I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Adventures in Skyrim

First, I just want to say keep your peepers peeled for some neato news. Alliteration rocks.

Skyrim was cool before, but after getting my darling new laptop Sekhmet, the game has been phenomenal. Recently it was recommended that I play The Witcher 3. It definitely looks like a very cool game, even if it is OBVIOUSLY targeted at the cisgender straight man. Based on my cursory knowledge that I've gleaned so far, you play a dude in the game (albeit a really cool one), and I guess at some point some heterosexual adult playtime takes place. All right, I'm as imaginative as they come, so I'll let myself be amused. Let's see how much of a ladies man I can be, eh?

In other news, I'm waiting for Assassins Creed: Origins to go one sale. The Ptolemaic period of Egypt isn't really my favorite, and, since I'm a solid New Kingdom person, I'm an ancient Egypt snob and don't consider the Ptolemaic Period to be Egyptian haha! Nevertheles, from images I've seen, the accuracy is quite impressive.

Now back to Skyrim. My first ever RPG which I thought was really weird and scary and confusing when I first started playing it. My first character was a Wood Elf named, of course, Baladria. I made her do every quest she came upon, which made for a rather schizophrenic experience. I fared better with a redo, Niamh the Nord, who sided with the Stormcloaks rather than the Imperials as Baladria had done. Following this, I attempted a solid mage character but wasn't feeling it. Then I had a Khajiit assassin and thief, followed by a stocky short-haired Redguard lady-beast who liked to leave slain enemies naked where they died haha. That's when I discovered how awesome Redguards are.

Naturally, after getting a new computer, and getting new mods for Skyrim and being able to play it on ultra graphics, it was necessary to create a new character. Meet Sekhmet Blood-Drinker! A Redguard from Hammerfell who despises imperialism, is particularly helpful to her Redguard compatriots, enjoys massacring bandits, is disgusted by Forsworn and Falmer, frowns on the ways of the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, refuses to betray friends, gives a huge middle finger to the Blades for trying to peer pressure her into killing Paarthurnax (wtf?!), and likes to fight with her Pussy Posse and hubby at her side! She’s named after the ancient Egyptian lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, the goddess of pestilence, war, and destruction who tried to decimate mankind. The sun-god Re filled the land with wine and she drank it, thinking it was blood. She became drunk and fell asleep, and thus mankind was saved. I wanted a Redguard because they are amazing warriors and wear heavy armor. Though Sekhmet is a capable swordswoman, she favors the bow—because it’s fun to shoot people in high castle towers haha! I also wanted to make her pretty so it would be all the more shocking that she is a vicious killer. She wears dragon bone armor and fights with dragon bone weapons.

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker...baddest bitch in Skyrim
Details on Sekhmet Blood-Drinker: Redguard, heavy armor, one-handed, archery
Dragonplate armor: increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased health 62 pts
Dragonplate gauntlets: 40% more bow damage / 40% more one-handed damage
Dragonplate boots: sneaking 40% better / increased fire resistance 46%
Jagged Crown: 40% more bow damage
Daedric cloak: increased fire resistance 46% / increased frost resistance 46%
Dark bandolier with shoulder pad: increase carry weight 100 pts
Pussy Posse Ring – Sekhmet: increased heavy armor 25 pts / 40% more one-handed damage
Pussy Posse Necklace – Sekhmet: increased frost resistance 40% / increased heavy armor 25 pts
Pussy Posse Archer – Sekhmet (gold and ruby circlet): 40% more bow damage (I don’t wear this)
Qaanahrin (dragon bone bow): soul trap within 15 seconds / 41 pts fire damage

Annihilator (dragon bone sword): absorb 25 pts stamina / soul trap within 10 seconds

I'll explain the Pussy Posse jewelry in a bit lol!

My discovery of console commands and item IDs has given me some neat opportunities to have things I can’t otherwise have. The Jagged Crown is super cool, so I added that via console, and I also have added other quest items, pretending they are “reproductions” of the original so I can display them in my awesome new houses. It’s also handy to use the console for someone who has started the game over so many times who wants to get Smithing and Enchanting way up there so I can role-play as I wish. Now I didn’t cheat 100% on getting those skills up to 100. I mined a lot of gold, iron ore, and hunted for skins for leather strips. But damn, it’s not enough to do that a few times. I’ve bought iron ore/ingots from merchants and blacksmiths a lot also, but eventually that process gets tedious and I just consoled like 400 iron ingots and leather strips and finished my dagger making. Seriously, it took hundreds of ingots to do that. But I enchanted all of them to get my enchanting to 100 so I could use the double enchant perk on the sweet armor I was going to make for myself and my gang, once I acquired them. I bought/consoled hundreds of common or petty soul gems and enchanted the daggers with soul trap. For the enchantment acquisitions, apart from stuff I found legitimately, I bought stuff off merchants and also (heh, well…) raided the hidden chests belonging to the Khajiit traders at Markarth, Solitude, and Dawnstar. This very beginning stuff I don’t count toward my character’s character, so I’m not owning up to any contradictions here haha! Though Sekhmet does make poor decisions occasionally for the greater good.

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker in arching action
So along with doing side quests helpful to getting good stuff, doing quests to obtain the followers I wanted, getting Smithing and Enchanting up to 100, and quests that helped me get and build Lakeview Manor, brought me to level 27. You see, I wasn’t interested only in dressing and equipping myself, but I was concerned with acquiring a house and decorating it and dressing my companions. I wanted to make a group of badass women warriors which I named the Pussy Posse. I also wanted a husband to cook for me haha! It’s nice to have one in at least one of my lives, eh? I shopped around online for good options, including stewards. I was intrigued by what people were saying about Erik the Slayer, and he certainly is adorable. Very cheerful, upbeat, grateful for my existence. Yep, husband material there. I was completely startled to see Adrianne Avenicci as a guest at my wedding. She traveled all the way from Whiterun just for me! It was all the more crushing a blow when I learned she died in what may have been a vampire attack. She left me an inheritance, bless her heart, and I expressed my condolences to her grieving husband.

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker, wedding ready!

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker marries Erik the Slayer; audience includes the Pussy Posse, Erik's daddy, and Arianne Avenicci before she was brutally burdered by a band of vampires in Whiterun. I'll hate vampires forever!
Lydia will always be my BFF. I know she gets a lot of heat because she gets in the way and charges in when you’re trying to be stealthy, but I’ve come to find it charming. I made her essential so that I would stop accidentally killing her. I selected Jenassa, too. She has good dialog, she’s a tough nut, and she’s just cool. She always tells me she’s happy she met me, isn’t that sweet? Lastly, I plucked Mjoll away from her good work at Riften. She’s a good follower, though sometimes she’s too loquacious and talks over soft-spoken people who are trying to give me useful information. Damn chick, shut up from time to time, eh?

Nevertheless, I adore them all, and they each have excellent double-enchanted legendary armor sets, weapons (I gave unique names to all the weapons I forged), and personalized jewelry. I looked up the Wiki to check their stats and see what works best of each. I continue to upgrade their armor and weapons, and they have jewelries that increase their skills, too. So let’s take a look at what I’ve put together for myself and my four favorites. I’ve taken their coloring into account when deciding how to dress them. Seriously, this is a whole new level of nerd for me, but I'm not mad at it.

Erik the Slayer fully outfitted
Erik the Slayer: Nord, light armor, two-handed
Dragonscale armor: increased light armor 25 pts / increased stamina 62 pts
Dragonscale gauntlets: 40% more two-handed damage / 40% more bow damage
Dragonscale boots: sneaking 40% better / increased fire resistance 46%
Helm of Yngol: 30% frost resistance
Cloak of the Crow: not enchanted
Amulet of Arkay: increased health 10 pts
Bond of Matrimony: Restoration spells cost 10% less (he doesn’t do magic; I just want him to wear his wedding ring!)
Bandit’s Bane (dragon bone greatsword): 37 pts stamina damage / absorb 25 pts stamina (he always mentions how much he hates bandits, so that’s why I named his sword this haha!)
Ice-Maker (dragon bone bow): 31 pts frost damage / paralyze 5 seconds

Lydia, my BFF. Affectionately known as Lyds.
Lydia: Nord, heavy armor, one-handed, archery
Ebony armor: increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased stamina 62 pts
Ebony gauntlets: 40% more bow damage / 40% more one-handed damage
Ebony boots: sneaking 40% better / increased fire resistance 46%
Ebony shield: block 40% more damage / increased frost resistance 46%
Cloak of Vokun (blue): increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased frost resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Ring – Lydia: increased heavy armor 25 pts / 40% more one-handed damage
Pussy Posse Necklace – Lydia: increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased fire resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Archer – Lydia (silver and sapphire circlet): 40% more bow damage
Thane’s Protector (ebony sword): 31 pts fore damage / 37 pts stamina damage
Zapper (ebony bow): 31 pts shock damage / paralyze 5 seconds

Hard and tough but loyal Jenassa dual wielding like a boss
Jenassa: Dunmer, light armor, dual-wield(!) one-handed, archery
Dragonscale armor: increased light armor 25 pts / increased stamina 62 pts
Dragonscale gauntlets: 40% more bow damage / 40% more one-handed damage
Dragonscale boots: sneaking 40% better / increased fire resistance 46%
Cloak of Hevnoraak (brown): increased light armor 25 pts / increased frost resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Ring – Jenassa: increased light armor 25 pts / 40% more one-handed damage
Pussy Posse Necklace – Jenassa: increased light armor 25 pts / increased frost resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Archer – Jenassa (copper and onyx circlet): 40% more bow damage
Daedric Twins – Pain (Daedric sword): absorb stamina 25 pts / fire damage 31 pts
Daedric Twins – Panic (Daedric sword): creatures and people up to level 25 flee for 30 seconds / undead up to level 25 flee for 30 seconds
No bow yet…looking for a cool unique one for her

Goody-goody Mjoll the Lionness, but she gets the job done. You can't really fault her for being nice.
Mjoll the Lionness: Nord, heavy armor, two-handed
Orcish armor: increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased stamina 62 pts
Orcish gauntlets: increased heavy armor 25 pts / 40% more two-handed damage
Orcish boots: sneaking 40% better / increased fire resistance 46%
Cloak of Rahgot (green): increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased frost resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Ring – Mjoll: increased heavy armor 25 pts / 40% more two-handed damage (chick doesn’t wear this!)
Pussy Posse Necklace – Mjoll: increased heavy armor 25 pts / increased frost resistance 46%
Pussy Posse Archer – Mjoll (jade and emerald circlet): 40% more bow damage
Grimsever (her own glass sword): frost damage 15 pts
Volendrung (unique warhammer): absorb stamina 50 pts

Seriously, how cool are we?! But do you see why I spent so long getting everything together before actually starting real quests? My personnel doesn’t stop there. I like to have property everywhere, especially when it comes with a staff. I like to be the boss, so you bet I’ll take every house I can get with a housecarl and others! As a Redgiard, I'm particularly joyful that Rayya is the housecarl for Lakeview Manor. My stewards are Faendal from Riverwood, Adelaisa Vendicci from Windhelm, and Talvas Fathryon from Solstheim.

I’m currently working on adding the fun decorations like trophies from my hunts and slayings, armor sets and weapons, and unique items. I also want to fill my shelves with book collections of skill books, journals, several volume sets related to quests, etc. It’s pretty goofy, sure, but it’s still kind of fun. I haven’t decided on acquiring children. I’m not really interested in them in reality. I’ll have to talk to Erik about it.

For quests, I’m avoided the main Elder Scrolls quest for a while in favor of the DLCs and other minor quests. Dawnguard has its cool moments, but that chick Serana annoys the crap out of me. She was sad when I told her to go away, so I told her, “Well, maybe you should have been more respectful to me!” I convinced her to cure herself of vampirism, though. That questline comes with some great stuff, particularly Durnehviir, but I dislike very much being inside that death world. It’s so creepy and depressing.

Moth stuff from Dawnguard DLC

Lord Harkon in Vampire Lord form

Soul Cairn in Dawnguard. This place depressed the crap out of me and I just wanted to get the hell out of there.

I like Durnehviir! I named my bow after the title he gave me

Blasted gargoyles were very successful at startling me. Thank the gods for the Adventurers Assemble mod so my Pussy Posse could help me fight these three.

Traveling around Solstheim is really neat though and I like the Black Books, even though they also scare the crap out of me. But damn, that Miraak clothing set!
How cool is this villain?!

It's great that this place has tons of knowledge waiting for you, but does it need to be so scary?

These things are so disgusting, especially in the way they just pop up in front of you, looking so gross with their tentacles.

This guy isn't all that attractive either. But he is rather generous.
So far there are two quests that are particularly controversial. One is the civil war, and the other is the Kematu vs. Saadia quest. As a Redguard, I felt it was my duty to do this one again (as well as Amren’s radiant quest)—gotta help my brothers and sisters! I’d done In My Time of Need before, but always sided with Kematu because he and his brethren are tough to kill alone. I did some superficial research to see who other people choose and then learned that if you choose Kematu, Saadia’s ashes will later be found in the Hall of the Dead. Also, I got to thinking that it seems suspicious for the Alik’r to hide away with bandits, and even the bandits are uncomfortable around them. Lastly, I was perturbed by their having left their brother in jail because he got caught. Not cool, dude. Bros before foes, Kematu. Seriously!

Therefore, this time around I chose Saadia. Happily, I had my sizable crew with me to do all the necessary Alik’r slaying and I felt I had served proper justice. Now dear Saadia can be free forever. She seems content enough to be a tavern worker, having started over well below her original station. Seems pretty admirable.

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker in traditional Redguard garb

Now for the civil war. At first I thought maybe I shouldn’t have anything to do with it. The first time I played I sided with the Imperials. The second time I sided with the Stormcloaks and there developed my crush on Ulfric—hahaha! It’s all too true! Aaaaaanyway, I also looked online to see who people tend to side with and there really are excellent reasons for both sides, I read that Ulfric, when encountered in Sovngard (is that correct?), expresses regret over the affair. And yet, I think his cause can be justified. In the very beginning Tullius is kissing Thalmor ass, the jerks who are trying to spread imperialism. Being from Hammerfell, I believe in a free and independent state, so it makes sense to me to try to liberate the Nords, racist as they may be, from any group trying to oppress them. Ulfric can be really crabby, but I do feel a spark of glee when I win his praise. However, I feel crushed that I have to betray Buulgruf, and it doesn’t help that he admonishes me for it. If my virtual self could hang her head in shame she would. Can’t he have just sided with the Nords? But life sucks, even in Skyrim.

Sekhmet Blood-Drinker with Ulfric Stormcloak after liberating Solitude. Skyrim belongs to the Nords!
I've got some other lovely images, but I'll save those for another post. The game is quite lovely and it's hard not to share everything! But maybe I'll leave you with Sovngarde, since it is the end of the journey for us all.

Victory or Sovngarde!

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