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A Town in Ruins

Author: 
Anonymous

The former Blade finds themself on a path in the woods leading to what used to be their home town. The peaceful atmosphere is soon interrupted by what they see in the distance: their town is ablaze! Shortly after they encounter a Mercenary on the road.

Mercenary

Bloodfall Queen's business only.

Player

I'm going through, one way or another.

Mercenary

Have it your way.

Player

The mercenary attacks the player, who defeats him easily despite their poor equipment. Once the first mercenary has fallen, a second one runs up to join the battle. After landing some good blows, this mercenary yields to the player.

Mercenary

I surrender!

Player

Who are you?

Mercenary

Your town refused to pay taxes to the queen. We're here to collect.

Player

So you set fire to my town?

Mercenary

No, I don't know how that happened. Must have been an accident.

Player

Tell your queen to leave us alone.

Mercenary

Do you really think she listens to the likes of me?

Player

The player proceeds down the road and into the town. When they arrive the burning has stopped, but most of the buildings are smoldering runs. They are greeted near the gates by the town elder.

Junius the Elder

Say, you look very familiar. Aren't you... um... oh, it's on the tip of my tongue!

Player

The player now gets to choose their race, gender, name, and appearance.

Junius the Elder

But of course, it's you! Little [Player Name]!

Player

No one's called me "little" in a very long time...

Junius the Elder

It's been so long. Some were convinced you were dead...

Player

I joined the Imperial Legion.

Junius the Elder

With all this fighting, I imagine you must have seen some terrible things.

Player

Seen some, done even worse.

Junius the Elder

War can make monsters of the best of us. Redemption can be a long, torturous road.

Player

It's all in the past now.

Junius the Elder

You're right. We must focus on the future if we are to move past this.

Player

I went out looking for adventure.

Junius the Elder

I wish I had done so when I had the chance...

 

Junius the Elder

In any case, it's good that you're back. We need you.

I'm sure you have lots of questions for old Junius.

Player

What happened here?

Junius the Elder

The Bloodfall Queen sent mercenaries to collect taxes from the townsfolk.

Things escalated, and one of the men smashed the ancient statue of the town's founder.

At that point, all Oblivion broke loose...

We heard thunder, though the sky was clear, and green fire erupted from where the statue stood.

The flames spread uncontrollably, and most of the town was destroyed. My head aches at what little is left.

Player

Where is everyone?

Junius the Elder

A few people fled town when the Queen's men first arrived.

Others stayed, but were captured by the mercenaries, or were killed.

Player

The Bloodfall Queen? Who is she?

Junius the Elder

Urzoga gra-Batul. She's the Imperial vassal who rules over our small portion of the realm.

Since she inherited her grandfather's throne years ago, we've had nothing but trouble from her.

Player

What do you need me to do?

Junius the Elder

Rumor has it some townsfolk took refuge in the abandoned Highwinter Castle.

Goblins have been seen in that area. I fear our people may have been made prisoner, or worse...

Please. You may be the only one here with any chance of bringing them home.

Player

I'm only one person...

Junius the Elder

That is true. But if you don't go... Who will?

Player

I'll bring them back.

 

 

Junius the Elder

Here, take some Healing Potions. They're more useful to you than they are to me.

Best of luck, [Player Name].

 

Rescuing the Townfolk

Player

The secret Blade sets out to the abandoned castle to rescue the missing townsfolk. As expected, it is full of goblins. After dispatching some, they find one of the villagers in locked in a cage and release her.

Townsfolk

Thanks for saving me! I think the goblin leader still has Lond, the town blacksmith!

Player

The woman runs off to safety, and the Blade makes their way further into the dungeon, fighting rats and goblins until they locate Lond, locked in another cage. They release him.

Lond

I thought I was going to die in here!

I'm Lond, by the way, Blacksmith by trade.

See me in town if you need that sword repaired!

Player

The player heads back to town, and Junius is once again first to greet them.

Junius the Elder

You did it. I knew we could count on you.

It's good to see people returning, but now we need to take care of the town itself.

We should start with the Town Hall, right here.

It can serve as a shelter until more houses are rebuilt, and to store building materials.

Ready to rebuild the Town Hall?

Player

That sounds like a lot of work.

Junius the Elder

It is, but it's something we need to do to bring the townsfolk back.

 

Player

Just tell me what to do.

Junius the Elder

As it happens, you found enough lumber when you rescued those townsfolk.

We have some Limestone and Copper left, too. All together, that should be enough to rebuild the Town Hall.

 

Rebuilding the Town Hall

Player

Equiped with instructions from Junius, the player sets out to rebuild the town hall. The player also gets to give it a new name.

Town Hall

Here the townsfolk can organize and rebuild. The town's previous mayor died cowering in the basement of the old Town Hall when it collapsed.

After the Town Hall is rebuilt, they wander the streets for a while, observing the desolation. Near the front gate they meet Lond, the blacksmith they rescued earlier.

Lond

We're all in your debt for saving us from those goblins.

I'm much better at crafting swords than wielding them.

Player

I could teach you if you want...

Lond

Ha! Henrik, the weaponmaster, has tried to teach me to use a blade, but it proved hopeless.

Player

Henrik Seven-Swords is still alive?

Lond

Indeed. I don't think anything can kill that man. In fact, I'd be my last coin he's at the old arena, practicing as we speak.

So, do you think you can help me rebuild my smithy?

You might need some wood first, though. Perhaps you should seek out Varro and Jena Matius, the woodcutters?

The smithy used to stand on this very spot, but anywhere will do.

Lumber Run and Rebuilding the Smithy

To repair their equipment the Blade needed a smithy, and to rebuild the smithy they needed wood. So they did as Lond said and headed for the woods to find the Matiuses.

Instead of the tranquil nature they expected, they found the woods to be full of spriggans and wolves. After dispatching them all, they came across Varro Matius.

Varro Matius

Aren't you a sight for sore eyes!

I'm Varro Matius, the woodcutter.

My wife and I were separated. Please, find her and make sure she's safe!

Player

I will. What happened here?

Varro Matius

I don't know... Spriggans usually leave us along in this part of the woods. It's as if they've gone mad...

You might fare better with an axe to chop them down, though. Here, take this one.

Player

Armed with the new Iron War Axe, the player headed deeper into the woods in search of Jena. After a few more wolves and spriggans, they found her in a clearing.

Jena Matius

I was starting to worry...

I'm Jena Matius, wife of Varro.

Please, save my husband from those enraged Spriggans!

Player

I already did.

Jena Matius

Thank you, Warrior. Our lumber is yours. Please take as much as you need.

With the required wood in hand, the player returned to the town and rebuilt the smithy. Lond quickly took up his customary spot by his workbench.

Lond

Thank you so much for helping me rebuild my smithy.

Please accept these iron ingots as a show of gratitude.

Let me know if I can help you with anything.

And if you're willing to help others, you can always look up job postings on the board near the Town Hall.

Player

What do you remember about the attack?

Lond

The Queen's mercenaries didn't give us much of a chance to negotiate.

When we tried to negotiate with them, they started destroying the town.

When things began to get rough, I ran for the woods with the other villagers. As I left, I'm almost certain I heard an explosion.

Player

How were you captured?

Lond

I wanted to go back and investigate, but we were ambushed by goblins.

We didn't stand a chance.

Player

The Blade had Lond repair their gear and did a bit of trading before heading back out to town. They wanted to know more about what had happened with the Queen's mercenaries, and wanted to learn a bit more about those townsfolk that remained.

First, the player spoke to Zakana, a Redguard wandering nearby.

Player

Can you tell me what happened here?

Zakana

Of course! The Queen's men were telling us there was a price for being late on our taxes.

One broke off the head of the statue in the center of town with a big hammer, and it exploded into flames.

Player

What do you do for a living?

Zakana

I'm just a modest farmer, brave Warrior.

Player

Do you get a lot of people passing through?

Zakana

You came by, and we're certainly the better for it!

Player

After questioning people for a while, they decided to go back to the elder to see if there was anything else they could do to help.

Junius the Elder

I saw the new Smithy. It's a bit small, but it'll do. We can always improve it when we get more materials.

Other people may also need help. Check out the Job board near the Town Hall when you have time.

The woodcutters said that villagers may be help captive in Deadbrook Hollow.

That place has long been known as a hideout used by the Greencap Bandits.

I fear they may have taken advantage of the chaos and kidnapped our townsfolk.

It's probably worth looking into.

Player

I'm on my way.

Junius the Elder

Watch out for those bandits!

Player

Seems like a waste of time.

Junius the Elder

Ah, yes. I'm sure you have other matters to attend to.

The Greencap Bandits

Player

The Blade makes their way through the dungeon, dispatching bandits left and right. They come across two villagers locked in cages. While the first one just runs for their life, the second has something to say:

Townsfolk

Don't forget Saashi, the town's Loremaster! Last I saw her she was with their leader...

Here, I managed to steal this key from a drunken bandit. Maybe it'll help.

Player

The key unlocks a door nearby, and the Blade proceeds further into the castle to rescue the loremaster.

Saashi

Mmh... You do not look like one of th Bloodfall Queen's mercenaries.

Have you come to rescue Khajiit?

Player

Depends. Are you the Loremaster?

Saashi

That is what the townsfolk call this one, but Khajiit's name is Saashi.

Player

That's what I do.

Saashi

So Saashi's eyes play tricks, or are you an actual hero? A rare sight these days, indeed.

Saashi

What is your name, Warrior?

Player

My name is [Player Name].

Saashi

That is a nice name. Saashi is pleased to meet you, [Player Name].

Player

We don't really have time for this right now.

Saashi

Oh, all right.

Saashi

Many thanks, [Player Name]. Saashi is in your debt.

Please, come visit Saashi back in [Town Name]!

Player

Returning to town, the player is once again greeted by Junius.

Junius the Elder

You brought our people back, safe and sound. We are in your debt, [Player Name].

I'm truly grateful to you for rescuing Saashi. She's been like a daughter to me.

No one has ever shared my love for this own and its history as she does.

She was studying the Founder's statue in the town square when we were attacked. I didn't dare think of what might have happened to her.

That reminds me. Some of the villagers found what appear to be tunnels under the ruins of the statue.

You should go tell Saashi about the tunnels. I'm sure she'll be intrigued.

Player

That seemed like a good idea. The Blade spotted Saashi near the front gate and headed over.

Saashi

Saashi is saddened by the devastation here.

The founder's statue that got destroyed... Did you know it was created back in the first era?

Why would anyone destroy such an ancient artifact?

Player

Maybe the answer is in the tunnels below the town...

Saashi

Tunnels? What tunnels?

Player

The villagers found them while clearing out the rubble.

Saashi

Those galleries were likely build by the ancient Ayleids themselves!

We have to go down there to see what we can find.

Player

I'll go first, and make sure it's safe.

Saashi

Yes, that's probably for the best!

Player

Let me know what's down there.

Saashi

Perhaps [Player Name] could go first? Just... Just in case.