Chapter 1: To the New World
The resurrection of a century old joke, upon the release of the Dive Virtual Reality System, Bethesda announced a plan to remake Skyrim. Along with the remake of Skyrim, there was to be a remake of the other two games that had rocketed them into the over 100 years of popularity, Morrowind and Oblivion.
With it, thousands of game developers and engineers were employed once more, from the mundane, to the downright obsessive. Individuals who had clockwork minds fixated on the minute aspects of the game to improve performance and realism from the example of a one hundred year old games. One obsessive designer in particular recreated the Dwemer automatons with realistic clockwork, designed and built Dwemer factories, and even made mods to elaborate where Bethesda hadn't allowed him to design.
A man who had created a literal altar to Hermaeus Mora and the Tribunal in his house, he became enamored with the games and descended deeper and deeper into his designing madness. Bethesda allowed him off his leash, remembering another century old joke that was immensely profitable, embrace the crazy man.
They allowed him to design a DLC and made him manager of Bethesda Japan, finding that their Japanese office was the only one that was able to keep up with him. The company gained massive profits from the additional DLCs he made, but one day when they saw the profits diminishing as players went for the next big thing, they pulled the plug.
A man, now leading a studio area with no direction to be pointed, sat in his chair. Distraught that he was without purpose and guidance, he sought solace in the game that had paid his for his meals for the past several years.
He plugged himself into the Dive system and found himself in a familiar setting, the player home he had designed for his own personal use. It was far more elaborate than the player homes he had designed for official DLC and mods, containing shifting mazes and all manner of strange rooms therin. It all connected flawlessly to the ultimate piece of his fortress, Blackreach 13. A beautiful mix of Telvanni and Dwemer architecture, the brass and stone mingling in with the emperor parasols. It was here, at the top of Tel Arryn that Vivecine found himself appearing at.
The Dovahkiin Dunmer Lich had journals in his room where he had detailed the backstory of his character, one of many of illegitimate children of Vivec, he was one of the rare ones that Vivec mothered rather than fathered. He found himself drawn to Sotha Sil and his own workings with the Dwemer Animunculi, but found Sotha Sil's Fabricants to draw away too much from the classical Dwemer's design. He apprenticed himself to House Telvanni, a move that the Redorran obviously were thrilled about. Learning magic and Necromancy from them, he sought to increase his life indefinitely to study the Dwemer forever.
This was the result of that life.
Vivecine watched as the Dwarven Spiders crawled around his tower, their number of legs corrected so that they may have redundancy when damaged. The eight legged brass colored animunculi were much more robust in his home than they were in the dwemer ruins around the landscape. Rather than the size of a cat they were approximately the size of a dog, and each contained a centurion dynamo core. They each in addition had a rudimentary intelligence, able to report and repair, provided by the souls of dogs that Vivecine had created for this purpose.
There would be no more updates, no more shiny new toys that he could add outside of his own home. This would be the end, he couldn't go back to modding, not after this.
He walked out onto the wooden balcony, stepping off of the trama and onto the deck. There was no creak beneath his feet as he fitted the boards together perfectly. He looked out over the shining glistening city below, a city of his own make, filled only with NPCs who are traders. In his tower and in the mines, there were NPCs who were other forms of worker, Smiths, Alchemists, NPCs with actual real world applications for their abilities.
Vivecine's children came into his room, all of them resplendent in the gear that their father had made for them. He had taken a page out of Divayth Fyr's textbook for making his children, though to keep the creepiness to a minimum, he made them the same gender as him, and made sure they did not call themselves his husbands. He made them to take after their grandmother in appearance, though they were 100% Dunmer rather than half and half. They all three had heterochromia, their right eye red like a proper Dunmer, and their left eye golden like a Chimer. One was a monk, through and through, he was softspoken and fought with his fists. He wore no armor, only gauntlets and boots with his soft clothing, Randagalf was his name and he was the shortest of the three; stocky yet agile. Muatra had come in after him and stood to his right, the spear he was named after was strapped onto his back. He was clothed in armor that was part daedric and part dwemer, black and red stripes intertwined with the brass colored stripes. He wore only slightly more armor than his grandmother had, chest piece, pauldrons, vambraces, codpiece, and shinguards. He had bright red hair like his father's avatar once had, shaved into a mohawk to look like an Ordinator, an impish smile adorned his face. Finally there was Raerlas, wearing Mythril armor that was covered with a blue-grey surcoat. He had his bow and quiver of arrows across his back, but had his face covered by his helmet. He took off his helmet to show his face to his father, his short cropped hair just barely making it up to the height of his taller brother.
Vivecine turned to face them and scowled when the smell of the cave they were in reached his nonexistent nose. The mustiness curdled his stomach and he frowned, “Oh that's just wonderful! The last update for the game and the developers decide to add smell-o-vision! Fucking cave.”
“Is everything all right father?” Muatra asked, his impish smile going away from his face.
“You...” He paused for a moment, “Oh great, other updates, it's like the other devs are mocking me.”
Muatra looked at him confused, “Developers, father?” Vivecine paused and straightened up, his skeleton's bones clicking lightly as he moved.
He cleared his throat, “We're not in Solstheim anymore.” He said, walking over to the pedestals that lined the room, the black books missing, “No connection to Herma Mora. We have been abandoned.” He looked to the mounts for the Elder Scrolls which were missing as well, “Damn, they come and go as they please and now of all times, they go away.” He tried pulling up the menu, and as he thought, he couldn't. He laughed, “Well then, this is no longer a game. Boys, we're going to the surface.” Vivecine, said, spreading his arms wide and casting a teleport spell for all four of them.
They appeared just outside of the golden metal entrance of his home, their surroundings had changed from the ash covered mountain on Solstheim, to snow covered mountains.
“This world… Feels different.” Vivecine said, looking around, “I don't think we're even in Skyrim. This is something new.” He said, opening the gate to the elevator, he looked out at the sunlit horizon and saw approaching clouds, gritting his teeth. He waved his hand, teleporting a tarp onto the outer cage of the elevator, “I'm gonna have to disguise myself, and then we're going to have to dig our way out of here.” He said, pulling the lever that started the elevator downward.
Chapter 2: The Surface
Vivecine emerged from the pool of creatia he had deep within Tel Arryn, dragging himself out onto the stone brick floor next to the pool he gasped for air with his new, useless lungs. He now looked a proper dark elf rather than the skeletal lich he was before, complete with shaggy red hair. He looked around the room at the other bodies that he had prepared to switch to while in his skeletal form, glad that he was already in a humanoid form. All of the skeletons on the wall were of dragon bone, various sizes and shapes to allow him to do various tasks.
He rolled over on his back and stared at the ceiling, counting the ceiling tiles aloud in an attempt to get used to a voice generated by his flesh again. At 15 there was a knock at the door, “Come in.” He said, sitting up and turning towards the door just as his sons came in, changed into thick and brightly colored clothing like nobles.
They threw a set of Telvanni robes at him, the intricate designs and colors going well with his blue-grey skin tone, “Come on.” Muatra said impatiently, “I haven't been able to cut loose in so long, and there's hardly any quality girls back home! This is our chance!” He said excitedly.
Vivecine got up and dressed quickly, “Well, of course. Just remember, I am a rich alchemist, and you three are not to mention necromancy, or how you came to be. You were born like normal people.” He explained as he began striding towards the door, leading the boys along.
Muatra grinned widely at this, “Does this mean I get to make more people like normal people?” He asked as they walked along.
Randagalf rolled his eyes at his brother, but Vivecine spoke before he could, “You must seduce the women properly, we're not Molag Bal, but I do not see why not otherwise.” He paused for a moment to think, “But, for now, I want you close at hand. You three are greater warriors than I, so I need your help if there's anything I can't handle.” He explained.
Muatra sighed, his face settling to a resigned frown, “Fine” He said.
Raerlas looked carefully at the back of his father's head, “Are you really sure that there's anything that can challenge you here? You're the dragonborn, even if we've been transported to Akavir-”
“We're not in Akavir.” Vivecine said, cutting him off, “I can't feel a connection to Oblivion here, and the sun...” He paused at the mention of it, leaving Tel Arryn and making it out to the teleport pad that brought people to the Grand Elevator, “It was different. We're not in Akavir, because we're not on Nirn.” He said just before the teleport pad activated.
They looked to the tunnel behind them that led them to the maze. The whole area was made to allow one way teleportation, out; the pad was the only exception. Glad they don't have to go the long way through again, the three brothers stepped onto the elevator with their father.
Vivecine pulled the lever and they rose, the elevator accelerating as it went up until it was almost to the top. It slowed down until it made it and they were all greeted by darkness. Vivecine reached out of the cage that held the elevator and pushed the tarp out of the way, letting the snow fall in. Vivecine cast flame, sending a shot through the snow, the flame beginning to create a tunnel of ice as the water froze right as it was melted. He reached into his robe and pulled out his Dwemer controller, ordering the spiders out there to maintain the tunnel.
“The automatons can guard against anything while we are gone. If they can't, then us being here would not help matters.” Vivecine said, putting his controller back into his robe before stepping off the elevator platform and onto the ice. The boys stepped off as well and the elevator sunk back into the ground.
Muatra gulped heavily as they walked along the short tunnel of ice, making their way out onto the mountain.
Vivecine cast levitate on all four of them and they flew into the air, walking through the air over the snow. They made their way down the mountain until they got to a stream, “Civilization follows water.” He said, beginning to walk down along next to the stream. As they made their way along, Muatra began to become less and less tense, finally relaxing and putting his hands behind his head.
He let out a contented sigh, “We've been in the forest for hours, and no monsters have popped up, how bad could it be?” Muatra asked.
Randagalf groaned, “Just when I was starting to miss the sound of your voice.”
Vivecine held up a hand, “Boys, do you remember the area around our home?” He asked.
Muatra shrugged, “What about it?” He asked.
“Were there any monsters around there?” He asked, knowing the answer, “And why not?”
Muatra laughed, “Because we were the biggest, baddest...” He trailed off as he realized it.
Randagalf laughed, “The fool realizes!” Muatra gritted his teeth. They were unarmed, so his brother had the advantage, and he intended to rub it in.
Vivecine raised a hand again as they came into view of a large lake. From the distance, theyR could see the tribes of Lizardmen which had united under one banner on the far end of the lake. They were able to discern the fishing holes, the Hydra and Cocytus, “The hydra isn't something I'm concerned about, but that blue one...” He said, looking at the large blue beetle.
Randagalf nodded, “He looks strong, like Muatra or I.” He stated calmly.
“There's no fences for keeping the small ones there in, meaning they're not prisoners. There are defenses though, meaning they expect attack.” Raerlas said, “The little ones may not be prisoners, but there's no telling how they will treat outsiders.”
Muatra picked up a straight stick and broke off the little sprigs all along it, “Best be prepared.” He said.
Vivecine sighed, “We're not going to risk fighting them. We don't need the little ones to stab us in the back while the Hydra and the Blue one keep us occupied. This is their territory, we need to respect that until we know more.” He said, remembering the tactics from the MMOs he played before he became enamored with Skyrim. He didn't know the rules here.
Chapter 3: Carne Village
After trekking through the forest for several more hours, they made their way out and found themselves on a path. Vivecine sighed as he saw the fading sun in the sky, “I want to hurry, but it looks like we will be at our destination soon, and I don't want to attract attention, nor spook villagers.” He said, looking back and forth over the path that bridged the stream. Vivecine pointed away from the bridge, “The other way brings us back towards the lake, let's go this way.” He said, beginning to walk down the path, his boys in tow.
It wasn't long until they saw the wall of Carne Village, “That's awfully well fortified for such a small settlement.” Raerlas said bending down and scooping up some rocks. He stepped in front of his father and brothers, extending his arm in front of them, “Movement, there are things in the bushes waiting to ambush us.” He said raising his arm with the rocks above his head, “I see you out there! Come out of hiding, let's talk!” He said loudly, “The movement stopped.”
He saw them moving more slowly through the grass, “They think I'm bluffing.” He said, throwing the rocks, one for each group, intentionally missing each of the groups. Before the rocks landed, he picked up a new batch of them and stood up straight again, ready to attack with intent if they didn't come out of hiding.
The goblins stood up, “All right! Everyone here wants to be friends, but we're just trying to be cautious.”
Vivecine looked over the goblins and whistled, “Well, we got goblins.” He said, continuing to walk, “More intelligent than goblins where I come from. Good, very good.” He said, looking at the goblins that had attempted to ambush them, “I take it you have built your fortifications here?” He asked, pointing at the walls.
A leader stepped forward from the goblins, a large sword on his back that Vivecine noticed was enchanted, he wore leather armor that had metal plates bolted onto it, “That's right.” the lead goblin said, “I am Jugem, leader of these Goblins, we are members of the Vigilante Squad that guard this village. We want to know what you are doing here before we let you in.”
Vivecine pulled one of his potions out of his robe and threw it to Jugem, the large bright red potion landing at his feet, “I am a foreign alchemist, and I want to sell my wares.” He explained, pulling several others out of his robe to show where they were, “On our way here, we found a village with a giant blue bug in it. It was rather intimidating, does he give you any problems?” He asked.
Jugem shook his head, “We haven't had any problems since we have been under Lord… Lord Gown.” He said softly, clearing his throat, “Sorry, it's just our Lord died recently, and it brings our boss much pain. We'll… We'll take you to see her.” He said, slowly walking along to take them into the gate of the village.
The gate opened up as they approached and they found that they had to navigate around a fence which had been clearly set up to ensure intruders had difficulty getting in, even if they made it past the gate. Vivecine raised his eyebrows at this foresight, “This is like the maze.” He said, hoping the boys would get the hint.
“Hate the maze dad, this is better than the maze.” Muatra said.
Vivecine squinted at his son, he had done what he wanted, but he didn't get the hint, and insulted the maze to boot.
The goblin chuckled, “We're proud of this defense. We love Missus Enri, and this is hers.” Vivecine eyed the Ogres that were around them, “Don't worry, we're all friends here.” Jugem assured them.
Vivecine laughed, “You don't need to assure me, but my boys fancy themselves adventurers. Do you have any in this town?” He asked.
Jugem shook his head, “No, but the leader of the Vigilance Committee used to be one.” He said, pointing Brita out to them.
Muatra leapt as he pointed, flying over the barricades and landing next to Brita, “Hello there.” He said, grinning even as the dust rose around his feet. She sized him up and socked him in the face.
They all stopped as they looked over at the situation, Vivecine laughing, “Stupid bastard.” He muttered.
“I've got my men here real twitchy because we have been having one hell of a run of bad luck here! And you come along and vault over their heads and our defenses like you're too good to go through the village properly?! And to simply talk to a woman no less!” She said, baring her teeth for him.
Muatra's shock resolved to glee, a grin plastered over his face, “But you are no simple woman.” He said, enraptured by her response to him.
She blushed but recovered quickly, kneeing him in the stomach and pushing him into an ogre, “Toss him back to his people.” She ordered, the ogre immediately complying.
Muatra landed softly on his feet next to his brothers, “Father, I-” Vivecine smacked him, knocking him over.
“Don't you do a fool thing like that again, least of all not for a woman.” He said, looking over to her and nodding.
She looked back at the four of them confused before shaking her head and turning away, walking off.
Randagalf smirked at his brother, offering his hand out to help, Muatra gritted his teeth and accepted the help. They headed out from the defenses of the village towards the town square where Enri and Nphirea were, sitting at a table and eating outside with Nemu.
Jugem produced the potion and talked to her, Nphirea stood up and leapt over the table, “Lord Gown?!” He questioned, walking towards Vivecine, “Have you seen him? Where did you get this potion?!” He demanded, tears in his eyes.
Vivecine walked up to the boy, producing another one of his potions, “Boy, I need you to relax. I am simply an alchemist.” He said offering it out, “I have travelled here from my life of seclusion, and once I finished setting up my home in the nearby mountains, I have come down to trade. Now, who is this Lord Gown, and why do you think I know him from my potions?”
Nphirea pointed at the red potion, “The only person who I have known to have red potions is Lord Gown, the brewing process turns them all blue here.” He paused for a moment, looking up to Vivecine, “How did you make this?”
“Ingredients from my homeland.” He explained, “As long as you are still clinging to life, this will bring you back to full health, immediately. However, I find that those are not as useful for the heat of battle, so I have also made potions with longer, sustained effects. They allow you to heal even as you are harmed in battle, much like a troll's regeneration.” He put the potion away, “I don't have any of those one me, but if you would like to see how I make them, I could take you to my workshop.” He offered.
Nphirea thought of this for a moment before shaking his head, “No thanks.” He said with a smile, “I would be interested in trading for those though.” He said, pointing to the potion.
Vivecine held the potion on the tips of his fingers, momentarily pulling it out of his robe before stashing it again, “Are you certain, boy, you have the look of an alchemist about you.” He said, “I could make you my apprentice, teach you to brew wonders! Bottle health, magic, and even wonders to bring the dead back to life.” He leaned in close, “She's pregnant isn't she? Your Lord is dead, and you haven't got a reason to brew a better potion anymore, at least not while you have your wife's health to wonder about.”
“I said no. Sir.” Nphirea said solidly.
Vivecine nodded and pulled the potion back out of his robe, hanging it to Nphirea, “Keep this and the other potion as a token of good will. I look forward for trading with you in the future.”
He turned back to his boys and patted Muatra on the chest, “Muatra, I want you to stay behind, offer to help the village in whatever way you can. And feel free to seduce that woman.” He said, patting him on the shoulder as he walked away with his other two sons.
Chapter 4: Clockwork and Herbery
Vivecine felt deep inside of himself for the feeling of the Thu'um, knowing how to call upon it for when he wanted to make a shout. He however didn't want to use a spell from the Thu'um, but rather to use the Thu'um as a spell to make his voice heard better, as the greybeards unwillingly did after a lifetime of focusing their voice. “Lok Thu'um, Lok Thu'um, Lok Thu'um!” Once he felt the power coursing through him, he was able to raise his voice and speak to the population of Blackreach 13 from the top of Tel Arryn, “People of Blackreach 13! I bring you a warning! We have been transported to a location previously unknown to us! No man, mer, beastfolk nor even daedra have ventured to where we are and come back to tell the tale! Furthermore, there are creatures, the likes of which I have never seen before. Greater than Alduin, greater than Miraak, fearsome beasts that may pose a danger to us all; even to me! For now, whenever we venture out, you must bring at least one of the boys, a factotum and several dwemer spheres! Safety is our number one priority, we will survive this, and we will thrive!” He said, finishing his speech.
There was a few moments of silence followed by an uproarious cheer and Vivecine sighed in stress, “Good news.” He said quietly to himself, “I get to work on perfecting my ideal of the dwemer-” He grabbed his chest, where he felt his Daedric heart transplant beating within, giving life to false flesh, “Forever. Bad news, I may have to fight monsters to keep doing it for real.” He said, walking to the edge and sitting down, dangling his feet off. He rolled over and flipped up, doing a handstand on the lip of the mushroom, he extended one hand out and found that it took no effort for him to stay in that position.
He pushed off the edge and spun, moving under the mushroom cap and pulling closer to the stalk as he fell. He cast slowfall on himself at the last minute and stumbled on the landing because his foot caught on the railing. He chuckled, “I'm an alchemist, and that is my level of ability. I wonder what the boys can do.” He said, walking down the hallway that he had landed in. He made his way to the grand spiral stair and went straight down, ignoring the landings as he went and finally making his way to the bottom. He looked at the factotums that worked around him, and the animunculi that worked alongside them, they may soon be at war, and it worried him.
He wondered about bringing out the Dovahdein and the Sword Singers, but realized that it was a bit premature. He needed to prevent from showing all his cards in advance. He was prepared to show off his sons and his animunculi, he didn't need to show his factories for that. It was also time to make more sons.
He walked among his people and found his head mycologist, a young dunmeri woman he had made himself. She wore a lowcut shirt to proudly show off her scar that she had gotten from the heart surgery, and was quite a slender woman for one to have overpowered a Daedra's vestige. Her alchemy skill was as great as Vivecine, but that was all she had, that and by extension her mycology knowledge.
“Almsi!” He said happily as he approached her, “How's my favorite Indor-”
Her happy expression immediately faded with his greeting, “What do you want Little Vehk?” She asked, causing Vivecine to flinch.
“I need you to go out and find ingredients for me. We're not gonna recognize anything, but that's the point, I want you to find and identify as many things as you can. Bring back anything that looks useful regardless of whether you can figure out what it does without eating it, and don't eat it like you did all my nirnroot.” He said.
Almsi chuckled at the mention of her eating the nirnroot, “No promises.” She said as she went out into the mill of the crowd to gather her apprentices and the guards necessary, including Raerlas, who eagerly followed her along.
“I forgot, I wrote Raerlas to have a crush on her...” He said softly. He grumbled, also remembering that she was a conniving bitch, willing to do anything to get her way and waved it off. There would be hell for her to pay if she sacrificed Raerlas to save her own hide.
He walked to the clockwork city he had made, an imitation of Sotha Sil's to be sure, but a good one, Vivecine felt. He walked past the barrier, all that were not of his blood that were not with him would immediately be met by an army of factotums and fabricants to be either killed or expunged based on their standing with Vivecine. Their souls would be collected for the soul furnace which powered the city and the factotums. Every soul added would add to the might of their numbers and there was a counter to measure how many souls were in the furnace. Everyone had a dagger on their person with soul capture and a black soul gem on their person, and this was what was done with them.
He walked through the white cobbled streets of the city, various colors in the rocks laid out in patterns that decorated the paths that the factotums walked over. There were trees from various provinces growing all around, none of the mundane, only the colorful. Kept in a perpetual spring-summer growth, the flowers were constantly in bloom and the fruit was constantly growing on the trees.
The head gardener Fabricant approached Vivecine, his metal and rubber limbs were constructed with modern techniques, and their appearance reflected this, though the design was artfully reminiscent of Sotha Sil's Factotums and the Dwemer Animunculi, his dark elf face had a thin smile showing how pleased he was that his master was present, “Welcome to the gardens sir, what is it that I can help you with?” He asked.
“I need to access the incubation chambers.” He said.
The man tapped his chin with the rubber stopped finger and grinned, “Ah, well, remember you need only call my name, and I will come.”
“Thank you Geldrys.” He said, continuing to walk on, heading for the actual city proper, a constantly rotating mechanism.
As he left the gardens, a swarm of spider animunculi and factotums rushed out to do the work of the day, picking the fruit and tending to the plants. He watched the factotums climb the trees to get at the fruit and the spiders dragging baskets behind them to collect. He headed into the city, the cobbled stone giving way to carefully cut stone bricks, giving a smoother feel and appearance. A sort of order fell in line around him, with the never rusting metal machinery glistening in the artificial light of the aetherial orb that hung overhead, providing the underground city with eternal sunlight.
In the center of the main square there was a headstone, half of the stone was blue and half was red and all knew who it was despite no name being inscribed. His sigil sat above the headstone on a flag that fluttered in the small amount of wind in the cavern. Vivec.
He wondered if he needed to bring back Vivec to assist him, the great general that he was, but he decided that Vivec's nature of duality would make him too unpredictable.
He walked past the grave of his character's father and went down into the bio-lab, all of it was machinery that he had only built in theory, reading the notes of other engineers with relevant degrees in the field, but he now knew how they worked in practice. The knowledge of alchemy and life flowing through his mind as it constructed how each piece of equipment worked and functioned as a part of a whole. The various mortars and pestles and how well they work for each individual item that they were meant for grinding down.
He made it to the nursery and looked at the three large glass tubes that once held his sons according to the lore he had made. This was also a thing he only thought would work in theory, but knew the practice of it now with his alchemy knowledge. He opened the top of the incubation chambers and pulled out a knife, cutting his hand and pouring his blood into each one. He poured his instant health potions on the blood, watching the blood pool into larger amounts as the potion caused the blood to multiply on itself. He grabbed several large jars of blue mana bloom extract and poured them into two of the containers, keeping the amount as even as he could. He then filled the rest of the containers up with slow-acting health potion. He would need to come back to keep adding more to the mixture, and within two months he would have toddlers, made after his blood. Without careful monitoring of proteins and such, there was no telling how close they would be, but it didn't matter to him. He needed more powerful soldiers and couldn't afford to spend all his time fussing over them.
Chapter 5: Ainz Ooal Gown
Vivecine headed towards Carne Village once again, this time without an escort, all the boys had their own tasks and he didn't want to attract too much attention.
He heard Muatra yelling from the other side of the wall, so much for that.
He jumped into the air at the wall, casting levitate as he did to allow himself to glide over the wall and see Muatra yelling at a red-haired maid, “You s'wit! Can't you see I'm doing important work here?” He said brandishing a sharpened stick.
She began drawing a bladed weapon and Vivecine put himself between the two, giving Muatra a shove and holding up a finger to the maid. He looked at her and his eyes went wide, “Lupisregina?”
She stopped, “How do you know my name?” She snarled.
Vivecine put a hand on his chest and collapsed to his knees, “Oh thank god, Ainz Ooal Gown is here-” He looked to the villagers, “Lord Ainz...” He blinked a few times and looked to Lupisregina, “Strongest Magic Caster?” He asked.
“How did you-” She began.
“Oh, thank god, he's so reasonable, does that mean the big blue beetle in the nearby village is Cocytus?” He asked.
He stood up suddenly, “Wait… They said Lord Ainz is dead… How?” He demanded of her.
She growled at him, waiting a few moments and looking annoyed before she began to speak, “Lord Ainz was killed in battle with the great demon Jaldabaoth.” She said softly.
Vivecine blinked a few times, remembering the name Jaldabaoth, Jaldabaoth was a Demiurge. Demiurge, it was coming together. Realization hit his eyes and he cleared his throat, not knowing what the plan was but wanting to spoil a small piece of it, “Nphirea,” He began with a grin, “I know who Ainz Ooal Gown is, I knew him from long ago, and even if he was killed by the great demon Jaldabaoth, that could not stop him.” He wrapped his arm around Lupisregina, “I know who lord Momonga is, and would like to meet him to discuss what game he is playing. Tell him I am a player like him. Player, like him, use those exact words.” He said quietly before letting Lupisregina go and patting her shoulder.
He saw something in her eyes then, in this man that stood before him, was one who knew who her master was, and he stood before her without fear. His lack of fear led to a bit of hers leaking through and she vanished.
Vivecine laughed and slapped Muatra on the back, “We have nothing to be afraid of son, Ainz Ooal Gown is reasonable.” He lied, though he wasn't sure if it was more to himself or to Muatra. He made a note to make more incubation chambers, expand it considerably. He would need to gather enough ingredients to make it viable and that meant more alchemical knowledge of what was available. Ainz Ooal Gown was indeed reasonable, but the reputation of the guild, and by extension, its leader, hadn't escaped Vivecine. They were particularly ruthless if one could possibly be seen as turning against them, and as Vivecine could feel, he was being affected by his new race. He could only conclude that the true undead would be affected by his. Vivecine could feel, he was still a dragon, mind and soul, and he could make it body if he so wished.
He felt the strength of a dragon rushing through his veins, but would it be enough? He wondered. His children would not be imbued with the souls and strengths of a dragon, so they would need their own skills and protections.
He would need to give them power he hadn't had, so he knew what he must do.
“Seht, I hope you can forgive me.” He said under his breath.
Chapter 6: New Life and Old
Vivecine had many corpses in his trophy room, every dragon that was named in-game, the dragon priests, and an un-named dragon for each of them, but his prize was the many humanoid corpses that he had. He collected many legendary individuals through time and he was going to be resurrecting some of them. He would be testing his new method for resurrection on Seht, as surely the man would be used to how he would be doing it by now. He hoped the man would be strong enough to withstand the enhanced augmentation.
He gathered the material he would be needing for his experiment, a daedra heart and a couple of heart stones, which he kept next to his creatia pool along with all of the other material that he wanted close at hand for his resurrections. He grabbed a black soul gem as well, making a personal note to check to see if the soul gem mines were still functioning properly. He wondered if the aetherial shards still worked the way they did before and concluded that they must since everything else was still working that wasn't connected to Oblivion. Even the Heart Stones which had the essence of Lorkhan still worked.
He made his way back to the clockwork city that he had made. Staring at the city constantly in motion as it continually produced more and more. His knowledge of factory fabrication advancing his automation far beyond any preceding examples within the Elder Scrolls. His armies were endless, and waiting for orders to mobilize, though since it was actually manufacturing instead of pretending to like it used to, he knew he would have to gather more materials and quickly.
“Where are the Fabricants in charge of creating Factotums, Fabricants, and Animunculi?” He asked, looking around for them. The Fabricants and Factotums working nearby heard and began relaying the message, “I'm going to be in the alchemy lab, send them to see me.” He said, making his way through the city and heading to the lab.
He got to the lab and pulled out all his ingredients, setting aside the heart and putting one of the Heart Stones in his extra large Daedric mortar and pulling out a dragonbone chisel. He picked up a rubber stopped Ebony hammer and then began breaking into the heartstone with it.
It took many swings, but the stone cracked and pieces flew off, hitting the one way magical barrier that the mortar made whenever he was at work. All of the pieces stayed inside the mortar and allowed him to continue working it. Once he was satisfied that the pieces were small enough, he grabbed the matching pestle and began grinding the stone down, that was when the Fabricants arrived. They were three orc brothers, one was average sized for an orc and of normal appearance, one was pale and taller and more slender than the others with sharper ears, and the other was a deep black color. They all wore matching tan and white robes with their jobs embroidered into them with black thread, and all had the same metal limbs that the gardener had, though they were prouder than the gardener and the centurion core that powered their mechanical parts was proudly showcased by a hole cut in their robes above where their heart once was. The emblem on the torso of the black orc was the face of a dwemer centurion; the tall one had the emblem of the fabricants, an outline of a kagouti filled with gears; and finally the ordinary colored one had the image of a wooden mannequin filled with gears embroidered on it.
Vivecine spoke to them as he continued grinding, “All right men, I have some bad news, surely you have heard when I spoke that we are in a strange world, as such, we must change our technique for moving forward. We do not know what resources we will gain in this new world, so we must act as if what we have is all we will have. As such, I am sorry Falion, we will need to step down construction of Animunculi significantly. We simply need the materials for the more powerful Factotums and the more material efficient Fabricants. However, soul collection and breeding of the Soul Pups should continue as usual, we need their corpses and souls still, we will just have to wait to implant their souls until much later. For now, stop production on the spheres and reduce production of the Spiders to ten percent of current output. As for Factotums, increase production by ten percent, and double the Fabricants; use the creatures that we deem unfit for continuing in the breeding program for all I care.” He said, finishing grinding the Heart Stone into a fine powder and pouring it into the mixing bowl.
“Oh, and pass on an order to Hannawe, I want the nursery expanded, more incubation chambers added, more storage for alchemy ingredients and potions, and I want it to be harder to access both the alchemy lab and the nursery. Magical and physical protection. If someone gets past the army greeting them at the gate, I don't want them breaking into here. Perhaps making it as hidden as possible too. Tell her to enlist any illusion magic specialists she needs to, or anyone else for that matter. When this is done, I want this to be only accessible by one of my blood, or Dwemer spiders. No Factotums or Animunculi.” The Soul Pups were loyal to a fault, and he knew Hannawe would use a lock that only opened when it sensed him or his children, or one of them. This would be best.
He picked up a jar of saline and began pouring it slowly into the mixing bowl, stirring the Heart stone powder with it into a paste. Finally he got to work on the second Heart Stone, and once that was ground up, he added it as well. He added enough saline until it became a thin paste, then he dropped the Daedric Heart into it. The heart began beating and glowed with the same light as the Heart stones, turning the color of Ebony like the Heart Stones. It grew as it absorbed the mixture until it could absorb no more, then it simply was full.
He picked up the bowl and then walked out of the alchemy lab, carrying the bowl to his trophy room. Among all the corpses of his foes, in the center of the room, in an open casket, was the corpse of Sotha Sil. It was no more than bones at this point, but it was still intact as far as Vivecine could tell. He poured the heart out into the chest cavity of the skeleton. He shoved it further up, to where the heart is actually supposed to be and used his necromancy to reach into Sotha Sil's corpse for his soul. He remembered the words that Neloth had told him about how to properly tie the soul thread. Knotted three times, once for the spirit, once for the body and once for the heart.
He waited a moment, “Come on Seht.” He growled, knuckles white on the casket. The heart shuddered and moved itself, placing itself in exactly the right spot. Flesh began to grow back onto his bones, stopping at the replaced Dwemer implements that Vivecine had given him to give him an honorable burial. They were the improved design but the dwemer metal, and the machine parts of him roared to life. His face reformed and he gasped for air, his dark skin being fully in place.
He placed his hands on his body, one mechanical and one flesh, touching himself to make sure that he was really back, “I-I hadn't calculated for such a resurrection. I figured that even the Clockwork Apostles would leave me dead and preserve my legacy...” He looked around at Vivecine's trophy room, “Where in Oblivion am I?” He asked, looking up at the ceiling, “Clockwork-?” He looked at Vivecine expectantly.
“Not in Oblivion, not Aetherius either. Nor are we in your clockwork city. I made my own, closer to the Dwemer than yours, but also copying yours. Welcome to Blackreach Thirteen.” He said with a grin, “Uncle Seht.”
Sotha Sil sprang out of his grave, looking at the running blades that he had for legs, the design improved with modern mechanics from Earth. He looked at his rubber stopped fingers on his mechanical hand and then the fingers on his fleshy hand, “You robbed Clockwork City of my corpse and desecrated it.” He said, staring at Vivecine.
Vivecine curled back his upper lip, “I took your body to give you a respectful burial, lest your apostles eventually come poking at your soul and body. I repaired the desecration that Almalexia made of you, and I improved upon your designs. And I brought you back to life for two reasons.” He poked Sotha Sil's chest, “Feel that? Remember that power? That is the power I will give to my children.” He proclaimed, “And, I need your help. Remember how I said we were in neither Oblivion nor Aetherius?”
Chapter 7: Nazarick Blackreach Alliance
Vivecine left his city once again to head for Carne Village. Raerlas was still out with the alchemy party, and he left Randagalf to keep an eye on Sotha Sil, so once more he was alone. He made his way to the town and the gate opened for him, and Lupusregina was sitting with Muatra on a bench, with a smiling Nphirea and Enri standing around them. Lupusregina stood up with a grin, “I have good news for you, Vivecine, my Lord has returned, reports of his demise were exaggerated and he would like to meet with you.” She said, “Immediately.” She added.
Vivecine held up a hand for Muatra as he rose to go with them, “Stay.” He ordered simply, pointing to the redheaded ex adventurer that Muatra had become so enamored with.
They began walking out of the village and into the forest that separated them from Nazarick. Vivecine looked around at all of the plants around him and began to quickly pick them, eating them or shoving them into the many pockets within his robe. He was able to keep up with Lupusregina, though he could sense her impatience with him even so, constantly tapping her foot whenever he delayed catching up with her for even a second. When they arrived at the tomb, she left him with Demiurge and headed back to the village.
Demiurge smiled at Vivecine and spread his arms in a welcoming gesture, “When the Great One told me that there was a supreme being not of the 41 coming to visit, I was naturally a little hesitant to agree to his invitation. I convinced him to let me make sure that you are one that means no harm, but I see now that you will be no trouble. Please, come in.” He said, leading Vivecine into the tomb.
Once down to the throne room, Vivecine could see that it was just the two of them with Ainz sitting on the throne, “Demiurge, you can leave us.” He said, waving Demiurge off so that the two of them could speak in private.
Vivecine made his way across the long throne room and came to sit on the steps leading up to the throne, turning to face Ainz, “I see you are an undead too, though you hide that fact more than I do.” Ainz said clearly, his red eyes glaring down at Vivecine, “How do you do that?” He asked.
“I have a vat that creates my flesh around the bones that I choose to transfer my soul into. I don’t disguise for my people, as they already know. I disguise myself for those who are a part of the outside world.” He explained.
“I see. Enough about that. You said you were a player, I will have you prove this to me.” Ainz demanded.
“I used the word player, and your original name, I’m sorry that I was unable to bring my Dive system with me for further proof.” Vivecine snarked, standing up.
Ainz held up his hand, “Calm yourself.” He said, glowering down at him.
Vivecine climbed the steps to stand next to Ainz, and in the chair, he was slightly shorter than Vivecine, “I am not an NPC and you will not talk to me like one.” Ainz looked up to the man who stood over him, and his eyes flickered.
Momonga put his hand on his chest, “Oh thank god, I thought I was alone here. Do you have any idea how hard it is to try to deal with power hungry monsters, and try to adhere to a moral code, all while trying to pretend you are a power hungry monster yourself? The stress is almost as bad as my old office job.” He said, shaking his head, “It’s a lot more fun, but the stakes are also a lot higher than they used to be. I mean, I could never file paperwork so bad that I could die.” He shook his head as Vivecine felt a magic spell go over Momonga.
“What was that?” Vivecine asked.
Momonga put a hand on his temple, “It’s some sort of status effect, I think it’s because I’m undead.” He explained.
Vivecine nodded, “Undeath works a bit differently in Skyrim.” He stated with a smile.
“Oh, you got transported here from Skyrim, do you know if there’s others from other games?” He asked.
Vivecine shrugged, “I just got here, but I could only find Yggdrasil magic and items, I assume you were the one who distributed them among the villagers?” He asked.
Momonga nodded, “Yes, it was me, though I have found evidence of other Yggdrasil players from the past. We seem to make a big impact here. There were the Six Gods of the Slane Theocracy, and the Eight Greed Kings, and I’m sure there were many others as well.” He said with a sigh.
“Have you found any evidence of people from other games?” Vivecine asked.
Momonga shook his head, “No, though I have found that the Yggdrasil magic items and abilities seem to be overriding the natural ones that occur in this world, so they could have just been supplanted.” He looked to Vivecine, “So, would I have known you in real life?”
Vivecine shrugged, “I was the head developer at Bethesda Japan, so I suppose you would know of me.” He said.
Momonga chuckled and began to laugh loudly, “Yes, I heard of you, you were obsessed with recreating the dwemer and the clockwork city. Can I trust that’s what you will be doing now?” He asked, looking carefully at Vivecine.
“Well, you know how you talked about racial attributes? In Skyrim, those with a dragon soul have a will to dominate. It’s hard fighting it even now. You’re my largest competitor and this would be my best chance to kill you for the foreseeable future... But, you’re more valuable as an ally. We could rule this world together, as eternal rivals.” He said with a grin, offering his hand, “What do you say? Allies?” He asked.
Momonga took his hand and shook it, “Allies.”
Chapter 8: Subordinates and Advisors
Upon his return to Blackreach 13, Vivecine sought out Seht, finding him in a predictable place, Clockwork city, upon the outer ramparts. He looked out onto the city with Randagalf standing alongside him, he began to speak without turning to look at Vivecine, “You know, I had heard you achieved Chim from a young age. That you could perceive reality so finely to create great works. I didn’t quite believe it until you resurrected me. This is the second day I have been alive in this world, and I can already tell that you have done well, exceeding both myself and your father.” He finally turned to look to Vivecine, “You seemed to have some doubts when you resurrected me, what were they?” He asked.
Vivecine shrugged as he walked up to him, “I doubted that my technique would work. To tell the truth, you were my test case for finding out if it would. I’m planning on using that on my children from now on.” He explained, “Also, I doubted whether I should be resurrecting you.” He gestured to Randagalf, “You have a reputation of stealing from higher powers.” He said, poking Sotha Sil in the chest, “Hence why I thought you would be a good test subject.”
He rolled his eyes and chuckled, “I didn’t want the power, I wanted the immortality. To gather knowledge forever and work on my clockwork city. I took a shortcut, unlike your father, but I have what I wanted. And you provided it to me for nearly free.” He grinned, “You have given me access to another clockwork city, and I can work here in exchange for…?” He asked, wondering how long his leash would be.
Vivecine sighed, “I want you to improve my armies, obviously you don’t get free reign, but I want you to experiment with various metals and designs to improve them. I like my dwemer spheres, so don’t get fooled by my temporary halt in creating them, I intend to resume as soon as I have a reliable source of material to make them with. The Soul Pups are also non-negotiable, and I don’t trust you to work on the Soul Furnace, but I will let you have ten percent of collected soul gems for your own experiments in alternative energy, and if you wish, I will even provide you with Heart Stones, rocks that absorbed Lorkhan’s essence. I have plenty of those, a finite number, but plenty. And with our connection to Oblivion severed, I can’t get more Daedric hearts… I’ll give you a thousand of the heart stones, but no more of the other items of power. I can make more of the dynamo and animo cores, so feel free to tinker with those. Though for the Animo cores, I would prefer if you tinkered with unpowered ones, those are the souls of my followers.” He rubbed his temples, “You can tinker forever, but start with improving my army. As we find out what we can get from this world, emphasize usage of renewable resources.” He explained.
Seht nodded, “That seems fair.” he said, standing up straight, “How did your politics go?” He asked.
Vivecine looked up to his mentor, “It went all right, I suppose, though we will need to prepare to fight him at all times. He will eventually turn on us once it costs him little enough, and I want to make sure that moment never comes. And if need be, I want to eventually rid myself of him.” He tapped his chin, “However, killing two of his followers would eliminate most of the problem and be much easier.”
Ainz stayed on the throne as Demiurge returned, “My lord, what is it you discussed?”
Ainz thought of how to tell most of the truth while properly phrasing it, “He proved to me that he was another Supreme Being, though he did not claim to be one of the 41 and explicitly denied it. He heard of our power in Yggdrasil and wishes to maintain an alliance with us.” He said simply.
Demiurge put a hand on his chin, “Hmm, that sounds reasonable, but we can’t trust anyone outside the 41. He may be biding his time while he builds power so that he could kill us. Could he amass such a power?” Demiurge asked, deferring to Ainz’ greater knowledge of their opponent.
Ainz remembered hearing about the game, being uninterested in single player games he hadn’t played, but he knew how it’s power system worked vaguely, “Unlike us from Yggdrasil, he is not limited in his potential power. And I know his race, he grows stronger with each dragon he kills.”
Demiurge raised his eyebrows, “How many has he killed before coming here?” He asked.
“What are our resources?” Sotha Sil asked.
“We have my city with approximately half of the citizens opting for the soul furnace, 979 dragon skeletons disassembled, minus a single rib cage that I used to craft with to practice using dragon bones, and then never used again, since that equipped one of my adventuring friends, and then I never needed it again. 37 assembled dragons in the trophy room, 26 daedric titan skeletons, 34,815 Daedric Hearts, 933,660 Heart Stones, 13,846 Briar hearts, 5,500 tonnes of Ebony and a not insignificant amount of dwarven metal, that I should probably now count since we don’t have as an immense source of it. All other ingredients are either alchemical and can be regrown over time, or have sources in this world.” He chuckled as he remembered his character’s backstory, “The last time you had a war against an empire like this, Mother impregnated herself with me after.”
Sotha Sil chuckled, “The last time I fought a war, I died in the aftermath.”
Chapter 9: Khajiit Moons
A dark skinned bosmer factotum jumped up the wall, landing next to the three of them, and looking them over for a moment before speaking, “The Beastfolk grow restless.” He said before simply jumping down from the wall and running off at a great amount of speed.
Vivecine sighed, remembering how he had set up that little spy that he had made. Lovingly crafted with each of the other Factotum Administrators, he was set to watch unseen until such a time as he was needed and then deliver messages. He had to check into the man’s programming and fix him up a bit, since in game he was made because Vivecine hated the standard courier.
He jumped down from the outer wall of the clockwork city and began heading to the Beastfolk quarter. The fine cut stones of the city street began to break down into the overgrown cobbled stone that the beastfolk and the bosmer favored for aesthetic reasons. The Bosmer were waiting on the mossy stone wall that surrounded the woods that had grown for them. The smell of petrichor hit Vivecine’s nose as he began making his way down the winding forest path, stepping on the stones that marked the path and prevented them from sinking in when the artificial rain turned the ground to mud. He finally made his way to the swamp, where the argonians were huddled around their tree, their tails waving in irritation. On the outskirts stood the Khajiit, right where the forest turned into swamp, only ten of the breeds of Khajiit were represented, this was no accident mechanically nor in Vivecine’s favoritism. Only breeds he liked were in his city, he had written that there were incentives in this way and that, that allowed them to be there. Of the Khajiit, they were mostly comprised of the Dagi-raht and Cathay-raht, the small spellcasting Dagi-raht were each on the shoulders of a Cathay-raht that they had chosen as a lifelong friend to protect them. A few of them had chosen a Pahmar-Raht instead, the much larger companion giving them a social advantage as well as one in battle. Surrounded by tigers and large housecats, Vivecine became a bit nervous. Three thousand Khajiit and three thousand Argonians, all of them angry at him, as if he didn’t have enough to deal with.
“Our Hist is cut off from the others!” The Argonians began with their protests and Vivecine was relieved that their grievance was one that was so easily resolved.
“I am powerless to the fact that we were transported to a new world, cut off from Oblivion, but this is a new world, without the previous Dunmeri regime who enslaved Argonians, and there is a wild and free country-side out there. Plenty of land for the taking, to plant new Hist.” He said with a grin, casting his arms wide, “A world without a connection of the other gods. One where the Hist are the only true gods.” He said. He turned to the Khajiit and remembered something that gave him a clue to their grievance as well, “Oh… The moons… Right...” He said nervously with a chuckle. He cleared his throat, “Come with me.” He said walking back towards the forest, “I will show you your new moon.” He said.
There was soon an army of Khajiit, marching with him to see what there was to be seen, they said nothing, but he felt paranoid about the truth of the matter. They were planning to kill him if they were not satisfied with what they saw.
He made his way through the city roads, heading back to the Clockwork city. The Khajiit followed him closely, knowing how the animunculi, factotums and fabricants would react if they strayed too far or lagged too far behind. He led them into his large central building where he had his master computer. It ran on the power of the Soul furnace and had a combination of modern computing and magic computing for its workings. It was very much like a supercomputer back on Earth. He walked up the steps to the console. It was set up like a computer and had three keyboards, one with the dragon alphabet, one with the daedric alphabet, and one with the evolved English language which had absorbed more letters and words. All three were laid out in Dvorak and had an ergonomic shape for easy typing, the fine keys made of dwemeri metal.
He switched it on and it booted up, his own little Linux that he managed to run on his Dive System through a virtual box that he had set up within the system. It took only a few moments for the system to boot up and he leaned over the console to pull out the data cubes he wanted to insert. The Lexicons covered in the mystic runes indicating that they were storing data. Mechanically it only accessed data at home, but he hoped against hope that it would work based on the conceit that he wrote about it. He settled the proper cube in place and closed his eyes, waiting for the astronomy program to boot up; it did. There was an icon of Earth and one of Nirn, and the words splashed across the screen read “New Solar System, update system configuration? Y/N” He chuckled with success and tapped the Y key. The loading icon of a planet with a white dot orbiting it popped up. The planet changing several times into Earth and Mundian planets before the program finally had the new system ready, “System Configuration Updated. New World: Update Existing?” The options popped up and he grabbed the mouse, moving it to select “New World.” He clicked it and it went into naming, leaving the default name of New World in when it asked.
It opened up an overview of the planet, only being able to recognize sources of great magic since there were no satellites or mapping data inputted. However, it was able to see the moon, sun and some of the planets in the solar system that had a strong enough signal. He clicked on the moon and pointed it out to the Khajiit, “There is your new moon.” He stated, pointing at it. He used the arrow keys to thumb through the cycle, “Approximately 30 day cycle and...” He paused as he saw the words on screen, “Full lunar eclipse” He looked at the day count, and it was one week before the average Khajiit gestation period would be ending, “176 days...” He said, staring at the screen, “Return to your people, tell them that I will show them why they should have their faith in me. Have all your women get pregnant, and I will ensure that they are delivered during the lunar eclipse. And I guarantee that your children will be of great power.” The Khajiit, satisfied with this, began to move towards the door, waiting for him to lead them back out into the city.
Chapter 10: Politics of Blackreach
Vivecine had bought himself some time, but he knew that six months was not enough time to curry favor with the khajiit and wage a war at the same time. He was going to have to figure something out to ensure that he would not be killed. Perhaps turning the Argonians on the Khajiit would assist in putting them both down and then he could work with the Elves and Men. He tapped his temple as he puzzled these things, reclining in his chair at his console. He looked blankly at the image projected onto the wall in front of him, still displaying the orbit of the moon, planet and sun.
It had been a day since then and he had puzzled over this for all that time. One week here and he was already holding together what was now a kingdom that was swiftly falling apart. He needed to consolidate his power, and he had with him a complete recording of history’s greatest and worst dictators to see how he would have to do that to be able to prosper. He sighed, “Must be nice to be worshipped like a god.” He said, thinking about how Ainz kept his people together.
The Dunmer were simple, they had devoted their religion to him, he being the son of a saint, and using their already in place religion to keep the Soul Furnace fueled. With the Daedra gone, they would look to him for leadership, and they were the majority population, making nearly half of all his citizenry. Then there were the Nords, over a quarter of his people, and they were already suspicious of him and his methods, though he was a hero to them, they also had the rumors of him working for Hermaeus Mora, and he had heard that they were saying that was the cause of their plight. He mused on the idea of reintroducing the Dovahdein into the general population for quelling the Nords. The High Elves were a haughty bunch, but they respected his magical ability and so still followed him, but they would quickly defect to Ainz if they found out about him. He was a good craftsmen, but Ainz was undoubtedly the better magic caster. The Bretons might seek independence to create a new High Rock, so he had to figure out how to satisfy their cultural need for political machinations. Perhaps pitting them against the Imperials would go towards that somewhat, and also satisfy the Imperials. Other than the politics the Bretons would stay with a majority of the Elves, so most of them would stay and learn from the Dunmer and Altmer that stay. The Bosmer will likely stay with the Khajiit or Argonians, the Argonians having a similar inclination towards the present and the Khajiit having a similar love of the forest. The Orcs would definitely stay, they desired Vivecine’s crafting knowledge too much. And all of this left the Redguard, who would likely stay due to the art of a swordsinger being kept alive in the city.
He sighed at the politics of it all and stood from the console, heading back out into the city.
He headed for beastfolk quarter again, to see how the Khajiit and the Argonians were moving, and if they were showing signs of unrest.
Vivecine had trouble making his way through the forest, suffice to say that the khajiit were not showing signs of unrest and were in fact, taking his advice to heart, breeding like mad. He finally made it to the swamp, thankfully not tripping over any of the khajiit making love on the forest floor and found the Argonians, licking the sap of the Hist. This wouldn’t have been notable, but he noticed that all of them were doing it at once, and a good deal of them were beginning to change. Some of them grew great ram-horns, some of them became paler and their scales became smooth, some of them became brighter, with many colors about them, and some of them simply got greater musculature. Not all changed, but those who did were immediately notable, and Vivecine looked on in awe. Perhaps they would stay.
Chapter 11: Like Father Like Son
Muatra leaned back in the tree that he had claimed inside of Carne Village. None protested since so many had moved into the village in recent times, and he didn’t need much from them. He had been going out with every hunting party, at all hours of the day, to ensure they always brought back something. He looked at the army milling about around the citizens of the city, all of the industrious people around them, working hard to make sure that they would never have to suffer again like they had in the past. The Goblins and the dwarves working side by side with the humans. The children even played among the other races. It reminded Muatra of home, the Dunmer had adopted so many orphaned children from the war.
Thinking of the children made Muatra not notice Brita until she was right under his tree, her red hair having swum out from the crowd. She threw an apple up the tree at him and he caught it, jumping down with it in hand and landing softly next to her.
“I know why you’re really here. So spill it.” She said, blushing furiously, “Your father told you to protect us, but you’ve been here a month, so surely you know that we need no protection. Tell me, why are you really here.” She said, gritting her teeth.
He handed her back the apple and picked up his stick which was leaning against the tree. He swung it at one of the thick lower branches and it snapped as it broke off, falling down to the ground. His stick had not survived either, so he picked one off the fallen branch and pulled out a knife, beginning to take off the sprigs that came off it, “Your defenses are formidable for such a small village, but while you are under the protection of Ainz Ooal Gown, and you have an accompaniment of 5000 goblins, you have more specially trained soldiers than people. Your farmers can’t keep up, so you have been relying on the goblin soldiers for work, such as hunting and other things. These goblins are soldiers and not farmers, so more of them do the work than needs be done, and the forest is running out of predators for you to hunt, and you will soon have to move onto the deer. You simply don’t have enough farms, and you have too many people to be nomadic.” He began sharpening the stick, “Meanwhile, I just did that,” He gestured to the tree, “And I’m sure there are others out there who are a danger to this village. I’ve heard of legends of a dragon around these parts, and while you might survive if the whole military were present to fight it, they’re not.” The stick sharpened, Muatra made a satisfied grunt and leaned on it.
She grew red in anger, feeling more and more that he was excusing himself, and she went for his knife. He caught her wrist with a smile that grew into a grin, “But, it is convenient that I get to be accompanied by you.” He said, letting her go. The red stayed in her face, but the anger left as she ran off into the mill of the crowd.
He giggled as the goblins enveloped her, the hunt was on. He moved quickly and silently, not as well as Randagalf would have, but much quicker than she could have seen him coming up. He seemed to appear in front of her, and she gasped, “You talk in your sleep.” He said gently before she ran away again. He moved in front of her again, not letting her get as far this time, “You speak of a vampire, and you sweat.” She ran off again, and he finally cornered her against one of the sheds that the ogres stayed in. He planted his hands on either side of her and leaned in close, she turned away from him and closed her eyes, “You speak of how safe your village is, and how there is no one who can threaten you, even if I am gone. But you don’t really think that, do you?” He said, his red hair falling on hers, “None of us have safety, but maybe we could find comfort in each other.” She opened her eyes and looked to him and he kissed her. She froze again, her eyes locked on his heterochromatic eyes. Red and Gold. He pulled back, the tip of his nose lightly touching hers, “I can’t guarantee that I will keep you safe. But I will try my damndest.” He said, removing his hands and walking back to give her space, “Have no doubt why I am here. I am loyal to my father’s orders, and he wants me to stay here, but know that seeing you is one of the highlights.” He ran his fingers through his hair in an attempt to straighten his mohawk, he sighed, having run out of his wax for his hair. He wrote to his father about this, using the spell that made the spy aware that he had a report, but he had simply told him to stop writing letters because he couldn’t spare the manpower.
He sighed, realizing how spoilt he was, but not wanting to leave the village. He could kill all of the goblins no problem if he had the inclination, and he was given the task of guarding this village. It was a prime target for the enemies of the Empire and the Kingdom, as it was shown to have much value, while being simultaneously a relatively unprotected target. The most dangerous Kingdom, the Theocracy, was a direct enemy of the sorceror kingdom. He figured out why his father was interested in Ainz, they were both heroes, and both in the same predicament, and the gods of the Theocracy were the same.
He now knew his father’s pain, knowing why he thirsted for information so much. He chuckled, “I guess that’s why he sold himself out to Hermaeus Mora.” He said with a sigh, wishing for a god like that.
Chapter 12: Brita and Muatra
Muatra sparred with the goblin heavy infantry, using nothing but his sharpened stick and his natural abilities. He sighed as he repeatedly dodged their blows, wedging the dull end of his stick into the chinks of their armor as he did. He knew he had to exercise, lest he get fat and out of practice, but he wished it was more stimulating. He wished the magic bombardment corps would have joined in, but everyone decided that even if that would make a greater challenge for him, it would catch the village on fire, so that was unacceptable. The dirt arena was free from rock and grass, worn smooth by his repeated movements over the past few days.
Brita had been avoiding him, and he decided that she needed her space for now, she would come to him when she was ready, and he had no doubt that she would come to him. The village’s food shortage was solved the previous day, when people from his father had arrived with a trade agreement. Capable people to mine, a skill-less and tiring job, and they would be supplied with plenty food. The villagers treated the exotic foods with suspicion, especially the soul pups, who were bred to be physically large and intelligent as well as large souled. But they didn’t refuse the meat.
Muatra was frightened that his father was using outside miners, it meant he was wanting to keep his forces close. That made him more fearful that he could defend this village from any threats that were out there. He wasn’t sure how much Ainz valued this village and how much help they could expect from him, should they be attacked. A goblin troop got a hit in while he was distracted, the blade bouncing off his flesh, giving him a shallow gash. He turned and kicked the poor goblin, sending him flying, he crashed into the village wall, armor dented.
Muatra cleared his throat, “Sorry, I got carried away.” He heard them all muttering about how amazing he was and walked past the group of goblins and humans that had been watching him, making his way to his tree and pulling his satchel down from the lowest branch. He pulled out a minor healing potion and uncapped it, he almost raised it to his lips, but then he looked at his wound. He put the cork back in the bottle and pulled out his daedric knife that his father had made just for him. The fine metal was formed into a spearlike blade tip, and there was a screw in place, holding the ebony core of the handle in the blade. It was so that he could always have a good quality speartip, even if he lost his namesake. He felt naked away from his spear, and he gripped the knife handle, considering installing it on the dull end of his stick. He remembered his grandmother giving him the spear two hundred years ago, before vanishing, he hadn’t been away from it since. He sheathed his knife, knowing he would need a new stick after he put his knife away, and not wanting to deal with the hassle.
Brita approached his tree, clearly drunk though it was only mid-afternoon. She threw the bottle at him, “You!” She shouted, her eyes glistening, but Muatra couldn’t tell with what, “This is your fault!” She said, walking over to him and stumbling on him, “You didn’t take me then and there, and you’ve made me not sure about you. Take me now! Prove me right! You’re like every other adventurer out there, just working for what you want!” She said, wrapping her arms around him.
He picked her up and carried her to her house, her clothes and breath reeking of booze. She threw up on him and her own clothes and he took off their shirts, revealing both of their bare chests, “Yes, I knew it.” She said, moving to work on taking off his pants. He grapped her wrist and tossed her on the bed, “Oh, so that’s how it is.” She said, spreading her legs for him, “Come on.” She said, waiting for him, sloppily massaging her own breasts in an attempt to entice him.
He took his knife off his belt and set it on her nightstand, he went to her closet and grabbed the nightgown that he watched her sleep in so many times. He pulled it on over her head, “Hey, what are you doing?” She said confused as she put her arms through the arm-holes.
He pulled off her pants, “Oh, now we’re getting somewhere, you kinky fuck.” He pulled off her ripe undergarments and tossed them to the side, crawling into the bed with her.
He pulled on the corners of the blanket, wrapping her up in it and holding her tight in it. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pants pocket and wiped the vomit off her mouth, setting the dirty handkerchief on her nightstand, “It’s naptime.”
Chapter 13: Brita and Muatra II
Brita woke up, completely sobered and saw that she was sleeping in Muatra’s arms. She fought her way out of his grasp and scrambled out of the bed, seeing that she was now in her night gown, “I knew it!” she screamed accusatorily.
Muatra sighed, picking up his vomit covered shirt, “That I wasn’t one to take advantage of a woman while she was drunk, and after she threw up on me?” He asked, displaying the shirt to her before turning on his heel and walking out the door, “I should be glad that I sent my fine robes back to my father and got something less expensive to wear.” He grumbled to himself as he left her house and began walking to the creek where some of the children of the village played. He dipped the shirt in the water and held onto it as the water rushed around it, letting the vomit run down the stream.
A few minutes later, Brita arrived at the stream, having changed into some of her older clothes, beginning to wash her own clothes in the same manner, upstream from him. He hopped into the stream, wading to the middle so that the vomit from her shirt wouldn’t go into his shirt and she became redder, “I know you’re mad at me.” She began.
Muatra laughed and shook his head, “No, you were just washing your shirt upstream, so it was getting into my shirt.” He said with a smile, “You’re not avoiding me, and you’re trying to get out an apology, I have no reason to be angry with you.” He explained, pulling his now clean but soggy shirt from the stream and putting it on, looking up at the unseasonably warm sun, “The days are getting shorter, yet it is still hot like the ashlands.” He said with a sigh.
Brita was thankful for the quick change of subject and wrung out her shirt, “The ashlands, is that where you are from?” She asked.
Muatra nodded, “My father grew me in his first Emperor Parasol in the ashlands. But then we moved to Solstheim after the Nerevarine killed Ayem. What was once a pet project from my father I knew little about became my life, and we were forced here by unknown forces then.” He sighed as he jumped back out of the stream, catching her with the spray. She shook the water from her hair and stood up, cheeks red with anger, but he had disappeared.
Suddenly he was there again with a red potion, a red potion was the start of her troubles, and here this man was offering her one to solve one of her current problems. She chuckled lightly and took the potion, her need to get rid of the hangover greater than her pride at this point. She popped off the cork and looked at his injury, “What happened there?” She asked before beginning to drink the potion.
He looked at the injury, “Oh, I was distracted while sparring with the goblins and one of them got me with their axe. Just a scratch, I don’t need to hurry to heal it.”
She had seen the goblins with their axes and knew of their strength. She pressed her hand to the wound, and spit into it, some of the healing potion that had lingered in her mouth going into the wound and making it smaller. She frowned, “How are you still alive?” She asked.
Muatra chuckled, “Why would I not be?” He asked, “It would be shameful if I hadn’t been able to survive even that.” He said with a grin. He shook his head, his hair flopping around as he did. He had refused to stop shaving, even though he could no longer maintain the mohawk standing on edge. He combed it over to the side, like he had taken to doing these days, the hair covering half his head.
She looked him over as he spoke, “You really are on a different level, aren’t you?” She asked.
He shrugged, “My father made me to be a great warrior, I am weak in areas which he is strong, and strong in areas he is weak. Maybe a different level from you and the goblins, but my father fears Lord Ainz, so he must be on the level of a god.” He shrugged again.
Brita raised her eyebrows, “I don’t know much about Ainz, I joined the village after he saved it, so all I know is he is powerful. Who is he?” She asked.
Muatra shrugged, “As far as I know, he may be a literal god. My father knows him from a world I lack the capacity to access, that he was only able to explore through CHIM. His enlightenment allowed him great knowledge, so I couldn’t fathom how he knows Ainz.”
Brita sighed, “He is a terrifying undead, and I’ve only seen one of his level before.” She said softly.
Muatra knew she was speaking of the vampire and he wrapped an arm around her, “I’ve never met a vampire that I couldn’t kill easily. Perhaps she may give me a run for my money?” He said with a broad grin.
It was Brita’s turn to laugh, “Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, I don’t want to see that thing ever again.” She said, looking at the ground.
He put his other arm around her and pulled her body to his, holding her tight, “I can understand that.” He said, kissing her forehead.
She turned her face up to his and began to get up on her toes, he leaned down and pressed her lips to hers, closing his eyes as she closed hers.
Chapter 14: Almsi
Almsi walked through the woods with Raerlas, calmly moving forward despite all of the wild animals that they had faced thus far. She moved at a slow steady pace, picking up ingredients here and there as she went, making sure to bend at the hip to pick anything up, and shaking her ass a little every time. Raerlas was undistracted by this, ever-vigilant, but he definitely noticed the show that she was putting on and he made a point to not complain. He began to shoot innocent animals as well as more dangerous beasts as well, pinning squirrels to trees and taking down various species of bird. She began to pick up the corpses, putting them in one of her sacks separate from the herbal ingredients. They had been out here, gathering ingredients and coming back when their mules were over-encumbered and then heading back out for more.
She was sure that the old coot was stocked for some great time now, and she was getting bored. She looked over her shoulder at Raerlas, “You know, your father wants his people to breed more so that they will have strong offspring and will build his living military.” She said, standing up straight and moving her ingredients over to the Dwemer spheres that were travelling with them.
“Oh?” He said, wondering what that had to do with anything.
“Surely you and he know that you and your brothers would produce the strongest offspring?” She said, pulling the tie out of her black hair to let it fall over her shoulders, “But they’re not here.” She said with a grin, shaking out her hair, and moving over to a log and sitting down on it, crossing her legs.
“Well, obviously they would, I’m sure that Muatra is working on that right now.” He said with a chuckle, “I’m not sure that Randagalf would be able to find someone that is to his taste, or that could stand his smugness.”
Almsi rolled her eyes, remembering that he was very straightforward, “Well, why don’t you use me to help your father’s ambition?” She asked, spreading her legs and pulling her dress up.
He blinked at her, offering herself to him, and accepted her offer.
Raerlas dressed himself, taking in his surroundings as he did. He felt very exposed after having taken his attention off of the woods around them, even if it was for such a thing. He looked to Almsi as she dressed after having ascertained that there was no immediate danger to them, sighing softly as she drew her panties up her dress. She wore earthy colors on the outside, but her undergarments were pink, Raerlas knew that was for him, one of the few things she didn’t need to tell him directly.
“I heard that Ainz character is the one who is responsible for cleaning out the forest.” Raerlas said, walking over to a tree and leaning on it with a sigh, “It’s all so boring, but from the sounds of it, it was boring before he got here. We were a few hundred years too late.”
Almsi raised an eyebrow, “It’s boring out here with me?” She asked, teasing him.
He frowned, “I meant that we’re just walking. Short of watching you, I have no entertainment, and I have to watch the woods to protect you, and there’s just nothing out here.” He said grumpily.
She grinned, “So don’t watch the woods. Like you said, there’s nothing out here.” She said, laughing as she ran off, knowing he would chase after him.
He found it easy to keep up with her, she was just an alchemist, and he was a warrior, made for agility and speed. The forest flew by as she began giggling as she ran off, she tripped over a rock and he caught her before she could hit the ground, having kept pace a few steps behind her for such a purpose, “It seems like the woods themselves are trying to injure you.” He said with a smile, teasing her.
She levered herself against him and stood up, dusting off her dress and looking at the elf before her, he was made in the image of his grandmother, though he had a different stature. He definitely had her face, Vivec’s visage clear in his image. She remembered saint Vivec, and Morrowind, back when he was a living god. She was a crone when she came into Vivecine’s employ, and he made her young again, young enough to pursue his son.
She wrapped her arms around him, “Have you ever wondered what it was like to have sex with a god?” She asked before letting him go and planting a kiss on his cheek, “I no longer have to wonder.” She said with a grin, moving her hands behind her back. Youth was wondrous, and he would be making sure she kept hers, forever.
Chapter 15: Metal and Mineral
Demiurge clawed at his hair, roaring desperately at the reports that his spies were delivering him, the spies he was getting within the city were getting chopped down as quickly as they were popping up. Contrary to his previous predictions, this was increasing the morale of the city, as they were happy for the increase in productivity the collection of their souls was bringing. The religion was impenetrable.
He stared at the reports of the mines that the man was opening up, there being no sense to them as they were all terrible iron ore, he had tested some of them himself and was unable to find any magical properties to them. He was going to have to admit to Ainz that he had nothing, and he couldn’t, not when his lord was relying on him to give him intelligence.
His only conclusion that he could come up with is that there would be no competing claims on the mines, and he could get them cheaply, but that was unsatisfactory. He gritted his teeth as it was time for him to make his report and he cleared his throat, straightening his hair. Surely Ainz would have greater intelligence than him on this, having known the man, he could give better input than what Demiurge had on the data that he was using. He got one last report, the man took over a Mithril and Adamantite mine by force.
He roared and smashed the table before him, unable to keep his cool with this lack of intelligence. It was as if the elf was the only person in his kingdom that knew anything of importance. He calmed himself down by taking a few deep breaths, “Deliver the ores to the throne room.” He ordered the imps that were in the room with him, “I will give my report to Ainz once you have set this up.”
He straightened his tie and buttoned up his cufflinks, running his fingers through his hair. He breathed in, having such a lack of intelligence was new to him, and it had been two months since he had arrived. The only knowledge he gained from the man was that the man was weak enough to not be a threat to Ainz, but strong enough to cost much to fight, and was gathering resources poorly.
He decided he had waited long enough and made his way to the throne room, taking a leisurely place. He walked down the long hall to where Ainz was waiting alone, he didn’t let anyone else into the intelligence briefings Demiurge gave. He didn’t even allow Mare in as an assistant to either of them, Demiurge felt that Ainz had banished the imps he summoned back to whence they came, his lord was uneasy too.
He looked over the table of ores and sighed, “He appears to be attempting to gather resources in the cheapest ways possible, collecting poor quality iron, presumably because he has better refining techniques as you say he was an impressive Smith. He has just taken over Mithril and Adamantite mines, and I think he simply values them as resources as well.” He explained.
Ainz leaned forward in his throne, scroll in hand, “You didn’t mention that he was collecting sea-water.”
Demiurge raised his eyebrows, “But I-”
“And you failed to mention that he was collecting minerals of doubtable quality.” He added, rolling up the scroll.
“He seems to be collecting the poor resources, I presumed it was to hide the value that they held for him.” Demiurge said.
Ainz could not reveal reality to him, but he had a good idea of what Vivecine was doing, though that was only him knowing what he didn’t know. He needed more intelligence, “His enlightenment as well as his background as a Smith makes him aware of metals that we are not, and mineral combining techniques that are beyond ours. We cannot puzzle out the minerals, nor the saltwater, but deliver the ores you have collected to the Chief Blacksmith, and let him attempt to separate the iron out from what our friend is really after.”
Demiurge smiled with relief, his lord truly was a genius, and had the answers, “Of course! Lord Ainz.” He said, clapping and summoning back his imps, “Deliver these to Chief Blacksmith, in a hurry.” He ordered, stomping when they didn’t move fast enough.
He grinned widely, “So, my lord, is there anything further that you would order from me?” He asked.
Ainz scratched his chin, “Yes, on second thought, collect some of the minerals that he is collecting, and get them to Chief Blacksmith, see if anything comes of crushing them and melting them.”
Demiurge bowed as he transformed, his wings unfurling from his body and extending out, “It shall be done my lord.” He flew, heading out of the hall, intending to collect the minerals himself.
Chapter 16: Green Tusks
Vivecine was working on his equations on metal refining using modern techniques without typical modern day equipment when his spy had come to find him. The dark skinned bosmer arrived in his workshop with a salute, his mettallic parts clanking with the motion, “The orcs are having a civil dispute.”
Vivecine blinked at that choice of words, grabbing him when he tried to leave, “Which orcs?” He asked, continuing to type on his equations with one hand.
“All of them. It is not truly a war, but a group of them are leaving and demanding that others leave with them.” Vivecine sighed and released him and he ran off like he usually did.
Vivecine pinched the bridge of his nose, “It’s one thing after the other.” He said, saving his equations so that he would not lose all of his work. He walked out of the lab after him and made his way to craftsmen square where the orcs had accumulated with the nords. Normally they were well mixed in, but there was definitely separation this time. The Nords made for a good audience, but weren’t exactly letting Vivecine pass by. He leapt over the bystanders and made his way to the center of the group. There were two orcs in the very center, surrounded by about fifty disgruntled orcs.
One of them, that Vivecine identified as the master craftsman, gestured towards him to use him as a way to interrupt what the other was saying, “He provides for us! We get all the steel we can work and all the meat we can eat!” He punctuated his sentence by pulling a bottle off his belt and pouring it over his open mouth, spilling it all over his face and body.
“He makes us weak! We have become soft, protected in our little home within a cave! And I will be having no more of it!” Vivecine knew the name of this one, it was Burlag, the head warrior of the orcs.
Vivecine raised his hands above his heads, “Non humans are discriminated against more in the outside world than back at home. Most areas nearby will kill orcs on sight.” He began.
“It’s better than staying here!” Burlag said, though Vivecine could see that the other orcs that were on his side were a bit shaken.
Vivecine shrugged at Burlag, “Well, then leave, you warriors who wish to go with him as well. But please, I don’t want this to end on unfriendly terms. I want us to be friends and continue trading, truly, you were never prisoners here, and I don’t want there to be any animosity between us. The land out there is ripe for the taking, the places that are hostile to orcs are also much weaker than we are.” He said truthfully, “You can go back to the tribal ways or however you wish, but keep an alliance with us, at least for trading and friendly passage.” Vivecine said, walking up to him and holding out a hand.
Burlag looked at the hand suspiciously, but ultimately took it, “I can see why the Dunmer have kept you as their king.”
He nodded at that, “And if any of you wish to come back, we will take you with no hesitation.” Burlag nodded, glad that he could give those who were hesitant that reassurance.
“We leave at Dawn, prepare your green tusked Kagouti, we will be taking them with.” He released Vivecine’s hand and walked off from him.
The head craftsmen looked at him in disbelief, “Why did you let him go? That’s valuable workers-”
Vivecine held up a hand at his protests, “You’re neither slaves, nor are you prisoners. If they didn’t want to help, I couldn’t force them. What you are are my beloved citizens who I ensure are fed and clothed. If they leave, I don’t have to do that anymore. Therefore, net gain for me. Moreso, I get a powerful ally outside of my city that I have to expend no resources to keep maintained.” He looked to the master Craftsman, “I never learned your name, what is it?” He asked.
“Dushnikh Gro-Borgag.” He offered with a sigh, “You really don’t care about us, like Burlag said.” He shook his head.
Vivecine just blinked, “That’s just not true, I care, but if you want me to leave, who am I to stop you?” He asked, helpfully not mentioning the Altmer that had steadily gone missing and hadn’t been heard back from since they started leaving.
“Well, how do you expect to keep us all here?” He asked.
Vivecine shrugged, “Well, why are you staying and not leaving?” He asked.
The orc looked taken aback, “Well, obviously, because you care for us, and we want for nothing.” He gestured around them, “I am free to work on my craft forever and I never have to worry if my family will be fed this winter.” He said effusively.
“They wanted something I couldn’t give them, honor and glory of battle. The hardness of the world. I can only try to give as many of my people what they want as I can.” He said with a sigh, seeing the orcs preparing to leave in full view of the Nords. It was time to release the Dovahdein.
Chapter 17: Dovahdein
Vivecine went to the hall of the Dovahdein, the orcs milling around him to pack up their things. While the Dovahdein were more central, they were in the same section of the city of the orcs and the nords, so he didn’t need to travel far to their hall. The entrance was much like that of a mausoleum, and it led down into the ground before leading out into an upward spiral, on solstheim, this led up to the top of the highest of the Moesring mountains, but here, he wondered whether it would be allowed to touch the sky. It must be, otherwise the Dovahdein might have come down by now. Vivecine came out onto the brightly lit cavern that held the Dovahdein, their voices finally being audible through the soundproof barrier that insulated the cave. There were spriggans that ran freely all around, chasing the deer and elk that lived among them, flying through the air as if their feet never touched the ground.
Vivecine could hear the words of the Dovahdein, praising Akatosh and Kynareth for the power that they had, and thanking Akatosh for his son who had united them all, and trained them in their new purpose. As the words became clear to Vivecine, he began to sing with them, his voice joining theirs in shaking the trees of the forest. Rather than relent for knowing that their master was arriving, their voices became stronger, and the shaking intensified. The evening light streamed down and filtered through the crystal in the ceiling, which allowed light to come down, but reflected all light that would be leaving it into the rock, leaving a completely dark appearance. Inside the domed area was brightly lit, the center of which was occupied by the Tendersheen tree. Around the tree were the Dovahdein, wearing their cowled greybeard robes of many colors, their arms raised over their heads, they sang out in the Thu’um. Their voices echoed with the power within, building on each others might as they combined their voices.
Vivecine finally made his way to them and they fell silent, bringing the hoods of their cowls down to reveal their faces. They were mainly stormcloaks, as well as the three clones of the Ebony warrior, and the bastards of the Ebony warrior that he was able to find: seven in all. Vivecine found Ulfric among them, his greybeard cloak was white to reflect his newfound purity.
“Glad I kept you around as more than a song, eh?” He asked.
Ulfric laughed, “Well, I wish you would use me more. I feel cooped up in here, I’m glad you give us peace, but I want to get out sometimes.” He said with a grin.
Vivecine patted him on the shoulder, “Well, I have good news for you then. I need you to go out with the common folk of the city, all of the Dovahdein.” He explained.
Ulfric’s eyebrows raised, “Sir, I cannot be a spy, nor can I be an enforcer, you know this. I will raise my sword and fight for you, but not against the citizens.”
Vivecine held up a hand, “Calm yourself, I do not want you to use your sword against the citizens. We have been transported to a strange place, and the citizens are wanting to leave, I want you to be among them, you are their heroes and can be present for more than me. Inspire them to stay.”
Ulfric grinned, “For Talos and Kyne.” Vivecine nodded and waved for him to follow, heading back through the crowd. Ulfric climbed atop a rock so that he could be seen among his followers, “Men and women of the Dovahdein! We are the heroes of Skyrim, Man, and Nords! When Paarthurnax became too unruly, the Dovahkiin had us hunt down he and his followers, when the Aldmeri dominion wouldn’t take the Empire’s resistance to their banning of Talos, he released the Dovahdein to expel them from Skyrim! Their armies routed, the Imperials made short work of them, freeing us to worship Talos! Now the Dovahkiin asks another thing of us, to inspire our kin to continue working for a better day with us! For Talos, for Akatosh! For the Dovahkiin!”
The Dovahdein cheered at Ulfric’s speech, beginning to chant in unison the song of the dragonborn, following Vivecine out of the cavern and down the mountain. The mountain began to shake as each of them made it past the barrier that kept their Thu’um from disturbing the citizens, the shaking becoming mightier with each of them that came through. They made their way down the mountain and emerged at the end of their song, having to jog through some of it as they wanted the artistic timing of emerging as they finished. Vivecine came out at the end of the final verse, and the Dovahdein followed suit immediately after, flooding out and surrounding Vivecine on the left and right.
As planned, the Nords had gathered, with the other races behind them, having not been able to get there before the Nords took up most of the gathering area, “People of Blackreach 13, we are among you!” Ulfric shouted out for them to hear.
Chapter 18: Lunar Eclipse
(sorry it's a few hours late)
Vivecine looked at his clocks, it was the day, he began speaking with the Thu’um, “All medical factotums and humanoid fabricants! Assemble in the forest of the beastfolk to prepare for assisting with the deliveries of the new generation of the Khajiit!” He had made a watch that marked the lunar cycles, and he pulled it out of his robes, watching as the eclipse approached. They had many potions that would induce birth and they also had the factotums and fabricants trained in how to do a c-section. At the moment of the totality of the eclipse, they would begin to cut out the ones that weren’t born by then.
He made his way out of the console room and headed out into the clockwork city, where the fabricants and factotums were flooding out onto the streets. He hurried himself along, seeing all of them with their potions, careful tracking of the Khajiiti pregnancies allowed him to track which of them were ready to have children, there were already a few premature births, but he wanted no more. There were approximately 1000 pregnant khajiit, making for approximately 3000 young born, and he wanted all of them to be reaching the full potential that he promised. To the relief of the Khajiit, the new ones that had already been born were already showing the signs of the Ohmes-Raht, but that wasn’t good enough for Vivecine. They might think he was not necessary if they didn’t have a vast improvement with the eclipse. He hoped that there was a difference in power that would be apparent shortly after birth with these batch, else they might leave.
The fabricants and factotums dispersed when they reached the forest, communicating amongst themselves about which of the pregnant khajiit they found, making sure that all 1021 khajiit who had viable fetuses, and they began to feed them the potions to induce labor. Vivecine made his way to the swamp, where most of the Khajiit had gathered, knowing it was almost time, several of them had gone into natural labor and fatotums and fabricants were quickly attending to all of them. They all were fed their potions, and the factotums kept their knives and potions of ultimate healing at the ready, prepared for swift removal of the children at the very moment that the full eclipse hit if they weren’t ready to be born by then.
Sotha Sil and Randagalf were soon in the swamp as well, observing the labors that everyone was entering into. Sotha Sil watched, bemused, “You know, very few of them will birth even a single kitten by the time of the totality of the eclipse.” He explained.
Vivecine chuckled, “Why do you think each of the factotums and fabricants have health potions and knives? I expect to have to cut out most of them, it would be preferable to having too many early births.” He sighed and shook his head, “This is a ploy that needs to work, if it doesn’t, I lose the Khajiit.”
Sotha Sil laughed at him, “That’s an awfully long shot to bet on, isn’t it?” He asked.
Vivecine grinned, “Well, better than the alternative, and simply letting them go. I have to convince as many of the valuable citizens as possible that they need me. I’ve seen the strength of the world, we are significantly stronger than them, but not as strong as Ainz. We need to prepare for war with Nazarick at any time, remember?” He asked.
Sotha Sil nodded, “You expect that any defectors might be snatched up by Nazarick?” He asked.
Vivecine nodded, “I know that the orcs will be able to resist, I had to kill the Altmer that left because they might go to Nazarick because they recognize his power. The Khajiit I’m not sure about, but I want to keep them for their power. The beastfolk seem to be strengthened here. After all, the new Argonian forms are thoroughly impressive.”
Randagalf nodded in agreement, “Those with the large horns can take me on if there’s three of them at a time, I can barely win with them. I used to dance around them, but now I have to watch my back even if there’s only two of them.” He smiled, “They’re a good workout.”
Vivecine pulled out his watch and stared at it, “It’s time.” He said, “The penumbral eclipse has begun.” He stared at the watch, the only sounds were the factotums and fabricants assuring the screaming mothers, the Argonians watched on silently and Sotha Sil kept quiet with Randagalf.
The first child was born a single moment before the partial eclipse, he figured that would be good for the data. During the partial eclipse, 537 khajiit were given birth to at various points, and then there was the totality of the eclipse. The sound of nearly a thousand knives striking a thousand khajiit echoed through the woods. The screams intensified as the babies were carved from their mothers and then the mothers were immediately given their health potions. Many other potions were pulled out to dose each of the kittens to ensure that they would survive, now there was a moment of silence, followed by a cacophony of mewling kittens.
The sound of proud mothers was drowned out by their vocal infants, as they crawled across the chests to feed. Vivecine sighed in relief that it was over, even as the totality of the eclipse faded, there was a murmur from all of the mothers around them as they noticed a peculiar effect of the eclipse mixed with the healing potions.
The kittens began to grow black fur.
Vivecine smirked, as he felt that even this was notable enough that he would be able to take advantage of the goodwill of the khajiit. He had to stop himself from gloating while using the Thu’um, lest he upset the new mothers and the newborn babies. He decided that he would be satisfied with silently accepting credit for this and soon made his way back to the clockwork city to continue his other plans.
Chapter 19: Airships and Alliances
Ainz looked at his reports that he was given in the results of the blacksmith’s experiments with the ores that Vivecine had been mining and sighed, none of them yielded anything beyond the fact that the ores made poor steel. He decided that this was due to Vivecine’s advanced knowledge in the metals, and one cannot understand how to purify them without knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy. He roared as he threw aside the table that was filled with the failed experiments with the ores. The best thing that happened with this ally is the cheap high quality leather that he was producing which made exceptional scrolls. The orcs that had been released had taken over the forest of Tob, neatly filling up the power vacuum that several smaller monsters had been vying for.
The orcs were happy to trade with Ainz, but he had noticed that they charged their previous leash-holders less. Cocytus hadn’t presented him with a favorable report on them, the weakest of their people were as strong as Zaryusu, and their leaders were estimated to be in the upper seventies. The small fry were becoming bigger and growing in number, they would become a nuisance for Nazarick if they wanted to.
Ainz sighed, he believed both Demiurge and Vivecine on Vivecine’s intentions, so he wasn’t sure how they would manifest together in the long run. He slumped in his throne, putting a hand on his head, having been able to calm himself before the status effect kicked in. He received a message, “Ainz, there is something you need to see.” It was Sebas, he was on a patrol outside Nazarick, watching for greater enemies than the normal fodder that surrounded Nazarick.
“Is it dangerous?” He responded, wondering if he should bring some of the guardians with him to ensure his safety, after all, his new ally might have decided to move sooner than anticipated.
“I do not think so, lord Ainz.” He said definitively.
Ainz gated out to where Sebas was patrolling outside, to see his subordinate pointing to the sky, “Dragon? I thought you said there was no danger!” He said, preparing Fallen Down as he looked up to the sky where he was pointing. He stopped his spell, the only dragon was his ally, piloting an airship. The large rigid air airship flew against the wind, progressing quickly towards them. A large hook shot out into the ground and tethered them to the ground. Four other ropes descended and factotums descended down the lines and tied the ropes around the pillars outside of Nazarick, saluting as Vivecine descended down his line.
He laughed as he landed, his flesh on his skull had been clawed off and there was signs of healing at the edges of his neck, and even as they stood there, the flesh was creeping up the skull ever so slowly, “Ainz! You may try to gate everywhere, but that is no way to move an army. You need better transport and logistics! I give you... The Air Dragon! A gift, from your ally, given in good faith, made from the finest Titanium Aluminade, as I am sure you have found from your spying!” Vivecine said, taking a shot in the dark, assuming that Ainz had some idea on what Vivecine was doing by his reputation of information gathering, “The light material allows it to be larger than other steel based rigid airships that were made due to funding concerns, something I do not have.” He bowed, his flesh now beginning to cover his face, when he came up, his lips formed, “My four factotums will remain behind and teach your people to pilot this airship, so that you may keep your troops mobile.”
Ainz, stayed agape, Demiurge had emerged from the entrance of Nazarick and seethed behind Ainz, looking up at the airship. Ainz cleared his throat, “How am I deserving of such a gift?” Ainz asked, trying to find the hidden agenda.
“You’re giving my orcs favorable trade and ensuring commerce continues flowing through my kingdom that is allied with yours, of course. Speaking of which, I have heard that our kingdoms can strengthen their alliance through marriage, my son is simply enamored with one of your retired adventurers.” He grinned broadly.
“You speak of your kingdom, yet despite all your trade and activity, you have not revealed yourself to the world.” Ainz explained.
Vivecine nodded, “Of course, we hoped you would give us legitimacy, as the Baharuth Empire gave you legitimacy. The Azerlisia mountains are mine, we will be announcing this to the Baharuth Empire and the Re-Estize kingdom, and you shall announce your high esteem for me so that they will not question it!” He said, the flesh closing around his head and his hair blooming.
“The dwarves live inside the mountain as well.” Ainz countered, “They will not like your occupation.”
“I know of the dwarves, and the La-Angler, I have killed it in preparation, and you have taken from the Dwarves what you wish, yes?’ He asked.
Ainz gritted his teeth, Vivecine was hard to argue with, and he was leaning more towards Demiurge’s advice than Vivecine’s promise. He could see the real reason for the airship, he wanted to let Ainz know that it existed, and gave him one as payment for his compliance, “You anticipated this.” Ainz said, looking into Vivecine’s red eyes that were so unlike his children’s heterochromia, he cleared his throat once more, “Very well, I will deliver a message to the three kingdoms, letting them know of your legitimacy, shall I say the lands were always yours?”
“No. I took them by right of might, as is the truth.” He turned on his heel and began walking away, “Oh, and Ainz, I will be invading Re-Estize soon, I heard you carelessly left something there, something that I want.”
“The Alchemy King instructed us to assist you.” The Factotums said as he finished, and bowed to Ainz.
Chapter 20: Armageddon Evil
The two operations had to be conducted simultaneously, something that irritated Vivecine immensely, he couldn’t personally attend to the dwarven kingoms, so he sent his son with the new dwemer automatons. He had to attend to the mission in the capital personally, to ensure that he got the spoils that he wanted. Completely invisible, he infiltrated the capital, he had the magic for an invisibility spell, but his potions lasted longer. He didn’t need to work very hard to find it, it was practically oozing with magic and every time he cast find magic item, it lit up like a beacon in this world of darkness. The only more powerful influence on the world of magic being Ainz himself.
He made his way through the city, approaching the beacon of light and then made it to the magicians guild, having invested nothing into stealth, and only being able to keep hidden when invisible or across a cave, he had boots of muffle on. He made his way behind the counter, carefully walking around people. He spoke the words of aura whisper quietly and found that it worked just as it had in skyrim, and he could see all the life forms between him and the statue of armageddon evil.
He felt the locks on the door, and quietly chuckled as they had presumed that they could keep him out. He silently cast the open lock spell and the door swung open, he made his way quickly inside and closed the door before anyone in either hall could see him, settling the door in softly with a displeasingly loud click.
He paused for a moment as he waited for there to be a response, looking around for any figures moving towards him. There were none, so the men who were on his side of the door were far away, and those that were towards the entrance had too much noise to notice. He walked through the corridors, making his way to the stairs and then descending down them. Finally he made it to the bottom of the stairs, where there was a single iron door that lead into the corridor with the item he wanted.
A guard approached the door and he quickly sidled out of the way, there was a click and then the door swung open, the guard coming through with a torch. Vivecine fought against his fake body’s urge to breathe, the false lungs much easier to suppress since he felt no issue with his consciousness and thought process. Just a burning of the lungs, of which the pain was dulled.
The guard moved to the other side of the door and Vivecine rushed in as it was closing, breathing a sigh of relief as the door clicked shut and locked. He made his way down the final corridor, at the end of the hall was his quarry, guarded by four men, two on the outside, two on the inside.
He walked up to the first guard and punched him, turning visible as he did, but he had smashed through the armor and crushed the man against the wall with a loud clang. Being invisible wouldn’t help him stay hidden now, but he didn’t need to. He spun and kicked the other guard, also crushing his chest. There was a commotion on the other side of the door as the guards frantically put their keys in the locks, he patiently waited as they opened the door, waiting until they could see him to pull the sword out of their dead comrades’ sheath. It had been a while since he had been able to play like this, and unlike Ainz who felt disaffected by the slaughter, he actively revelled in it.
He waited for the men to approach him, letting them fight against him, sword clanging against sword as he effortlessly parried their blows away. They began to yell, but they were the only ones down here, he could have fun, no one to raise the alarm.
“You hold him off, I’ll go raise the alarm!” One of them said, sprinting past Vivecine as he was parried. Vivecine threw his sword into the man, it easily piercing him.
Vivecine turned back and grinned at the remaining guard, “I didn’t need a sword for the other two, what makes you think I’ll need one for you?” He asked, holding his arms out to the side, he could see the despair in the guard’s eyes, but also bravery, determination. Vivecine tilted his head, “You seem a tenacious sort, tell you what, lay down your sword, and I will leave you with just a broken leg, so you will have appeared to have fought valiantly, but were defeated.”
The man shook at Vivecine’s offer, fear in his eyes redoubling, and determination increasing as well, “Ability boost, body strengthening,” Vivecine saw an opportunity to strike while the man buffed himself, but waited politely, after all, this was his last stand, “Flow acceleration!” He roared, practically foaming at the mouth as he went for Vivecine.
Vivecine crouched, ducking under the sword barely and launching an uppercut into the man’s belly, puncturing his organs and smashing him into the ceiling. He fell to the floor screaming and writhing in pain. Vivecine pulled a minor healing potion out of his robes and tossed it to the man, “This will stop you from dying.” He said, walking to the room where the statue was being stored. There were many safes that presumably held many treasures, but none of them interested him, none of them having a magical signature near to Armageddon Evil. He punched the safe, not bothering with his unlocking spell, he wouldn’t need to hide until he was leaving. The metal dented in, and the locks bent and broke, letting him into the safe. He tore the door off and reached inside for Armageddon Evil, grabbing it before casting Recall, and teleporting back to the entrance of his precious home.
Chapter 21: Under the Mountain
Sorry about the unnannounced hiatus last week, have two chapters this week.
Randagalf moved under the mountain with Sotha Sil at his side, his uncle had troubles coping with the loss of godhood, as he did in his previous life, but he was doing better now. He clenched his upgraded mythril hand, his attachments now being lighter and silent, though he kept the shine. The animunculi rolled along with them, dwemer spheres and them alone came along with, the loyal soul pups running along with their masters. They made their way around the capital city, staying close to the walls as they went, the dull yellow made even paler with their new metals, their dark blades contrasting highly with the rest of the animunculi.
He didn’t pretend to understand how the new metals worked, only knowing that they did, having tested them himself. His own equipment was unchanged, not having any new items made by his father yet, but he stayed with his less effective steel and leather, knowing this battle would be easy won.
10,000 animunculi surrounded the city, and the siege began, “Dwarves!” Randagalf shouted into the cavern, hoping that he could be heard. There was no response.
Randagalf sighed, looking at the rebuilt walls of the city, though it had been only a year since they retook it, he could see that they were well fortified, the stone walls built high. There were gatehouses at the entrances of the city and they were closed off at the moment, the dwarves having grown wary of those entering on their territory now. Randagalf walked up to the wall of the city and punched it, smashing through the stone and creating a large hole for them to invade through.
“Seht, have the pups organize at the gate houses, and leave a detachment of them here.” He said, stepping into the city, “I don’t want them escaping.” He walked over the rubble and made his way into the streets.
The dwarves immediately began to take notice of him, the small men beginning muttering and moving about in a panicked manner, remembering what outsiders had done last time.
“Dwarves of the Azerlisa mountains!” Randagalf began, “This is now the domain of the Alchemy King! Ally of the Sorceror King! Surrender yourselves to become vassals of the Alchemy King, or be destroyed.”
One of the dwarves threw a rock at him, as soon as it was within arms length, it was smashed into the ground.
“Bring word to your leaders!” Another rock, this time, he deflected it back in the direction of the one who threw it, but his aim was not as good as his brother’s and it sailed right over their heads, “We are here! And we are taking the city!” Randagalf now knew why his father was the one in charge of these things, as the dwarves didn’t seem very convinced. He swung a punch at the wall of a house, not bothering to move closer to it; an explosion of wind erupted from his fist and blasted the stone structure, with a resounding crack, the wall tore open. A tornado formed around Randagalf with the force of the attack, splitting off into smaller ones as it went down the alleys on the side of the house, all of them converging and forming over the house he targeted. Finally they dissipated and the house was rubble. Dwarven military formed ranks and spilled out onto the streets, armed and armored, they were prepared to fight after their previous incursions. Randagalf sighed as he extended the fingers on his hand, keeping his palm flat, and moved to the closest dwarf, shearing through his armor.
The dwarf fell, shocked at this, and his companion swung his axe at Randagalf. Randagalf caught the axe and cleaved through it with his hand, breaking the head off of the handle.The dwarf dropped his stick and turned to run as his comrades in arms advanced all around him. Randagalf stomped and the ground around him cracked, the dwarves all falling into the cracks in the earth. There were a few survivors, but none of them were prepared to fight, none of them wanted to face the might of the opponent before them.
“I am Randagalf! Son of Vivecine, the Alchemy King! Bring your leaders to me so that they can surrender to the might of the Kingdom!”
Chapter 22: Sarah, Jiro, and Yoshi
“So that took five tries.” Randagalf reported to his father upon his return from the Dwarven city.
“The dwarves yielded the mountain to us?” Vivecine asked to clarify, inputting the information of his holdings into the computer.
“Yes, father.” He confirmed, leaning against the back wall and watching the daedric runes go up on the screen. Vivecine nodded as he input the information of the holdings of the dwarven kingdom that were now his.
“Did any of the citizenry stay?” Vivecine asked.
“Most of the survivors.” Randagalf said, reaching in his pocket and pulling out his small notebook for the census he had made of the ones who didn’t pack up and leave, “Only about two thousand, the counts I kept getting back were inconsistent, but they all seemed to gravitate around two thousand. They’re really on the way out.” He explained.
“Did the death knights return to guard the Sorceror King trade route?” Vivecine asked.
Randagalf nodded, despite his father facing the screen, “The death knights were waiting for us at the entrance of the caves when we left. I presume that the Sorceror King does not want our takeover to disrupt his profiting.” He closed the small notebook, daedric runes scribbled on the cover. He watched his father typing into the document, “How are my brothers and sister doing?” He asked.
Vivecine paused, the question was loaded, he could tell because he didn’t know the genders of his new children yet. He decided the best course of action would be to give him the answer he clearly expected, he finished inputting the information and then moved to a screen that monitored the vitals of the three incubation chambers. He looked at them and sighed, “Their vitals are good, magicka levels are higher than expected for all three, but that’s not why you asked, is it?”
“Have you even visited them once since you made them?” Randagalf asked.
“I’ve personally refilled their tanks-” Vivecine began
“That’s not what I asked and you know it.” Randagalf interrupted.
Vivecine closed down the console, “All right, how about we go to visit them now.” He said, beginning to walk for the door.
Randagalf nodded, seeming satisfied. He remembered a thing that he put in for all of his sons now when he wrote them, cares for their siblings more than their father. He would have to be careful of that from now on, and maybe even get rid of them somehow so that he wouldn’t need to fear deposal by his boys if they thought he was not good for their siblings.
They made their way through the main square, the increased production making the clockwork city alive with the ever growing army of animunculi. Spiders creeping around with the spheres moving slowly as they were dispensed for stress testing and work. They opened up the increased security passage which hid the children away from prying eyes and protected them from possible intruders. It opened up and there were the three complete chambers, with the open expansion behind it, and the chambers under construction behind them. They made their way through the alchemy lab and it all lit up, making the lab and the chambers more visible.
Surely enough, the three chambers were filled with two boys and one girl. They were infants, clearly past the fetal stage, though not quite at the toddler stage which is when he would extract them.
He put his hands on the tank with the little girl, tears filling his eyes, their brothers were created from code that was expanded on when they became real, but she and her test tube siblings were real. They were his flesh and blood, from the ground up.
“That’s how you knew.” Vivecine said softly, looking at his son, fully grown unlike those in the test tubes.
Randagalf nodded, his usual smug grin on his face, “It’s hard to see your children when you are looking at them over a clipboard. You may have achieved Chim, father, but you’re not made of stone.”
Vivecine nodded, looking over the three, “Sarah, Jiro and Yoshi.” He said, writing out their names in the dragon alphabet at the base of their tubes, each of their names entirely circling the tube. He turned to Randagalf, “I think I’ll start reading to them soon.”
Chapter 23: The Night Before
Muatra woke up next to Brita, his short naps were often entirely eclipsed by Brita’s sleep, but he didn’t mind. He watched her sleep, glad that he hadn’t been seeing her having any nightmares, but he wanted to destroy the source of the nightmares. He had heard from the intelligence that his father had been feeding him over the months that there was a powerful vampire working under their most powerful ally, and that she had gone rogue around the time that Brita had the harrowing encounter with the vampire that she fought.
As if he needed another reason to kill a vampire.
Brita stirred, looking out the window at the moon that hung overhead, “You’re still here?” She said with a giggle.
He pressed his forehead to hers, “For the rest of your life.” He said, putting an arm around her.
She scowled, “I meant that I expected you to be patrolling the village right about now.”
His ears twitched, “Quiet night out, isn’t it? Well, with the death knight patrols, what do you expect? We can help ourselves, but nothing gets past them. Yeah, being on night watch is a pretty boring thing. I wonder how they’re doing at the North gate?” He paused for a moment, “You know you shouldn’t drink so much on watch. Yeah, but the wedding is tomor-” Brita clamped a hand over his mouth.
“Ok, I get it, your big ears can hear all.” She said.
He pulled her hand off his mouth, “Does it bother you that we are getting married for politics?” He asked.
Brita looked away, “Well, we want to do it anyways, right?” She asked.
Muatra put his hand on her belly, “Of course.” He said, closing his eyes, “My love is just convenient for my father’s politics. You want to, right?” He asked, opening his eyes again.
She blushed, “Well the Sorceror King thrust this upon me when your father proposed it.”
Muatra pressed his nose to hers, “That’s not what I asked.”
“I’m just frightened.” She said, rolling over to face away from him, “You keep saying things like for the rest of my life, and I don’t know how I feel about that.”
“So you’re afraid because...?”
“You seem prepared to live without me.” She said, sitting up.
Muatra crawled next to her and sat up, wrapping his arm around her again and pulling her head to his chest, “I am over two hundred years old.” he began, “In less than half of the time I’ve been alive, you will be gone.”
She stood up and pulled away from him, “Yeah, don’t remind me.” she said, facing the wall.
Muatra placed a hand against the wall, “Do you want me to promise you that I will never move on?” He asked.
She turned on her heel to face him, “I want you to remember that I am still alive. I want you to stop talking as if I am already gone, I want you to stop coping while I am still here.” She grabbed his hand and pressed it to her cheek, “I’m here, stop mourning me.”
He looked into her eyes, see the youth in her, the desperation, desperation that was reflected in his own eyes, “I’ll give you that, for your wedding gift.” He said, kissing her.
Chapter 24: Birth and Death?
Almsi was definitely beginning to show, having been impregnated only a month after they had arrived. She looked at herself in her mirror, wearing the clothes that they had traded for with E-rantel. There were plenty of options within the city of seamstresses making very fine garments, but they were primarily dunmer in origin, or nord. She wanted to be able to wear something new and exotic, and she was provided that with the soft fibers of her pure white thick nightie. She grinned at the immense irony of her wearing white, she had children older than Raerlas, though they were now passed, and now she was with him.
He sat up in her bed behind her and smiled at her in her reflection, “Hey there beautiful.”
Almsi smiled at him, “Hey yourself.” She said, picking up a nearby brush and beginning to take the tangles out of her hair.
He stood up and walked behind her, wrapping his arms around her to hold her in an embrace, “How did I get someone as beautiful as you?” He asked.
She laughed, “You’re half my age, rich, and don’t mind that I’m using you.” She said honestly, omitting the part where she was using him for his father.
He pressed his nose into her neck, her hair getting in his face as he took in her scent, “Ah, that’s right. But we’re immortal, we have forever to change two of those things. I can be patient.” He said, nuzzling her hair out of the way and kissing her neck.
She reached back and played with his red hair, short and scraggly like usual, “I think you should grow out your hair.” She said, working her fingers in hard to get some purchase and grab him by his hair, “Just a little bit. I want to be able to grab you by your hair.” She said firmly, tugging on it lightly knowing he would follow even if it was just for show.
After he followed through, he twisted out of her grip and kissed her palm, “Obviously.” He said, looking into her eyes in the mirror.
There was a knock on the door and Raerlas could feel the presence of his father behind the door and sighed, going to answer it. He opened the door to Almsi’s small mushroom, “What do you want father?” He asked.
“Not you.” He said firmly, “Almsi, would you ask my son to leave?” He asked, pressing his way into the little dwelling.
Almsi nodded at Raerlas and he left, closing the door behind him.
“I hope you’re proud of yourself.” Vivecine said huffily.
Almsi laughed at this, “Pride has nothing to do with it and you know it.” She said with a smirk.
Vivecine held back his anger, “Did you doubt your utility in the new world? Did you think I couldn’t use an expert potions master and mycologist here? I’m going to need your help over the next hundred years just to grow more of my mushrooms!”
She frowned at him, “And you think that there is nothing I could have done to ended this utility?” She asked.
Vivecine held up a finger and opened his mouth to yell, but froze, she had him over a barrel there.
“That’s what I thought.” She said with a smile.
He pointed to her belly, “But you have made your own position worse.” He said with a growl, “After that child is born, if he dies... If some unlucky accident should befall him, if he should get shot in the head by crossbow bolt, or if he should hang himself in this very room, or if he's struck by a bolt of lightning! I’m going to hold you to account for it. Rather than kill you outright, I will make you wish you weren’t immortal! And then I will grant that wish! Are we clear?” He asked.
Almsi’s smile stayed unabated, “So my fate is tied with his then? Good, that’s what I was counting on.” She said, walking past him to the door and opening it, “Will that be all, milord?” She asked.
Vivecine grunted and stormed out, seeing Raerlas practicing his aim with stones, hitting just above the mechanical and fleshy birds that flew around in Blackreach XIII, spooking them and letting them fly off.
Vivecine looked him up and down, “Be careful, we don’t need to haphazardly kill anything we might need later.”
“Is that what you were talking to Almsi about?” He asked, looking to his father.
Vivecine nodded, “Get back to her, and tell her that you’re not allowed to marry her, because we need you unmarried to allow you to strengthen our alliances.”
“But Muatra is getting to marry the girl he loves!” He said in protest.
“Muatra loves someone who will strengthen our alliance.” He said to his two hundred year old son who now seemed one tenth his age.
Raerlas gritted his teeth, “Fine.” He said, walking off.
Vivecine turned and found his spy, holding a letter that held one word on its exterior, immortality, written in dragon script, but in english. He opened the letter to read the contents,
My wife will one day die, and I do not wish for that, I don’t want to go on without her, and I’m sure that you will not want me to as well.
You and Ainz are immortal, and I presume that your rivalry and tension will continue on for more than a hundred years, therefore it would make sense to cement this marriage throughout the ages-” He crumbled up the paper and sighed, tossing it away. He knew there was a way to likely make her immortal without losing her, but he didn’t want to use it up. Muatra had a bit of a point though, he didn’t believe Ainz was above killing the children if it were convenient for him. He had to make them indispensable, not just appearing important.
He sighed at having to deal with this on their wedding day, heading to the Clockwork city.
Chapter 25: One Wedding, Two Kingdoms
Carne village was in bloom. Mare used his magic to make all of the trees of the village flower, and if they didn’t flower in the classical sense, he made vines that grew over them and flowered themselves. The petals were in a continuous cycle of creation and shedding, giving a never-ending cascade of various petals that floated down to the ground. On the walls of Carne Village were two airships, lassoed onto the newly created docks for them, the prototype that Vivecine created for Ainz, and the final model that he had made for himself. Ainz’ airship was painted red and yellow for the colors of Nazarick, the sigil of the guild emblazoned on one side and his own personal sigil emblazoned on the other; Vivecine’s airship was black and silver, the mythril shining in it’s brightness and not being painted over, it would be nearly blinding if the mass of the blimp didn’t block the light from the sun to reflect on it. There was the sigil of house telvanni on one side of the blimp, with the sigil of the clockwork city superimposed over it; on the other side of the blimp was a potion, imposed over a cog.
Beneath these monoliths, the two groups gathered for this day that they had planned so eagerly for, a wedding. Albedo, Demiurge, Pandora’s Actor, Cocytus, Mare and Aura were all in attendance on Ainz’ side, and on Vivecine’s side there was Raerlas, Randagalf, Almsi and Sotha Sil. Citizens from both sides were filling up the seats for the marriage of the two nobles, Ainz having granted Brita a small tract of land for her dowry, simply an area around the Azelisa mountains in the forest of Tob.
The Lizardmen were with their Lord Cocytus, Crusch and Zaryusu sitting on the back of Hamsuke with their child splayed across their laps; their tails intertwined. The others were dispersed throughout the crowd, with groups of them socializing with the humans and goblins of Carne Village.
Pestonya Wanko was presiding over the ceremony with Ainz and Vivecine accompanying their subject and son respectively. The two men eyed each other while the two who were getting married simply looked to each other with glee. Brita wore a beautiful white dress, pearls embroidered in the breast to show off the wealth of the Sorceror kingdom, while Muatra simply wore black and white telvanni robes.
Mare, fittingly, was the flower girl, holding a basket of red and black roses at the beginning of the aisle. The music began, a bard adventurer from the Adventurer’s guild hall in E-Rantel playing for them, beautiful notes flowing out from his lute, ushering them down the aisle.
Vivecine and Muatra went first, making their way towards the front to await the bride’s grand entrance.
They waited at the front, Ainz’ aura being that of a grim overseer rather than a doting father, he took Brita down the aisle. Without a veil, it was clear to see that she was crying the whole way, a broad smile on her face. Weddings were often ordinary affairs where she was from, but she was living one as nobility.
Brita finally stood across from Muatra in front of the congregation. All of the people were waiting for this moment, the luck of their town had been going up, they repelled an attack, their King lived, and they were uniting the two grand kingdoms. None of them noticed the looks that the Ainz gave to Vivecine, nor the one that Vivecine gave to Demiurge, contempt as well as a desire to be rid of the other.
Demiurge saw, and breathed a sigh of relief at the news that he could give to his lord.
Pestonya did the ceremony and the couple said their vows, and the party began.
Chapter 26: Slice of Life
“My lord, I have grand news for all of Nazarick.” Demiurge announced, “Vivecine’s plans are not directed at our lord, but at me.”
Vivecine pored over his plans and all his new blueprints that he had made, the mines were giving him all of the metal he could use, so the Animunculi factories were working at full tilt again, the new models being tested, while the steel-dwemer alloyed ones were being deployed. All of the current animunculi and factotums were being melted down, the soul pups in the animunculi being carefully transplanted. Vivecine could just imagine their tails wagging as if nothing happened, just like when they were put into the animunculi in the first place.
He sighed, it was time to visit the farms again, he had to see how the breeding was going ever since they came into the new world, and it was all happening by natural law rather than coding in a computer. He had others to report to him, but he had to see it with his own eyes, the future fabricants being the only he saw, the intelligent kagouti being as deformed as ever, their little legs being unable to hold up their large heads. He pitied them now that they were real creatures, but they weren’t to suffer for long, he watched as the pitiful creatures had their legs amputated and were loaded into their steel and dwemer exoskeleton. He could see the light returning to their eyes as they were loaded in, and their voracious appetites as they went to their feed stalls that were waiting for them once they were adults. He looked to the children pen and watched the fabricants who watched over the farm caring for them, picking up the ones who fell into a muddy bed and moving them over to a comfortable straw bedding. As they mewled hungrily, they were handfed by their handlers.
He could see the desire in their eyes to run around and went to his humanoid fabricants who were running the amputation and exoskeleton implementation, these were men who had randomly generated names and appearances, so he didn’t care about them, “All Kagouti Fabricants are to be outfitted with a leather harness that will allow them to carry two of the young each. The little ones are to be placed in these harnesses outside of mealtimes and sleeptimes. They need to feel what it is like to run around, we have robbed them of this, and I feel it may be breaking their spirits. Fix it.” He ordered before moving onto the new pen.
He had a personal collection of each of the breeds of Kagouti, the Hearthfire were his favorite and they had their own pen, butting heads excitedly and playing with each other. Allowed to their own devices, they would endlessly play like this, no hunting rituals were performed since there was no hunting to be had. He walked over to the dunmer section of the city which took up most of the place, a few high elves milling about around the dunmer, and worked with them.
He walked over to the Hearthfire Kagouti farms, and found that they were being treated much differently than the kagouti in his pens. They were also given plenty of room to run around, but they were much leaner than his own collection, more wild specimens compared to his who were pets. He made his way through the randomly generated collection of elves until they pointed him to the leader of the farm. He was actually half Altmer, his eyes golden instead of the red of his compatriots, and blonde hair instead of black, he wore very plain clothing, dyed to be yellow and grey, “Can I help you my lord?” He asked.
“Yes, what is your name?” Vivecine started with, knowing he must learn the important citizens names, and surely the man of which he was going to ask a favor of was important.
“I am Coreseth, what is it you need?” He asked, tilting his head to the side without blinking.
“Your Kagouti act much differently than mine, yours are tame, but still aggressive and wild, but mine are pets rather than the beasts they are meant to be. I feel I have failed them, how do you take care of your beasts?” He asked.
He pointed out to them on their hunt, running after deer and such, “We let the ones who are unable to hunt die unless they are injured, then we mend them and lump them with the others. And we kill the antisocial ones before they can breed.” He stated plainly, “We don’t want the uncooperative ones continuing on when we are meant to ride them into battle with our battlemages.”
Vivecine nodded about this, “You’re hired, find someone you can delegate to with your farm. I want you to manage my private collection as well. Please, socialize them, teach them to hunt and breed the best of yours into the lines of mine. If you do not wish to collect mine amongst yours, leave their offspring in my pens, but if you find any of mine to be ideal, please take them to stud.”
He looked at Vivecine confused, “Milord?” He asked.
“My fabricant farmers have done exactly as I have told them, and I am to disconnected from my beasts to know what is best for them. You clearly have that covered, I want you.”
“My lord, I would be honored, I will start right away.” Vivecine nodded at him before leaving, knowing he will take care of them all.
He finally went off to the Soul Pup pens to see how they were getting on, they were like hot dogs, in that he only saw the end product, not how it was made; however unlike hot dogs, he needed to change that.
He saw that the pups were big and robust, nearly the size of lions. They were blue-grey colored with white spots in various areas as well as white underbellies. There was variety among them, and he could see the results of their breeding in action. Pups that were clearly siblings but had one different parent or another were raised together, and he could see what they were being bred for, the groups that were focusing mainly on intelligence, the ones that were focusing on loyalty, and the ones that were focused on size.
Their soul strength was blended throughout and he could see that each of them would be able to fill at least a greater soul gem, some of them could fill grand soul gems. One of the pups was a little runty and more playful than anything, she ran to the fence where Vivecine stood, covered in mud, and barked at him.
“Hey there.” He said, reaching down and picking her up, she licked his face as he did and he chuckled. He watched the rest of the pups run in the mud they had made as they were shepherded to a more solid field that was covered in grass, a thing he remembered coding, field rotation. There were four grassy fields for them to play in and they were to be rotated through them as the grass died out so that the grass could grow back. The fabricant watching the pups began to jog over to Vivecine, but he held up a hand and began to walk away with his new puppy.
“Not this one.” He said to her, setting her down to run around him, “This one is a pet.” He said with a sigh, realizing that he not only had to be alive here, he had to live here. Demiurge could wait, surviving him would be pointless if he killed himself in doing so.
Chapter 27: Demiurge vs Vivecine
Good news only ever seemed to be mired in bad, at least for Vivecine. He couldn’t rely on his NPCs to make plans for him, Sotha Sil was the closest, but he was an engineering genius, not one of tactics or of war. He was able to “Build with my beloved nephew, but I cannot plan like your mother.” He had said, intentionally changing the gender he referred to Vivec as every once in a while.
Neia Baraja was visiting the city, but she was being escorted by Demiurge personally. Vivecine could immediately see why Ainz cared for her so, she was such a lively girl, but didn’t flinch at any of the monsters that she had confronted thus far.
To meet her, Vivecine was on his best behavior, he had his flesh on, and even had makeup to look like his father; half of his body yellow and a golden contact in. She tilted her head as she approached with Demiurge, “What’s this silliness?” She asked.
Vivecine squinted, genuinely confused, “I’m sorry?”
She pulled a knife from her belt and stabbed his cheek, stopping the moment she met resistance from his bones. She pried the knife away from his face and took a chunk of flesh with it. Vivecine still felt his flesh, so it was a bit of a pain, but not much, “You’re hiding who you truly are. Do you think I am sinful?”
Vivecine’s face twitched as he processed her words, trying to parse what she was saying. From his information, she was the leader of a religious organization who zealously worshipped Ainz. He held a hand to his bleeding face which was already stopping, noticing out of the corner of his eye Demiurge’s smirk. He cleared his throat, “I apologize, I do not know of your beliefs... Sinful?” He asked.
“Weak.” She answered, “Weakness is sin.” She said angrily, “Do you think I am too weak to see your true appearance? Do you think I am so easily deceived?” She asked.
Vivecine cleared his throat, “No I do not, my apologies, think of my flesh as simply my best suit. I even put on makeup to look like my esteemed father.” He said, motioning to the newly built statue of Vivec in the main square. It was built half of steel and half of Dwemer metal, the irony was not lost on Vivecine. He put a finger into his new wound, “However.” He said, beginning to use it to peel away his face, “If my appearance does stink of deception...” He took off his scalp and began taking off the last bits of flesh on his jaw, “Then I shall remove the offending part.” He said, wishing he could smile.
“I’m glad we could be so honest.” She said, smiling on his behalf.
He nodded at her, noticing that her unflinching demeanor continued throughout him ripping the flesh off of his face.
“Your king and I knew of each other in our past lives. Ironically, I was the one with more power then.” Vivecine said with a chuckle. His one objective was in front of him, taunting him. The power paradigms did not worry him so long as he could continue his work, but he could not be at ease in his work while Demiurge was still around. Demiurge smirked at him and Vivecine had to suppress a growl.
Neia tilted her head, “Oh really, why are you weaker now?” She asked.
“I am no weaker than I was before, but his power increased to a greater extent. He had his glorious comrades to assist him, and they became more powerful together. I have been alone. I hope to become a comrade to him like his old friends, but there appears to be a rift between us.” He said, looking pointedly at Demiurge.
“Perhaps the issue is a lack of trust.” Demiurge said.
Neia nodded understandingly, “Comrades can help make you stronger, and they did a good job helping His Majesty.” She blinked and scratched her chin, looking away and refusing to meet Vivecine’s gaze, “I have heard of them... He does not wish to speak of it, but I know something happened, can you tell me?” She asked.
Vivecine stuck his tongue out to slide over his blood covered teeth and the remnants of his gums, “They became mortal.”
Demiurge’s composed appearance vanished, “Lies!” He screamed. He had been sure that their fate was uncertain, that there was some hope of them returning, Vivecine had to be lying.
Neia stepped back from the two of them, knowing that while bravery was to be admired, attempting to stand between the two of them was foolish.
“Confront reality Demiurge, think of how your master speaks of your creator.” Vivecine ordered, “He hopes to find them too, but he knows all too well that there is no chance that they are here. He needs to move on, you need to move on.”
Demiurge grew claws, “They may be lost forever but mortal is a thing they are not!” He said, truly losing his cool.
“Gol! Hah! Dov!” Vivecine shouted at Demiurge. Demiurge froze in a position of getting ready to attack, “Relax.” Demiurge slumped, “I think you forget Demiurge, while I may not be of the group that created you, I am still a supreme being. Tell me, do you truly believe that your lord expects to find his former comrades here?”
Demiurge fought his control and managed to succeed, finally catching himself. He refused to answer Vivecine’s question.
“I’m sorry to cut our visit short, Neia, but I do believe Demiurge has an urgent report to make to his lord. Demiurge, tell him I know about his potion project, and tell him I am all too willing to supply, as an act of good faith.”
They turned on their heels to leave, Neia looking back and forth between them to decide who to go with.