I'm replaying Enderal, a total conversion for Skyrim. I found it well-made, with a gripping story, great characters, and excellent music. I got a whole bunch of mods for my next playthrough, and one adds in a journal one can write in to record thoughts, events, etc. I'll be keeping this journal up as I play, and I figured it would be fun to share it here.
Heartfire, 5th, 4E 8234
I confronted Andrasta. She admitted to everything, talked about how the nobles don't do jack-shite to help those not as well-off, etc. I can't say I disagree with her, but her methods are far too draconian. She's not making a difference by killing a few nobles here and there. She's just bloodthirsty. So I killed her. She put up a decent fight for a few seconds - the few seconds I needed to close the distance and slam Blutgang into her. Almost tore her in two from the blow. She tried to use some wild magic in a last-ditch effort, but I'm still alive, so she failed.
The guy in the painting was also freed. He's got some baggage of his own; participated in a big massacre as a witch hunter. Can't say I feel too much sympathy for a bastard like that, but he regrets it. I told him that if he still wants to atone for it, and since he's got nothing better to do, he can bury his fallen friend and then make the trek to Ark. We could use all the help we can get. We've hired Jespar for the long run, best I can tell, so mercenaries are certainly not out of the question. I told the Keepers that he would be coming. Took some doing, but they'll let him in. His name's Rys. Hopefully he'll be able to make himself useful.
Before I came back to the city, I cleared out a few more caves and encountered a rogue tribe of Skarrag warriors. They put up a hell of a fight, but I ended up bringing them all down. During the battle, Alice got a bit... heated. And not figuratively. Her skin literally caught fire, and she basically became this ball of flame in the rough shape of a wolf. Tore right through a whole bunch of those Skarrag bastards. It was fantastic. She's getting really strong. Blutgang's hitting harder too.
I lied to Erika about her mother. Told her bandits got her. I just couldn't tell her the truth. She wouldn't believe it. Or worse, she would. It's probably better that she never know what her mother did. While I was in the South Quarter, I visited the museum and apologized to the curator for having taken so long with the claw I was supposed to have returned a few days ago. Told him I haven't had a chance to take on the Ashen Widow, but once I do, he'll have it back promptly.
With all that taken care of, all that's left is to join up with Calia and help out with this excavation. I guess they need us to carry some stuff. Should be fun.
Well... this is... very interesting. I'm lounging on a makeshift little chair in the excavation while everyone scuttles around. A lot's happened. A lot. But right now, I'm sitting in front of this huge machine. It's apparently what we came here for. Lishari's absolutely ecstatic. Calia's already gone back to Ark. Took the first opportunity to get out of here, which is... understandable? I'm not sure what's going on with her. More on that later. First, a recap.
So Calia and I get to the excavation site and it turns out some bandits blazed past the guards and into the ruin, accidentally setting off some defenses that made it impossible to get further in. So that was a thing. Seems to be a running theme with Lishari. She was pretty pissed about it, but happy to see Calia and I. They found some sort of alternate entrance, but couldn't figure out how to get it open. Conveniently, however, I had a few flashes to the past which basically told us exactly how to unlock the entrance. Only it was a bit more volatile than we expected, and Calia and I ended up falling into the depths of the ruin, where we got separated.
Alice and I cut through a whole bunch of bandits and admired the sites. The place kind of reminded me of Grimlight Gallery, what with its feel of being an abandoned mine with endless chasms. There were a few Pyrean gadgets still working, which is pretty surprising. Guess they build that stuff to last.
Anyways, things were going pretty well until we came across the bandit leader. I was so stupid. Decided to be all dramatic, told Alice to take a break, drew Blutgang and advanced slowly and deliberately towards him while he just sat casually on an outcropping. That should've been a hint. He set up some sort of trap. A lightning rune of some sort. When I triggered it, I collapsed; couldn't move a muscle. It wore off pretty quickly, but not quickly enough for me to actually stand a chance of beating the guy. That’s when Calia came in. She told him to surrender and drop his blade. Tried to talk some sense into him, told him his men were dead, there were more guards up top and even if he survived against the two of us, there’s no way he’d make it out. For a second, it seemed like he was going to comply. He sheathed his sword, but then he charged, probably trying to catch Calia with her guard down. That’s when it happened.
She raised a hand and knocked him back, but he didn’t fall. He just… stood there, frozen. Calia’s skin got dark, as if some black mist was forming around her. And then she spoke, in a voice that didn’t sound like hers. It was chilling. Just three words: “As you wish.”
She walked towards him, hoisted him up in the air with one hand, then slammed him into the ground. Then she just… went berserk with her greatsword. Hit him hard enough the first time to kill him. Then she hit him again. And again. Then she plunged the blade through his body – and through solid rock – up to the hilt, just to be sure. I couldn’t recognize the corpse when I took a look, it was so mutilated. It was… frightening. She ripped the sword out of his body with a flick of her wrist. Then she looked at me.
A part of me felt like I was about to die. That’s the part that peered into the Sea of Eventualities to find a way to fight her. Any way to do some damage, slow her down, or knock her out. Or kill her. But there was nothing. It wasn’t like the Keepers. I could tell there were realities there, realities I just wasn’t strong enough to access. But this… Calia just, disappeared from the Sea. There was nothing. I reckon that Alice and Blutgang wouldn’t have done a thing to her.
But when we locked eyes, instead of attacking, she went back to normal. The mist around her dissipated and her skin went back to its usual pale complexion. I tried to ask her what the hell that was, but she wouldn’t answer. She seemed to be just as panicked as I was, if not more. I feel bad for pressing her for information, but come on. It was pretty horrific. She said she’d tell me more back at the temple. I hope so. I want to know what’s going on.
Well, after that… episode, we went down to see what the bandits were guarding so fervently. It was gold. Just… gold. Calia was about as disgusted as I was. Then out popped a farmer, obviously nowhere near capable of being any sort of highwayman. He explained that he joined their outfit to pay off some debts to the landlord, Borek. Apparently he owns most of the farms on the coast, and he’s a right prick about it. Plus, he’s in bed with the Rhalata. Sounds like a good lead to investigate when I’ve got some free time. I’m getting sick of hearing about them.
Anyways, the farmer begged us to let him go with the stolen gold. Only problem is that the gold was stolen from the Undercity’s food bank. I can somewhat get behind pinching some pennies from some uptight noble, but nothing justifies stealing from people who can barely survive on their own. I told him just as much. But I couldn’t just leave him with that. I know his daughter. She sells some of the best bread in Ark. Without that gold, their family’ll be in trouble when the landlord comes ringing. I’ve got a lot of extra pennies in the bank. I might make a withdrawal.
After we secured the area and made sure the ruin’s defenses were down (Calia deactivated them after we got separated), Lishari caught up with us and kept watch with the guards while we went down and investigated the device I’m sitting in front of now.
I… I don’t even know what to make of it. It’s hard to describe what it’s like with words. There’s a feeling of… power in the air. Immeasurable power. Whatever this thing is, it’s the real deal. Apparently it’s capable of wiping out the High Ones. And sitting here, feeling this aura, I believe it. The thing’s barely functioning and in pieces, and it still feels like it has more destructive potential than an army of arcanists.
But there’s… another feeling. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but… unease might come close. Finding something like this should give us some hope and excitement, and it does. We’ve got a chance now. But there’s this nagging feeling in the back of my head. There’s more to this… Beacon. That’s what the Pyreans called it. The Beacon. It’s the key to our survival. I don’t know why the Pyreans failed to use it. Maybe that’s what’s making me hesitant. But it doesn’t matter. This is the best chance we’ve got right now. We need to take it. We don’t have any other choice.
Link to Enderal. It's important to note that the writing above is based almost entirely on the story created by an extraordinarily talented group of modders. Credit is due to them, not to me. I would also be remiss to not credit Arcones for the idea of using a parchment-looking background to add some flavor.