Sunday, April 27, 2014

Luna's Story - Chapter 2


When Luna and Wildfire arrived outside Skingrad, it was night and raining. Luna hated to be caught in the rain, and knew that her fiery mount hated it even more. "I am sorry, Wildfire. Hurry and dry out in Oblivion. I'll dry out as best I can here," she said miserably. She wasted no time in making her way to the Mages Guild, wanting a roof over her head with a passion. She did hope it lasted into the morning though, as Luna liked little more than she liked losing herself in a book while rain hammered on the windows. As much as she hated to be out in it, she loved to be warm and dry and enjoy the sound of a heavy rainfall. The Skingrad Mages Guild had a fine library, and she was hoping to stay a while to enjoy it.

Druja was still awake when Luna nearly flung herself through the door to the guild house "Luna!" she exclaimed happily. "It's good to see you. Sorry you were caught out in that... I know you hate the rain. I'm sure we've got a dry robe in your size, if you'll give me a moment."

"No need, but thank you. My pack is water tight, and I always carry a change of clothes. It's good to see you to, Druja." The old Argonian may not be friendly with strangers, but once her respect was earned, you had a friend for life. Luna was happy to see her friend, and sent a silent thanks to Azura that Druja was always up late. "Is there still a free room upstairs?" Luna asked.

Druja told her there was and Luna headed up the steps to change into something much drier than her current clothes. Once she was no longer dripping, she went back down stairs to catch up with the sometimes grumpy Argonian. Not much had changed, apparently. Adrienne still preferred to be left to her studies, and the other mages generally left her to it. Luna knew she wouldn't appreciate being interrupted tomorrow, but also knew that it was nothing personal. Adrienne was perhaps a bit more of a bookworm than was healthy, but the guild ran itself relatively smoothly anyway.

Luna headed back up the stairs to sleep until morning. When she woke, she found herself alone on the third floor, and so took her time dressing. She kept it a closely guarded secret, but the bag she carried was heavily enchanted, and she had nearly all the clothes she owned in there. She liked to be able to have variety on the go, and so brought most of her wardrobe with her in the tiny satchel. Decked out in fishnets and a spiked collar, she knew she drew attention, but Luna took pride in her appearance, and loved the way she felt in these clothes.

Walking down the stairs, Luna took a deep breath and tapped Adrienne on the shoulder. Adrienne jumped slightly, having been engrossed in a tome that looked quite ancient. "Hello Adrienne. Sorry to disturb you."

"What do you need, Luna? I'm quite busy as you can see," Adrienne stated bluntly, gesturing to the moldy book in her hand.

"Well, I've rejoined the guild, and am trying to regain my standing and rank," Luna explained. Adrienne looked blank until Luna explained, "I need your recommendation to get back into the University."

"Oh! Oh, of course." Adrienne looked flustered, which didn't suit her. "I'm a bit out of sorts, you see," she explained. "One of the mages here has some very important notes on my current project, and he seems to have just vanished. I don't have the time to search for him, but I'll tell you what. If you find Erthor... and my notes... I'll send along my recommendation" She glanced around, as if only just noticing the guild hall around her. "Ask around about him, and see what you can find. I've got to get back to my research..." Adrienne trailed off, her eyes on the ancient tome in her hand.

"Sure, not a problem, Adrienne," Luna said, smiling inwardly at Adrienne's near addiction to books. Well, obsession was perhaps more accurate, Luna mused, and she headed down the stairs in search of Druja.

Luna found the Argonian leaning against the wall near the door. Druja looked up when Luna approached her and smiled, showing many pointed teeth. "Druja, what do you about a mage named Erthor? Adrienne wants me to find him for her," Luna explained.

Druja lost her smile and her eyes narrowed slightly. "Of course she sends you after him," Druja said. "Can't be bothered to go fetch him even though she's the one who sent him off! I bet she's forgotten that. Adrienne sent the little bumbler off to Bleak Flats Cave to do his experiments. His last one caused a bit of damage. Nothing we couldn't handle, but she sent him off, and he hasn't been back in a while. The poor Bosmer's probably embarrassed. They both said some unpleasant things as he left." The old Argonian shook her head, and then looked Luna in the face. "Please remind Adrienne that she was the one who sent him off... and then go check up on him. I don't like caves a bit, and can't imagine Erthor does either," she said and then went off to her room, her mood somewhat dampened.

Luna groaned inwardly, and headed back up the steps to interrupt Adrienne again. "Adrienne," Luna began.

"Yes?" the Breton woman replied somewhat icily.

"Adrienne, Druja says Erthor is in Bleak Flats Cave, that you two had some unpleasant words about his experiments, and that you sent him off to do his experiments in the cave," Luna said slowly, hoping that Adrienne wouldn't get angry. Luna didn't want to fight over this, but she did think that sending the poor man off to work alone in a cave was a bit harsh.

Adrienne seemed to think for a moment, and then asked, distractedly,"Would you mind to go get him for me? I wouldn't normally ask, but it really has been a while sense he checked in, now that I think on it, and I really do need those notes back as well."

"Sure," Luna said, glad that there had been no argument, and she had been planning to look in after Erthor anyway. The whole situation was unpleasant, and Luna felt the need to make sure that the young mage was alright. She sighed softly, and walked down to Druja's door. She rapped twice on the door, then called out, "Druja?"

"Come in," Druja answered immediately Luna entered and found her friend propped up on her bed on a pile of cushions, above the covers, but comfy, with a book of her own in her clawed hands. Druja offered Luna a smile, but still looked slightly moody over all.

"Well," Luna said, sitting on the side of the bed, "I'm going to Bleak Flats Cave to check up on Erthor. I'd like to bring him back with me. Those two need to have a talk. I just hope they'll actually do it. This whole situation is unpleasant..." Luna sighed again. She hated to see unpleasantness and unnecessary conflict, and hoped that if she brought the young Bosmer back, he and Adrienne would work through their troubles. Either way, she would get the recommendation she needed. That was why she was here in the first place, she reminded herself.

Luna stepped out of the guildhall, pleased that it had stopped raining after all. She quickly made her way out of town, not stopping to chat with the people in the street, and soon found herself looking out at the vineyards just outside the gates. She took a shortcut through the Surilie field, and hopped over the low fence on the far side. She met nothing but a lone timber wolf on her way to the cave, a lowly fireball enough to dispatch the creature. She wished they wouldn't attack her. She would feel no need to kill the wildlife if only they weren't constantly trying to kill her first.

As she reached the cave, Luna felt an odd sense of unease settle into her, but couldn't say for sure why. "Okay, then..." she muttered under her breath, and entered slowly, not wanting to frighten the mage living within.

"Oh shit..." she breathed as she stepped inside, the scent of undeath and rotting flesh assaulting her nose. She quietly readied a fireball, knowing that fire would be stronger now than her preferred shock spells. She stayed in the mouth of the cave for a moment, thinking. She quickly cast Detect Life, seeing many faint wandering forms throughout the cave, and one strong, fully living soul at the back of the cave. "Good," she thought in relief. "He's alive. I've just got to get to him."

Luna didn't bother with invisibility, knowing that the Zombies' dead eyes wouldn't notice her if she kept to the shadows. She moved silently, for as much as she was a mage, she could be stealthy when she needed to. She kept her distance from the walking corpses, as much from not wanting to smell them any more than necessary as for stealth. From the shadows, she launched fireball after fireball, and the Zombies fell before they knew she was there. "Ugh... now it smells even worse," Luna thought to herself, as now it not only smelled of rotting flesh, but burnt flesh as well. Now only one soul was visible in the cave, and she dispelled her Detect Life spell, walking slowly into the small cavern at the back of the cave.

When she entered, she immediately saw Erthor, and sighed as she looked at him cowering at the back of the cavern. "It's okay," she said soothingly. "I'm from the guild, and I've come to get you out of here."

The young Bosmer looked up at her, relief plain on his face, and he asked her excitedly, "They're all gone? You've killed them all?"

"Yes," Luna replied. The Zombies are dead... well, deader than they already were. I'm not going to ask you how the cave became infested with them, and I won't mention it if you don't want me to. I just want to get you back to Skingrad," she said with a weary smile. Erthor looked around, seemingly at a loss for words. "Come on," Luna said kindly. "It reeks in here! Lets go. I just hope they don't smell this on us when we get to the guildhall..." He quickly gathered a few things, and then she led him quietly back to Skingrad. He seemed eager to follow, if only to get away from the cave.

When they entered the guildhall, Druja and Sulinus met them with huge smiles, and Sulinus hurried forward and pulled Erthor into a one-armed hug, glad to have his friend back in the guildhall after so long. Luna laughed in her mind at the awkward way most men displayed affection. What they had against a proper hug, Luna couldn't understand. Druja came forward and greeted them both, welcoming the Bosmer back, and locking eyes with Luna. Her nostrils twitched, and as Erthor climbed the stairs in search of Adrienne, her mouth opened in question. Luna cut her off gently with a simple, "Don't ask. He's back, he's safe, and listen: they're not shouting..."

Luna climbed the stairs slowly herself, and smiled to see Adrienne and Erthor deep in conversation, talking in hushed tones. She sat down and pulled a book from the shelf, content to wait for them to finish. When Erthor ascended the stairs to the living quarters, Luna approached Adrienne, catching her before she became engrossed in her research again. "Did he bring your notes?" Luna asked, already knowing he had.

"Yes, he did. Thank you for your help, Luna. I'll send my recommendation to Raminus as soon as I have time. You know I'm busy, but I'll be sure to get it to him soon." Adrienne smiled distractedly at Luna, and then wandered back to her book, left sitting on the nearby table. Luna grinned and headed for the door, humming softly under her breath. She waved to Druja and walked out into the afternoon sun.

Raining:

Old Friends:
Burnt Zombies:


Relaxing:




Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Newest Amy Brown Inspired Faery Costume

Hello! I made Luna a new faery costume today, inspired by this painting by Amy Brown:

This is what I came up with:





Obviously, the skirt is way off, but whatever. I added the gloves to make it more to my taste, and of course, added the jewelry. I made the pendant special for this outfit. It took me forever to get the boots retextured to my satisfaction. I hope you like it!

Close up of the boots and pendant:


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Luna's Story - Chapter 1


Luna turned her attention to the Mages Guild. She had long been a member, but in her addiction, they had kicked her out on no uncertain terms. Luna had been a powerful spell caster, and still was now, but her body and mind had been ravaged by the Skooma and she had a long way to go before reclaiming her previous strength. She looked healthy outwardly now, her skin having regained its glow and her eyes having lost their sunken and haunted look, but her soul was battered. It was her own fault, she knew, for succumbing to the addiction; now she was determined to set herself right. The mages had helped her when coming off the Skooma, their magics soothing and calming her, potions held to her lips when she was too weak to drink on her own. That had lasted only a few days in it's worst form, but she felt indebted to the Mages Guild for standing by her, even after her rank and standing had been revoked. She set out to rejoin the guild, starting fresh from the beginning and truly earn her way back up the ranks.

She set out for Anvil, stopping to summon Wildfire, her Nightmare mount and old friend. "Carry me swiftly, my friend," she whispered to the horse-like demon, brushing her fingers through Wildfire's fiery mane. "I'll not keep you overlong." Wildfire did indeed carry her swiftly, and she found herself outside of Anvil sooner that she had expected. She slid off of her mount, and whispered, "Be well, my friend. Oblivion awaits you."

The Nightmare spoke into her rider's mind, "It was a pleasure to carry thee, Luna my friend," before rearing up and galloping away at an amazing pace. She disappeared without a trace a little ways from the Anvil main gate. Ernest, who worked at the nearby stables looked at Luna with thinly veiled fear and dislike. He didn't even like his own horses, and Luna's Nightmare mount made him especially uneasy. Luna just smiled at him, as much to spite him in his unpleasantness as to truly be friendly. She had never done anything to harm the man, and his not so subtle distaste for her just pissed her off. It was uncalled for, and she found it insulting. "Oh well, fuck you..." she thought in mock cheerfulness as she smiled at him walked through the main gate to Anvil city.

Luna secured a room at The Count's Arms, before heading back towards the Mages Guild. She took a deep breath to steady herself; she and Carahil had an interesting relationship, and she felt she might need a bit more tact than normal when dealing with this woman. They both had nasty tempers, and Carahil had a bit of arrogance that rubbed Luna the wrong way. Luna guessed it was from Carahil's closeness with the Arch Mage that this arrogance stemmed, and this only pissed her off further. She couldn't stand people thinking they were more important than they were simply because they knew important people. With another steadying breath in, Luna pushed the door open and strode into the guildhall.

Carahil's nose wrinkled at Luna's presence before she quickly put on a smile. Luna knew why, and that righteous anger flared up again inside. Luna had come to the Anvil Mages Guild in desperation, when her withdrawal had become quite painful. It was the center for healing and Restoration, and so she had come seeking help. She had been quite a mess when she arrived already, but quickly dissolved into a fever. Luna knew that the Altmer woman before her had heard her begging for Skooma in her delirium, as the other mages healed and soothed her. Instead of understanding, Carahil felt only distrust and dislike for Luna, not able to see that the woman before her now was a different one that that pitiful creature begging for drugs.

Luna stamped the anger down before she said something that would definitely not help. She smiled back at Carahil, feeling about as much sincerity in the gesture as the Altmer did, but knowing it was necessary "I'd like to rejoin the guild," Luna stated calmly. "I'll need your recommendation, off course," she said, nodding at Carahil.

"Yes, of course," Carahil said, eying Luna carefully. The tall Altmer couldn't begrudge Luna her wish to rejoin the guild, and even felt something close to respect that Luna was willing to start at the bottom again, but she just couldn't bring herself to trust that the dawn wouldn't find Luna holed up in a Skooma den. Carahil set Luna a moderately difficult task of assisting in the arrest or execution of a rouge mage terrorizing the merchants on the Gold Road. At least, it would have been moderately difficult if Luna had the skill level of any other of her current rank. In truth, Luna's skills rivaled Carahil's, and that was perhaps the reason behind all of the other ugliness.

Luna sighed and told Carahil that she would set out in the morning. "I have a room at The Count's Arms for the night, and I'd like to reacquaint myself with my fellow mages. I feel I owe them a debt," Luna said and then wandered further into the guildhall. She quickly made eye contact with Thaurron, a friendly Bosmer that had always treated her kindly. She walked up and extended her hand in greeting, but the friendly elf pushed it aside and pulled her into a quick embrace.

"I knew you'd be back," he said, smiling.

"Thanks," Luna said, somewhat surprised, but quite happy. Marc Gulitte was in a corner, reading as usual, but he too smiled, and then raised his cup to her. She felt a prickling in her eyes at this unexpectedly warm welcome, and quickly busied herself by stroking Thaurron's pet imp Sparky behind the ears. He let out a soft purring sound, and pushed his head into her hand. Luna spent a while catching up with the Anvil mages, Carahil ignored for now, and then headed back to The Count's Arms. Luna knew she would have a bed in the guildhall if she needed it, but didn't really wish to spend the night surrounded by so many memories. She figured she would sleep better in the cozy double bed she had rented at the inn, memories aside.

The next morning, Luna set out on foot for the Brina Cross Inn. She avoided the main road, as she knew there was a Khajiit highwayman who preyed on travelers on the way to the inn. She had no doubt that she could best him, but knew that he would most likely be carrying Moon Sugar, and just didn't want to go there right then. She knew she would be able to leave it be, but didn't feel the need to put herself in a position to have to resist it either. She arrived at the inn quickly, making good time over the countryside.

Luna spoke to her contact at the inn, rented a small room, and rested for the night. The next morning she set out along the gold road, as planned. Luna's Detect Life spell alerted her to the woman waiting behind the boulder before she jumped out in an attempt to surprise the mage she mistook for a simple merchant. A quick paralyze spell taught her the error of her ways, and she died of shock damage before the two assisting battlemages arrived. Luna quickly searched the body, pocketing a rather large purse of gold and a few useful potions before turning to the stunned battlemages. "Wow, we expected to have to save your ass," the male said, looking at Luna with respect. Luna smiled at him, knowing they had expected an average Associate, and thanked them for the help she knew they would have been had she needed it.

"I'm glad you were behind me," Luna told them. "I didn't know what to expect. She was easier that I was anticipating. Having backup is a good feeling, even when your quarry doesn't measure up." She smiled again, and began walking back down the hill toward Anvil.

Bite the Bullet:


Catching up:



That was easy:


Luna's Story - Prologue


Luna sat fuming in the small prison cell. She almost didn't blame the guards that had tossed her in here, but she knew that in this they were wrong. She hadn't stolen a damn thing, but she had a history with the Imperial Guards that they didn't want to let go of. Until recently, she was a rampant Skooma addict, and had stolen a fair amount from the citizens and businesses of the Imperial City in her desperation. She had been caught enough times that when shouts of "Thief!" were raised in her presence, the guards had immediately apprehended her, despite her current innocence. She had been off the Skooma for a year now, and hadn't stolen anything sense taking her last hit. Luna felt a righteous anger well up at her incarceration, as well as the familiar pull she felt when thinking about her past. She pushed the thoughts of her past self away, shaking her head to help clear it, and settled back onto the rough stool in her cell; she had begun pacing in her frustration.

The Dark Elf in the cell opposite hers picked up his favorite sport of taunting her. Some of his underhanded comments hit truer than the fetcher realized, and she soon found her self shouting at him, her fists clenched at her sides and static filling her hair as she momentarily lost her temper. "Oh for the love of Azura, will you shut up Dreth! Just shut the fuck up and let me be!" she yelled at him, wanting to fling a bit more than static through the bars, but knowing that would only end badly for her with the Imperials.

"Hey, you hear that? The guards are coming. For you!" he cackled. Luna did hear footsteps coming and went back to pacing under the tiny window of her cell. Four figures approached her cell, three armored, and one in extremely fancy robes. The armored ones seemed angered at her presence in the cell, but the elderly man in the extravagant robes seemed almost to expect her.

---

Luna had been quite shocked to find out that the Emperor of Tamriel was not only standing next to her in a filthy prison cell, but that he seemed to know of her, and expected her to be there. He said that he had dreamed it. Luna understood about prophetic dreams, having experienced many herself before succumbing to Skooma. They hadn't returned upon her recovery from the addiction, but she held out hope that they would. It was a common prayer she sent Azura's way. Anyway, the Emperor seemed to have plans for her. She would see to them, but she had a few things of her own to see to first. Despite his urging, something told her that it would keep until she was ready to turn her gaze that way.


Glad to be free:



Resting before heading home:


Home sweet home:






Sunday, April 20, 2014

Luna's New and Improved Home

Here are some pictures of Luna's house as it stands now. It is almost unrecognizable from the version I showed some time ago. I have many new resources to work with now, and have changed the general feel to be more reflective of how I would want it if I could literally live in this home.














I love it. I am quite envious of Luna's cow abduction lamp.