23 January 2010

Onward, to Cheydinhal!

27th of Last Seed, 3E433
Today is my first day of freedom in two years.  I hardly know what to do with myself.  After making it out of the sewers, I headed up to the city to outfit myself and to sell the loot I'd nabbed from the goblins in the catacombs. The sunlight stung my eyes at first, and I had to shade them with my hand so that I could see the path in front of me.  I was giddy with joy and my newfound freedom, and so I whistled as I strolled by the guards into the city.  The sights and sounds assaulted me as soon as I entered.  The Market District was bustling, people moving to and fro, hawking goods and directing people to stores.  The Legion stood watch over it all, keeping a careful eye out for thieves and pickpockets.  It was overwhelming, really.  I'd only ever been to the Imperial City once before my imprisonment, and it had been on an errand for the Mages Guild in Cheydinhal.  Someone was waving fresh bread in my face, and another was shouting something about books.  A woman with a shrill voice was yelling about Jensine's something-or-other, and I found that I could barely think! I ducked into the closest shop, and breathed a sigh of relief when the only sounds were the rhythmic clang of a hammer and breath of a bellows.  I walked towards the back of the shop, where the smith was beating red-hot metal that vaguely resembled an axe.  She looked up and smiled, and asked if she could help me.  I set my heavy ruck down on the floor and nodded an affirmative.  She raised her eyebrows at the clank it made as it hit the floor, and I smiled a bit. "Goblins..."  I removed an old war axe, a couple rusty daggers, a beat up iron cuirass, and some assorted gems and silver items.  The smith's eyes widened, and she raised an eyebrow quizzically.  "You go into a goblin den or something?"  I nodded.  "Yeah, just about."
After completing the sale, I left with an empty ruck and a full coinpurse.  I headed to the armorer, and got a good pair of gauntlets and boots, along with a nice set of fur greaves.  The armorer even fixed up my leather cuirass!  I sauntered out of the store feeling ten feet tall, and looking much better than when I had walked in.  A loud growl brought my attention to the thing I had so far neglected: my stomach.  I stopped a woman and asked her where the nearest tavern was.  "The Merchant's Inn, just over there." she said, pointing behind me. I thanked her and headed for the inn, thoughts of food dancing across my mind.
The inn was nice, good atmosphere.  The innkeep was a good guy as well, very observant of the level of ale in your tankard.  I drank and ate my fill (venison and ham and potatoes and bread and cheese...), and retired to a rather nice room upstairs to sleep off my full stomach. (Ok, perhaps I was a bit drunk as well...)
28th of Last Seed, 3E433
The morning brought bright sunshine, and I woke to an intense sunbeam creeping across my bed.  I threw back the blanket and yawned, then got up and did my morning stretches.  I was sore from my ordeal in the sewers, and I found a couple of scratches on my arms and hands.  They didn't look too bad though, nothing some quick wortcraft wouldn't fix.  I packed up my things and bought a little bit of food, and with my bow on my back and magic tingling at my fingertips, I set out for Cheydinhal.

18 January 2010

Oblivion Blog!

So, since I've had a dearth of creative fiction writing lately, I'm going to chronicle the adventures of my latest Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion character.  It'll be done in a journal style, written from his point of view.  A little background...
Name: Haien Moreneau
Age: 22
Race: Breton
Height: 6'
Hair color: Goldish Blonde
Body Type:  Athletic
Class: Witchhunter
Haien is a cheerful guy, always willing to help people out.  He's a woodsman and enjoys being outdoors and traveling.  He hails from the town of Cheydinhal, in the foothills of the Valus Mountains.  

Let the story begin!

26th of Last Seed, 3E433 (Year 433 of the Third Era)
My name is Haien Moreneau, and I have accomplished something no one else in my lifetime has:  I have escaped the Imperial Prison.  I'm sure it seems unlikely, but let me tell you the story.
Only yesterday, I was sitting in a dank cell, listening to the Dunmer in the cell across from me prattle about how I was going to die today.  I had long since stopped listening to him, since he said the same thing day after day.  My thoughts were turned inward, trying to figure out why exactly I was here in the first place.  About two years prior, Imperial Legion soldiers had come to my house in Cheydinhal and placed me under arrest.  That was a miserable journey, handcuffed and forced to walk behind a horse all the way to the Imperial City. They immediately took me to the prison and threw me in a cell.  No explaination, no chance for me to clear my name.  The guards who brought me food daily ignored my pleas to write to my family in Daggerfall.  I was completely at a loss, and was slowly resigning myself to rot in the Imperial Prison.  I prayed to the Nine for some kind of explaination, a reprieve, something.
Then today, I received that sign.  I was sitting at my small table, idly scratching a design in the wood, when I heard unfamiliar voices coming down the stairs.  I heard an elderly man saying something about his sons. The Dunmer was cackling my demise, and as I looked up to tell him off, three people in unfamiliar armor shadowed my cell door.  One of them, a woman, was visibly angry.  "Why is there a prisoner in this cell?!" she snapped at the two men behind her.  They shrugged sheepishly, and she sighed.  As she unlocked the door, she ordered me against the back wall.  As I stood there, hands visible, they entered my cell, followed by none other than the Emperor! Uriel Septim himself was standing in my dingy cell!  The woman pulled on one of the chains that hung in the corner, and a large doorway slid open, as did my mouth.  All along, there was an escape route...
As I stood there staring, the Emperor stopped and looked at me strangely.  "You...you are the one from my dreams."  He moved closer and I stammered something to the effect of "What's going on?"  He replied, telling me that his sons had been assassinated, and that they were after him.  The guards still eyed me warily, but the Emperor encouraged me to find my own path, and no one stopped me as I followed the guards down the stairs.  When we reached the bottom, all hell broke loose, and two men in red robes and freakish armor appeared and attacked the soldiers.  One of them, the woman, shrieked and fell as the red robes clubbed her in the head.  The two men quickly finished them off, but I was still shaking and frozen.  The Emperor beckoned silently, and I somehow regained my composure and followed.  We wound our way through numerous rooms and halls, little known passages underneath the city.  The red robed people continued to attack us, but the soldiers ( I now recognized them as the Blades) dispatched them easily.  Finally we came to a locked door, and the soldiers ordered me to stay put.  I was rather angry at being left defenseless, but I understood that they needed to get the Emperor to safety.  As I watched the door shut, I heard a low rumble, and a crack in the wall opposite me collapsed into a gaping hole, from which two huge sewer rats leapt.  I had grabbed the female Blade's (Captain Renault, I think they called her? A fellow Breton, no doubt) swords as we passed her body, but in my panic I couldn't unsheathe either. I put my hand out in desperation, and shot a fireball straight into the maw of the rat, lighting them both on fire.  As they smoldered, I decided that I would try to find a way out through the tunnel.  I managed to make my way through rat infested catacombs, finding a shoddy leather cuirass and a bow along the way.  As I dispatched the rats and occasional goblin, I found that my marksmanship was coming back to me, after so long in the dungeon.  I came across a cave of goblins guarding some treasure, and relieved them of that as well.  At long last, I came to a door.  I opened it and heard the voices of the guards pleading with the Emperor, and smiled.  Apparently my tracking skills had returned as well.
I jumped down from the wall where the door was hidden, and the Blades immediately tried to kill me.  Thankfully, the Emperor intervened and spoke with me again.  For some reason he asked me about my birthsign (I was born under the Mage), and if I followed the Nine.  We then continued through the tunnels, and I could tell by the guards nervousness that we were near the sewer entrance.  I was feeling pretty jaunty after my trek, and I was unperturbed when the Blades shoved the Emperor and I into a small room with no exits.  He turned to me and, in a panicked voice, told me of his death, and handed me a large amulet with a red diamond in it.  I was to take it to some place called Weynon Priory, and give it to a man named Jauffre.  As he handed it to me, the stone wall behind him opened, and another red robe jumped out and stuffed a dagger between Uriel Septim's shoulders, ending his life.  I roared with anger and fire jumped from my palm, burning the man and sending his charred remains flying.  Baurus (the Blade who was courteous to me) came back just in time to see the robed man fall.  He looked distraught, and kept saying that he'd failed. He handed me a key and bade me leave through the sewers.  I took the key and made my way out, finally coming out into the first sunlight I'd felt in two years.  I took a deep breath and smiled.  I was a free man, and I was going to make the most of it.

More to come!

17 January 2010

Haiti and the International Reaction

I'm sure most of you have heard about the massive earthquake that occurred in Haiti on Tuesday.  The quake, which measured as a 7.0 on the Richter scale, demolished most of the capital, Port-au-Prince and left thousands of people dead and homeless.  Many of these people have no access to clean water or food, and have been spending nights outside with serious injuries.  Others are still trapped under the rubble of their homes or businesses.  The Parliament building and the Presidential Palace both collapsed, and many of the hospitals in and around the city are structurally unsound and without running water and power.

Thankfully, the international community has reacted quickly and generously, sending millions in aid and thousands of rescue workers to find people and distribute food and water.  This presents a logistics nightmare, however.  Port-au-Prince's harbor and docks are badly damaged, and ships are unable to unload their cargoes.  The USS Carl Vinson is serving as an airborne dock, using helicopters to ferry in supplies.  The airport is a mess as well, with over 50 planes vying for space on the runways.  The US military has taken over operations from the overwhelmed Haitian aircrews.

Although it seems bleak, everyone can contribute.  The UN has made an appeal for $562 million dollars in donations, in order to take care of the nearly 3 million people of Por-au-Prince that are homeless and in need of basic necessities.  The World Food Programme has only been able to feed 13,000 of those 3 million in need.  The US has donated $500 million +, and private donations are still coming in.   Google is running a multi-organization donation page, with links to charities like Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti.  They are also offering free calls to Haiti through Google Voice, as well as links to their Google News service.  http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/

Please, I urge everyone to make some kind of contribution.  10 cents, a dollar, $5, anything you can spare.  I know many people right here in the US are struggling, but it's the least we can do to help our fellow humans in their time of need.