Volume 3 – The College Days
Chapter #68 – Thane Of Winterhold
The only thing I can think about is this big explosion! Thankfully, the crew didn’t hear my pitiful scream that time.
Still, what a mystery!
I tried the staff but it was really normal. I mean it functions better than most staves but the damage output is normal.
My only theory is that the pirates had some explosive substance that reacted to the fire and gone kaboom!
Well! After the explosion I acted as if the forbidden magic from before took a toll on me and walked weakly to my cabin.
The crew members that came with me made a tantrum about how great I am and a small party was thrown to my honor but I actually was too tired to care.
Still, I made sure to gather those who came into the cave with me and gave them a lecture of how important it is to keep the matter of the forbidden spell a secret, or the Vigilants of Standarr will come after all of us.
“We will reach Winterhold by tomorrow before nightfall.”
Ongeim reported to me in my cabin.
“Good, I’ll leave the crew to you! Make sure that some get rooms in the Frozen Hearth inn and some guard in the ship. They exchange roles everyday.”
“Also, there will be a list of things you will sail here and there to buy for me! I’ll make sure to get us permission to fly the flag of the College.”
“Will we work with the College?”
“It’s better to be safe for the time being! We may change flags next year but we need safety now. Captain Geldof may start giving you some jobs so answer to him but keep reporting to me!”
I had to make some rules for the ship and give good treatment for the crew. They are my people now.
What I was worried about was the Jarl being a jackass during the coming part of the plan, but I have to trick him into wearing a helmet.
“Anything else Captain?” Ongeim said on his way out.
“Where is Jull?”
“Lady Jullanar is brooding on the quarterdeck.”
“Pffft! Hahaha!” Ongeim said few words that doesn’t fit a single sentence.
Lady! Jull! Brooding!
More like writing a peom for today’s massacre.
“Sorry Ongeim, but please call her for me!”
“Of course, Captain!”
A minute after Ongeim left and Julls came with an expressionless face.
I pointed at the bed and said, “Set down, we have something to do tonight!”
Here we go!
“Jon, I can’t take it this anymore!”
“What! Just take it, don’t move your body too much!”
“This is just too big for me to handle! My head felt like getting pierced because of it.”
“Just breath! Maybe you didn’t try one this scale before but amateurs experience this when they try a big one.”
“It’s exhausting! I almost fainted.”
“Next time! Remember to synchronize the flow with me. We will get the best result that way.”
“Lady Nurina and Lady Faralda said that it’s easier than this. Even when they did it together, they were doing it naturally with no problems!”
“What! They did it in front of you?”
“Yeah! Lady Nurina was teaching me few techniques!”
“Oh! I was planning to teach you these stuff myself. Such a let down!”
“Shall we go again!”
“Okay! Don’t scream if it hurts you. Just let me know and I’ll stop!”
We are now using a technique called ‘Combined Casting’.
‘Combined Casting’ is a technique of casting magic that requires more than juat one caster to apply a part of a spell’s runes and combine it with the other parts made by another casters, then they would cast it together.
This is one of the most difficult ways to cast magic! Simply speaking, one may have enough Magicka but can’t apply this number of runes on his own so he/she borrows the runes made by another caster. But as the runes will be split, the control will be split too, so everyone needs to synchronize the Magicka flow with the other or the spell will crumble.
This requires knowledge of even the bad habits of the other caster while they cast the spell together.
Asking a novice like Jull to perform such a complicated process would make her brain to overheat but I have no other option here.
What are we trying to apply here is an enchantment. And it is the most complicated thing I ever seen. Still, I, myself is the one who drew these runes on that sheet.
This rune sheet was akin to a high tech blueprint that has every single detail explained. After I finished this rune sheet, I felt like I went from the realm of magical runes to the realm of programming. Still, I know nothing about programming.
What is the enchantment you wanna know? Well, The effects of ‘Insinuating’, ‘Persuading’, and many other effects from the Illusion school were put into this enchantment.
What I was trying to recreate is something similar to ‘Bend Will’. A very powerful Thu’um that will make everyone and everything obey.
Of course, it was impossible to recreate it either by a spell or an enchantment. I wasn’t frustrated or depressed over that, actually I expected as much. That’s why I tried my best to get close to it as much as possible.
I poured two days of pure thinking into that rune sheet before I head to Dawnstar. My ideas were stalked up on each other and I made this enchantment somehow. But it needed many conditions to work. I also added few safety mechanisms so that it appear as a magical enchantment with a beneficial effect that protects from Magical Illusions. Any one would want that.
Also, from the loot we took, I chose a very old yet fancy and expensive looking helm that was forged beautifully and had few gems on it. It looked good enough to me.
I want to go to Winterhold straight up to Korir, put the damn thing on his head, and do the magic.
It won’t be easy but I am no one if I don’t have a plan.
“Let’s try again, Jull.”
After a day we finally finished it.
My head is as heavy as a rock now. I made some effort into that damn thing!
This thing has a very unique effect. It would give the wearer a magical fortification against Illusions but will also leave one crack open. Think of it as mind backdoor. I use that backdoor to alter the way the wearer thinks.
Putting aside my horrible naming sense, this Helm is just how you think of it.
A treasure made by a genius that will protect the aspect of ‘Mind’ but will leave it open to a certain ‘keyword’.
It is not a perfect artifact too. It is just a way to turn people ideas from a direction to another. Also you can’t just say “Kill yourself!” and expect it to work. If you wanted to use it for such a purpose then you need to say something more acceptable and easy for the mind to slip into. Something like a small suggestion.
The idea of insinuating itself is a bit devilish. It came to me from a certain drama about the Devil that I used to watch in my past life.[A/N: Lucifer.]
This was the basis. I also had to try it on someone and Jull didn’t show any opposition to the idea.
I think she don’t understand what is the idea behind the Helm anyway.
The Helm worked on her and I finally managed to persuade her with something that will benefit her very much. Of course I will not change her personality or do anything to harm her. She just had a bad eating habit so I thought it was a way to fix it.
My Jullanar should just stay crazy and beautiful as ever. I love her the way she is.
After the day of hard work, I went out and joined the crew. My people were doing their job without me just fine.
“Had enough rest Captain?”
“Yes, thank you Ongeim! Did we pass the island of Ysgramor’s Tomb already?”
“Yes Captain! We will reach Winterhold in less than two hours.”
“That was fast!”
“Lady Luck is smiling on us Captain!”
Let’s just laze around for now.
The sea is peaceful and I started falling in love with sailing. Something about it is charming especially when the ship starts running on wind and the sea becomes easy. I have a favorite spot on the side of the ship where I just cling to the shrouds and feel the wind on my face.[A/N: Shrouds: The net of ropes under tension that are used to support masts.]
If I can save this moment and experience it for many times, how great would that be.
Still, humans life is about moving on.
What’s the? A sailor is slipping from the ship.
This is on the other side.
Dammit! No one can reach him! He is even farther from the range of my ‘Grip’ spell.
Fuck it! Gotta run fast.
I pushed with my right foot ahead with the intention of running to the other side but something abnormal occurred.
I had to run at least twelve meters, and with my strong body, they would take four steps.
But I took nearly eight of the twelve meters with one step, and had to stop my body forcefully the remaining four meters!
I caught the sailor before her falls. But I caught him with one hand and carried him normally.
He is large, but I just carried him like that?
Something is not right!
When did I become this strong?
What is happening!
The sailors were excited once and making another applause. I had to smile and get myself away in my cabin somehow.
Just as I got in, I looked around for something.
Here it is. That tankard!
This tankard was made from iron and it was bent a bit due to me tightening my grip on it some time ago. I was just trying to release some frustration.
I held it again and tightened my grip.
As expected! It bent like a cartoon cup.
“That is impressive!”
Jull who was previously in the cabin was taken aback and looked at me strangely.
“I don’t know but I wasn’t like that last time I bent this tankard.”
“When was that?”
“Two nights ago!”
Jull thought for a while and pondered left and right.
“I was with you the whole time but nothing special happened!” She said.
“I know, we just went to the cave and all I did was casting magic since then.”
We went silent for a while. But I had an idea and undressed myself.
“Is there anything unnatural with my body?”
Jullanar came and starting pushing her hands on my muscles.
“I bathed with you, so I remember the shape of your muscles and it didn’t change. Still, they feel harder as if they got thicker.”
“How is that?”
“I don’t know! Just do that embarrassing pose you do when you finish training!”
“See! Before, they were not that hard but something changed!” She said.
I am a bit worried now!
I made this body strong by training like mad but this result is a bit unnatural even for this world.
I don’t have any magic to detect what is going on with my muscles so guessing was the only way now.
“Let’s do a quick recheck over the past few days!”
We starred remembering what we did from the day I left the college, to the pirate fight and how I acquired the ship to Dawnstar and the aura fight then to the cave invasion and the pirate fight afterwards. Up until now, there is nothing strange.
“I feel like we missed something!”
“I don’t know, did you consume or absorb something weird? Ate food from the ground? Slept und…..”
I had to knock on her head with a finger swiftly to make here stop. My body strength is uncontrollable now.
Wait a minute!
“You said absorb! I indeed absorbed something”
I remembered now!
Was it that?
It would be crazy if that was the reason.
“Go fetch Mjoll for me please!”
“No I feel nothing strange!”
“I remember sharing Vitality with you thought, you sure nothing is out of the norm?”
“Yes, are you feeling unwell after it Boss?”
“No, thank you for the concern but that’s another matter! You can go sis Mjoll.”
She excused herself and went out!
As a temporary member of the crew, she heard the rumors about me and Jull that is going out among the crew so she didn’t want to stay in the cabin and went out fast. Jull is being called ‘Lady’ by the sailors because of it.
Back to the current concern. I remembered something I absorbed when we were heading to Hob’s Fall Cave.
This was the Ice Troll’s Vitality when we fought that time!
During the fight. The troll attacked Mjoll fiercely, and I was trying to damage its Vitality while supporting Mjoll.
That time, I used ‘Absorb Vitality’ which is an incomplete spell on the troll. At the same time, I also used ‘Transfer Vitality’ on Mjoll.
I could just simply heal her but I was worried about having more vitality than I should have. I thought it may harm my body so I supplied some and absorbed some.
Was the Vitality varied in nature like Magicka too? Something like different forms of energy?
It indeed is! What am I saying? But this was a bit different from expected.
I absorbed the of Vitality from the troll in an equal amount to that what I supplied to Mjoll and the others.
Now that I think about it, I think I used the Vitality of my own to support my team but the Vitality of the troll still dwelled within me.
Another weird idea came to me, I took a dagger and injured my finger.
I gave it some Magicka to make the healing faster. It should take about ten minutes to fully heal this small wound just by focusing pure Magicka on it but the result has some changes.
It took seven minutes!
This is weird!
My natural healing is faster.
My strength is a bit more than my norm.
I know warriors that can be much stronger than that but this is quite the feet. To move eight meters in a single step from absorbing the troll’s vitality for ten minutes is terrifying.
I am not abnormally strong like a troll but I am stronger than the me from before.
This is amazing but also scary!
This is an unpredicted progress with not much known about it.
I need to research it more.
God! When will I ever finish these researches.
If I added this to the horde of researches I have, I may faint from shock.
Let’s just not think of bad things anymore!
“Release the anchor!”
“Take the sails down!”
“The cargo! Send people over here!”
Ah! Winterhold docks!
Tiny as ever!
Good thing we will have our place to keep the ship now.
My head is spinning!
“Jull! The thing?”
“Trudvar my man! Run to Elishka, tell her to get everyone in place.”
“As you wish!”
I started to walk the steps up to Winterhold while whistling, this felt rather refreshing. I am going to mess with Korir’s brain now.
The steps took some time but we were already there.
I dressed myself in my clean College robes and Jull was in a her dark fitting armor holding a tray covered with a red piece of silk. Of course the Helm was under it.
Ongeim and Mjoll walked around me like some Mini-Bosses around the Main Boss and directly we went to the Jarl’s Longhouse.
Trudvar met me on the way and nodded, then went back where he came from. This was a signal that ment nothing is out of the ordinary.
I had no time to waste now.
The area in front of the Longhouse was filled with people from around the town. Elishka’s role the past few days was to spread rumors through the inn as the best place to spread rumors!
Now everyone has heard a thing or two about what is going on.
She also increased the number of the so-called cheerleaders and also included the future bathhouse wenches in their ranks.
This will be good.
Guards surrounded the entrance as usual and the Dunmer Malur Seloth the steward of Korir was shouting at the people to send them away.
“Sir Mage has arrived!”
“Sir Mage, divines save you!”
“Sir Mage this…..”
“Sir Mage that…..”
Okay! What is going on here?
Am I this popular?
I don’t know anyone of these people!
“MAKE WAY!” Ongeim acted like a bodyguard and shouted at the people.
Well, that was unnecessary! We can just move between them politely like these old politicians from my past life. Kiss babies, take selfies.
Nothing of that is here anyway.
I walked straight to the Jarl’s door. Once Malur Seloth saw me, his grey skin started changing color.
This is my first time seeing a Dunmer’s face changing color.
“The Helm of Winterhold is retrieved, the people demand and audience.”
This was me saying ‘come out bitch!’
Malur looked around me. I was coming here with a number like usual. He looked around for a while then appeared to have arrived to an idea and ran in to Korir.
After a short time Korir came out with an indifferent face. I don’t know what is he thinking but my safe arrival should put his mood into shambles. Still, he was composed.
“Jarl Korir, I traveled by sea to the bleak cave of Hob’s Fall, invaded the place with a small force of mighty Nord youth, destroyed a cult of an evil god that laid waste to that part of the land, and finally retrieved the Helm of Winterhold, the same one from the old texts.” I made a speech, and passed the guards rudely with force and stood on the steps leading to the Longhouse talking to the Jarl and the people.
“Really now?” Korir said not minding me at all, “Why don’t you show us that Helm of Winterhold of yours.”
His tone was haughty and indifferent! I actually don’t know how he is going to counter this but I was using ‘Scan’ to detect what they might come up with.
I felt that Malur Seloth was carrying something akin to a Nordic Helm behind his back.
So they are going to do it this way, huh?
Still, I don’t think their plan will work.
I clicked my fingers and Jullanar came with the tray she was holding.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Jarl Korir and his venerable men. I present to you, the Helm of Winterhold.”
Jullanar held the tray high over her head and I took the red piece of silk away.
It was jawdropping how the helm I brought was beautiful. Its worth was equal to the whole town itself.
Gold and gems were all over it.
I don’t know from where the cultists brought such a thing but it was one of the most expensive treasures they have.
“This is not just a beautiful helm that came from the first era. This is an almighty magic artifact.”
“Artifact! Gods!” The poor town of Winterhold rarely saw a golden coin let alone an artifact.
“Indeed, it has the ability to Defy any magic being cast at you. This helm was known to be a strong item that used against mages.”
I took the Helm and presented it to Korir who took it with greed in his eyes.
“Mular, is this Helm that almighty?”
Mular changed the hand that was carrying the helm behind him and put his hand on the one I brought.
“It indeed can nullify magic but I don’t recognize the enchantment.”
“Of course, haha!” I said laughing, “It is ancient after all. It may be more expensive than any Jarl’s helm”
I said then looked at Elishka.
She looked to the people beside her and said something then they started to make an applause. Mostly they demanded Korir to put it on.
I was standing near to him and saw that his eyes couldn’t leave it.
The magical power of the crowd kicked in and they all demanded him to wear it.
He tried to look dignified and put it on his head.
Now it’s my turn.
I needed only to give him an idea.
“This looks good on you my Jarl, maybe you should make it a part of your official attire.”
Korir thought indifferently but this was just perfect! Now the idea was in his mind. Now then next step is to whisper. A whisper only Korir can hear.
“Program one, make it a part of your official attire. Program one, activate!”
Korir indifferent expressions changed and he showed signs of agreeing to my opinion.
“Haha! It looks good, it will indeed give me some appearance between the Jarls.”
Perfect! Just Perfect!
This was the true function of the enchantment.
Altering ideas. Changing Opinions.
Just as I give the whisper ‘Program’, the current idea in the head gets altered completely according to the order following ‘Program’.
It’s indeed a version of ‘Bend Will’ but it needs many conditions to work.
“Haha, congratulations Jarl. I guess now I get my end of the deal.”
Korir’s face turned grumpy once again but I only had to whisper.
“Program two, make things easy for me. Program two, activate!”
Korir’s face which was grumpy a while ago changed expressions and nodded.
“You have done a great service for me and my hold. I name you Thane of Winterhold, and I assign you that boy ,what’s his name? Ah! Trudvar, to be your personal housecarl. I also grant you permission to buy land in my hold and I’ll grant you a blade as a token from my personal armory. May it serve you well in battle!”
The people who were noisy a while ago were silent as the dead. It took them a while to process what they heard and started cheering madly.
After they calmed down I thanked Korir and shook his hand to give him an appearance. Malur Seloth on the other hand was lagging from what happened.
I guess this ended well.
I had one last thing I wanted to try.
“Is this your steward my Jarl?”
“Yes, Malur may be a Dunmer but he is a helpful man.”
Hehe! Alright, let’s keep him busy.
“Program three, Malur is a possible love interest. Program three, activate!”