Update: Still Alive!

Hi everyone!  I’d like to sincerely apologize for being AWOL for so long.  That was definitely not how things were supposed to go down, but as well as navigating some unexpected changes with regards to my health, the hard drive on my computer decided to crash.  Since my current mod list has been described by a good friend as “a teetering Jenga tower”, I was very worried about the state of Morien’s save.  But after a little bit of testing, I’m happy to say that everything seems to be fine — as is my health for the most part.   Thank the Divines!

In other news:  During this upcoming month of November, I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo.  For those of you who aren’t in the know, this stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is a competition to see who can successfully complete a 50,000-page first draft of a novel in 30 days.  (For context, that’s about 250 pages, give or take.)  It will be the first time I’ve ever participated in this event, so I’m a little apprehensive, but I have a plot and I have a plan.  I also have some sweet motivation, in the form of a hefty discount off some professional creative writing software if I successfully make it to the finish line.

However, this means that I probably won’t have time to write for both the contest and the blog this month.  Hopefully that’s not a dealbreaker, and I hope no one will mind if I ask for this extra personal time so I can have a good shot at finishing the competition.

And in case anyone does mind… well, that’s too bad because I’m doing it anyway!   😉

Everyone else, please wish me luck — and as always, thanks for reading and take care!

 

Chapter 91: Reality Check

Perhaps it’s due to the unforeseen aftereffects of utter exhaustion, or of nearly freezing to death, or just simple stress  — but that night, my dreams are intensely disturbing.  Although I haven’t thought about him in a very long time, I find myself dreaming about Roddy, my former business partner — the one who deceived me, stole ownership of my pub from me, and destroyed the life I had built for myself back in High Rock.

In the strange way of dreams, he’s no longer simply my friend and partner, but also my lover –the singular focus of all my attention and desire.  We live in the same house (which, oddly, looks like a combination of the Drunken Horker and Breezehome ) and sleep in the same bed, where we also make energetic and passionate love that leaves me begging for more.  In real life, I had never been remotely attracted to Roddy, nor had I ever wanted to see him without so much as his shirt on — but in my dreams he is utterly delicious, powerfully muscled and ardently virile, seemingly inexhaustible as he brings me to the brink of orgasm over and over.

Then my dream abruptly shifts.  Suddenly I’m no longer in bed with Roddy, but instead I’m walking into the bedroom after closing the pub — only to find him just as ardently demonstrating his virility with another woman.  Pinned beneath Roddy’s heaving body, with perspiration gleaming like pearls of light on her dusky skin, her face is obscured by shadow — but something in the movement of her graceful limbs and her moaning, delirious fervor seems achingly familiar.  In my dreams, I’m instantly filled with rage — and in my shock and anger, I spontaneously transform into a werewolf, intending to murder them both.

But then Roddy suddenly swings around at the last moment, just as I’m about to sink my claws into his sweat-soaked back.  In his hand, he clutches an ornate silver dagger — and pealing with raucous laughter, he plunges the weapon deep into my heart just as the other woman screams in exquisite climax.

And then — only then — do I recognize her.  It’s Jenassa.

Continue reading “Chapter 91: Reality Check”

Chapter 90: Northern Exposure

As we leave the troll cave in search of a place to spend the night, an odd sense of disconnection begins to creep over me.  And honestly, it’s no wonder.  It’s just that my brain is finally slowing down from being hyper-alert all day, through various threats such as multiple fights, dangerous creatures, and other unpleasant surprises.  It’s a relief not to be fighting for once, but at the same time it’s hard to take any enjoyment out of it right now.  I have several injuries, I’m bone-tired, and I feel as if I’ve aged twenty years since this morning.

Jenassa and I are following a path through the woods that appears to lead down to the shore, as we’ve previously decided that going back to the road is a bad idea. We’d be too exposed, and it’s too easy for our enemies to find us.  If nothing else, our recent fight with the Silver Hand has proven that.

Continue reading “Chapter 90: Northern Exposure”

Chapter 89: Deep Freeze

The snow squall finally clears and the sun starts to shine again, but I hardly take notice of the weather as I track down Frost and wearily haul myself into the saddle.  Almost against my will, my brain won’t stop churning over the implications of finding that ornate dagger on the Silver Hand.  Unlike most weapons in Skyrim — mainly crafted for practicality and swift dispatch — that dagger is a work of art, made to be cherished, and obviously made by a silversmith of considerable skill.

Such a dagger isn’t usually found anywhere, except on sacrificial altars — or in the hands of someone who makes a habit of performing those sacrifices.  And since the dagger is made of silver, and silver weapons are used on werewolves…

That’s usually where my brain breaks, and starts churning everything all over again.

Continue reading “Chapter 89: Deep Freeze”

Chapter 88: A Brawl of Ice and Fire

At first, riding out from Dragon Bridge is a most pleasant experience.  The salty air from the nearby coastline mingles with the fresh pine-scented breeze of the surrounding forest, and the whole world seems bathed in brilliant sunshine. Ever since we discovered that we don’t have to be in Solitude right away, there’s been a certain holiday atmosphere in the air, as if this is a bit of stolen time away from the world, a welcome gift from the benevolent Divines.

And since the task assigned to us by Aela leads us well off the main road, I’m glad of the chance to explore the province of Haafingar.  After all, besides the capital itself, the only area we’re really familiar with around here is the Temple of Meridia.  So when we reach a fork in the road, instead of taking the lowland route that follows the coastline, we turn and head into the mountains.

The HILLS are alive… with the sounds of SKYRIM…

Continue reading “Chapter 88: A Brawl of Ice and Fire”

Chapter 87: Local Heroes

Early the next morning, I awaken with my stomach already rumbling.  It’s been happening quite often lately, and it’s not exactly pleasant.  In fact, the time I can stay comfortably satiated between meals seems to be getting shorter and shorter.  Now my hunger often appears within a few scant hours of my last meal, making it near-impossible to sleep through the night.

And as if that isn’t enough, my dreams have been distinctly strange lately.  Disturbing, even, although I can’t quite call them nightmares.  Although I usually don’t remember very much about them, they tend to leave me with a strong sense of disorientation when I first wake up, as I always expect to find myself sleeping on the ground somewhere deep in the wilds.  It’s not too pronounced if I’ve spent the night in a tent — but here in an unfamiliar place with four walls around me, my first reaction is that I’ve been caught in a trap, and I start to panic before I realize that I’m safe in a rented bed.   Like now, for instance.

After taking a few deep breaths to calm myself, I turn over — and my anxiety instantly spikes up again.  Jenassa’s not here.   I sit up in bed, alarmed, and quickly look around the room.  Her clothing is gone.  Her weapons are gone.  Her backpack and gear are nowhere to be seen.  There’s no trace of her.

Continue reading “Chapter 87: Local Heroes”

Chapter 86: Shock And Thaw

As I watch the scurrying townsfolk, the screaming children, and the panicked guards trying to maintain discipline in the face of a dragon attack, my first thought is not now, you miserable lizard. It’s been a long, brutal day of nonstop travel and fighting.  I’m tired.  I’m cranky.  I’m getting chilly and all my muscles ache.  The last thing I want to do is fight another ornery wyvern and be the big damn hero.  Again.

Even the inspiring sight of my beautiful badass wife is irritating me.  Why in Oblivion did the Divines decide that I was the Dragonborn?  Why not pick Jenassa instead?  With her disciplined and whip-smart mind, she’s far better suited for the role — not to mention she’s a damn sight more useful in a fight.  But no, instead my beautiful badass wife has to constantly back up my sorry ass while I flail around like a gutless mudcrab.  I can’t help but feel like this whole Dragonborn racket is nothing more than a big joke the universe is playing at my expense.  Or maybe it’s simply setting me up.  Like Roddy did.

And now this dragon.  Septims to sweetrolls, it’s probably the same fire-breathing nuisance that we saw on the road earlier, here to hunt me down after frying the giant into charcoal.  Well, it certainly picked its time.  I’m weary of the whole business and unlikely to fight well in this frame of mind.  In fact, I’m tempted to leave here with Jenassa, head back to the Greybeards, and say, “Take these Shouts back and find some other sucker.  I quit.”

Continue reading “Chapter 86: Shock And Thaw”