Monday, March 7, 2011

Adventures in Morrowind Part 17 - Attack of the Flame Atronach


The first villainous entity awaiting our blades inside the dank and forbidding cave was a mere scamp, charging ill-advisedly into combat as was this species' modus operandi. In the background you can see the more serious threat...

A Flame Atronach! Wreathed in mysterious red lights and empowered with fierce and eldritch enchantment, its spells scalded my armor and singed my blade. It's strange carapace reflected my mightiest blows and only its vengeful eyes could be seen through the raw steel of its pointed helm.

Even this critter can die when you hit it enough, though. It collapsed into a ragged mess of bone, orange skin, black armor, and still-burning flames, rippling from its wounds in lieu of more conventional circulation. A savage shriek in the twisted Dunmer tongue echoed through the cave as soon as the Atronach fell.

Driven to mad frenzy by the loss of her pet, this dark elf woman attacked us accompanied by a scamp. Reem kept her paralyzed while Aleria and I bludgeoned her still body. When she went down, the scamp disappeared in a cloud of faintly acrid smoke.

Her desk was well-equipped with scrolls and spells that would have served her well in the previous melee. Maybe in the next life, lady!

This little alcove did not, to my disappointment, contain the treasure trove of a band of happy leprechauns.

Not only Dunmer in this cave! This golden elf attacked me while her Atronach kept my comrades busy behind me. Her spells were shrugged off by my resistance to magics of all sorts, a boon I had since birth as far as I was aware. Her frustration was as short-lived as her friend's.

Reem fell in the combat. His corpse contained nothing of value and we left it become one with the cave. Perhaps his skull would be used aesthetically by the next Daedric Cult or Necromancer to take up residency here!

"Well," I said, "I guess it's just you and I now. Have you seen a back exit?"
"No," said Aleria, "I don't think there is one."
"Guess we have to go climbing."

The area around Red Mountain is full of deep valleys and high mountains. Climbing this mountain was a task in itself, every stone a potential death, the dirt settling into constantly moving rivulets under the weight of my armor.

The valley on the other side of the ridge was as bleak and depressing as the valley I had come from.

What looked like Dwemer ruins came out of the rocks on the other side of the valley. I tried to get up to an entrance, or find a secret passage, but I couldn't get up the hill near here and I couldn't find a good entrance. Guess I don't get to see what's in here.

Further down the narrow valley, the red dust began to fade into gray ash. These buildings peered from the mists ahead of me, their twisted spires inspiring me with a sudden and new dread. I had not seen these types of buildings before. Scary!

That twisted oval right ahead of me here is the entrance into the ruins.

Little dinosaur demons called Clannfears infested the rocks around the ruins. They attacked as soon as they saw us, tearing with four inch long jagged claws and twisted little beaks. They shrieked like parrots and bled red, but too sticky and dark.

Entering the ruins, I found myself descending twisted stairs into the heart of the forbidding structure.
"Slow," said Aleria, "Who lit these torches?"
I drew my sword. "Let's find out the hard way."

This commanding looking statue stood out in the middle of the temple.

This charging high elf with full plate armor and an enchanted sword tidily distracted us from the scenery, however!

Aleria proved her worth in this fight, her sword making quick work of the elf as he was distracted bashing away at my shield. Nothing on him was worth anything, unfortunately, as pretty as it was.

Deeper into the temple, a spellcaster tried a similar trick. He died the same.

A tidy sacrifice for a Dremora - now deceased - was at the foot of the sculpture. The gem already contained the severed soul of a Flame Atronach, and a glittering diamond kept it company on the plate.

I tried to set up camp in the now-empty temple, but a jerk up on a second story prevented me from doing so by urinating from his higher vantage point and dousing the fire I kept trying to start. A perusal of the exterior of the ruins showed no way of attacking this prick, so I left him alive and headed for the Ashlander camp.

As we staggered to the camp, weary from our long trip, I collapsed in the dust. An ashlander rushed over and helped Aleria carry me to a tent. The last thing I heard before I fell asleep was "Oh no, the Corprus..." 

What's Next?

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