Dragonborn: the Legacy 28 – The Cure

Chapter 28 - Leaving Volkihar 2A/N: Sexual situations. Not appropriate for children.

5E 20, 16 Sun’s Height
Ben came awake slowly, afraid to open his eyes, fearing that the rescue had just been a happy dream. The thirst was still there, but it wasn’t as urgent, and the scents were different. He smelled the stale air of an old castle, seawater, human blood, and her. He was warm, wearing trousers and covered by a soft blanket, and gentle fingers combed through his long hair. A hand to his chest indicated that all the wounds Ergyu had inflicted were gone. There wasn’t even any scarring. Then again, perhaps he was still dreaming. Well, if he was, he was going to embrace this dream for as long as he could. He opened his eyes to see Serana lying next to him, smiling.

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Skyrim Tarot is DONE!

I just posted my last new tarot card. I thought it was kind of fitting that it was the Ten of Septims, which represents (among other things) completion and celebrating one’s accomplishments. What am I going to do to celebrate? I’m thinking of having a good cry. I’ve had so much fun working on the cards, and though there’s still plenty of work to do yet if I want to have them published, the artwork is done, and that’s bittersweet.

Now comes the hard part. I’ve mentioned the cards to my publisher, and he was receptive, so I’m going to show him the whole deck at a convention in April, and we’ll see what happens as far as getting it into print. In the meantime, I’m working on a companion book, which means more detailed descriptions, research, and even tweaking the cards. If anyone has suggestions for things that might be improved on the individual cards, they would definitely be welcome.

I can’t thank the hubby, my friends, and my followers enough for your support, encouragement, and feedback (both positive and negative) as I made these cards. If it wasn’t for you guys, I never would have finished the deck, and I’m so grateful.

Skyrim Tarot – Ten of Septims

Septims - 10The Ten of Septims is a positive omen. It represents accomplishment, hard-earned wealth and prosperity, and security—both financial and emotional. It implies close relationships with friends and family and encourages the seeker to celebrate his accomplishments with loved ones.

Border, Skyrim logo, and artwork are screenshots, ©2011 Bethesda Softworks LLC
Scroll by Hatestock on deviantART – http://hatestock.deviantart.com/art/Scrolls-172516055

Dragonborn: The Legacy 27 – Rescue Mission

Chapter 27 - Serana and Portal

 

A/N: Graphic violence and torture.

Ben didn’t know what day it was; he had lost all track of time. It didn’t really matter, though, because it was looking more and more like they would never go home again. Serana and the others had probably closed the portal by now, figuring he and Rowan were lost. Which, he guessed, they were. There wasn’t much left for them now except for overpowering thirst. At first, he had thought a lot about Serana, missing her, wishing he could hold her again; but as time went by, all he could think about was the dryness in his throat. He hated her a little bit now. She had made him this way, caused his desperate dependence on living blood, a sweet nectar he would likely never taste again. But she had only been trying to make them stronger; he knew that, and as much as he hated her, he loved her even more.

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Skyrim Tarot – Queen of Septims

Septims - QThe Queen of Septims is strong, independent, and resourceful; but most of all, she is nurturing. She is down-to-earth and trustworthy, and she devotes her energies to creating a warm, secure environment for those in her care.

Border, Skyrim logo, and artwork are screenshots, ©2011 Bethesda Softworks LLC
Scroll by Hatestock on deviantART – http://hatestock.deviantart.com/art/Scrolls-172516055

Dragonborn: The Legacy 26 – Coldharbour

Chapter 26 - ColdharbourThe small glimpse of Coldharbour that Rowan and Ben had gotten through the portal had done little to prepare them for walking into it. It was an assault on the senses from the very beginning, and Rowan realized right away that being a vampire was going to be a great help. It was bitterly cold, more so than the harshest of Skyrim winters. The stench was oppressive, and even though a layer of white snow covered the ground, shadow still dominated over light. Being immune to the cold, not needing to breathe, and having excellent night vision came in very handy. The worst thing, though, was the sound of constant screaming that resonated through the air from all directions. Rowan’s vampiric senses could do nothing to filter that sound out.

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ESO Final Beta Weekend Review

I’d like to say the final beta weekend for Elder Scrolls Online was a raging success, but at least for the hubby and me, it was kinda frustrating. I played a Bosmer with the Dominion on Friday and Saturday, then spent Sunday playing a Breton in Daggerfall. We discovered a lot of broken quests, which we’re hoping the developers are already working on and will have fixed by the pre-launch, or at least launch. One or two of them, they even fixed over the weekend, so while we weren’t able to complete them on Friday, we were able to go back on Saturday and finish them up.

A friend mentioned that Bethesda was going to have a rough launch and that perhaps they should move it out in order to fix a lot of the bugs that are still pending. From a practical standpoint, I have to agree, because so much still needs to be fixed. Emotionally, I’m thinking nuh-uh, because I wanna play! I’m really hoping, though, that whether they put the launch off or not, they still make the bug reporting system available. Although the categories aren’t as intuitive as I would like, bug reporting is easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. And frankly, getting to complain lowers the frustration factor quite a bit.

The biggest rant I have for the weekend is regarding the TERRAIN GLITCH FROM HELL. The hubby’s Altmer fell through a terrain glitch, and I’m pretty sure he’s still falling. He tried reloading, logging out and going back in, closing the game and going back in, dying, and one or two other things, but all he got was a gray screen and the sound of poor Betath Anyu screaming. The character was rendered totally unplayable. This was easier to take when we found out for certain that we’d have to start new characters at launch anyway, but it was still very upsetting. I had grown to love the character. We’re both planning on recreating our elves after launch.

Anyway, he had already started a Breton and hadn’t gotten very far into the Daggerfall questline, so he suggested I do the same. The new stuff was also a lot of fun, except for the broken quests. Toward the end of the day on Sunday, we were actually running out of playable quests. Now, I know we could have gone exploring and found more, but by that time we were tired, so we just quit.

Things I didn’t like:

The broken quests and Betath’s untimely death, obviously. Still not lovin’ the lockpicking, but I am getting better at it.

Crafting. It’s just too damn hard. There are too many steps, you need too many materials, and they’re not always easy to find.

Altmer men. They all looked alike! What the hell?

Cheesemonger’s Hollow. There’s nothing wrong with this area that I can tell, except that it kicked my ass. It was the source of my first rage quit. The hubby said it was karma because in Skyrim, I like to steal cheese and drop it in the courtyard where Heimskr preaches.

Things I liked:

Characterization. While I haven’t found a whole lot of NPCs I absolutely love, there are a few really vivid ones, and I’m hoping they’ll do more with those characters as time goes on. I’m still loving the voices, too, and I enjoy trying to pick out voice actors I recognize.

Scenery. The beauty of the world continues to boggle my mind. Audiron was as majestic as it was last time, and I just loved Daggerfall and Stros M’Kai. I will upload screenshots in another post.

Banking. This turned out to be an invaluable feature, especially since there don’t seem to be player homes or other safe storage. A bank account essentially doubles your inventory and makes them available without having to make a withdrawal. You can store all your crafting materials and still use them at the crafting stations, which is incredibly handy. The best thing, though, is that your bank is available to all your characters. I’ve never played other MMOs, so I don’t know if this is standard, but it makes things very convenient. The hubby has one character he has created specifically for crafting, and he was able to make me some items, store them in the bank, and then come back in with my character’s partner and give them to me. I’m very happy with the whole system.

Tutorial Quest. The first trip through Coldharbour is a bit shorter, and Molag Bal is scarier. Nuff said.

Quests. One thing I didn’t like during the first beta was that the storyline was very channeled. You did what you were told, and that was that. Now, by starting the player in a big city and giving them the option to look around and pick up quests before going on to the smaller island where the main questline picks up, it really opens the world. Also, and this may just be my perception, but I felt like there was a lot more to do. It seemed like there were many more side quests that we were able to pick up as we were exploring, and at least some of them had more options within the quests themselves.

Multiplayer. I never thought I would say this, because I’m so much more of a single-player gal, but I loved helping strangers with combat, or almost being killed and having a stranger come up and help me with my combat. I never got an “oh, they’re stealing my kill” vibe. It was more that they were just giving me a hand. I also like the fact that there is no friendly fire. One of the things I hate most about Skyrim is when my follower runs in front of me and I accidentally shoot them or set them on fire, or when one of them accidentally hits the other one and they end up fighting. I can’t tell you how many times the hubby stepped into my line of fire, and with so many other players running around, it could have been very ugly. Crafting stations could get kind of crowded, but since there was no collision, the worst part was just finding the station. Once you found it, there was no waiting.

The Horse. The other horses were prettier, but they were several thousand gold to buy, so a practically free Imperial horse was just fine. I loved that if you wanted to ride or stop riding, you just hit H and it was automatic. If you weren’t riding, the horse just wasn’t there. That meant there weren’t several hundred white horses just standing around while their owners did other things.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m drawing a blank. Overall, I love the game, have preordered, and am looking forward to launch, as long as the existing bugs don’t bog me down too much. I can see lots of potential for fanfic and artwork. The world is as inspiring as Skyrim, and I can’t wait to start delving deeper into the storylines, especially now that I can play with the hubby. Maybe we’ll be able to collaborate on some really great fanfic. I’ll put up screenshots shortly.