RymdResa, and Pablo Cavarez looks like a novel platformer. So many nifty titles!)
Eh, the same-gender couples was a bug that would literally corrupt save files. (Hey, gay marriage DOES corrupt!) I can forgive it.