TESL Battlespire: Facing Mehrunes Dagon

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At the end of the sixth part, I went through a teleporter that took me to Dagon’s Hunting Lodge.

As soon as I got there, I found a note. Once I read the note, I looked around and saw that the whole realm was made up of islands floating above lava.

Because the Dark Seducers around the island weren’t talkative (Actually, the only talkative Dark Seducer was the one in Part 5.), I spoke with a Wraith.

Wraith 1: LOOK UPON ME, MORTAL, AND DESPAIR!

Sinder Velvin: Spare this poor miserable life, in remembrance of the times when your mortal form also lived and walked and breathed fresh, spring air, and listened to the murmurings of the bee-loud glade.

Wraith 1: PREPARE TO MEET YOUR DOOM!

Sinder Velvin: I’m very disappointed. I’d hoped for a touching scene with fond recollections of a past life, followed by a shower of generous gifts and a heart-felt blessing. Silly me. It’s what comes of listening to all those bards and their silly romantic ballads.

After I defeated the Wraith, I encountered a Daedric Count.

Daedric Count 3: Come, manling. We hear you are quite the tough little thing. Our Lord says you shall not pass. Would you yield?

Sinder Velvin: Oh, sure. I would yield. Except I don’t trust you to honor my surrender. And I doubt my life is worth a parcel of sausages unless I splatter you and all your pals across the landscape. But otherwise, sure, I would be PROUD to yield.

Daedric Count 3: Good. Our orders are to kill you if you won’t yield. Admirably simple and straightforward. So. Don’t make me chase you about please. Just stand here and die like a good little Rabbit.

Sinder Velvin: By all the Powers, I dedicate each righteous thump and buffet upon your lousy carcass to the departed spirits of those who died defending Battlespire.

This Daedric Count’s name was also off by one letter, so you know what happened. Anyway, I eventually encountered Dagon’s Dark Seducer bodyguard.

Dark Seducer 2: I believe my lord and lover may have underestimated you, mortal. It is not a mistake I will make. But I must admit to a certain tingling of curiosity in anticipation of your actions, and your fate. And so I propose the following conditions. Do not offend against me, and I will not offend against you. Offend me, and expect no mercy. Do you agree?

Sinder Velvin: And what would constitute an offense against you, my lady?

Dark Seducer 2: An offense against my person, pride, or honor, mortal.

Sinder Velvin: And, if I were to threaten your lord, I suppose that would constitute an offense against your honor, supposing also that you are oathsworn to Lord Dagon?

Dark Seducer 2: Yes. Indeed. You comprehend me completely.

Sinder Velvin: A difficult matter, my lady. You see, I desire something from your lord that he may not wish to grant me. I desire my safety, and the safety of my friend, and our return to Tamriel.

Dark Seducer 2: I know my lord’s mind. I believe he might be content to spare your life and the life of your companion, on the condition that you both bind yourselves to him by solemn oaths. The harm you have done him grieves him, but not so greatly as to blind him to your value as a faithful servant. On the other hand, I am sure he would in no way consider your return to Tamriel.

Sinder Velvin: So, if my companion and I were to swear oaths to Dagon’s service, our lives would be spared?

Dark Seducer 2: Yes. I am confident that my lord would gladly grant you your lives, and further, if you serve him well, your rewards might be great.

Sinder Velvin: And what guarantee would we have that Lord Dagon would honor his oath, and preserve our lives?

Dark Seducer 2: None whatsoever. Humble creatures like you have no power to bind great lords to their oaths. But consider: great lords become great lords by attracting to themselves retainers of the highest quality. You and your companion have proven yourselves worthy.

Sinder Velvin: So we have no guarantees at all. We must simply trust to the generosity, and wise judgement, of Lord Dagon.

Dark Seducer 2: If you were to deal in good faith, then it would only be in my lord’s best interests to preserve you, and even encourage you with gifts and status if such were your just desserts. I have recognized your merits, and I have my lord’s ear. My recommendations would carry great weight with him.

Sinder Velvin: You have given me much to consider. Thank you, and goodbye.

I did, of course, fight it anyway. I took the Sword of the Moon Reiver from its remains and went on my way. After a while, I found a note among the remains of one of Dagon’s minions. “Lehmekweh” was the password needed to lower a drawbridge.

Shortly afterwards, I encountered a friendly Wraith.

Wraith 2: Do you have the Armor of the Savior’s Hide?

Sinder Velvin: Wait. You don’t sound right. Are you really a Wraith?

Wraith 2: No. I have taken this form to pass unnoticed in Lord Dagon’s domain. And I have brought you something you will be glad of when you stand before Lord Dagon. Farewell, and good luck.

Sinder Velvin: Oh. Thank you. Whatever you are. I think.

It gave me the Armor of the Savior’s Hide. I went on my way and, after kicking the spotted owls of many very powerful enemies, the area in front of Dagon’s citadel became a very safe place.

The spotted owl kicking continued inside. Eventually, they had all gone bye-bye and I was standing right in front of Mehrunes Dagon. Vatasha was hanging from a rope behind him. She was unconscious.

Mehrunes Dagon: At last. I trust I find you in good health? I had wondered at your delay.

Sinder Velvin: I am well, Lord Dagon, thank you, though I can’t say the same for your retainers who bid me welcome.

Mehrunes Dagon: Congratulations. Your Armor of the Savior’s Hide protects you from the magical forces that paralyze your friend. You are well-prepared – Which is exactly according to plan. Some important and valuable artifacts have long eluded my grasp, and now you thoughtfully bring them to me.

Sinder Velvin: I see you are well informed by your spies, the Seducers – Which is exactly according to MY plan. Certainly now you think you know everything, and become careless, complacent, and overconfident.

Mehrunes Dagon: Come now. Surely a Daedra Prince can fear no harm from a humble creature like yourself.

Sinder Velvin: See? Careless, complacent, and overconfident, as I said. Just suppose that this humble creature knows the secret of your PROTONYMIC? As in the sorcerous abjuration: I banish you, Mehrunes Dagon, Lehkelogah, to the Wells of Oblivion? How do you like them apples?

Mehrunes Dagon: WELL! I must say, I am impressed. Bravo! You are a promising student. However, I am afraid I must inform you that without my neonymic, the protonymic will do you no good. Har-har-har.

Sinder Velvin: Oh, dear! What a silly ass I am. Surely now you’ll blast me to powder because I lack your neonymic. Nuts. But. You know? I’m feeling lucky today. So lucky that I bet I can just GUESS your neonymic. Let’s see. How about? Djehkeleho-dehbe-effehezepe? Just a wild guess, but… Let’s give it a whirl! How about: I banish you, Mehrunes Dagon, Lehkelogah, Djehkeleho-dehbe-effehezepe, to the Wells of Oblivion.

Mehrunes Dagon: WHAT?! Why, you arrogant little bug. You think you can suck the power from me and cast me into Oblivion? Well, it is not so simple as that. So long as my power is anchored to this world, I can resist the outflow of my magica. If not forever, then certainly long enough to blast you and your incantation into component syllables. And consider, fool. No mortal weapon ever forged has the power to sever my anchor to this realm.

Sinder Velvin: Of course. How could I be so silly to have come all this way without a weapon to sever your ties to this realm? Only a weapon forged from your own substance could ever harm you. But. Wait. Look what I have here. The Broadsword of the Moon Reiver, personally forged from your own essence for your bodyguard and paramour, the Dark Seducer, who so lately has fallen in combat. Is it too much to hope that THIS weapon is the VERY WEAPON I NEED?

Mehrunes Dagon: A THOUSAND CURSES! You are right, mortal. I have been a fool. Mistakes have been made. But no more. You will die now. Before more mistakes are made.

Sinder Velvin: I can see I’ve pushed you too far. I just need a few moments of respite from your terrible power. Can no one help me? Will no one protect me for just the few instants necessary to strike the crucial blow? Shucks. If only I knew how to get in touch with my old friend and ally, who owes me a favor… JACIEL MORGEN! JACIEL! BY YOUR GENEROUS OATH, I SUMMON YOU! COME NOW! THIS IS A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD TIME!

Jaciel appeared in front of Dagon and distracted the Daedric Prince while I struck it with the Broadsword of the Moon Reiver. That’s when the ending movie began.

Dagon was shown going bye-bye. The Battlespire Hero was shown approaching Vatasha Trenelle. Had my character been female, I would have seen a female Battlespire Hero approaching Josian Kaid. The Hero was then shown going through a portal. Dagon’s Lodge was shown crumbling. The Battlespire, too. The movie ended.

Battlespire Manual – Designer’s Notes

Julian is fond of paraphrasing one of our mutual heroes, Sandy Petersen (designer-developer of Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Doom, and other light classics), to the effect that the best computer role-playing game experience is far less fun than the weakest pen-and-paper roleplaying game session. Julian also has stated as his Lofty Aim the creation of a computer role-playing game experience as satisfying as a pen-and-paper roleplaying game session. Julian is, of course, mad as a loon, but it is a fine and admirable madness.

Is Battlespire as much fun as a pen-and-paper roleplaying session?

Well, we’ve got your basic persistent power-hungry player characters, and your sprawling, exotic campaign setting, and convulted plots and quests, and handsome, amazing, otherworldly architecture and landscapes, and perky dialogue with obnoxious monsters, and cartloads of magic items, and lots of bad creatures and weapons to whack them with, and heroic high fantasy themes, and overconfident, grasping supervillains with sinister deathtraps, and acres and acres of dark, nasty places to poke around in like Rats looking for cheese. All this stimulating, immersive activity takes place in gorgeous environments lovingly crafted by obsessive, sensitive artists in startling THREE-DEE!

Does it get any better than this?

Actually, with the advent of multiplayer gameplay in Battlespire, you also get to accidentally roast those front-line Clowns in the tin suits with a fountain of fireballs. Even better, you get to play as competing gangs of Heroic War Wizards who DELIBERATELY roast the meat off their little pals.

So, maybe we’re getting there. Someday soon, when cheap and universally available technology lets us triumphantly shout at our friends as we roast the meat off them, THEN we’ll be able to smugly turn to Sandy and say, “Oh, yeah? Sez who?”

In the meantime, we’ll see you on the Net. Wear your asbestos skivvies.

THE END

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