Liche's Relinquishment - One

  • *Disclaimer: This blog is based upon the ‘Undeath’ quest mod for Skyrim. If you haven't played the mod and intend to I’d suggest you skip this story for the time being... or play the mod (I recommend the latter) - spoiler alert ladies and gents! Spoiler alert!*

    Chapter One

    Finding the Trail


    The dark tower stood monolithic and menacing, casting a looming shadow across the evening sky like some overgrown thug. Thick tendrils of fog licked at it’s black stone, making it seem very much the necromantic hideout it was.

    “Is this the place?” Hesek asked his dunmer companion “It’s a bit stereotypical don't you think?”.

    The two of them were sitting in a small cluster of bushes, staring up at the great evil looking building from a safe distance. At the tower’s base stood two robed figures, stacking old bones on some sort of an altar.  

    “Naaah” Voren answered “It’s not so bad, at least there are no bats”.

    Hesek chuckled “I suppose not”.

    “Other than that” Voren continued, holding up a crumpled piece of paper “Ravenscorn Spire, is here alright” He pointed an ashen finger at a passage of sprawling script on the note. Hesek nodded, indeed Ravenscorn Spire was here. Too bad, he thought, necromancers give me the creeps.   

    “So, how do we progress from here?” Hesek asked, scratching his scaly chin with one carefully sharpened claw.

    Voren shrugged “We get rid of those two bastards first, no doubt” he pointed a thumb at the bone stackers “nice and sneaky like” he said.

    “mhm” Hesek muttered “You go right, I go left?”

    “Fine by me” Voren agreed.

    They both slid from the bushes, silent and low, circling around the two unexpecting necromancers with all the practiced malevolence of a couple ambushing sabercats. Hesek crawled on all fours, his lithe body slithering like a snake, not making a sound.

    Voren cast a muffle spell and stuck to the shadows, his dark complexion and dark armor making him melt from view. They were good, they both knew it, that's how they'd gotten the job in the first place - no one better at blackmail, infiltration, bribery and the occasional slitting of throats in all of Skyrim.

    Hesek snuck up close behind his target, ready to pounce. He peered into the gloom at the other hooded figure, sure enough Voren was crouched in the shadow a cruel looking dagger at the ready. Hesek raised his fist, you ready?

    Voren nodded and stuck his own fist up, I’m ready.  

    Hesek counted heartbeats, one - two - three. He leapt from the shadows all agile deadliness rushing through the air at tremendous speed. Coming in fast Hesek raised one knee, drew back his shoulder, curled his tail for balance and stepped in close to the necromancer - who had only managed to turn halfway round with a bewildered expression on his face.

    “Evening” Hesek rasped with an evil smile.

    “Oh” was all the necromancer managed to squeak.

    Hesek thundered his fist into the man's ribs with the force of his entire body behind it. It was one of the most perfectly executed uppercuts Hesek had ever managed and he could feel the necromancer’s ribs shatter with a satisfying crack as his robe clad body was flung into the air before crashing to the ground several paces away.

    Meanwhile the other necromancer had received a nasty surprise of his own and fell to the mud with a gasp, clutching at the length of ebony steel sticking from his breast. Voren stood behind the man fidgeting with his earring as if stabbing people through the heart was a boring pastime.  

    “Yours dead?” Hesek asked Voren, mostly out of habit, the answer was obvious.

    “Mhm” Voren replied “How ‘bout yours?”

    Hesek kicked the form of the necromancer, blood seeped from the man’s mouth, nose and ears. “Aye, think I mushed some of his organs”.

    “Seems so” Voren agreed, walking to the neatly piled stack of bones at the towers entrance.   

    “Wonder what it's for” Hesek said as he lifted a skull from the pile.

    “Who knows” Voren answered “Probably some form of conjuration ritual I’d guess” he threw a bone on the ground.

    “To be or not to be” Hesek muttered and tossed the skull over his shoulder. He shivered. “Shall we enter?”.

    Voren nodded and walked to the door.


    The inside of the tower wasn't nearly as impressive as the exterior. Large pillars sprouted from the ground and a circeling staircase slithered its way up into a dimly lit hall and down into a dark dungeon that ended with a solid looking door. The ground floor had been guarded by a single skeleton, reanimated by some dark magic no doubt, they’d taken care of it easily enough.

    Other than the skeleton, now laying motionless and scattered on the floor, the room was empty. A few piles of old stone stood stacked in one corner and a half molded carpet covered the floor. Disappointing. They had checked the room and found nothing, except for that door. It was locked, Hesek discovered as he pulled the handle.  

    “Up or down?” Voren asked, perring at the worn steps.

    “Up I suppose” Hesek muttered “It is a tower afterall”.

    Voren produced a dagger from somewhere and snuck to the staircase. “Probably more of em” he explained.

    “Yes” Hesek hissed.

    They crept up the stairs, nice and slow. Sure enough, yet another robe clad figure was standing in the hallway chewing on a piece of stale looking bread. Voren hefted his dagger and threw it with a twist of his hand. The dagger struck the robed figure in the breast and the necromancer fell to the floor with a gurgle.

    For all their magic they aren't very hard to kill, Hesek thought with a chuckle as Voren reclaimed his dagger from the corpse.

    The two of them steadily made their way up the winding staircase. A few more necromancers walked about carelessly but none of them put up a fight. It took them a while, but finally they reached the top floor of the tower. A door led to the roof and another one stood ajar, allowing Hesek to peer into a torture room of some sort. It was empty.

    Hesek shoved the door open, the old wood moaned slightly at being pushed. The room was indeed meant for torture, or maybe something more sinister. A large iron cage stood in one corner, empty except for a half rotted corpse. Chains hung from the ceiling and several strange bones littered the floor.

    “Not the most tidy of people these necromancers, eh” Hesek observed.  

    Voren spat “This is bloody pathetic” He said, kicking one of the bones “easy job easy money, I won't complain” he added after a pause.

    “Though it does look rather ominous” Hesek observed, perring at a yellow stained window that dominated the rooms eastern wall. A small table stood at the windowsill and Hesek walked toward it.

    “What have we here?” He exclaimed, lifting an old, bloodstained  folio from the table. “Antioch’s Journal, Volume one” He read aloud “Interesting”.  

    “What's it say?” Voren asked, leaning inn to peer over Hesek’s shoulder.

    “Lets see” Hesek opened the folio:

    Entry one:

    The Tome of Unlife has resurfaced, after two hundred years, and in the hands of those imbeciles at the College of Whispers no less. They cannot even conceive of its power, and instead they will use it in their ridiculous bickering crusades among themselves, and the Synod. It is the piece of the puzzle I have searched for all these years, and I will not let their petty politicking stand in the way of my glorious destiny.

    Entry two:

    It was almost too easy manipulate the Synod's hatred of the College. Those idiotic Stendarr worshipers have already been informed of the College's 'heretical acquisition'. They will surrender the artifact, or risk losing face with the Elder Council for their questionable practices.

    Entry three:

    As expected, the College of Whispers was not long in giving up the Tom to the Vigil of Stendarr. The fools believe the book can be so easily destroyed by their 'cleansings'. They truly have no idea! I must watch and wait, for the moment to seize it will come soon, I am sure of it.

    Entry four:

    It has come to my attention that the Vigil of Stendarr will be moving the Tome by guarded escort to Skyrim. I can only expect that they are seeking the assistance and knowledge of the Neutral College of Winterhold in dealing with the book. The Vigil are ignorant, superstitious fools, but I fear that with the Winterhold's assistance they may actually succeed.

    I had feared it may come to this. We must strike quickly before they reach Winterhold, or the Tome and it's secrets may be lost forever. They will not be long in passing the border. We will strike without warning, and without mercy.

    Entry five:

    At last, the Tome of Unlife is within my grasp! We have rallied at this desolated tower to the east of Skyrim, far enough that any survivors of the Vigil will not come looking. It is by no means an ideal place of study, but I must make do while I decipher the Tome's secrets.

    The correlations between the Tome and Celedaen's writings are very promising, yet still the missing secret eludes me. What revelations could Celedean's 'sovereign' possibly have revealed? The Tome provided fascinating insights into the process that I have sought for so long, but it does not seem to be enough.

    Something is missing.

    I will retreat to the seclusion of the tower's lower depths where I may study its runes in peace.

    “The Tome of Unlife eh” Voren muttered “What’s that all about?”.

    “I dont know” Hesek answered “But I don't really care, that's our employers business not ours”.

    Voren nodded “true, but that doesn't really help us much now though” He snatched the fiolo from Hesek’s hands and shook it. “Isn’t there anythin-” He started, but a flat key fell from between some of the pages and jingled across the floor. “Ohhhh” He muttered and picked it up.

    “What's it for?” Hesek asked.

    “How am I supposed to know that?” Voren snorted, examining the key “Did you come across any locked doors?” He asked “I didn't”.

    “Now that you mention it” Hesek rubbed his chin “That door to the basement was locked, maybe that's what it opens?”.

    “Only one way to find out” Voren spun and started walking to the stairs again. Hesek followed, interesting, he thought still rubbing his chin.  


    Sure enough the key opened the door to the basement. Hesek had stuck the flat key in the old rusted keyhole, turned it and had been greeted by a metallic click. The door swung open.

    The room on the other side was some sort of an antichamber: a wide arch made up the roof and a spiral staircase ran parallel with the wall, going steadily down into darkness.

    “They really don't like light, do they” Hesek muttered as he and Voren made their way down into the gloom.

    Voren chuckled “Nah, don’t seem much like it. Being a necromancer sure is a depressing business eh”.  

    Hesek joined in his friend’s chuckle “Well, that is sort of understandable; I don't see how fondling corpses and playing with old bones would ever attract merriment, do you?”.

    Voren shook his head “By Boethiah no! But this lot seem even less humorous than-”. His analogy was interrupted. Hesek looked up “Than what?” He asked.

    A flash of light erupted from somewhere in the darkness with a dethening hiss. Hesek jumped to the side by reflex, smacking his head into vorens shoulder. The two of them scrambled to the ground in a tangle of limbs.

    “Shit” Voren muttered as he sprang to his feet, dagger at the ready.

    Another eruption of light. Another loud hiss. Hesek dodged once more, Voren did the same.

    “Shit” Voren repeated, bolstering up a ward spell to hide behind.

    “We got careless” Hesek muttered. An arch of light thudded into the ward, Voren staggered but managed to maintain the spell.

    “I can't... do this for long” He gasped. Hesek knew that and was already on the move.

    He pounced to the wall, jumping and barely had time to blink before another pulse of magic struck the wall behind him. Voren was also on the move.

    The mage stood in the corner of the room, dark robes hiding his silhouette. Fucking sneaky bastard, Hesek didn't like the taste of his own medicine. He dashed forawards, ducked to the side, lost his balance and thudded into the mage head first. One of his horns got stuck in the mage's robe and he kicked the man with all his might to free himself.

    “Opmh” The mage gasped, but it was already too late for him.

    Hesek grappled with him, strong scaly arms fastening the mage’s limbs in what The Shadowscales called a Trinity Lock. The mage gasped some more, spittle flying from his lips. Hesek twisted his back, catching the mage around the neck with his bicep and pulled him to the dirty floor with a thud.    

    “FHHHSSSS” Hesek hissed, straining his back muscles with all his might. The mages neck cracked a little. More, Hesek thought, A little more. With an effort he pulled upward, his arm clamped tight around the mages head. Crack, crack, crack! the mages neck snapped as he pulled. CRACK!

    Hesek let go. The mages body spasmed for a time, then lay still, his head twisted backward in an awkward position and a dagger stuck deep in his side. Voren’s dagger.

    Hesek stood and brushed himself off. “I think we overdid it a little” He muttered, making sure his horn hadn’t snapped in half.

    “Bastard bloody well deserved it, scared me half to death” Voren spat “Fucking necromancers”.

    They glanced around the room. “Now this is more like it” Hesek observed as his eyes were caught by a strange looking altar of bones cemented in stone.

    “Mhm” Voren agreed, staring at a large cauldron in the centre of the room.

    “Grrrrrr” The mage gurgled as he died slowly.

    “Shouldn't we kill him?” Hesek asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “Nah, let him suffer a little. Fucking necromancer” Voren kicked the necromancers lulling head.

    “Grrrrr” The necromancer gurgled.

    Hesek went to the altar, another folio lay at its base. “Deja Vu!” Hesek exclaimed, picking up the leather bound papers.

    “Let me guess” Voren said, poking the dying mage on the forehead, pushing his broken neck this way and that “Antioch’s Journal, Volume two?”


    “Indeed” Hesek opened it and started reading aloud:

    “Entry six:

    At last I have made some sense of the inscriptions here. The Tome is not a guide, but the notes and experiments of one like myself, who sought the secrets of Lichdom. Three items in particular receive special mention in the Tome; the Trappings of a Fallen Archmage, the Heart of a Priest of Arkay, and an Elixir created from one of two ingredients. I must investigate further..”

    Heseek turned the page.

    “Entry seven:

    The arcane and ceremonial significance of these seemingly unrelated artifacts suggests to me some clear, and powerful evocation of external forces. It should not come as a surprise to me that the Daedric lords of Oblivion may somehow be involved in the bartering of power for this ritual, but these offerings do not coincide with any that would be expected from the traditional sixteen Princes...

    -Still, I suspect there must be some form of ritual significance in requiring the Heart of the God of Life and Death's followers. Mercifully, this is one of the easiest of the Tome's requirements to obtain. I have assigned Gundar and some of his 'agents' to ransack the Temple of Arkay near Lake Ilinalta and perform the necessary rites on some fool. Whoever they leave alive. As long as the organ is extracted properly, I care little.-”

    “Grrrrrr” the dying mage interrupted.

    “By Oblivion would you stop toying with him and just finish it!” Hesek hissed annoyed.

    Voren raised his hands “Sorry, sorry. I just find it fascinating how you do that” He pointed at the mages neck “All the bones are ground to powder, huh” He killed the mage by slitting his throat.

    “Thank you” Hesek sighed “Now where was I?”

    He continued reading:  

    “Entry eight:

    After some extensive research of alchemical records, Celedaen's notes and the inscriptions in the Tome, I have sent Selonius and three others to perform the alchemy at the plateau overlooking the Reach. I've him the particulars of the two elixirs, Namira's Corrosion and Embalming Essence. I must ponder over their effects and how they relate to the ritual itself before selecting which compound to create the final elixir with…

    Entry nine:

    A pedestrian browsing of Skyrim's magical annuads was sufficient to reveal the legend of an Archmage of Winterhold whose enchanted raiments fortified his spiritual and physical prowess. Archmage Vyngald was supposedly buried with his relics, and it will be only too easy to relieve him of them. I have seen Wynestra to locate and exhume the remains near Winterhold, and secure his Shroud.”

    Entry ten:

    The last piece of the puzzle appears to lie in the Dragontail Mountains. I am uncertain why it did not occur to me before. Celedaen's 'sovereign', the offerings and evocations alluded to in the ritual components…

    The legendary King of Worms and his followers were among the first to achieve the state of Lichdom. Surely, if anywhere, some answers or clues as to the missing piece I am seeking will lie where they once worked and practices our Black Arts. I have waited decades for this moment, but I can wait no longer. I will leave for the Dragontail Mountains in search of the barrow immediately, and send for the artifacts here in Skyrim when it has been located.”

    Hesek shut the folio “We should bring this to our employer” He said and made for the stairs.

    Voren followed “Aye, I think we found the Trail, eh”.
















5 Comments   |   Wulfhedinn and 2 others like this.
  • BlueDremora
    BlueDremora   ·  April 15, 2018
    Yea the mod is pretty good, although I dare say also very lacking. Thanks for the praise! I hope to make the mod seem a little more than it is in this story.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  April 15, 2018
    I remember this mod, never played it myself but saw it praised somewhere. So it definitely is interesting to at least read about it. 

    And what is wrong with the formatting? I never noticed. All I ever have to do is just fix Italics. 
  • Wulfhedinn
    Wulfhedinn   ·  April 15, 2018
    Great story for a great but painfully short mod. Takes you to a very Skyrim-like Dragontails, if I'm not wrong? Either way, these mod stories are quite interesting.
  • BlueDremora
    BlueDremora   ·  April 15, 2018
    Why is the formatting on the blog always such a pain? :S
    • Wulfhedinn
      Why is the formatting on the blog always such a pain? :S
        ·  April 15, 2018
      I know, right?