The Elder Scrolls Traveler: Issue 4
A new issue will come out every Sunday (or Saturday, for those in the US).
  • Game Guide
    Knights of the Nine -- Priory of the Nine.
  • Traveler Talk
    An interview with Proweler, official forums lore doyen.
  • Mera's Maps
    Fort Blueblood, Fort Blueblood Halls, Fort Carmala.
A call to webmasters: If your site's button is not on the right then why don't you affiliate with TES Traveler?



LATEST NEWS

For those of you with XBOX Live Bethesda have released a new Shivering Isles Theme and Gamer Pics for your console. You can preview them here.

In other SI news, designer Bruce Nesmith has chatted to On the Xbox about the upcoming expansion. Here's an interesting excerpt from the interview with some new information about the game:
...There are also many totally new creatures, such as the Gnarls, which are living trees, or the Elytra, which are giant insects reminiscent of preying mantises.

Even the human encounters have some fresh takes. The Zealots and Heretics wear special robes. If you put on these robes, the Zealots and Heretics will think you are just one of them and not attack. Don’t get too close though…if they get a good look at you, they’ll see through the disguise and pounce.

For those of you hanging out for the PS3 version of the game, Cosmos Gaming has posted a preview of Oblivion on that platform.


Screenshot of the Week -- PS3 Users Get Lucky



MOD TALK:
The best mods on the net

Most of us who play Oblivion on the PC play with certain mods and also have opinions about which mods add the most to our game. Some of us like to make those views public, and share what we've discovered with other gamers. Here is a list of lists, so to speak: of what Oblivion gamers are recommending to the fan community.

Ten essential Oblivion mods @ Planet Elder Scrolls
Must Have Mods @ The UESP
Oblivion: Make It Pretty Guide @ GameSpot
A Short and Useful Guide to Oblivion Mod Heaven
Bobbo's Oblivion Mod's List
13 Oblivion Mods That Should Not Have Been

I'm downloading a mod called Book Jackets which promises to add unique textures to every book in the game. If I can get it to download and work I'll review it next week.


GAME GUIDE

Knights of the Nine -- Priory of the Nine
You'll need to make some preparations for this quest before you embark. Get together say five to ten healing potions and five to ten restore magicka potions/welkynd stones and shove them in your bag before you'll depart. There's not much combat, but the one battle you do have is tough.

The Priory of the Nine is marked on your map. Travel there to discover the it is abandoned: the stables are empty and the vegetable patches run fallow. An inspection of the Chapel reveals nothing of interest, though you can pray to receive a blessing. Exploring the Priory itself is similarly uneventful, though you can claim a valuable book from the upstairs room. Head back downstairs to the large 'Knights of the Nine Seal' on the ground. Equip Sir Amiel's ring and activate the seal. The ring acts like a key and will unlock the seal, forcing it to descend into a short staircase leading to a door to the Priory basement.

Stairs descend as if by magic...

Despite the presence of lit candles the Priory basement is distinctly empty. There's little of interest here, though you can claim a KotN Cuirass and Shield from one of the chests on the far side of the room. Don't get your hopes up, though, because the Cuirass is not the Crusader's Cuirass. You didn't think it'd be that easy, did you?

Head through the door to the Chapel Undercroft and you'll see the Cuirass on a wooden mannequin at the far side of the room. It looks as if you could simply walk over and grab it. In video games, this always means that you can't. Make a new save here, so that if you find you've come underprepared, you can leave and stock up on supplies before returning. Regardless of whether you explore the side rooms now or later, the only way to reach the Cuirass is to cross the floor, and doing so will automatically trigger the arrival of the Knights of the Nine: in ghost form, of course.

Sir Amiel challenges your presence aggressively as the other Knights form a circle around you. He declares that you'll have to prove yourself worthy before the Knights will allow you to take the Cuirass (which is currently shielded by a magic barrier). How will you prove yourself? By beating all of them in battle, of course.

None of the Knights are particularly hard but it is the test of fighting eight NPC enemies in a row that is the challenge. Between each battle you'll get around fifteen seconds in which to regenerate mana and heal. Use the time wisely. You did stock up on potions before you came, right?

One you've defeated the Knights in the circle you'll have to take on Sir Amiel himself. Fortunately, he's not much more difficult than the others. After defeating him you'll learn that you're the first to survive the test in the three hundred years since the demise of the Knights. It's not that hard when you're the only person to attempt it though: Sir Amiel's ring, the only means to access the Chapel Undercroft, remained undisturbed on his body from the moment of his death. Unless the ghosts of the KotN somehow return it to his body when every new challenger dies. Oh well, it's a fantasy game: who am I to nitpick about realism?

Now that you've claimed the Cuirass you need to speak to all of the Knights in turn. Exhaust their conversation options. You'll learn some interesting information about one of the Knights, Sir Berich, who betrayed the order. You'll also learn where you need to go to recover the rest of the Crusader's relics, and get a preview of the tests that await. Next week join me on a mission to recover the Boots of the Crusader from Kynareth's loyal priests.

You'll find the Knights quite personable...
after they're done trying to kill you.

READER TIP:
Sent in by Shadowolf

On my travels, I have discovered a way to make your repair hammers last longer. With this guide, all you really need is a hammer and some cracked gear. If you take this seriously enough, then you may feel that armorers are pickpocketing your gold. The only con is that if you aren't high enough level to repair magical stuff, you'll have to hand over money to the smiths to do the work for you.

What you will need:
  • 1 empty hotkey
  • Quicksave
  • Repair Hammer (less than you think ;)
  1. Quicksave
  2. Open the repair screen
  3. Click on something to repair once. This is crucial to keeping your hammers chip-free.
  4. If you don't break a hammer, great. Press Quicksave. If it does break, then Quickload.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until everything's in tip top shape.
I've noticed that breaking a hammer is a random event; Oblivion doesn't schedule the exact time you break a hammer. Sometimes it seems like it, but if you click on something else to repair, then it usually doesn't break.

Pretty neat, huh?

Send your tips to ledriver at gmail dot com.



TRAVELER TALK
An interview with Proweler,
official forum lore buff.


Could you introduce yourself?
Well certainly. I'm Proweler, roundabout 20 and since recently a IT student at university.

How and when did you discover the Elder Scrolls games?
I got interested in the Elderscrolls when reading a preview for Morrowind so that must have been about 5 years ago at the start of 2002. The preview promised "an entirely handcrafted world to explore" and I more or less got hooked on on those words.

When the game finally came out, I spend the next month or so either behind my PC playing or telling my friends about the stuff that I had done in the game the day before. It didn't last long before they got hooked as well.

What attracts you to studying and discussing Elder Scrolls lore?
That's a difficult qeustion, but I reckon I just like stories, fairytales, historical dramas, myths and all.

Which part of the lore do you find most interesting?
The parts were I get to make up stuff for an answer. *Laughs*

But seriously; the unanswered questions, they provide an excuse to read through the same stuff again and put things together to make an answer.

Do you have any advice for budding lore-masters?
Read about the things you like, not just in the game but outside of it as well because allot of Lore has been 'inspired' on real world ideas.

....and don't skip on Le Driver's excellent guide. (ed: Aw, thanks Proweler, hehe).

What is the best thing about being part of the Elder Scrolls community?
The people ofcourse! So far I've made allot of friends in the last few years and I plan on eventually visiting some of them.

And that's it. Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my questions.
My pleasure.



BUG FIXER

Please submit unsolved bugs or bug fixes to ledriver @ gmail dot com.
Unsolved bugs should be submitted in this format:

Quest name:
Description of bug:
Platform (PC or XBOX360?):
Have you downloaded the latest patch?:
Have you tried anything so far to fix it?:



MERA'S MAPS

I have some pretty cool maps for you this week. The first is of Fort Carmala, a vampire lair. While cleansing the place of undead abominations I actually managed to contract perphorric whatchamacallit -- vampirism -- from a real vampire! I spent a few hours pacing around, trying to decide whether I should accept eternal life and superhuman strength at the expense of my moral compass. Then I thought, what moral compass? But I decided against it. I didn't think most of you, being my clients, would be too keen on buying maps from a vampire. You'd be more likely to just kill me, take my maps and collect my cool levelled NPC loot. But hey, I don't blame you: I'd do exactly the same thing if I were you.

In other news, I now have free access to the Arcane University. I'm not on great terms with Raminus Polus after I decided to test my new spells in the lobby of the Arch Mages' tower, but he knows I'm an asset to the guild. I made this rough map of Fort Blueblood on one of the recommendation quests I needed to complete. I couldn't be happier that my days of running stupid errands for stupid people have passed.






THE LOREMASTER
This week's Loremaster is Lycanthropic_Nerev.


LN's "Vampire Physiology"

Lycanthropic_Nerev


Speech given at the Imperial Library, Loredas, 21st of Frostfall, 4E3

I, the resident vampire and vampire scholar, will attempt to answer a question that is not commonly enough asked: "How do vampires function?" Most people believe that we function by evil magicks. I am here to show that, although the origins of a vampire are speculated upon and difficult to answer, their physical makeup after the "Birth" stage is not actually Dark Magick, but as normal and physical as the Guards outside the library.

First, I would like to outline vampire stages. First, there is the "Chrysalis" stage, which are the three days during which the victim may cure himself. The first part of this report will explain that.

During the three days, all a victim feels is slight fatigue and nightmares. This is because their blood is slowly becoming the vampire dust that is, as any alchemist would know, dried vampire blood. Any curative potions or spells will restore normal blood flow and consistancy. From the Chrysalis Stage, we come to the "Birth."

The Birth stage is different based on which clan infected you. The clans of the Illiac Bay actually take on a death-like state during this stage, while many other clans merely have a terrible nightmare. The reasons behind this stage will be mentioned later.

The final stage, which is Vampirism itself, is the most easily recognizable. Repulsion of sunlight, ashes for blood, etc. All the symptoms of that stage are very clear.

For the second part of my report, I will state the reasons behind the Birth stage and also the physical makeup of the Vampirism stage. Of course, I will also provide a middleground showing how they are related.

Now, I cite The Vampires of Iliac Bay to show that in the regions where the physical change is most severe the victim "dies" for a time during the Birth stage itself. Now, some of our more adventurous types may have been severely wounded before. They may have been wounded badly enough to discover that Healers can lull thier patients into a kind of stupor in order to reduce pain during difficult treatments. My kin, the Whet-Fang of Argonia, use a simmilar methods to decrease pain, and thus, struggling, of victims during a feeding.

Now, that is relevant because perhaps the "death" that takes place is used for a similar purpose, to prevent the afflicted from feeling the pain of the transformation. For internally transformed we are. When a mortal eats, the food is sent to the stomach through the esophogus to be digested. With Vampires, instead of digestion the blood is transferred almost instantly to our vessels during feeding. I speculate that during the Birth the vampire's stomach and intestines are surrounded by blood vessels to filter and absorb the blood from the stomach, and they branch off rather painfully to larger blood vessels. The lowest reaches of the digestive system close off and become useless organ tissue. Since the change is less in Cyrodiil and Morrowind, the nightmare that a vampire recieves during the Birth is sufficient to hide the pain, masking it in the psycological pain that it gives, instead of total mental inaction.

However, my origional theory for vampiric digestive systems, though proven wrong for most clans due to the fact that poisons in a victim would transfer to us, may exist in Argonia. The Whet-Fang clan, primarily made up of beings who were once Argonians, may have direct transfer from their stomachs, rendering thier intestines useless as well. This is because they have evolved, due to the poison immunity that most of their members share, they may have evolved a faster, direct transfer. However, that is purely speculation.

I do not attempt to deny that vampirism gives it's recipient bizzare magickal powers, such as the ability to reach through solid ice as told of the Volkihar Clan in the anonymous work Immortal Blood, but we are still physical flesh and blood, even if the latter is not our own.

As a side note, the few reported cases of cured vampirism do not have a counterpart to the Birth stage, so they feel all the pain of the transformation without any aid. I cite the private papers of one Galur Rithari, a Bouyant Armiger who claimed to have been cured, particularly this passage:

"I placed the gem within the basin before the altar, and instantly experienced a blinding of pain and terror that I cannot express in words, except that it seemed afterward that I had been asleep and dreaming that I was being sliced by thousands of tiny knives from my bowels inside out. I awoke before the altar, and gazed in the reflection of my own sword blade at my own face - no longer a blood-seeking beast of teeth and empty eyes."

It can easily be theorized that he felt what one would feel if they were in the Birth stage of an Aundae Clan vampire, only without the dream. It can be similarly surmised that, as the three clans recieve the same indicating dream as they are Born, that that is what it would have felt like for any cured Morrowind vampire.

On a different side note, the Cyrodiilic Clan of vampires undergoes less of a change at one time, instead developing the Vampirism stage in a perpetual Birth over several days if unfed. This leads me to believe that perhaps any cures, such as the legendary and quite likely fictional Purgeblood Salts, would be less painful, though not entirely painless, than a cure in any other clan.

That concludes my speech. Thank you for your time, my fellow scholars, and thank you to Morgrim for correcting one of my incorrect contentions on this subject.

* * *
Reproduced with permission from the author.


 
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