(4E-199 30th of Hearthfire)
Galeron cleared out the rest of the bandits in the canyon, bringing his Revenant count up to eleven. Of course, this also meant that he was completely out of Black Soul Gems. He would need to procure more in order to increase the number of his undead, unless he came across someone worthy of his Crying Corpse spell.
'I'll worry about that problem when I come to it. Right now, I need to focus on my murder stew.'
Nearly eight hours after he had created his first Revenant of the day, Galeron laid the last few traps covering the inside of Dayspring Pass and pulled out the control rod he'd taken from the Vampire's. This rod was specifically designed to hold together an illusion that would be placed on an object, person, or environment no more than a hundred meters away from it. As long as the control rod remained within range, it would be able to either activate, disable, or maintain the illusions.
Luckily for Galeron, the staff was already embedded with a Grand Soul Gem and was able to cover nearly the entire pass. The bit that was left over could easily be covered over with his own power, whenever the bandits finally arrived. The Grand Soul Gem was actually a bit overkill for what the Vampires had been using it for but he wasn't about to complain about their excessiveness.
Having placed a Frost Atronach Summoning Rune near the front of the cave along with a Trigger Trap Rune near the same location, Galeron stood inside Dayspring Canyon right next to the pass's entrance. He sat down and began to meditate, until the bandits returned.
It was nearly nightfall, before the bandits finally could be heard jovially dragging their loot back towards Dayspring Pass. Galeron roused himself from his meditations and began listening intently to their approach.
Kneeling right beside the pass entrance, Galeron peeked inside, when the voices began to echo off of the pass walls. He watched them as they sauntered towards the pass undisciplined and relaxed. Some of them had their arms slung over their comrades shoulders while singing silly songs and others were riding and hanging off of a horse drawn cart.
The cart was in the front and stopped at the pass entrance. The entrance to the pass was larger than in the game but not that large. One might be able to uncomfortably ride a horse through but even that would be a pretty tight fit. The bandits unhitched the horse from the cart and then began connecting it to what seemed like some kind of leather netting. The bandits then continued to laugh and sing as they placed their loot into the netting on the ground. The horse was then urged forward, dragging their loot behind it in the netting.
'Hmmm...it seems these bandits aren't entirely stupid.' Galeron thought, as he was tempted to let it pass, before activating his trap, but there were a total of twelve bandits that were walking with the loot.
'If I let the loot through, I'll have to face at least twelve of them and that's assuming none of the others survive my stew. While we would technically out number them, neither Revenants nor Atronachs are a one to one match for living thinking Humans.
'The strength of Atronachs comes primarily from their pure elemental power. The Undead, on the other hand, are usually only useful in numbers, as meat shields, or as distractions. The only exceptions to this being the Dead Thrall, Crying Corpse, and Briarheart spells and rituals.
'If I can stall them with my Atronachs and Undead from the front, I can reduce their numbers from stealth, until they discover me. By that time, we should have the advantage…' Galeron's thoughts were cut short as he realized that the bandits were almost in position. Not having any more time to consider his next step, Galeron didn't hesitate.
'Fuck it! If I want to get ahead in this world, I'll have to start taking risks eventually. Nothing in life is free...except when it is. Bring it on, bitch ass bandits! I'm cooking up a murder stew just for you!'
Once his mind was made up, he waited the last couple of seconds for the loot to come out of the pass. The moment that the horse was out of the pass, Galeron grinned wickedly as a thought occurred to him and he cast two spells one right after the other. One was a small Fireball right on the horse's ass and the second activated his Trigger Trap Rune, which was bound to him and so could be activated remotely.
The now hysterical horse completely ignored its handler's commands and immediately rushed forward into the Canyon. The very next second, the booms, zaps, and whirs of numerous Elemental Rune Traps could be heard from inside the pass.
Galeron had lined the ground with Frost Runes, the walls with Fire Runes, and the ceiling with Lightning Runes. Based on the horrific screaming coming from within, he could only assume that they had caused quite a lot of damage, if not deaths.
Of course, there was the Unbound Frost Atronach that was summoned at the same moment that the runes were activated. 'After being summoned and drawn towards the commotion in the pass, it should begin cleaning up any survivors for me any second now.'
The second after he had activated the Rune Traps, Galeron called his three Atronaches from hiding and they were now in combat with the four bandits that had been walking beside the loot netting. Sneaking up behind the distracted bandits, Galeron began sending forth his Orbical, overcharged with his most destructive lightning, directly into their unguarded backs.
Not having been at all prepared for anything that had happened to them since they had returned, the bandits were quickly overwhelmed. The lightning charged Orbical dealt massive damage and set them off balance leaving them helpless before the Atronachs, who were not at all sympathetic to their plight.
With the four bandits now dead, Galeron sent his Atronachs towards the now disconnected loot netting, where the remaining bandits were fending off his Revenants. The horse had run off towards the fort and obviously wouldn't be coming back, until things settled down.
With the entirety of his attention now only on one battle, he could much more easily control both his Undead, his Atronachs, and his Orbical. Maneuvering them in such a way as to spread the individual fights out, he quickly dashed towards the most disadvantaged bandit and ran his sword through his neck.
After his first kill in this manner, he had dropped his Invisibility and Muffle, as he would soon run out of magicka otherwise. It didn't take long for the bandits to recognize there was a newcomer to the battlefield but it was long enough for him to close in on his second victim. The second bandit died in the same manner as the first, only facing towards Galeron instead of away from him.
Even though the bandits were now aware of his presence, there was little they could do about it. They were all currently engaged in their own battles and Galeron's presence was a deadly distraction from any perspective. They could only continue to face the opponents in front of them and hope for the best.
At this point, all of the bandits were aware that they were completely hopeless in this situation and this battle would definitely be their last. They all continued to struggle desperately against their attackers but eventually their inevitable ends were met.
Galeron had witnessed the Unbound Frost Atronach coming towards their position not too long after he had jumped into the battle of the bandits. Seeing that things were going quite smoothly and that yet another bandit had just gone down, he sent his Fire Atronach to stall it.
Once all the bandits had fallen, Galeron's Storm and Frost Atronachs were sent to finish the thing off. Having successfully brewed a cauldron of murder stew, Galeron took stock of his losses and gains.
First and foremost, he had gained the fort. Secondly, the bandits had brought him quite the bountiful harvest. There were two thousand Septims, several Soul Gems, plenty of food and alcohol, and even a few ores, ingots, and weapons. This was all just from the netting and he suspected that the fort itself would hold even more resources.
As for losses, he had only lost three Revenants in the melee and that was it. He now had a total of eight Revenants, which should be sufficient for holding down the fort, while he is away.
Back at the fort's entrance, Galeron sat down to recharge his magicka, resummon his Atronachs, and then recharge again. Once his magicka was topped off, he entered Fort Dawnguard and decided that a thorough exploration could wait until tomorrow. He had just killed a lot of people, after staying up for nearly three days straight, he needed sleep and lots of it.
Quickly scouting out the most comfortable bed on the second floor, he plopped down and slept, until late into the afternoon.
(4E-199 1st of Frostfall)
Stretching and yawning, Galeron pulled himself out of his new bed and walked down the canyon to the waterfall for an early morning bath. After cleaning his body, Galeron crawled shivering and shaking out of the pool of water at the bottom of the waterfall. He could have used his magic to lessen the effects of the freezing cold waters but being exposed to extreme temperatures seemed to hyperfocus his mind and eventually left him in an ideal mental state, once he had warmed up.
Having received the desired effects from his bath, Galeron dried himself and his clothes with a bit of weak Fire Magic, got dressed, and went back to the fort for a bit of breakfast. Venison Steak and Eggs were on the menu today so he took advantage of the bandits generous parting gifts and cooked up a delicious breakfast, which he devoured gluttonously.
After finishing his well deserved banquet sized breakfast and taking a short nap, Galeron spent the rest of that day and the next making a written record of all of the resources in the fort, organizing everything into storage rooms, cleaning the place up, and burning all of the unused bandits bodies. None of them were particularly powerful and so he didn't want to waste valuable Black Soul Gems on them once he had acquired some more. He also deconstructed the cart outside the pass and brought all the parts to the fort.
With the Soul Gems he had acquired from the bandits he now had four more Grand Soul Gems and so wasn't completely unprepared for his upcoming trip to Winterhold. He just needed to make sure he could find four more victims before having to engage any serious enemies.
The day after his organizing, he acquired some saddle bags from the fort, loaded them with plenty of food and water, calmed the still slightly nervous horse, and then resumed his journey towards Winterhold.
He wasn't at all skilled at horse riding and so the first few days of his journey were a rough but valuable learning experience.
After ten days of traveling through forests, fields, and icy mountain paths, he finally arrived at Winterhold. Looking around, he realized that this city was much larger than what he had expected. He had not entered the city of Riften but he had seen it from a distance and could tell that it too was much larger than its in game counterpart. The view he had couldn't have given him a very accurate impression, however, and he could now see that Winterhold was at least five times larger than the one he knew.
It was still rundown, had no walls, and was clearly a shadow of its former self but it actually looked like a place that could be made into something, with the right amount of effort.
'If I had any intention of taking the limelight and making myself known right out of the gate, it would be a good place to establish myself. That's not really my style, though. I've got lots of killing and experiments to do and the last thing I need are a bunch of goodie goodies inspecting and judging my every action. I was born into this world as an abomination and so trying to fit in with normal society wouldn't be anything but a life long hassle.
'Knowing what I know about the locations of powerful artifacts and future events, I would be remiss not to make the most of these assets. I still have no idea how powerful this world's experts are and how I stack up to them. I need to gather up a sufficient amount of strength in a suitably inconspicuous location so that I can continue my training in safety.
'I only have a little more than a year, before I can find out whether or not I'm a Dragonborn and then I'll have to face the threat of the Dragons, along with everyone else. I'm not sure that I'm powerful enough, at the moment, to face a Dragon and so I'll need to improve my strength and abilities as much as possible, before that time.'
Galeron had sold his horse to the owner of The Frozen Hearth and so he continued forward on foot through Winterhold's snow covered streets. He had activated his Disguise Spell, which gave him the appearance of a Breton, before finally arriving at the bridge leading to the College. He didn't see anyone in attendance and so he pressed on, until he was just about to step across the bridge's threshold.
He stopped right before the threshold, as he noticed that someone was actually there. They were simply sleeping in a chair behind one of the pillars at the bridge's threshold. He looked closer to see if he could recognize the person.
'Wait, isn't that Colette Marence? Hmmm…I'm guessing they use some sort of rotation system and watch the entrance to the College in shifts or something like that. Let's see if I can creep past her?'
Galeron stepped forward and then brought his other foot forward to cross the bridge's threshold. As soon as his foot reached the line of the bridge's threshold, it impacted with an invisible force and was repelled.
'What the...shit, am I stupid or something? I just tried to sneak into the College of Winterhold, without so much as a Detect Life spell nor did I think to use my Mage's Eye. Dammit, that could have been anything and I would have just stepped right into it. I clearly haven't learned my lesson, yet. As soon as I get set up in my new place, I'm going to put myself through some serious drills to get this stuff into my head. What good is being reincarnated, if I just end up dying as a result of my own inattentiveness?'
At the same moment that Galeron had bumped into the barrier, the sleeping Colette awoke with a start. She spotted Galeron standing at the bridge's threshold staring blankly at her.
"Ahem, can I help you with something?" Collette asked.
Galeron recovered from his self admonishing thoughts and answered, "Yes, I'm here to see about entering the College. Honestly, I'm not sure there's too much I could learn here but an education concerning the Arcane Arts is only half the reason I'm here. I'm really in need of those from whom I can purchase Master Level spells. I'm already quite accomplished in regards to the Arcane and just that access alone would be sufficient."
"Oh, I see. Well, no matter. It's the same procedure either way. No matter your background or experience, the only way to enter the College is to pass my test. If you're as accomplished as you claim to be, then it shouldn't be a problem."
"Of course, what is this test then?"
"It's simple, really. Simply cast the spell Healing Hands in the center of the eye engraved on the floor, just there."
"Hmph, you were right. That is simple." Galeron responded, as he stretched his hand forward and sent healing magicka into the eye's center causing the entire symbol to light up, before the glow slowly faded away.
"Ah, excellent! In that case, welcome to the College of Winterhold. I'm Colette Marence and I teach Restoration Magic. I can sell you Expert Level Restoration spells and below, of course, any of the College's teachers can sell you Expert Level spells, from their respective schools. If you wish to buy Master Level spells, you'll need to speak with Urag gro-Shub in the Arcaneum. However before you jump into that, you should speak with Mirabelle Ervine, who can get you acquainted with the College and she can also provide guidance on understanding Master Level spells, if you're having trouble with them."
"Thank you, Colette, for your assistance. I'm Galeron, by the way. I'll go find Mirabelle, now. Mara be with you."
"And with you, Galeron."
Galeron walked across the bridge and went directly to the Arcaneum. After speaking with Urag gro-Shub, Galeron managed to procure three books concerning Master Level magic and three other books that should help with the artifact he's after. He was fortunate enough to bump into Mirabelle, after exiting the Arcaneum, and he spoke with her briefly while she directed him to his personal quarters in the Hall of Attainment.
Three of the books he had acquired, upon his arrival, were spell books that were completely paid for and so belonged to him. The Last King of the Ayleids, Night of Tears, and On Artaeum, however, were on loan and were not allowed to leave the College. He knew that a student named Orthorn had stolen these books in the game and so he was reasonably confident that he could get away with them, without too much trouble.
Just to be sure, however, he entered his Mage's Eye and searched the books and, as he suspected, there were no enchantments. He suspected that enchantments able to prevent theft or track an object across leagues would be fairly complex and not something they could afford to place on every book.
He had yet to see Faralda or Savos Aren and he was actually glad about that. He wasn't particularly bothered by the idea of meeting his grandmother and grandfather but he had to be mindful of the fact that he was in a magical universe. He couldn't be certain that she wouldn't have some kind of magical mother sense and start taking an undesirable level of interest in him. There's also the much more likely possibility of her having some type of artifact that lets her detect people who are related to her.
'After having their child stolen right from under their noses like that, they probably would have gone to great lengths to find him. If there's any couple in Skyrim capable of either acquiring or crafting an artifact of that nature, it would be those two. Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I'd rather not test my luck.'
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