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Exploring Hrrska-Set with microfictions

tinythinker
tinythinker
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For some reason I've never really had much of a sense of the characters I create in ESO. Many reasons for that. I don't plan to roleplay but at the same time having a character fleshed out some can make playing more interesting at times. I decided to see what I could come with for the character with the most achievement points. Nothing. I even made some really great prompts for any character to inspire exploration into why they are roaming all over Tamriel. But there was no clear indication of which concepts to use for this character. A background survey approach faired even worse.

So, it occurred to me to try a narrative approach. But since I am exploring, I decided to use small snippets. I mean, knowing me I might end up writing longer things but small to start. Understand though that:
  • these are not attempts at great writing, but rather capturing ideas and inspiration so I can see if it's helpful
  • these are not necessarily consistent because the notion is to explore
  • there are no fixed answers to what any of it means, at least not right away
  • i have no idea what i'm doing

Anyway, that's all this is.
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  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    Fog clinging lightly to a valley below. Trees rising above. Raised structures on poles. A village. Gentle light roiling bright and
    sharp on the edges as the sky sits on the cusp of yellows and oranges blended into clouds, ready to reveal a blue dome. The sound of unhurried notes from chimes - high, medium, low... high, medium, low... high. This particular arrangement now repeats softly in the background. Awareness of the entire body. The chimes continue. The air. The sky. The trees. The buildings. The hills. The birds. High, medium, low... high, medium, low... high. No separation. No lack of separation.

    The horizon stretches itself out, and a dragon perches on an ancient wall before fading back to the horizon as it was. The tall
    ridge to the left periphery, a wall of rock vine covered rock topped with trees and bush rising and passing behind, now feels as if it has a mountain range beyond it, covered in snow. The chimes are replaced by the sound of the land itself breathing. A slow rising and falling. Hollow. Metallic.

    Silence.

    The chimes again. A random arrangement conducted by the breeze. Movement. Stillness. Tension. Calm.

    The valley and the village fade into rock and sand. Hrrska-Set rises and makes her way back to the camp. The road lays there,
    indifferent. The black smoke rising at the edge of vision whispers of sorrow.
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Who are you in Tamriel (whether it's just your character's attitude & style or a full backstory)? - Share your Character's Story! ◔ ⌣ ◔
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  • AcadianPaladin
    AcadianPaladin
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    I hope writing about Hrrska-Set brings her closer to you. :)

    My character was born into TESIV Oblivion in 2009. She later mastered time travel and migrated to TESV Skyrim before currently calling ESO home. Her total playtime is +16k hours and she's written roughly .5 million words of fan fiction. My point is that writing about her life and playing have certainly mutually reinforced each other.
    PC NA(no Steam), PvE, mostly solo
  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    i wrote something a week and a half ago but haven't had a chance to do the ending or edit
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Who are you in Tamriel (whether it's just your character's attitude & style or a full backstory)? - Share your Character's Story! ◔ ⌣ ◔
    (And let us know 🔷What Kind of Roleplayer You Are🔷 - even if that only extends to choosing your race)


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    Support Mudcrab Mode for ESO (\/)!_!(\/) - part joke, part serious, all glorious! You butter be ready for this
  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    The ground collapsed under the feet of an officer and a purser. So surprised were they that neither shouted in alarm. They just
    vanished. It was the carpenter who had just spoken to them who began to shout. Enemy sappers had chosen a particularly poor spot to emerge from their tunnel under the outer wall of the keep. The field engineers' expressions soured from pleased to panic, retreating back through their burrow as the sporadic shouting in the courtyard was drowned out by a series of horn blasts. The tunnel was near the controls for the main gate, and some soldiers had already climbed into it in pursuit.

    Veterans of the conflict barked others into focus and positions. In under a minute messengers were sent racing away while those in the keep's towers spied to find targets for the keep's defensive siege weapons. In just over minute, explosions began tearing those towers apart. There had been squad assigned to watch the ridge from where the trebuchets and ballistae now launched their loads. A line of shouts reported that opposite the ridge a battery of enemy soldiers was marching on the main gate. The keep's defenders were already thinned by an outbreak of disease and food poisoning and reinforcements had been delayed.

    Hrrska-Set was pulled away from the tents of ill and wounded to the sound of a battering ram against the outer gate. Those preparing and waiting for combat seemed the most tense. It was all happening too fast and too slow. Suppressing the surging energy to fight or flee was making some appear unwell and others unnervingly calm. They didn't wait long. Arrows and spell bolts flew to and from the walls, and then the courtyard was breached. The gate fell first, but boiling oil and magic that could snare and grasp at foes kept that way closed a while longer. But breaches had formed in different spots in the walls and there were too few to attend them all.

    A junior officer and a two other figures not wearing the uniforms of soldiers led a band of soldiers through the courtyard as another section of wall collapsed, pinning some of them underneath. The broken stones were heavy. Some of the more agile enemy troops were scaling up and through the new hole in the outer wall. Hrrska-Set gathered light between her fingers like sand and threw it toward the opening, provoking cries of frustration. The intruders would be momentarily blinded by the sparks.

    Getting knocked into the hole was a shock. Shoved? Bumped? A loud voice urged her forward through the tunnel. Dark and damp and the smell of alchemy blending with the scent and tingle of magic. Others were crawling ahead of her and behind. Crawling through what felt like and endless grave deep in the ground. A place that could easily become their grave. Hands pulled her up and out into a sky filled with a seas falling stars streaking too low. Not stars. Enchanted siege missiles seeking to break warding and stone.

    The other end of the tunnel was well beyond the tree line next to a small camouflaged camp. Empty. There was cover but enemy soldiers could be anywhere. The two non-soldiers observed earlier emerged from the tunnel and their escorts hustled them away as cautiously as the moment would allow along. Just the sound of footfalls and breathing and the light jangling of armaments that felt like bait for a hungry unseen animal lurking just outside of view. Someone at the head of the line walked with purpose, giving a sense of focus and urgency.

    This region was familiar with death and destruction. As the heart of a millennia long series of empires, the land itself was made of the bones of cities and soldiers. A dream for antiquarians. A nightmare for refugees during the periods of interregnum and invasion. This place was the heart of the continent, beating now once again to the drums of war.

    Old bones can be fragile, and while scaling a small ridge, an errant siege missile struck near the small group fleeing the keep. The impact opened the ground beneath their feet. It didn't break the ground so much as the ground opened up to swallow them, allowing them to avoid the worst of the impact. They fell a short distance and landed on a hard floor. Some had better landings than others. 

    Looking up, the sky and trees disappeared as the hole become ceiling and ground once more leaving the party in darkness. Darkness. Hrrska-Set moved her mind and her arms to create eddies in the darkness from which she extracted strands of light that she gathered together in a denser and denser form until a ball of light hovered near her, illuminating the space the party was in. One of soldiers had fractured her wrist. Hrrska-Set made smallers eddies this time, then used the light she pulled out as a conduit for small rivulets of darkness to flow and thread with precision into the wound. To the naked eye it just looked like glowing hands hovering over an injury that began to mend itself.

    The rest of the group mumbled and chatted amongst themselves as they appraised their situation. Hrrska-Set placed her hands together, brightening the hovering globe of light. The outlines of carved figures along a passageway emerged. She began walking. The others gathered themselves and began to follow.

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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    A small child sat and slowly wiggled her fingers, which seemed to capture whisps of glimmer.

    "Where is your mind, voh-vastei?" [or ka]

    The child was entranced with the faint glow traced by her movement. That something hidden in the fabric of the world could be glimpsed... and grasped?

    She tried again to close her hand around the translucent radiance, but when she examined her palm it was empty.

    "Watch."

    The child looked up.

    A much larger hand moved through the air and caught a trail of light, but rather than grasping, held a space in the palm for it rest. A focused look and the luminosity grew in size and strength. A whim in the heart, and it became a multitude of colors. The hue changed to lighter tones, then darker ones.

    A change in stance, and the colors radiated emotions. A shift, and they... they were... pictures?...ideas?...memories?

    "Light and darkness are ends of a spectrum of color we can see with our mortal eyes, but they are part of something more than just line. There are other axes. Other aspects."

    The colors flickered and gave an echo of possibility and joy and triumph. Flicker. Pettiness. Aggression. Insecurity. Flicker. Aimlessness. Cold. Hollowness.

    A wave of the hand. Glimpses of places and events. Familiar and incomprehensible. Certain and unknown.

    Another wave. Indescribable. Aspects of awareness that defy words.

    The child finally spoke with a voice of wonder. "Can I learn them all, deelith?"

    A smile. "That would take endless lifetimes. But you can attune to many, and if persistent, become skilled with one or a few."

    The child spoke again. "It felt strange. Like I wasn't not just near it watching it but in it."

    A nod. "Like it was shaping you and you were shaping it?"

    The child agreed. "Uh huh."

    "A good lesson. One we always keep learning. Go along now young one. Time for the midday meal."

    The child didn't really understand the lesson, but she liked the affirmation nonetheless and went away wondering if they were serving her favorite dish, the one the with little flowers in the dish.
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Who are you in Tamriel (whether it's just your character's attitude & style or a full backstory)? - Share your Character's Story! ◔ ⌣ ◔
    (And let us know 🔷What Kind of Roleplayer You Are🔷 - even if that only extends to choosing your race)


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  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    The hunter regarded the face of the one walking towards him while sliding his blade across a whetstone. Sagging skin. Sunken eyes. A forest green cap with mussed locks of dirty auburn hair clumsily spilling out over the forehead.

    The hunter gave a dismissive greeting. “Hmmmph. What do you want?”

    No sooner had he uttered these words than the end of a staff slammed into the green cap, collapsing part of the skull. The body fell limp to the ground. The sunken eyes still open. Same expression on the face.

    “Stop fooling around, Grom.”

    Grom set down the whetstone and absent-mindedly tapped one of his tusks. The field ahead was full of corpses that wandered around as if alive. Well, in a poor imitation of alive. A dangerous roadblock.

    The staff-wielder regarded him with narrowing eyes and asked, “Are you sure she was here?” This valley and the surrounding area had been mostly abandoned after several abductions and rumors of strange sightings. Whispers of vile ceremonies performed by heartless fiends.

    They had last seen a living soul a little over a day ago, who cautioned them against the direction they were heading in. There was a constant tension in the atmosphere over the last few days that had grown steadily. Like walking into a nightmare and heading toward whatever was waiting to get you. It was subtle – something that was easily ignored or dismissed at first but became more potent over time when you weren't watching. What could push or pull someone – no matter how noble or depraved – to a place like this?

    “Yes. She passed this way.” Grom eyed the road and the field it ran past to rising hills beyond. The silhouettes of old cairns peaked in and out from a fog clinging to the hilltops. Nodding in that direction he said, “Most likely headed there.”

    Grom looked at the motionless corpse nearby and its still moving companions. The dead walked below while graves sat above. Almost like an outing for some fresh air. A stroll and a picnic. But these ambulatory abominations were not the ancient dead. They were victims of a more recent treachery against nature.

    “But why?” Grom’s companion pleaded in unease and bafflement. Her snout wrinkled and her fur bristled. “This one cannot understand why she couldn’t have gone to someplace more hospitable and less… mmmmm… dead. Well… undead. You know what I mean.”

    A crescent Jone and a waxing Jode loomed in the sky, almost menacing in appearance. Their typical comfort was left impotent by this place. By this accursed place! Could even Azurah cleanse such a horribly bent place?

    “The best approach is to head that way,” Grom stated while gesturing with another head nod. “We can avoid most of that walking death and make camp… there.”

    His companion followed the direction of the blade he was pointing and shrugged her consent.

    “Unless you want to turn back.” Grom winked.

    “No! We will not be doing that. Come on. We are wasting time.”

    The two of them set off to reach the planned camp site by sunset. A small homestead with clear sight of all lines of approach.
    Edited by tinythinker on July 22, 2020 5:24PM
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  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    Serol, my apologies for not writing sooner. Business at the Friendly Lantern has kept me busy. Per my previous letters, there have been more and more unfamiliar and irregular visitors stopping here. I now believe there is no doubt of the degree of significance of this. While I shall endeavor to share my observations, allow me to preface this letter by saying I feel the developing situation requires your presence.

    If you recall, a little over three months ago business here increased unexpectedly in a short time. At first it was just people chasing rumors, hoping to satisfy their curiosity or find a way to work an angle. The stories varied, but they all centered around something out of place. Like some part of the world had gone wrong, or just plain strange.

    But none of the stories came close to lining up. No one had evidence other than their own testimony or hearsay from a friend of a cousin. The kind of thing where one exaggerated tale over a few tankards of ale turns into a dozen completely different stories in a fortnight due to drunkenness and half-heard and misremembered embellishment over several retelling. That draws in the gawkers.

    An inn is ideal for hearing all manner of rumors, gossip, and the intrigue of well-pickled minds. The owner and staff had every reason to encourage and add to the stories – they’ve been good for business. More food and drink sold. More people renting rooms. Then others began to claim they experienced odd things themselves, adding to the tapestry of untruth and confusion. I’ve shared some of those with you in prior correspondence with mild bemusement.

    But now a different sort are showing up. The kind that arrives when money and power are in play. Agents. Trackers. Enforcers. Sellswords. Most are keeping a low profile. I’ve included a list of which ones I suspect are on the payroll of various power brokers and organizations. I can’t believe that so many of their ilk would show up in the same place because a tantalizing ever shifting rumor got out of control.

    Two recent arrivals don’t seem the type to be a part of this, which makes them all the more suspicious. One claims to be a brewer trying to find new markets for his own variety of rotmeth and has a fondness for a signature dish here at the Lantern – Flaming Guarducken. He could wear down a master of intrigue spycraft with his family’s history of innovative meat combinations used in making alcoholic beverages. He’s been out searching the area and claims to be surveying and cataloging the local fauna for potential future recipes.

    The other has said very little about herself. She could be anything from a traveling scholar to missionary from what I've learne from our conversations, but I could just easily guess spy or wandering vagabond. She definitely has a purpose for being here, but it eludes me. Perhaps she’s just one of those adventuring types who runs toward trouble or a wanderlusting tourist who goes is drawn to out of the way places.

    Send word if you are able to visit.

    - Ambrus
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Who are you in Tamriel (whether it's just your character's attitude & style or a full backstory)? - Share your Character's Story! ◔ ⌣ ◔
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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