Well after completing the main story of Oblivion, my Argonian barbarian was just sitting on my hard drive. I once again picked up the controller and entered the continent of Tamriel once again. A strange was awaiting me, and it had been ever since I started playing. In my adventures I had traveled long and far. My journeys were restless (well
as restless as a console RPG can get) and yet I still hadn't explored every land I could. On a strange island, strange plants grew around a strange door. A lone guard stood, making sure nothing 'unsavory' came out. After talking to him, I found out the door had been asking for a champion (at least I think it was the guard, could have been the door itself) and that when people entered they returned 'funny'. As I approached the door, a crazed citizen of dementia ran out and started attacking the guard. He was no match for my Daedric hammer.
As soon as I entered I was in a very confined room with a bored looking man staring at me. I tried to speak to him and he said something about being civilised and sitting down to talk. As I watched the awkward animation of my full ebony clad lizard barbarian, sitting down after 'sheathing' his two-handed hammer made me wonder what the deal with that was. I'm pretty sure Bethesda must of known that their animations weren't top notch and so they shouldn't have forced the player to show off a pretty bad animation. Plus this was the first time I had ever sat in a chair anyway. Back to the point, I spoke to Haskill. A loyal servant of Lord Sheogorath who was 'always happy to help'. He asked me the all important, crucial question. 'Do you want to enter?' 'Yes' 'No'.
I picked 'No' and he then said something like 'we'll talk later'. So I immediately spoke to him again, mashed A and picked 'Yes'.
The room suddenly turned into many hundreds of moths/butterflies, leaving only me, the chair I was on and a table with stuff on it. I was in an area called the Fringe. A supposed testing area. I walked straight to the first town, fighting a few frog men (grummites) I found a red guard and a dark elf speaking. I spoke to the red guard and
knowing this land was crazy I was already laughing within minutes. He said some stuff about some guys fighting the Gatekeeper. He then started criticising my character and then saying nice things about me. Crazy red guards... I followed the dark elf up to the gatekeeper. A small formation of steel clad soldiers were line up. They all seemed fairly normal and must have been new-comers to the dark lands of Sheogorath. Within seconds of them charging the gatekeeper they were dead, all of them. They left me their armour, weapons and gems and I sold them at a high price. An in-game day had passed and so I charged the fearsome guardian with my hammer and some very weak magic. I launched a few 'Flares' at him. Setting it on fire, I then went in to grind my heavy attacks. His health was high and his attacks were actually damaging (including the annoying one where he sends you flying across the map).
I killed it and entered through the gates of madness. I was surprised when I couldn't fast travel to New Sheoth straight away. It was a bit like the new Skyrim feature where you have discovered all the main cities but have to get their without fast travel (e.g. walking, paying for a ride in a wagon etc.). I made it to New Sheoth and was quite awe struck by how the city was laid out as opposed to the relatively flat cities of
Oblivion, this city was a little less flat and had a areas that required roof jumping to get to. But I didn't have time, I went straight to palace and saw who exactly was in charge. But if anything, Sheogorath was the ultimate power that seemed to have no power... He had some of the greatest dialogue I had heard in quite a while (second to only portal (Portal 2 and Bulletstorm had some pretty good dialogue)) I continued to speak to him, laughing at the odd and often imaginative words that fell from his glorious mouth. He always contradicted himself, and often went off topic and somehow returning to the topic while continuing his story (e.g. saying someone was in danger, reminisce about something funny, link the two together).
The first quest that was memorable was the Xedilian quest. I had to do some shit with some crystals and then speak to some lonely old guy in the tower. But apparently instead of fixing the tower and leaving I could mess up some adventurers. I myself was an adventurer and hated traps, but there's something about doing the thing you hate most to others that makes it amusing. I killed two of them and then sent an orc crazy by making weird holographic zombies attack him. The guy I was helping told me I was free to go and gave me a Dawnfang to boot! And then some duders from Jiggly-lag's army of order attacked me, only to have their crystalline heads cracked into dust. A few minutes later I was reporting to Sheogorath of the news, he said he was expecting it and other 'insightful' information.
I then remember being told to find out more about the way the land works by helping out the dukes of Mania and Dementia. For Mania, the Duke was (no jokes) an actual
stoner who loved to get high on crazy ingredients. But he had lost his chalice of reversal, the one thing that stopped him getting addicted to the drugs. So I had to go to an Elytra (giant bugs that creep the fudge out of me) nest, get high and go looting. Since the only way to enter was to consume Felldew I had to take it, but I only had one dose. And the withdrawal symptoms were fatal once they got bad enough and so I had to keep on taking it. Long story short, crazy bugs kept me high until I found the chalice. I returned to the Duke of Mania promptly and made my way over to dementia.
For Dementia I had to put an end to a conspiracy to kill the Duke of Dementia. I was given access to a torturer who would 'torture' people on my command (some shock magic). I soon found an interesting arena like area on top of one of the roof tops. I approached an imperial who seemed to be addicted to Skooma. I asked her about the conspiracy and she said she didn't know anything. I said, 'LIAR! Herdir, toruture her!'. Herdir took his sweet time but I got an answer out of the Skooma addicted resident of Crucible. Soon the trail led to someone called Muurine who was killed in Dementia's torture area.
A lot of this expansion was a huge blur sadly, the next bit I can remember doing with my Ar-conan-ian was battling a lot of Dark Seducers and lighting a huge flame. And then subsequently lighting a smaller flame in New Sheoth. Once lit, Sheogorath appeared, slowly clapping his hands. He told me a new Duke was needed. I picked to kill Lady Syl, and so I went through a long process of dungeon crawling (a pretty big factor considering the Oblivion gates were dungeon crawls) and easy combat I killed Lady Syl and took her heart so I could do a weird ritual where the heart exploded into a multi-coloured flame and I became the Duke of Dementia. Soon after, Sheogorath appeared and spoke to me about burying clouds, or was it clowns? And then a rotten smell, couldn't have been clouds, clouds don't smell they taste like butter... and tears. Sheogorath was interrupted by Thadon, the Duke of Mania. Syl was apparently his lover and they had been meeting in secret. Since Mani and Dementia don't get along very well, this was against some unwritten law. But the real memorable bit about this conversation was the gibberish Thadon and Sheogorath came out with. Truly delightful dialogue.
A few hours later of some not so memorable quests...
One of my few complaints has to be about the quests of the otherwise amazing Shivering Isles DLC. They were really quite repetitive and a lot of them were dungeon crawls. Instead of mazes though, they were very linear with enemies placed randomly. That one guy that created all the dungeons must have been over-worked or maybe they were poor because he didn't work on them. Some quests stick out as well as a lot of dialogue, but the main quest line is (as my blog clearly shows), rather, not something special.
My memory jumps to Sheogorath turning into Jiggle-bag and Haskill saying I had to become the mad god in order to save the Shivering Isles. But I need some staff made from a crazy shadow tree and someones (charmingly enough for a mad god) eye ball. I had to go to a place called Knifepoint hollow and find a book that had the information
in it to create a staff of the mad gods. But upon crawling the smallest dungeon ever, I found a man sitting on his own. He was apparently the keeper of Order's library (Knifepoint hollow) which had a book of formula that could predict every action (using logic and order) that was going to be made/being made/already made. Sheogorath found the library and burnt it saying that 'choice is a form of logic' (very rusty memory) meaning that the library was useless. But sheogorath could not make himself kill the 'librarian' since killing him would destroy his knowledge of almost everything. Instead he imprisoned him in the library and he had been kept their for many eras.
Soon after speaking I am sent on a mission to get a tree branch and someones eye. First thing I got was the branch. I had to crawl through a maze like dungeon and fight a shadow version of myself, get a cool sword and then I had to go on another crawl and kill some leader of a cult to remove her eye. And that's all I want to say about that quest. It was pretty much an everyday crawl. I got the staff made, but it was unfinished. It was only a husk of a mad god's staff. I need it enchanted and blah, blah, blah.
I return to new Sheoth and speak to Haskill. He says in order to complete the staff I need to use a special font behind the throne. But order crystals have dried up the waters of madness which keep the Shivering Isles alive. So I have to enter into the giant tree that is behind the throne and fight through a bunch of Priest's of Order and slowly un-corrupting the Order polluted pools of madness. The last pool was being defended by Thadon who had donned Order in body and mind. He wasn't particularly strong and so I killed him and finished the quest.
I soon got my staff completed when a Golden Saint comes to me and tell's me the Obelisks in the courtyard have activated. I receive quest progress suggesting this may be the start of the final assault by Jyggalag and his forces of Order. I went outside and fought beside my Dark Seducer and Golden Saint guards. Both Obelisks had been
deactivated in valiant battle. I was only half way through the battle though, a huge burst of light killed all my Daedra guards and left me standing in front of Jyggalag. He held a very large crystal claymore in one hand and in one fell swoop he took off half of my health. I resorted to spell casting and make cheeky attacks with my hammer from behind. Eventually I killed him and Jyggalag explained everything...
Well, now that the mysterious door has been investigated and the Shivering Isles saved from destruction, the strange guilds of the land of Tamriel call my presence. The great champion of Cyrodiil is being called by the dark brotherhood and thieves guild...
Until next time, good adventuring.