Volume 3 – The College Days
Chapter #64 – Clash Of Auras
Now this young handsome man owns a ship!
It feels like fate was going in my favor this time, I now get to have my own supply line. I need some crew and money is no problem as Skald now gave me the ship without any charges!
I have to thank that mysterious man for making things easy. Well, I tried but he magically vanished after he went outside the Jarl’s White Hall.
I had to go back for the ship and pay for its repairs. The crew of the ‘Icicle’ can help me for a while until I get to have a crew. Now first thing and above anything was to get a crew.
I don’t have many friends in this town but I know one person and someone I got along with really well with.
That Ongeim from the tournament. And from what he said, he spends most of his time at the town’s biggest inn, Windpeak Inn.
From what I remember, the inn was owned by a man called Thoring. In the game, he was a grumpy sad man because the death of his wife but I guess she is still alive by now.
The Inn is the first thing you see when you enter the town as most inns.
Reaching the inn, I pushed the door open and closed it quickly.
It was bustling and warm unlike the cold weather outside. However, no sailors come to this inn as there is a tavern for them near the docks and they have to sleep in their ships. Most of those who visit inns are land travelers and Captains.
In the inn, some people appeared to be chatting here and there, a fight broke inside and some shady people were sitting together. A normal inn.
Most inns had what we call the ‘Notice Board’, there is a mod that actually adds that but in reality the boards are located inside inns. What was interesting about this inn’s notice board was how it was filled with wisdom and hunting contracts.
From what I remember, Dawnstar had two major problems. The attacks and the nightmares.
The attacks are actually due to the location of the town on land. Dawnstar is so isolated! To reach it by land, you will need to have a risky travel into wastelands of snow. It was even that annoying to travel here from Morthal or Winterhold by land in the game, let alone real life. This isolation in location caused a lot of wild animals and giants to form packs around the town and attack it periodically. Not just that, in the game, this town was attacked by dragons most of the times the Hero passed from here so it somewhat turned into a meme.
The second problem is the nightmares! This town is suffering from nightmares but only to those who are living here. Travelers are lucky to not be affected by the dreams. If so, this town would have lost many of its business long time ago.
Actually I know the cause of the nightmares but I am not planning to solve it, I need to make countermeasures if I am going to do this dreadful quest. After all, the player gets to encounter a Daedric Prince during it. I don’t want to encounter Daedric Princes just yet. What if they have the ability to see in my memories and find out about my past life. I don’t want to experience such a disaster.
Back to the present, the notice board was filled to its brim with wisdom and advices to left the nightmares which the consider a curse.
Sigh! Poor folk.
I looked around for a table and sat on it, besides it were three hooded men who looked relaxed even with how suspicious they looked.
I signaled for a woman that looked like a bartender, she came with a smile, “How can I serve you sir?”
“Mead, steak and Ongeim Scar-Mouth.”
“You can have food and drink alright but we don’t serve Young Ongeim, not yet anyway!” The woman said jokingly.
“Where is he?”
“Being cooked I’m afraid.”
“The fight! He is being beaten up by some girl.”
“A girl is beating Ongeim? I wouldn’t miss that for the world.”
I jumped of the seat and headed inside the inn, some people were gathering in a circle and two figures were exchanging blows.
Ongeim was indeed fighting a girl, she was as tall as me, a tad shorter than Ongeim, and blonde. She also seemed to be few years older than me, maybe twenty three or four years old.
What I found really impressive are here muscles! This girl possess some serious amount of muscles that made her feel like Hilda. She was not that buffed but I, who is very proud about his muscle frame, started to have second thoughts about it.
Ongeim face was swollen from the beating, this was totally unsightly. I feel sorry for him.
A clash was happening once again as Ongeim rushed forward with no strategy whatsoever and the girl punched him like lightning, but he managed to use a cheap trick and hit her on the head with a tankard.
The girl was infuriated from that, “You bastard!” She yelled and took a bottle from somewhere waving it at Ongeim’s head.
This is bad, I need him alive!
The only thing I thought of was to cast ‘Grip’ and snatch the bottle away, and so I did.
“Sorry lady, I need that guy alive!”
She looked at me then at Ongeim who was covering himself pitifully the she punched him in his stomach.
This punch sent him to his knees, and he was holding his stomach in pain!
“Dare! What are you doing here?”
“Blessing the town with my presence, harassing the Jarl, and looking for a crew!”
I approached him and gave him a hand to stand. He took it and stood in agony.
“To be beaten up by a woman! I am starting to worry I took the tourney easily!”
“Easy your mother! Get a punch by that she-bear and you will not wake up from it.” He said, “More importantly, how did you harass Old Skald?”
“Come set and I’ll tell you…”
I took him back to the table I sat on when I came in and told him the tale.
“To sink a vessel and liberate another in one go, I guess you won the tourney easily! Still, nice one with Skald too.”
“Haha! More importantly, this old man was so tensed about money, how did you deal with him after the tourney?”
“You can just guess it! Thanks to a certain someone breaking all bets and expectations, Skald gave us nothing.”
That’s harsh! I guess Skald is that grumpy.
“I have some septims for you, if you are interested!”
“As long as it includes nothing like wood cutting or mining, I am out! But I am guessing you want me for your crew thing!”
“Yes, I can captain well alright but not all the time. I need someone with experience and a crew. At least ten, they also have to be good warriors!”
“How much will you pay?”
“Five silvers a week.”
“Make it six and I’ll be able to get these guys from the team!”
“Fine! The job can last as long as they are willing to work. It will include some dungeon delving and some treasures hunting!”
Ongeim thought about it while holding his swollen face, I cast ‘Healing’ on him and he nods a thank you.
“I can gather few friends by the end of the day. But my friend, you are no a renowned sailor, some may get reluctant.”
“I’ll appoint you the captain as long as I don’t need the ship, you will sail around the main ports to supply my business in Winterhold. And if there any adventure that requires the sea, we will go for it together!”
He thought for a while and smiled, “Fine, I like the sound of it. My friends will be here in an hour so I’ll talk them into it!”
This is a good news to me! As long as I get my crew, I’ll be in a better position against Jarl Korir. Even though the ones supporting him are pirates, they must be thinking I am traveling on land and will wait to ambush me somewhere on the road. They might get a wind of me in the sea but I made a plan for that.
“So tell me, why did you fight with that girl?”
“He touched a girl buttock!” Speaking of the devil, that devil came out of nowhere and looked at Ongeim as if she wanted a second round.
I was impressed! This girl is acting like some sort of superhero for women!
“And what’s it to you? Huh?” Ongeim was angry and stood up to face her.
“Okay both of you! Hakona Matata! Set down, no more fighting!” I had to interfere. Seriously, these two are just stubborn.
“Ongeim, I am your employer now, just sit down and listen. And lady, this guy is my crewmember, got a problem with him you come to me.”
“Oh! So your standing for a scum like him?”
“Just because he harassed a girl doesn’t mean no one else did. If you will beat up everyone who touched a girl arse, then I am afraid its you against the whole inn.” I said, “I mean.. we all did it at some point.”
Some people were saying ‘yeaaah!’ and laughing evilly, standing up for Ongeim. Even the three mysterious men in hoods beside us were laughing.
“Humph!” The girl snorted in dissatisfaction. I actually can understand her but I can’t break the golden rule, ‘bros before *oes.’
“Anyway, I am a new captain, a businessman, and trying to become an adventurer. You my lady gave me the vibe of adventurers. Don’t get me wrong! I am inviting you for a business drink here, nothing more!” I said then turned to Ongeim, “Hey you! Go apologize to that girl you touched and buy her a drink!”
“No buts! Just go.”
Ongeim stood and went to the counter while the girl was reluctant either to sit or not.
I sat down and pointed at here unusual sword, “Quite interesting, that sword I mean. It looks like it’s a Glass sword, right?”
Glass gear is not actually glass, they are made of Malachite! A green beautiful mineral that can be forged by Elves.
“Ah yes!” The girl eased a bit and sat down, “It’s my blade, Grimsever.”
“Oh! Nice naming sense! Clearl… *CaughCaugh* You said Grimsever?!”
The girl nodded!
Holy Marbles! It’s her! With Grimsever! She didn’t lose it yet!
“By the by! Could you be the famous adventurer Mjoll? The one known as The Lioness?”
The girl was taken aback, “I am Mjoll! But I don’t know if I was that famous, Sir?”
“I am Jon!” I said offering a hand shake, “Nice to meetcha!”
Mjoll The Lioness, a very known NPC and one of the most straightforward people a player can meet!
She has a bit of a complicated history and she hates bandits and all their kinds. Bandits attacked the village she grew up in and killed her brother.
Mjoll at her young age was taught swordsmanship from her mother and went on adventures across all Tamriel with her father!
At some point of her journeys she went into an ancient Dwemer ruin. These ruins belonged to the long lost race of the Dwemer (Deep Elves), this world’s concept of Dwarves. A race that exceeded all other in knowledge and craftsmanship. They even had Automatons to protect their cities that still work since the olden ages.
Now, this Mjoll is actually going to delve into one of those in maybe the near future.
What she doesn’t know that she will be faced with a giant automaton that will defeat her and push her to the verge of death only to be saved by an imperial called ‘Aerin’.
Aerin, one of the residents of Riften, and God! He is the slimiest most annoying person in town!
He will rescue Mjoll and bring her all the way from the Dwemer ruin to Riften! He later will realize who he rescued and will use her to press the Thieves Guild around the town!
Her reason will be fighting thieves like the ones who attacked her village and killed her brother. But she was driven by emotions and manipulated by Aerin who is actually is one of the biggest information brokers in Riften!
The whole manipulation thing didn’t appear in the game or anything. It was just Mjoll going around all day chasing thieves and acting as the godsend hero of the people.
Irrational and irritating! Can’t she even think for herself? Riften is a shithole and will remain one, even the people is well accustomed to that. Some people would make deals with the guild then when we come ask for our money, they would run to the guards.
She will only add more trouble between people and the guild. Actually, I can’t let that future happen.
After a long conversation with her, I tried to give her a good impression about me. If that Aerin will be able to turn her head around then it’s not hard for me.
“So Mjoll, where is your next adventure? Up to the sea?”
“No, not this time. I am not used to adventuring in sea but I will do it one day!”
“Not the sea? Then what brings you to Dawnstar? If you head south then there are only wastelands of snow and wilds.”
“I am planning to do so. There is a place that peaked my interest some time ago and I think I want to venture there!”
“A place that peaked your interest south to Dawnstar? Don’t say it let me guess! Hmm? Windward Ruins? No, nothing is there! Korvanjund? No, that’s too far! Hmm..”
“Miznchaleft.” She whispered.
“What! Oh God! That won’t do, won’t do at all.” I said.
“Listen sis! This is a College secret. We sent an expeditions there not too long ago, a number of Scholar Battlemages! Believe me when I tell you, that’s not a force to be messed with.” I said and looked concerned, “They returned back in an unsightly shape. From what I overheard, they faced a number of large Automatons called the Centurions. Some even died in the fight!”
“Is that true?”
“Dead true, but that’s a big secret, if the other forces knew of this we will be a laughingstock! The Arch-Mage himself ordered the ruins to be again and the news to be kept a secret! I only knew because my Master is an actual force in the College and she said it around me nonchalantly.”
Mjoll looked down and started thinking, she was reluctant to give up her adventure that easily, “Such a shame!” She said.
“Don’t feel so down! I believe the Divines arranged that meeting for a reason!” I started talking like a shady business broker, “I am in a quest to clear a cave, maybe there are some undead, treasures and god knows what else! But that’s all on the surface, there is a bigger fish I am trying to catch!”
“I am listening.” She started listening.
“There is a pirate gang that call itself the Blood Horkers ………”
I started telling her the story of Winterhold, the corruption of the Jarl, the suffering of the people, how the pirates will target me, and the quest of retrieving the Helm of Winterhold.
Mjoll was showing the expressions I wanted to see, that’s why I started to tell the tale from the word ‘pirates’ and kept saying ‘pirates’ every sentence. She hates bandits and pirates. She even put us ‘poor’ thieves and ‘honest’ smugglers in the same category. I need to clear this misunderstanding but later on.
“So you want to remove the Jarl and what? Be the next Jarl?”
“Me? Jarl! Hahaha, I am sorry I just couldn’t help it.” I said, “Come on! I can be anything but a governor, people will go straight to Oblivion.”
“Then what is your plan?”
“Hmm! I can’t say it is one plan, there is a business plan and governing plan as well as society plan and a strategic plan. If I start to act, it may take years to cut the pirates hand and their supporters. If we did that, Winterhold will be an easy piece of meat to whoever takes it first. Don’t forget that all businessmen fight over any territory that may look good, especially a territory that is too good and has a sea access as well as a treasure trove called the College of Winterhold! If we just fought with the current tiny chance of winning we will just open an opportunity for someone maybe worse than the ones ruling now and we will take nothing for ourselves!” I said, “My current plan is to start a small business to circulate money in the town, it will be a shady piece of business but it is what the town needs. I will establish myself a name an gather the people around me. I’ll give them work and help. The next step will be finding more people who can act as public figures and lead the populace as well as making more people migrate to Winterhold. This will secure us all the manpower we need to establish both economical and fighting force, which will lead us to the last step, the independence and taking down the Jarl as well as opposing his supporters.”
“You thought of all that?” I was not focusing on her face when I was talking, I was busy moving the cups and bottles around as if some chess pieces to give her an understanding of my grand plan. When I looked at her face however, she was shooting beams of sparkles from her eyes at me.
What a simpleton! I hate that kind of people who act like heroes throwing around flyers of justice and fighting evil while not actually doing anything about how to fix the problem from the source.
“Of course! I won’t go beat everyone who ‘touch girls’ buttocks’ before I make a social movement of under the sign of ‘No Touching Buttocks’ and gain supporters.”
Mjoll’s face turned red as she realized what I meant. But suddenly she thought of something and narrowed her eyes at me, “Why me?”
“I mean why did you tell someone you are not familiar with your plan? Aren’t you afraid of me ratting you out?”
“Sis, if I came to hire you as a bodyguard in my quest without telling you a word, will you agree?”
She thought and said, “No, I am not a sellsword.”
“Exactly, I knew that the moment I saw you. You are that kind of person who care about the people and act based on what they feel right or wrong. I am not saying it is bad. It’s just not the way how the world works?”
“And you know the way how the world works?”
“Every cat, mouse and skeever in Riften knows the way how the world works. Of course I had Uncle Delvin to teach me so I grew up judging people by these scales.” I said, “But that’s not important now, I just offered you one big size adventure that will make you busy for maybe few years, what do you say sis, you’re in?” I smiled and offered a handshake.
Mjoll thought for a while then nodded and took my handshake.
Hehe! To your face Aerin.
Mjoll agreed to join me and went to bring here stuff, now I felt rather accomplished. Having that beast around me is a good deal and will make my job in Winterhold much easier! She will be a pain in Korir’s ass.
I couldn’t help but smile and imagine how he will feel having two people he can’t go against wrecking havoc in his system.
Still, I was not comfortable with these three shady mysterious guys on the table next to mine. There were a five meter space between us but they were gazing at me the whole time, is something funny on my face. I even raised my tankard to them with a smile to tell them ‘stop looking you fools’ but they shamelessly raised there tankards back.
I am afraid if they were eavesdropping on me talking to Mjoll, this may turn into a problem.
Suddenly, a man came in and called, “Jon, we are leaving in two hours.”
Who is that? I don’t recognize him!
“Fine, will be there.” Strange enough, one of the shady people answered.
I looked at him but couldn’t see his face under the hood, this is annoying.
“I am sorry, my brother’s name is Jon too.”
One of the other two who sat on that Jon side talked directly too me.
Hmmm! Another Jon! But he said ‘too’, these guys listened to some of what I said it seems.
“Don’t get tensed young man.” The third said, “My friends will politely apologize for their rudeness.”
The third was dressed in a different kind hood, it was dark but a bit colorful. I sensed a lot of Magicka from him.
The other two felt dangerous too. The one who spoke to me felt as sharp as a blade, and the other one called Jon had a strange Magicka that felt not like a blaze.
These guys were releasing some sort of Aura at me!
What skill is that? This is interesting! So interesting! I want to compete with them even though my loss is guaranteed.
Wait! I also made something like that. The incomplete spell that I released at Jullanar to suppress her madness.
Hehe! Here I go.
I used the hand on my other side of them to evoke and channel it directly.
‘Aura of Madness’, it’s as far as I could go but it will counter these crazy fellows.
Now our Auras met. I was clearly at disadvantage but they were going easy at me.
Still, I’ll be rude.
I stepped on the oil pedal and increased the output. They also did.
Our Auras were not visible but I think if I used a vision spell, I would see them.
One Aura was filled with power, as if nothing can stop it. One Aura was sharp like a blade wielded by a monster. One Aura was as if the fire that can eat anything and everything.
These were the colored hood man, the man who talked to me, and his friend named Jon respectively.
My Aura, on the other hand, was too unrefined, a bit weaker and all over the place. Still, it carried madness, anger, fear, and a lot of negative aspects. I was not done. I was comprehending how to power it up more. How to correct the aspects.
What a chance! I smiled widely! My smile was so wide! I contain my happiness anymore.
The first to back down was not me. It was the man who talked to me. He stood up and looked around then shouted, “Enough!”
As if I was woken up by a cold bucket of water. I realized what I have done.
These people’s Auras was contained and focused on me! My Aura, on the other hand, was all over the place. Unfocused and was wrecking havoc not just against them, but too all the people in the inn.
The place turned messy.
Some people were looking at me as if I was some sort of a beast!
The three stood up and came to my table!
“Mind if we join you?”