|Saturday, January 10th, 2009|
4:45a - More Oblivion, after a many-month hiatus
So, people call her the Hero of Kvatch, on account of she saved the city from certain doom by killing a whole pile of demons that were pouring out of an ugly red portal in the courtyard. Now I know the first thing you're gonna say, "How do you kill demons? Aren't they, like, non-living?" Well I don't know, but she sure beat the crap out of these guys. Their corpses were everywhere. Afterwards she went around to each one and stole their boots and shields and stuff. So there you go. Solid as a rock.
Okay well I didn't SEE the battle. But that's what they SAY she did. Everyone's saying it. And when I met her, the first thing she asked me was, "How can I help?", and we were hard up at the time ... me and my swordsmen guys ... so I said, "Alright, you can go fetch me a cursed book called the Mysterium Xarxes. It's in a haunted cavern way back in the mountains, where a sinister cult of ass-kicking wizards and mercenaries and other guys are performing really perverted rituals. Just sneak in, grab the book, and kill everybody. I'm sure you can do it. See you in a couple of weeks."
She didn't say a word. She turned around, jumped up on that big table over there, and kicked all the silverware onto the floor. And the plates. And Martin's books, and all his alchemy shit. Just kicked it on the floor. Then she went charging outside, onto the south parapet. I could see her out the window. She jumped right off the edge. That's, like, a five hundred foot drop.
I figured I wouldn't be seeing HER again.
So I go back to my drills. We chop the hell out of the practice dummies for the rest of the day, and someone cleans up the mess in the Great Hall and we have dinner. The squad goes off to bed and I'm sitting over by the fire toasting my boots, and Martin's at his table reading, and screwing around with paint brushes and a calcinator. ... I don't pretend to understand what the hell he does.
Anyway, it's about midnight and I'm nodding off for the second time when, BAM! The hall doors open, and, WHOOSH. Some guy in a full suit of armor with a helmet on comes tearing inside, full speed, and runs a circle around the room. He's jumping around in the air and he's got a sword in one hand, and he's waving his other arm all over the place, and his arm is glowing. He's casting a spell, right? It's Detect Life, I can tell by the glow, but he's casting it over and over again, for no reason, and just jumping around the room. He's fucking nuts. He kicks all the candles and the plates over, and he knocks the flour bags and the jars down ... he's just completely trashing the place, and I'm, like, "What??" I'm so confused I don't even realize I should be calling my guys out, so we can chop this wackjob to pieces.
But then the guy jumps over in front of Martin, and stops. I get a good look through the visor ... and it's that woman! The Hero of Kvatch! Why did she come back up HERE? And why isn't she dead from jumping off the mountain?
Martin looks up at her, and she kind of nods at him, and takes a book out of her backpack -- ugh, yeah I forgot -- her backpack is, like, enormous and stained and has all this stuff poking out of it. And it REALLY stinks; I mean, it fucking STINKS, like she's got a butcher shop in there or something. But anyway, she drops the book on the table, and Martin says, "Oh my god!! It's the Mysterium Xarxes!"
She says, "Yeah, here ya go. The high priest got away. And I saved a prisoner. And everyone else is dead."
Yeah! No, I hear you! That's impossible. That cave is almost sixty miles from here. And you can't even get inside it unless the moon is out. And I know for a FACT that there were at least a dozen necromancers holed up in there. First thing I did was, I stood up and said, "How did you GET there?" And you know what she said? She said, "Shut up. I'm talking to Martin."
Well I had no idea how to respond to that.
She talks to Martin about the book for a while, something about magic spells and portals and wiggedy wiggedy, I don't know; it all goes over my head. Then she says, "So what can I do now?" And Martin tells her, "Go get the armor of Tiber Septim. You can find it here, buried in a keep at the end of a frozen valley, past a tunnel under the mountain. It's surrounded by traps, and ogres and ghouls, and haunted by the spirits of the emperor's elite guard." He hands her a charred piece of paper. She turns around, and runs outside.
When she's gone I ask Martin what the hell that was all about. He looks at me for a while, with this very worried expression, and finally he says, "Have you ever heard of an NPC?"
"No," I say.
"Well, about a year ago, before all this -- uh -- crazy stuff happened, I went to Anvil for a few days and stayed at the Inn by the pier. I met a man there who said he was from Morrowind. He said he was going to charter a ship and sail to the other side of the world, because he wanted to be as far away from here as possible. I asked him why and he said, 'the Hero is coming.'"
"Yeah. Hero, with a capital H. He said there was only one of them. And he said everyone else -- you, me, the swordsmen, the necromancers -- everyone in Tamriel -- everyone else in the world -- is an NPC."
"So what's an NPC?"
"I don't know. I asked him that, and he just started sobbing. Then he fell off his stool and hit his head."
"And you know what? I think THAT," ... Martin pointed at the doors, "was THE HERO."
I sat back down in my chair. "But... She's insane!" I said.
"DON'T PISS HER OFF," said Martin.
"Uh, yeah. No shit."
We sat there for a while. The only noise was the fire, and the Mysterium Xarxes going "hzzzzzz, hzzzzz" on the table. Martin was staring at it, with his hands on his head.
I said, "Why did she knock everything on the floor?"
"I don't know ... and I don't care. We'll clean it up tomorrow. I'm going to bed."
The next morning, around nine o'clock, the Hero of Kvatch runs into the hall and dumps the armor of Tiber Septim on the table. I let Martin do the talking. He says "thank you", and then tells her to go get a humongous enchanted stone from the bottom of an Elvish ruin, on the other side of the country. THE NEXT DAY, she comes back, about mid-afternoon, and hands Martin a gigantic glowing crystal. It almost burns through his hand before he can set it down in the calcinator.
She says, "I had to stop in Chorrol to find a stolen painting and buy a house."
Martin comes over to talk to me, and says we need another stone, but this one can only be retrieved from an Oblivion portal. He says we can let the necromancers open a portal in front of Bruma, and then close it by taking the stone. We argue about that for a while, and the whole time, the Hero keeps summoning a putrid alligator-shaped creature in the center of the Great Hall, over and over. Sometimes she chops at it with her sword a little bit before un-summoning it and summoning it again. Pretty soon the creature is just FURIOUS -- spitting mad, and going, HARRRR, and farting yellow smoke -- It lunges and she jumps over it and kicks it in the ass, and then blasts it with fire, and the fireballs are blowing the furniture all over the room.
This goes on for about half an hour. The Great Hall is a wreck, AGAIN. My ears are ringing. Then she stabs the alligator guy to death, sending him back to the underworld or wherever, and opens up her backpack, and dumps a huge amount of weaponry all over the floor. Like, five swords, two shields, four pairs of boots, some amulets and rings... Then she dumps a bunch of paper out. Letters and maps and notes, stuff with wax seals, scrolls, entire books. Just throws it everywhere. Then she sits down on the edge of a table, and starts eating stuff out of her backpack.
She eats four carrots, then two loaves of bread, then a whole wheel of cheese, two ears of corn, some crab meat, a bloody demon heart, a handful of seeds, some fire salts, some ginseng, a chunk of ham, three whole heads of lettuce, an orange, two pears, two ENTIRE pumpkins, half a bag of uncooked rice, and a big heap of something that looks like vampire dust. Then she drinks five potions of light. I can tell because her head starts glowing.
Martin and I have finished talking a while ago, and we're just staring. I can't help it. She just ... keeps ... eating. Then she puts on her backpack, and walks over to Martin. He says, "Uh, we're going to open a portal, and we need a lot of soldiers to defend Bruma. Could you go to the other towns and ask them to send reinforcements?"
And off she goes again. Right off the edge of the parapet. I call my guys out of the barracks, and instead of chopping on the practice dummies all day like we usually do, we spend the rest of the day cleaning up the Great Hall.
And that's it. Nothing happens for the next month. The Hero is just ... gone.
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