|This is some unsettling decor.|
|We run away like heroes a moment later.|
We found a man completely wound up in web that the spider had apparently been saving for later. He referred to himself as Arvel the Swift and was obviously a bandit. Before we freed him, I asked him about the Golden Claw and he told us that he not only had the claw, but understood how to use it to unlock the secret powers hidden within this tomb. Faendal and I exchanged a glance. Hidden power? He said if we helped cut him free of the web, he would not only give us the Claw, but show us how we could use it. I asked him to give us the Claw first, but he insisted it would be impossible to retrieve with all the web covering him. With a name like Arvel the Swift, I was expected a betrayal, but there was nothing else to be done. Faendal and I cut him free.
As soon as his feet hit the ground, Arvel the Swift swiftly set off down the tunnel behind him laughing at us for our stupidity. I began to chase after him, but Faendal grabbed me by the shoulder and spun me around. He asked simply, "Where is he going to go?" Faendal was right. I had gotten too caught up in the moment. I almost risked everything to chase a simple bandit into an underground tomb. Perhaps there were more spiders waiting to pounce, or worse. We proceeded cautiously through the halls as we had done before, and as it turned out there was much worse waiting for us below than giant spiders.
|Not so Swift now, are you?|
We spoke of it for only a moment and agreed, we would continue forward. We expected to find more draugr littering the halls of the catacombs, but they seemed as easily dispatched as the previous bandits to our flanking tactics. We had little to lose and a secret, buried, Nord treasure to gain. We pressed on through the swinging axe traps, and the lumbering undead, ever vigilant to protect whatever they were buried with in the Bleak Falls Barrow.
|Incidentally, Draugr have better lighting than Bandits.|
|Fresh air is always welcome after the stench of an ancient crypt.|
|Genjo at the Door of Destiny|
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. As I made my way along the cold, stone pathways toward the altar before me, my eyes were drawn to the glowing, pulsating light emanating from the wall carved of the very rock behind the altar. Faendal later told me that there was no such light as far as he could remember. I was entranced by it, however, like a moth to a flame. I walked mindlessly toward the wall to reach out and touch the glowing characters etched into the stone, and just as my hands touched the stone surface I felt as if my mind exploded and my vision went black.
|It's speaking to me...|
The undead warrior charged at us shouting words that seemed familiar somehow. They were words at the edge of my memory. They were words that lifted me off the ground, and threw me backwards against the wall, knocking some clarity into my thick skull. I was about to die. A power surged up inside me and I found my mind instantly focused like a knife. A surge of power ran through my spine and down my arms exploding in flames from my fingertips! I was capable of yet another spell I had previously been unaware of. I had set this monstrous draugr on fire. It howled in rage and chased after me as Faendal filled it with arrows. We continued our barrage of arrows and fire until the creature moved (nor shouted) any longer.
|Genjo, the Fire-Wizard!|
We took a moment to recover then begin filling our pockets with anything that wasn't nailed down. The draugr overlord had been wielding a magical battle-axe, but was also carrying a heavy, carved stone with various designs and markings all over it. It seemed important, so I made sure to carry it back to Riverwood. Faendal and I didn't really take the time to look over much of what we had. We were too exhausted, so we decided we'd work out the details later of divvying up the loot. We were just happy to have the Golden Claw, discover the secret chambers of Bleak Barrow Falls and be headed back to our beds alive.
|Fresh Air! I missed you!|
- Genjo, the Breton
21st of Last Seed, 4E 201
The OOC Corner - Reader's Poll & Author's Notes
I'm sorry it took me a week to post this. I had planned to release it the day after my last poll ran out, but my wife and I discovered a new game that literally destroyed our free time last weekend. Thankfully, that addiction is back under control, though we're still playing frequently when we have the time. I apologize again for not getting Part 2 up sooner.
Mods I'm running:
- Craftable Arrows
- Dynamic Merchants
- Im's More Complex Needs
- Realistic Lighting
The "Realistic Lighting" mod really makes dungeon delving difficult. Even when I post the screenshots, I often have to increase the exposure slightly so you can see what's going on. I'm sure none of you want to look at pictures of black screens (other than to impress upon you just how dark it is in an unlit cave). Fortunately, I'm well stocked on torches, but unfortunately that makes me more visible to my enemies.
Genjo will be going to Whiterun when he wakes up, but please decide what skills he should develop.