Letters to an Innkeeper

My dearest Voghnar,

I’m sure you must have been wondering why your shipment of sujamma berries and kwama eggs is so late this month. My fool of a dunmer assistant has returned to the plantation early (and empty-handed, no less) with yet another tall tale. I do not believe that there is any truth to it, and I know not what I am going to do with him. Perhaps I’ll put him to work in the farm, or better yet, send him down into the mines to collect eggs (a few bites would do him good, don’t you think?)

I hope your business isn’t doing too badly for lack of the goods; I know how much your dunmeri patrons love Liliah’s sujamma. This batch should reach you quickly enough; Asgar seems to be a promising young lad, strong as a shalk, and his quick wit makes for a nice change in this dreary place. Remember to ask him about the time he caught and rode a dreugh all the way to Narsis, he’ll have your inn rolling about in tears.

Lledras insists on sending you his account of the “incident”, make what you want of it. Convey my love to Liliah (along with a little gift for her).

Yours truly,

Fenrik

***

Patron,

I must apologize to you for not being able to make your shipment to you this month. But I am sure you will understand once you hear my reasons, for I was privileged to a remarkably bizarre encounter that is truly unimaginable. Do you recall how I told you about the spellcasters I came across last year in an abandoned cave that I chose to spend the night in, and how they enchanted my guar so that it flew off with all the goods? This incident is stranger still!

I arrived in Davon’s Watch three days ago, and was making my way on the new road connecting Davon’s Watch to the beautiful city of Ebonheart. I longed to have a drink at the finest tavern in all of Stonefalls, the Ebony Flask (Have you ever lodged there? You surely must!), and greet my old friend Goveled. That drink was to be delayed, I’m afraid, for you would not believe what I saw on the road. Nay, I could not believe it myself, had these fleshless creatures not called out to me by name.

Skeletons. Yes, you read that right. There were about ten or fifteen of them, walking gaily along the road as if they did this every day, singing out loud of things that I dare not put to words. I clutched my guar closely as soon as I spotted them, and hid behind a large boulder so that I would go unnoticed. I was waiting for them to pass by, for fear that I would be abducted. That was when I saw that something was amiss, that it wasn’t just a band of laughing, singing skeletons. Huddled right in the center of the group, naked but for his smallclothes (as can be seen dancing in many of your northern inns) was a trembling nord begging for mercy. Clearly these skeletal beings were escorting him somewhere.

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I was mesmerized by this sight. I wanted to run away, and my guar kept trying to escape my grasp as well. But I decided, against all rational thought, to follow the skeletons and observe them from a safe distance (how often do you get to be a spectator to such things anyway!). This was the point my guar broke free of my grip and sprinted away, along with all the goods I was supposed to deliver. I shrieked after him, which in hindsight was a mistake, for one of the skeletons heard me and whispered in my head.

“Lledras,” said he (it?) in a hoarse, rasping voice, “Come, be merry with us! Watch as we turn this mortal into one of us.” The man beseeched me to help him, but I wasn’t sure of what I could have done.

I followed them at a distance, both enraptured at the sight, and horrified at the thought of what would happen to me once they were done with this man. He was a strange one too, I felt. At times he seemed to be petrified with fear, at others he appeared to be going along with the skeletons’ banter, as if it were a charade. As we neared Ash Mountain, the man pleaded for some water and a morsel of food, at which point one of the skeletons led him to a nearby lava pool, and offered to feed him his own flesh! Thankfully they decided not to follow through with this, although they did enjoy making the man walk around barefoot (did I mention he was naked?) on some newly cooled lava. He danced gleefully and sang along with them, and somehow he did not sustain any burns.

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All this time thoughts of escaping were forever in my head, but whenever I would hesitate, I would hear whispers of “Lledrasss,” from behind me, so I kept on going.

We arrived in Davon’s Watch, back where I’d started. Not one of the residents seemed to notice this strange procession; singing skeletons forcing along a naked man along the streets, although I did get some odd looks. Did I smell of fear? It was very likely. Vivec knows what they thought of me.

The courtyard in front of the Bank of Davon’s Watch was where they stopped. I hovered behind them to see that they had formed a circle around the man, as if they were about to embark on a ritual. And that they did, whispering stories of long gone ghosts and the ghosts to come, casting numerous arcane spells upon this poor individual, who was screaming in agony.

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At long last, he could take it no more and fell to the ground. The skeletons appeared to be satisfied, and starting chanting in unison:

Come to us, mortal, may you be stripped of all flesh until bones remain.

Come to us, mortal, may you be rid of all torment and worldly pain.

Come to us, mortal, may the Lord of Bones cleanse the blood from your veins.

Come to us, mortal, may lost souls forever shudder under your reign.”

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What happened next did not appall me in the least, and I myself was taken aback when I realized that I had been numbed by all the strange events of that evening. I watched on with mild interest, some intrigue even, as various layers of skin and tissue slowly began to disappear from the nord’s body. It was not a gruesome sight by any means, it seemed almost … natural. His arms and legs were the first to go, and then his torso and head also slowly faded away until all that was left of him was a fully beating heart contained within a faint shadow of his former self. His heart pulsed rapidly a few times before he sprang back to life. Wordlessly, he walked up to each of the skeletons, who appeared to be very baffled at this new development, as if this was not what they intended to happen, and started to furiously whisper amongst themselves. The man, or beating heart, waited patiently awhile, and suddenly he took off to the streets, screaming at the top of his voice, “I’m free! I’m free!”

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The skeletons just stood there for some time, scratching their heads (skulls?). I wondered if they had forgotten about me, and decided to slip off to the market square. Just as I was leaving, I heard the same dreadful rasping voice inside my head, “Lledrasssss, you’re next!” Terrified, I stole a guar from the stables and ran as far as I could towards the plantation.

That concludes my strange tale of how I lost the goods that were to be delivered to you, patron, as well as my guar. The farm owners are not at all pleased about the replacement guar, as it trampled over and ate all the cabbages. I now have to tend to those cabbages, so I’m afraid I might not see you again. So once again, I must apologize for these unfortunate events, but know that I am not sorry to have witnessed them.

Lledras Sedrethi

“Guar Stealer”

Written by Lariana of the Nirnroot
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Anankis Miri of Tyranny of Dragons – 02: Missions

From the Chronicles of Anankis Miri

by Mishkamist of EPK

What am I looking at?

Why  has that disgusting creature the opportunity to speak, to think… to live?

His mere presence sickens me; his raspy and deep voice makes me uncomfortable: it reminds me of a  muddy and dragged sound I heard years ago in the forest during a heavy rain.

I close my eyes and take a big breath, rethinking to the last hours, after the seizure of the men in blue dresses.

Escobert helped us with our injuries and he brought a strange man:

“He can help you,” said the dwarf, in a tone which allowed no reply, before moving away.

The man in front of us had his entire body and a large part of his face covered by dark clothes, only a small portion of his face was exposed: deep, blue eyes and pale blue skin.
I never, never, saw a blue person. I’m sure I’m not crazy but no one said anything about… However I’m too curious about him!

I stared at that man for a long time, trying to draw his attention to me, till midnight came and a bell pealed! Escobert’s loud voice resounded in the Fortress:

“They’re attacking us! The sally port… They’re finding a way into the gate’s heart!”

Me and my new companions rushed towards that place. Thanks to my city’s knowledge and my velocity I was the first person at the gate: there a group of four kobolds, led by a man in blue clothes, with a big green lizard, was destroying the door; when I faced out an enormous fire column almost hit me: thanks to my reflexes it didn’t hurt me.

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As always my blood turned hot, burns and signs appeared on my skin and hate crowded my mind: my only desire was to kill those creatures that endangered my beloved Greenest.

I think Shill killed the man in blue and a kobold while our blue-skin man slew one other kobold from behind and hit the lizard I killed one moment later… I’m sure I slaughtered that beast and a kobold, ‘cause I can clearly remember their blood and the satisfaction that filled my entire body.

Right away, behind the corpses, a new group of kobolds and men in blue, guided by a big and strong human male: thanks to a Shill’s brilliant idea, we decided to set on fire the corridor between the destroyed door and the still intact gate, barricading it with the help of Escobert and other four guards.

Immediately an explosion and people flying upon our heads attracted our attention: atop the castle the dragon flew and breathed lightning on the Fortress; after few moments of dread the enormous blue dragon went away, vanishing in the darkness of the night.

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Escobert allowed us an hour to rest: after a little nap and treatments from city’s doctors the dwarf reappeared with the governor.

“Follow us. We interrogated the prisoners and, now, we have some information you must know.” Tarbaw’s face was gaunt, marked by worries, like his own voice.

The prisoner we saw had evident bashes.

“This man, like the other out there, is a member of the Dragon’s Cult and now they’re gathering a treasure for the Dragon Queen, for her resurgence.” Tarbaw’s tone showed his contempt.

The blue man, I don’t know his name still now, asked the prisoner if he knew three men.
Frulam is our head on the battle ground; instead Rezmir is our formation chief. The third…I don’t know who is.” The prisoner said with faint voice.

I’ve never heard those names but I understood one thing: this Frulam is here, in Greenest, and she’s managing the assault to my city.

I promise to myself: I’ll find her.

I’ll find her then I’ll kill her with my own hands.

With quietness and polite manners our blue-skin man was able to obtain an essential information: the location of their campsite. After this our companion gave a strong slap to the prisoner, then we went out, returning outside.

“Time is against us. Other citizens are prisoners in Chauntea’s Temple.” The Governor’s voice was trembling but his eyes were resolute. “I have no guards to send there to save our countrymen… I know it’s a hard venture but you’re my last hope to save them.”

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Obviously I accepted immediately and the same did Shill, Lei and Daeron; the blue man had some hesitations but, in the end, he joined our group.  Escobert supported us with one guard, Margut.

The guard has brown hair and gentle eyes: I saw him a couple of times in Greenest but I never talked to him.

We left in the night darkness, through the secret passage we used earlier.
After few minutes Chauntea Church stood out in the landscape: we circumvented the building, reaching the secondary door, because in front of the Church six kobolds were trying to tear down the main door while two cultists flanked them: a man with a pitted face and a shiny armor and a curved sword managed that group with nasty shouts.
One other group, made up of three cultists and ten kobolds, patrolled the immediate surroundings carrying out a wide circle around the building.

In front of the back door six kobolds and two cultist: from the inner of the Church children screams and women weeping.

We hid ourselves in the woods not too distant to the building and, from that hiding place, we were able to kill all sentinels in front of the door, except one, who gave the alarm.

In the end we saved about twenty people just at the time when the main door collapsed under the brute force of our enemies: a couple of citizens remained behind, killed by kobolds’ fury.

“They can’t do this! THEY CANNOT DO THIS TO MY FAMILY!” Screams left my mouth, scratching my throat with rage.

When I tried to enter in the Church, Shill picked me up, dragging me away from there and I started crying.

I can’t clearly remember how we returned to the Fortress: my eyes were full of tears, the Shill’s hand pressed on my mouth shutting off my protests and my mind was still focused on the yells from the Church.

“I was right when I chose to entrust this mission to you. You rescued twenty eight people… I… I can’t tell you how happy I am. Thank you” said the Governor, then we were able to restore our bodies.

In the Fortress every single man was injured and tired but, at the crack of dawn, something happened: in front of the main gate gathered a crowd made by kobolds and cultists.

From this multitude of people an humanoid emerged: he was at least seven feet tall. His skin was completely covered in blue scales, fingers stretched in long claws and his face was elongated, similar to a reptile’s snout.

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Around him kobolds created a shield and pushed ahead four hostages: a woman, two children and a young boy with a tunic soiled with blood.

“Do you see these beggars? I can give back them to you under one condition: send here, in front of me, your best warrior and I’ll return you the hostages.” The humanoid’s voice, hoarse and heavy, scraped while he was talking.

After few moments Margut, the guard who helped us in the Church, cried out : “My sister! My sister is a prisoner of that monster!”

“I go.”

When I said this my companions observed me with dazed eyes.

“No. This is my duty. Tyr will lead my hand against those creatures. I must help the prisoners.” Shill interrupted me, moving forward toward the gate.

“I must help them, Greenest is my city, they’re my family.” I tried to declare, chasing the Paladin; after us Lei, Daeron and the blue man.

Why are we here, looking at Shill in front of that humanoid lizard?  He talks with arrogance, diminishing Shill abilities:

“Is this woman your hero?” The creature laughs. “Let’s see if you’re really a warrior.”

Shill doesn’t say anything: she looks at him with icy eyes, setting herself up for the attack.

Lei looks at me and, with feeble voice, says: “I’m ready to help Shill. One wave and I’ll attack him.”

I observe the two fighters and, beyond them, the poor prisoners and the kobolds. “If we attack they’ll kill the hostages. We have no choice except to stay here and await.”

The woman nods: “But I want to smash his scaly face.”

We stay here, watching  the fight between Shill and this dragon-man: the Paladin hits him a couple of times but, finally, he tears down his enormous sword on Shill, winning definitively.

The monstrous man makes a mocking laugh: “Release the prisoners. We’re done here.”

To be Continued…

Tirvril – 03: Black-Thorn’d Roses

Dearest Mylindra,

I scratch this out with haste while I walk through Daggerfall, on my way to an inn called the Rosy Lion – I have begun the pursuit of Truth!

As I’m certain you remember, I had found that note with the list of three items upon it.  I chose to follow it in logical order, starting with the first item – Three Blood Oranges.  I left Roy’s body and headed for the Grocer in the Market Square, owned by a rather roguish man, hair tied back in a tight bun, clothing a bit tattered.  His name was Christoph Lamant, and he looked rather confused when I mentioned three blood oranges.  Once I explained how I came upon the note, he made explained that the dead man, who’s name is – was – Roy, was a King’s Intelligence Agent!

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Immediately I thought it to be another mention of Copper and her Ring of Dagger’s, but unfortunately this turned out to be a mention of King Casamir’s intelligence, the leader of Daggerfall, rather than King Emeric’s intelligence, High King of all of High Rock.  A lesser intelligence, but still an intelligence, eh?

Christoph also informed me that Roy – or perhaps the people Roy was spying upon, that part was unclear – may have been involved in Dark Magic.  Yes, I know what you are thinking and I am as well!  Molag Bal!  How is he involved in all of this??  I am beginning to suspect that our good Cleric Talborad may have struck upon something, though nothing yet proves the Chancellor’s involvement.

When I asked further questions about dark magic, Christoph refused to involve himself further and asked me to leave.  I moved on to the next item on the list: a Crescent Emblem Cloak – oh, how that description itself gave me shivers!  It is the perfect item to lead with in the article – make a note of that, for I am bound to forget.

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Where was I…ah yes, the cloak!  The tailor’s stall stands in the same market as the grocer, staffed by a hairy gentlemen in a lilac tunic, very pleasant and welcoming, named Kareem.  When I walked up to him he suggested I choose something in silk – though flattered, I asked outright for “a crescent emblem cloak.”

His eyes, Mylindra!  They revealed all I needed to know!  This man knew exactly what I was talking about.  He grew afraid, head swiveling, and leaned in closer.

“Where’s Roy?”

I explained what had happened, and Kareem seemed genuinely upset.  He asked after the dog, and I realized, with a touch of surprise, I had completely forgotten about the loyal hound.  I had no answer for him.

While I didn’t get an actual cloak, I received something even better – confirmation that I am dealing with the world of dark magic!  But after a cryptic statement about “information channels” that lit my mind afire with possibilities, Kareem closed his mouth and his shop.

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Next on the list – Black Roses with Thorns.  Off to the florist.  A lovely young woman named Diane, very astute and professional yet warm and friendly.  She wore a long green dress with an intricate design down the front in silver.

Her face, Mylindra, when I asked for black thorn roses…it paled, slacked a little, her eyes wide.

“You’ll get yourself killed.”  This she told me a little while later, after demanding to know why Roy was not in front of her and how I had learned the code word..  Yes, the code word!  Apparently Roy used these three traders to get word to the Captain of the guard and the King’s Intelligence about certain goings-on in the dark magic world – and “roses with black thorns” was one of the most dire of warnings!

“If I die in the pursuit of Truth, I die gladly,” I replied in what I thought to be a very gallant tone.  Diane just sighed.  I went on, “Roy and I are quite similar. We both believe certain information should be made available to certain people.  The only difference is that I believe “certain people” to be “everyone.”

To this Diane studied me for a moment, then said,

“Go see Captain Aresin.  He’s commander of the guard here in Daggerfall.”

See Mylindra?  I know you have little faith in the belief that the truth is always best and “will set you free” and other such clichés, but they are true!  I am more certain than ever that this is a story that will set the world alight – following the trail of information truly is exciting!

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The tranquil Western bridge. You can just make out the Castle to the right, those tall spires

I immediately set off for Castle Daggerfall, which soars above the city to the North.  To get to the staircase leading to the castle, you must cross a most tranquil and beautiful bridge.  It crosses a shallow river, and is on the opposite side of the city from where I discovered poor Roy’s body.

It began to rain as I crossed the bridge.  I pulled my cowl closer about my face, tucking my parchments inside my shirt.  Just as I had secured my pen in my pocket, a strange mist popped into existence directly in front of me, coalesced to a solid form, and stood up, all within a single moment!!

I reacted by dropping my mouth open and staggering back.  The man – for he was clearly a man now – yelled something I couldn’t understand or was too stunned to hear, and leapt at me.

From my right a short shape disengaged itself and intercepted the attacker – a Banekin!  From the Daedric realms!  Lighting flashed down from the sky, struck the man and nailed him to the cobblestone.  The Banekin skipped and skittered in their typical fashion, quite gleefully if I must be honest.

The man climbed to his feet, wicked dagger in hand.  He had cropped red hair, shaved on one side, and dark tattoos or paint covering his eyes.  I roused my strength and ran into the fray, beating at him with my fists.  I had no thought for my dagger – I must defeat this man immediately, as quickly as possible, before he can summon his strength and strike me!

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The valiant, unnamed hero who came to my aid! As well as my Banekin companion

I and the Banekin pummeled him, but he would not fall.  Just as my strength began to flag, a warrior appeared like Ysgrammor himself had come to my aid!  The gallant hero struck the attacker down with a single blow from his blood-stained axe and, with hardly a pause, continued down the bridge as though nothing had happened.  I called out my thanks to him, but he did not acknowledge me.  Breath heaving a bit more than I would have liked, I turned to the Banekin.  It looked up at me, grinned, and varnished.

I can only assume the Mages Guild has given me a Familiar of some sort to protect me in my travels – for which I am exceedingly grateful!  Without that Banekin I would certainly have died at the first blow from the assassin  – yes, assassin!  For that is what he must have been, sent to kill me for interceding in this matter—

But that is a thought for later.  I proceeded most cautiously to the foot of the castle steps, avoiding the shadows, where Captain Aresin waited.  He stood at the edge of the promontory, looking out over the Market Square.

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At first he tried to usher me away as yet another visitor, but when I explained that I had information from Roy and the exact nature of that information, the Captain immediately engaged me with the exclamation, “Mara’s Hands!” (a new use of the Goddess’ name that I have never heard before – could you enter it in my running list of phrases?  The list is in the top drawer of my desk, please make a new column titled “High Rock – Daggerfall”, thank you).

He made mention of “dark nature magic” – is this Daedric magic, or some other form of magic?  I had no time to ask any questions.  The Captain, as suits his position, is a brusque, serious person, shaved head, narrowed eyes, a gigantic Greatsword slung over his back like a weightless rucksack.  Quite a noble bearing as well, despite the lack of hair.

To summarize, the Captain requested that I assume Roy’s role.  Well, he may not have said those words exactly, but I can read between the syllables.  I am to gather more information for him from a contact at the Rosy Lion Innan Orc, no less!! – and who better to gather information than Tirvril Dathnim, Cyrodill’s most famous information distributor??

Oh, make a note of that name, “information distributor” – perhaps some amalgamation of those words for the future paper of news you had mentioned some months back!

My hand grows tired from writing so quickly – I will give this note to the Mages Guild as soon as I return from the Rosy Lion Inn.

Tirvril 

Anankis Miri from Tyranny of Dragons – 01: The Approach

From the Chronicles of Anankis Miri

By Mishkamist of Entire Party Killed

I just barely escaped from the destruction of Greenest. I know many of my countrymen died, slaughtered by hordes of kobolds, lead by mysterious humans with blue and purple-red dresses, or killed by the fury of a blue dragon that spreads death and destruction on the village.

Even now I can’t explain to myself how I was able to run away: the only thing I know is that there are other people, like me, who want to save the citizens and clear Greenest from this plague that is afflicting their beloved city.

I was running towards the city center looking for guards, when I bumped into two beautiful women: the tallest one was looking at me with hatred, piercing me with her icy eyes but I’m sure I had never saw her before.  Suddenly a group of people ran through the city’s streets, hunted by a group of eight kobolds.

I recognized them immediately.

Kuth, Linan and their three children were running from those evil creatures, wielding makeshift weapons: the entire family was straining to drive away the kobolds but they did not succeed. I ran to them, but wasn’t fast enough to prevent the attack the monsters were launching against them.

One by one they fell to the ground before my eyes: Kuth, his wife and one of their children merely fainted, whereas the other two brothers were knocked to the ground, their heads smashed to pieces by the kobold’s slingshot hits.

In front of me, even before I could recover from the shock, the tall woman, invoking Tyr’s blessing, pierced one of the kobolds with her shining sword and then started to parry the attacks of two other monsters; at the same time the other woman, the most beautiful one, killed two enemies with an enormous fire column.

All of a sudden, from an alley on our right, a man appeared, launching a spell against the creatures: his help was essential during the fight.

As always the voice into my mind incited me to kill, to dismember my enemies: I tried fervently to endure it but, in the end, my diabolic blood gained the upper hand and my mind was flooded by a vengeance desire.

I killed one or two kobolds, I cannot clearly remember: I felt screams and a lot of blood around me and on my skin…. My skin changed like always when my mind is blown by rage: countless burns cover the surface of my entire body and shiny signs appears over them.

In the end we defeated those revolting creatures.

“Miri! Thanks God… We must reach the Fortress! There the guards are gathering the survivors, to protect them. We must go there!” Linan’s voice trembled, broke in sorrow.
During the walk to reach the Fortress we ran up against other kobolds and men dressed in blue: we were able to save two other peasants killing our enemies.

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The others who were with me introduced themselves: the tall woman, Shill Dhalled, is a Tyr Paladin. She scares me a lot: she’s always looking at me with furious eyes, like I made something horrible: I know my tiefling nature isn’t accepted by a lot of people but I’m a good girl, I have never hurt anyone and in Greenest everyone loves me. I’m afraid by Shill’s manners.

She asked me: “Who is your God?” and I wasn’t able to answer her properly.
Sincerely I don’t understand clearly what she means talking about ‘God’. A fat, bald man, sitting on a cloud, traveling over our heads? Or a bearded old man who observes all the beings alive to judge them?

Shill’s question upset me a lot: maybe I can ask for answers to the other woman, Lei Windriver, she’s a cleric of Sune and so very beautiful!  Lei’s hair is like molten silver and her eyes shine like glittering gold. I envy her a lot.

I can ask Lei some advice about Gods, maybe about her Goddess, but I’m not sure she’ll accept ‘cause she looks at me with mistrust.

But… Where were we?

Daeron Ossa is the mage and, different from the two women, is really kind with me: he has polite manners and a quiet voice. He asked me if I need a cure for my burns… I really like him! And, sincerely, I saw him casting one or two spells I’m acquainted with so, maybe, he can understand me better than the others.

In the Fortress, Escobert, the dwarf captain of the guards and right-hand man to the governor, thanked us for our help and said the governor wanted to talk us; he lead our group, after a short explanation, to Tarbaw Nightfall, the governor.

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Tarbaw is a 60 years old man with a well-cared beard: now his face is partially covered in bandages and his right harm is bandaged too.

“I must thank you. I observed you from the walls and I must ask you a great favor: Greenest needs all the help it can get and now, here, I’m requesting you to save more people as possible.”

With me he didn’t have to exert a lot of pressure: I would give my life for Greenest and its inhabitants.

After we all agreed, he took us to the parapet on the walls: here we saw a dozen of armed guards, dressed in blue, and, in the center of them, a woman with a purple-red dress. The governor asked us to capture some of those men for interrogation.

Through a secret tunnel we started to leave the Fortress but we were attacked by two swarms of rats: with a little effort finally we killed those beasts and left the tunnel, near a little river. Right away two men, each one followed by two kobolds, were scouring the river with long rods: we killed all the kobolds and captured those men, bringing them, knocked out, in the tunnel.

Now, our expedition can proceed.

CONTINUE THE ADVENTURE HERE

Tirvril – 01: A Beginning to a Most Exciting Adventure!

I arrived in Daggerfall, capital of High Rock, sequestered in an old cart that smelled of a carcass left too long in the sun.  My first impression of the city: poor roadwork.  Yet I did not make a sound, tucked between two large sacks filled with grain and covered in rolls of untanned hides.  This was to be the easiest part of my journey.

Yes, I believe that will do nicely as an opening for my first tale from the depths of the wilderness, that vast and unknown swath of land to the far west – High Rock.

Now, it is by no means a backwards place, my dear Mylindra.  Far from it.  I stepped out of that noisome cart into a grand – no, majestic – city of hewn granite, tall spires and bustling markets, all enveloped by rolling hills of countryside.  Night was fast approaching – a soft shroud of deep blue covered the city.  I saw depressingly little of it as I was shuttled unceremoniously through grand oak doors capped in bright steel, catching a scant glimpse of intricate stained glass windows tall as a Giant.

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Despite a sleepless night and the lingering – persistent – odor, I felt so alive as I entered the Mages Hall!  Here I am, in a foreign land, donning the guise of a Mage to bring the Truth of the world to Cyrodil – Mylindra, I know deep in my heart that I have truly found my calling!

Apologies for the excitement, but I cannot convey it through words – this should tell you more than anything the extent of my emotion.

Oh, while I am thinking of it – please do keep these notes to yourself for now.  I do not want the others to read of any exploits or headlines until I have written them down properly in format and line.  There is just so much to think of right now I can hardly write one word for another ten flowing into my mind…

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As I was saying, I am in the Mages Hall in Daggerfall as planned, and already there has been an exciting development!  Valaste, my contact here (she is the Master of Incunabula, otherwise known as Tomes), has requested my aid retrieving a few books from an Ayleid Ruin in exchange for her help.  Now, normally I would politely refuse.  There is so much to be written about this beautiful city in the here and now, the present  day – I have no desire to go wandering about an ancient, cobwebbed relic of an Ayleid ruin (Shor’s Bones, you cannot go ten paces without tripping over one in Cyrodil), but she offered to pay me good coin for each book I retrieve.

As you well know, my finances are less than 1,000 gold after paying the exorbitant fee for riding beneath old hides, as well as an unexpected “tip” to the Gatesman.  And while one day I promise I shall know how to shoot an arrow, at the moment my greatest skill towards food-procurement is writing an advertisement for it.

So of course I agreed.  She seemed pleased – though she is a High Elf with much on her mind, so it was rather difficult to discern any sort of personality.  I do, however, trust her due to her elf-blood.  She has little reason to lie to me, a trait I wish were not true as she told me the ruins will be “dark and dangerous”.  But fear not Mylindra, spellcasting is a family trait so I shall not wander into the depths unarmed.  Though I did stop practicing my spells at the age of 11.  Perhaps I should purchase a dagger before I go.

My mind wanders to the future – I shall bring us back to the recent present.

After giving me a short tour of the Hall, Valaste showed me to my room and directed me to the wardrobe.

The Mages here in Daggerfall wear more than just the ubiquitous plain robes we see in the Imperial City.  Daggefall has a rather dashing outfit with pants – quite ranger-like, I thought – and another with a floor-length robe, much trimming and fancy embroidery.  I chose the Ranger outfit, and feel exceedingly spry in it!  I may be required to run after a source, or perhaps escape a giant spider in that Ayleid Ruin.  As for its efficacy around town, it has a large, deep hood and covers most of my skin. Despite my carrying on about all Races deserving equal treatment, I know this is not the Imperial City.  A Dunmer, particularly with the War, will not be well received no matter his involvement in the Mages Guild.

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I had an Imp paint a likeness, I thought it rather good!

I wish to be anonymous, a mere background figure observing the goings-on and everyday lives of these people so that the world – and you – may know what it is like here, so far from home.

Has Chancellor Tharn approached you yet?  I have no doubt he will request – requisition – no, require -your skills once he discovers where I have gone.  But you must not let him intimidate you, my dear Mylindra.  Though as I write that sentence I realize how silly it sounds – no one can intimidate you.

Regarding that aspect of my trip, I have chosen to publish my works anonymously.  The Chancellor may well suspect it is I writing the tales, but there is no need to hand him the proof.  You are the only one I have taken into confidence about my whereabouts.  The others at ScrollWorks believe I am visiting my sister in Mournhold, as does Lady Derry.  I would never have told you, had you not arrived at my home at the precise moment Cleric Talborad was visiting.  And even then I would not have told you, except for your duplicitous – though admirable – eavesdropping.

And that brings me to my last update for today’s letter – already there has been mention of MB.  Valaste, when I asked about the current goings-on in the city, mentioned a group called the “Ring of Daggers” (a very promising name for a Journal Title!!) led by a woman named Copper.  Apparently they are the enforcers of King Emeric and they possibly have a connection to MB – I must remember to follow up on that lead when I return from the Ruin.

Though I pass no judgement without proof, I am still inclined to think good Cleric Talborad may be paranoid.  The Chancellor is not a kind nor compassionate man, but involvement with MB is simply mad – and the Chancellor is not a stupid man.

Now then!  I must wrap up this letter, dear Mylindra.  Already the light dims, and I intend to walk about town before I bed for the night.  Then in the morning I shall embark for the ruin, and then ask about for this Copper woman, as well as write a bit about the city life…so much to do already, it is so invigorating!

I do wish you were here with me Mylindra, but am happy you are not.  You can bring me news of home.  Write soon, and Valaste will see it gets to me.

Your Loving Friend,

Tirvril

Vipsania – 03: Alchemy is a Killer

Later that day I wandered, still shoe-less, into the Woodworking and Alchemy building.  Lots of noise, saws and toxic smells.

I tried my hand at picking the lock of a small chest on one of the tables, but the alchemist walked by just as I was getting the hang of it and confiscated my lockpick.

She needs to take a chill potion.
Super Bitch.  Sutch, if you will.

I seriously suck at this thieving business. 

So I settled for snatching a bird call whistle from a basket.  It’s made of silver and very shiny, so probably expensive – score!


 

 Sadly, Miss Vipsania passed away shortly after writing this.  As she mentions above, she had stolen a number of items and was caught by Alchemist Justal trying to open the lockbox.  The Guards received word of this and, when Miss Vipsania was later pointed out to them by Miss Justal, a Guard pursued. 

Miss Vipsania, willing to return all the stolen items but unable to pay the 7 coin bounty nor possessing the muscle mass to intimidate the Guard, was forced to flee into the woods outside the city.  She appeared to be making for the river, perhaps in hopes of swimming to safety. 

The Guard, however, used a gap spell, pulled Miss Vipsania close and stabbed her through the back (forgive the gruesome description, I wish to be thorough). 

The noble, duty-bound Guard who caught Miss Vipsania.  She is to receive the Medal of Valor for her staunch commitment to enforcement.
The noble, duty-bound Guard who caught Miss Vipsania. She is to receive the Medal of Valor for her staunch commitment to enforcement.

Miss Vipsania, known by name only through these papers discovered on her person and without any kin claiming her, was entombed in the Unknown Crypt beneath the Daggerfall Cathedral at dawn this morning.  Her personal papers, along with this note, will be buried alongside her should in future anyone come to claim her body.

Priest Farher

Dar’Raksadarg – 02: Murder, Moon Sugar, Thalmor, Oh My!

They never take outsiders to the city dungeons.

Criminals aren’t allowed to see the fine citizens who never do anything wrong. I know this all too well. As one of the cats from Elsweyr, I know the truth: mistrust and mistreatment spreads far and wide within Skyrim.

Those guards pushed and tossed me about, then shoved me into some cell, slamming the door behind me. It was my wisdom that said I am more fortunate to be here than with my mouth taped like that other prisoner in the cart with me. The thought alone brings pain to my whiskers and traumatizes me at the sheer idea of the tape being removed. Hope that man didn’t have a beard! But I still have a problem…

I’m locked away in some empty cell.

Abandoned.

I knew trouble was brewing; we Khajiits can sniff it out faster than a charging bear. So I am most surprised, considering my instinctual skills, to find myself inside a cell with no lockpick to use, a grumbling stomach and an old Lady Mara statue.

Odd place for this temple item.

I studied the statue, considering it was the only thing in the room worth looking at.  A woman’s voice floated in my head to approach her and I looked around sharply. My whiskers twitch. A woman is always trouble.

No one understands the secret behind being curious more than a Khajiit. It was curious that this statue was here, curious how I was drawn to it, but most curious is how she told me that I was a caravan guard when I touched her.

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It is good to be curious, because where one opportunity ends another appears. Today I go from being an undercat to a proud guardsman. I suppose I will check into this Dragonborn nonsense later. For now, I’m off to my new job. Surely a guard is more powerful and superior to a mage. But a dragon guard? Time to work my skills and get some perks from them!

I reach out to the statue a second time…

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That’s the last time I’m ever touching some lady statue!

Where am I? There’s no caravan that I’m guarding, just some empty campsite and butterflies fluttering about. Shame they aren’t birds. I’m hungry and lost with only butterflies that aren’t fit to eat. Don’t let those alchemists fool you, eating alchemy ingredients is not healthy. Jarrin root is never to be eaten first – that’s the oldest wise tale of them all. It’s so rare of a ingredient that no one will ever find one to test out that theory!

But me, I got my trusty nose to sniff out danger and poisonous food. Drink, too. Khajiits do drink and often are known as milk drinkers. Not me, though. Ale and mead are my drinks of choice. Not my mother’s, mind you.

One thing I know is that I’m better than any college mage in Winterhold. My cousin is only kidding himself about who is better. Might as well add our fathers into the mix. This is all their fault. Always trying to beat out the other, often times while swinging J’Zargo or myself back and forth in front of the other’s face. Their son was always better than the nephew and that made their tug-o-power game more ridiculous, using their cub children as weapons.

Over the years my cousin and I were pitted against each other until J’Zargo’s ego got too big for the arena. I drank myself silly for three days after he left for college. Good thing my mother found me, floating down stream on my back while trying to balance four mead bottles on my stomach. She claimed I was sinking and suggested next time to use empty bottles. Ah, mothers are good to have.

I bet J’zargo probably never made it to Skyrim and those letters he sent home were probably filled with venomous nonsense about how evil Skyrim was and they shouldn’t come for a visit for safety reasons–

Ha! That’s it! I’m going to Winterhold to see if my old cousin is really there. Best check around this campsite for anything useful then head to Winterhold. Ah yes, dear cousin….can’t wait to count out your coin when you lose the bet. I am the real Dragonborn and far more powerful than you.

What’s this? Bah! Nothing is free anymore and the tents are filled with items I could use. I want to take it all, I really do… but should I is what tugs at me.

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Hearing footsteps off in the distance, I peer up over a rock to take a peek. There’s a guard on patrol and a city sitting nestled in a mountainside further back.

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What did granny teach me about Skyrim geography….the city of stone. The Khajiits would love it there for its high ledges and lots of room to stretch out among the stones.

Markarth. That’s it…Markarth! Good old Grandpawma would be so proud, this is proof I paid attention to her cartography lessons. Skyrim is small compared to Tamriel so I got lucky that she never quizzed me on the world.

Might as well go check out the city.

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This wasn’t a good idea at all.

That poor woman, killed right in front of me by some Forsworn agent! Those guards didn’t look happy when I inspected the bodies, but they never saw my paws swipe some goods off them. Keys are much better than lockpicks and any key you come across is worth keeping.

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But a note shoved under your nose by some stranger who claims it belongs to you is another matter. Some marked-up young kid named Eltrys wanted to know if I was alright, and asked what I knew about the attack.

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Like I would know? I barely found this town and he thinks I know about the attack?! After politely putting the note into my pocket I left Markarth. Probably a good thing, too. Those guards needed someone to blame and a lone cub on the loose would have made for a fine rug for their barracks.

I spotted a farm on the way out with crops ready for harvesting, and I with a belly to fill.

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An elderly couple fussed at each other, the husband being more stubborn than a mule stuck in mud. If it wasn’t for his sweet wife greeting me warmly, those potatoes would have been mine. The grumpy old man and sweet older woman were more than happy to pay me to harvest their crops.

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My stomach didn’t care much for that idea but I still made the exchange to put some coin into my pocket. Not like Khajiits aren’t excellent hunters, plus I can always purchase food.

Ah..there they are. The caravan members are back and they are completely ignoring me. I must be in trouble for leaving my post. Best not to mention the marketplace incident then.

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“Greetings.”

I acknowledged the Khajiit sitting in the tent. They are the important ones. The caravan leader is the only one permitted to sit while all others must perform duties to maintain the campsite. You only speak to the others after addressing the leader first. It’s not really a rule…more like a guideline for understanding and recognizing rank within the colonies of Khajiits.

“You wish to buy something?” Ri’saad replied as he remained seated under the flap of his tent.

“No, no, just checking in.”

“There is no moon sugar. Come back later.” The reply was short and curt.

Shor’s beard! One can get moon sugar here?

“Huh?” Was the only thing I could think of to say.

Ri’saad looked up and repeated slowly, “There is no moon sugar. Come back later.”

“Oh. Well. I’ll keep that in mind. However, I just was reporting in and ready to assume my guard duties.”

“Huh?” Was the only thing Ri’saad could think of to say.

“Guard duty. I was sent here by Lady Mar..” Somehow when I went to explain myself my instincts felt it just didn’t seem right, so I stopped. “Perhaps you could just point me toward Winterhold?”

“Ah yes, we are so proud of him. Imagine, one of us as a mage? A mage!” Ri’saad fisted his hands and raised them sharply in the air, proudly. “It’s like a dwarf finding a mine! What a golden opportunity and great fortune for the College. Makes them much more powerful indeed.”

So he is here. The worm is already spreading lies about being a powerful mage.

“Know where any dragons are?” My right whiskers began to twitch slightly as I plotted finding the dragon first, then showing up in dragon form! Flying in to land in their courtyard, blocking entry and exit into that rickety old college before requesting to see my cousin. I relish in the thought!

“They say Helgen got hit by a dragon.” Ri’saad replied as if being asked about dragons was an everyday occurrence. “Head to Whiterun across that bridge, it will lead you toward Helgen.”

I certainly will learn to rephrase my questions and avoid asking about dragons from now on. Perhaps I will go to Winterhold first to get my cousin and use him to blow up the dragons! Now that’s power!

“The college is which way?”

“North, stay along the coast but avoid the watchtowers. All sorts of nasty people in them and they will come after you. Can’t miss the College and its long bridge. Path won’t lead you to warm sand.” Ri’saad tossed me a small bag. “One for the road. Use wisely.”

I thanked the old merchant for his directions and bag of moon sugar. It should come in handy when some energy pickup is needed. Time to find my cousin and prove he is outmatched by me. I turned around–

DarRaksa_11

THALMOR!

Those worthless, liberty-stealing worshipers of non-mortal Gods were stopped right in front of the camp. The lead Thalmor was informing his prisoner that Talos worshiping is not tolerated. Not by Nords. Not by Khajiits. My whiskers were twitching with danger warning signals going haywire within my instincts. That long-eared wizard Thalmor looked over at one female kitty, whom I had noticed earlier.

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Such a beauty…

Sure could use a traveling mate. Maybe I’ll come back for her after I’m a dragon and my cousin is following as my housecat. Don’t need to be powerful, just impressive. She did have a mesmerizing smile that dazzled my young heart… hope they don’t hurt her, otherwise I might need to get mean.

Luckily the Thalmor got no fight from the caravan, and they finally moved on with their prisoner. I really wanted to jump in and free him, but the odds weren’t very much in my favor. Along with the main Thalmor leader were two other Thalmor Justiciars in fine Elven armor. That armor would have looked handsome on me, but the fight to get the attire wasn’t worth it, at least not for my health. I gave my good-byes to the camp and a sweet wink at Lajjan before I departed for my new journey.

It’s official now, I’m definitely coming back for her.

THE STORY CONTINUES…

Vipsania – 02: Still no Shoes

Still No Shoes

I stepped outside as the sun rose high and bright above the pointy spires of Daggerfall.  A woman, Roulena, raked the grass outside.  She watched me step out of the house and didn’t bat an eye other than to comment about her workload, so I played it cool and acted like I always stepped out of that house without shoes, half of me ready for battle and the other half ready for bed.

You can just make out Mihayya in the background.
You can just make out Mihayya in the background.

I asked Roulena where the stores were, and she directed me to the Tradesmen’s Square nearby.  But before I could go ten paces, a woman named Mihayya stopped me.  She leaned nonchalantly against a post, flipping a coin.

Turns out Coldharbor had actually dumped me into the sea!  Some Captain, who’s name starts with a C or a K, had found me floating (hopefully upright) in the water offshore and brought me to Daggerfall.  Mihayya suggested I join up with the Captain’s crew, as she’s shorthanded.  I said I would, but that’s a lie.  I’m not a huge sea-goer.  I like me boots on the ground, thank you very much.  Maybe if I happen to pass by the docks later I’ll tell someone to pass along a thank you.

I continued on to the market.  But first, I decided to try out my lockpicking skills on a house next to the one in which I had woken—

–and broke my one and only lockpick.  Really Vipsania??

Really.

I had found the perfect angle, hunched down by the door while the Pact Guard was turned the other way, and then proceeded to break it after five tries.  This is why I need to join the Thieves Guild.

Left without a single lockpick or coin to my name, I went uneventfully to the market.  Though I did laugh when I passed by the bank.

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As a group, they don’t smell so great.

Any thought of stealing my shoes or coin from the market went out of my head the moment I stepped inside.  Full to the brim with all manner of people and races and creatures, it hummed with life.  And prying eyes.  I pretended to browse a few of the books scattered around about crafting of various sorts, eyeing the occasional pack and trunk in the corner, but none offered a suitably discreet spot.  I briefly considered grabbing a pair of boots sitting to the side of the anvil, but the thought of a Guard sword through the back stopped me.  In fact, the only item I could steal was out back in a sack and called saltrice – some kind of cooking ingredient, from the looks of it – but what am I supposed to do with that?  I have no idea how to cook anything.

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I wandered back to the small, crowded square with its pleasant fountain and hordes of people and leaned against the stone wall, watching the antics in front of me.  People leaping from the fountain, falling down, sprinting past, teleporting in and out, riding camels, casting spells, praying—

–the church!  Always open, always quiet, always filled with some kind of rich goody or another.  And there it was, directly across the square.

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Why do Gods need the best houses, when they don’t even live here??

It was a Cathedral with a shrine to Mara – no surprise, in Daggerfall – and the priest outside ironically advised me to “Find what I seek” inside.  A rather fierce sermon was in progress when I entered, so no one felt like chatting when I sidled up to them.  Or maybe it was because I needed a shower.  I quickly made for the dark corners and rummaged through barrels and crates.

I made out with some greens and ginger for food (hardly worth mentioning), a two tined carving fork (worth a bit of coin) and – best of all – a lock pick!  Worth listening to the preacher drone on about Kynareth and Zenithar for that.

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Someone had clearly been here before me.

I left the church and turned left, towards a bridge.  At the edge of it was a beggar, who kept shouting about “being next”.  Now, I like to keep my head down, but I also like a bit of adventure – no, a heaping dish of adventure.  So I humored him, asked him what was up.  He told me to head into the trade district and ask around about murdered beggars.  I’ve also been in his shoes – or bare feet, as it were – begging on the streets, so I might have made a few more promises than I should have.  Since I didn’t have any coin, I gave him the food I had found in the Church.  If my wanderings took me to the trade district and the right people, I’d ask around for him.

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And then do you know what happened right then?  Someone tried to pick-pocket the Guard on the bridge!  Rolled right up to the Guard’s back, all cloaked in darkness, visible just at the edges if you looked at the right angles, and pounced.

But not fast enough.

The Guard whirled around, the man fled – the Guard struck him in the back and the thief fell.  Then he scrambled up, climbed up on to the side of the bride and leapt off!  As though it were three feet high!  I ran to the side and leaned over.  The thief ran up out of the water and around the back side of the Cathedral, drawing the shadows around him again.  The Guard pursued the entire way, until I couldn’t see them anymore no matter how far over I leaned.

Looking over the bridge.
Looking over the bridge, thief long gone.

I tell you, Daggerfall is an exciting place.  Perhaps it is a better choice than Riften after all.

 

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES…

Dar’Raksadarg – 01: Prelude

“Son, you are now a cub scout!”

Dar’Rakr had his big paw resting on my shoulder, facing me. “Roarhahaha, that’s a joke, Lil’cat. What I mean is, you are now a cub dragon. ROARHAHAHA!”

I stared without expression at my father. I already knew the details; those were given to me by my mother. Through her tears I managed to figure out that my father was sending me to Skyrim. No surprise there. My cousin J’zargo was attending college in Winterhold without any tuition fees plus free room and board, compliments of the Arch Mage. J’zargo was the first Khajiit to attend the College of Winterhold, so special treatment for him, I guess. My fire-red eyes flickered as my whiskers twitched when my father told me a minor detail of the journey. You know, those details that everyone leaves out:

“Dragons have come back to Skyrim. I see in your eyes that you are the real Dragonborn.”

“I’m not sticking around to fight a dragon!” No more!  I yield to my father’s craziness.  I will now begin to search for jarrin root.

“All you need to do is find that finger-wiggling disgrace of a skeever-mage named J’zargo and watch him crumble when he learns you are a dragon!” My father’s tail was wagging so fast from the sheer joy of beating out his brother that I swear it was about to fly off.

“You want me to go Skyrim, become a dragon and tell J’zargo about it?” Never hurts to get the real details so I asked.

“Powerful idea, isn’t it? Roarhahaha!” My father was shoving a backpack into my arms while my mother was frantically trying to fill it with food and drink. “Time to end this little game with my brother! You are the greatest and most powerful of all. But not as a mage! Go forth, cubbyson and show everyone who the real Dragonborn is! Just make sure you prove it to J’zargo and send that whimpering, weak, milk-drinker home! ROARHAHAHA!”

“I don…” My eyes narrowed at him as he shoved some catnip mixed with moon sugar into my mouth. “Wha…” The last thing I remembered was my father pouring ale down my throat.

The next thing I recalled was smiling up at some Imperial guards on patrol. Apparently it is not legal for Khajiits to cross the border without having a caravan license. Minor detail my father overlooked. Nor is it legal anywhere in Skyrim to pass out while under the influence and not know how you got there. So they put me into a wagon filled with other prisoners until some General saw me.

“Get that thing out of my cart! Stendarr’s Mercy, I’m not running a sideshow here!” The General’s horse paced nervously as the officer glared at his men. “Take him to the regular location.”

LadyMara
Shrine to Mara – where will she send our hero?

Dar’Raksadarg’s adventure continues…

10 Inspirational Sources for RPG Characters

It happens on a regular basis – you get that feeling, that bubble of energy about to burst through your chest – the need to create a new character or you’ll die.

You just know this one is going to be awesome.  You grab your pen – or laptop – hands poised to craft a deep, complex individual capable of the greatest depravities or heights of heroism –

– and stay there.  For a long time.

It’s hard coming up with backstories, appearances, motivations and personalities for characters, and it OK that it’s hard.  You’re basically creating a being out of thin air using only your imagination.

So I’ve come up with a few methods for melting the creative ices, some typical and some not so typical.  Hopefully one or two will work for you!

  1. Look to your Friends.  They say it’s best to write about what you know, and I believe that holds true for creating believable characters as well.  Here’s another applicable truism – a kernel of truth makes for a believable lie.  Pick a friend, exaggerate some of his/her more apparent characteristics, and place her in the setting of your game.  Ask yourself why your friend is motivated to act the way she does in real life, and tweak it to fit your character’s backstory.

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    So it’s not exactly what point #1 is about, but it’s funny.
  2. Roll a Die.  Tabletops aren’t the only games that benefit from rolling the dice.  One of my absolute favorite ways to get unstuck is to leave it to chance.  For example, I’ll assign each race a number of the die and whatever number I roll, that’s the race of my character.  I do the same for skill set, profession, moral code, etc.  You then fill in the gaps with a backstory to make it all fit together.  It generates some brilliantly unusual characters!

    OK this was too funny a picture not to use.
    OK who else wants this??
  3. Watch a documentary (or read a nonfiction novel).  These are gold mines of inspiration.  Real people, acting in really pure and passionate ways.   Motivations have been thoroughly analyzed and fleshed out.  As the bespectacled academic explains it to you on screen, you can apply it to your character. download
  4. Read a fantasy novel/watch a fantasy series.  This one is pretty self explanatory.  Plenty of inspiration for plot lines, character appearances, relationships, etc.  Plus, the more you read the better you write.                                           images
  5. Speaking of writing, read through a list of descriptive adjectives.  This gets you thinking about characters who embody those adjectives.  They’ve been the springboard for a few of my favorite characters, particularly the word “nefarious“.  Oh, and “machinations,” usually preceded by “evil” (in that case I actually created a character who had accidentally been the cause of the villain’s decent into…well, villainy, and vowed to stop her).table1
  6. Pinterest.  Can’t get enough of it.  Type in a search like, “Character Inspiration”, “Fantasy Character”, “Motivation”, “Emotions”, “Medieval Outfit”…the possibilities are endless.  As is browsing time.  Plus, you can pin all your favorites to boards and come back to them whenever you need an inspiration top-off.

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    It’s also awesome for this kind of stuff.
  7. Visit a Museum or an Art Installation.   The historical outfits, advanced weaponry and futuristic clothing (depending on the type of exhibit) will do wonders for your own character development.  Perhaps it’s a lady’s comb, or the particular texture of leather on a military uniform, or the geometrical shapes on a shoe that sparks your next great idea.  11506657
  8. Check out Character Design Inspiration‘s Tumblr.  It’s fantastic.  Not only do they offer fashion, accessory and historical images, but they also have short, easily digestible character design tips and tricks.  Love it.  (Double Tip – Pin some pictures from the Tumblr to your Pinterest!)

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    A recent post from Character Design
  9. Listen to Music!  Personally I prefer epic soundtracks or trailer music.  Anything by Posthumous, Kerry Muzzey, Hans Zimmerman, Bear McCreary (Battlestar!!), the Inception and Gravity soundtrack’s…oh wait no, my absolute favorite ever is the soundtrack to Mad Max: Fury Road, especially Brothers in Arms.  Can’t get enough of it.mad-max-fury-road-image-charlize-theron-abbey-lee-courtney-eaton-zoe-kravitz-riley-keough
  10. Read the Funnies.  Because sometimes you just need to get out of your own head for a bit, laugh a little, not think about anything character-related.  My favorite right now is the Awkward Yeti.  Liked it so much I bought the book.  0127_BRACES-01

Have any tips or tricks of your own?  Awesome websites?  Inspiring books?  Leave them in the comments!