The Good Beast


We stayed with the Skaal for two days, becoming acquainted with their ways, and making sure our armor and weapons were in good condition for this trip. The blizzard howled through the village for those same two days, keeping us in our tent when we weren't out trying to buy or sell something.

On the third morning, we finally noticed a break in the weather. Looking to the north, we could see that the sky, though still overcast, was finally going to let us wander about Solstheim, allowing us to begin this quest that I had been given.


There were six Standing Stones to visit, three of them on the east side of Solstheim, and the other three on the west side. Since they were nearly in a circle, we decided to do them in a clock-wise rotation. That meant that the first one we would find would be to the south of the village, near the frozen lake we had passed on our way up - the Beast Stone.

Glad for the change in weather, we headed south east, out of the village. The map we had been given only gave us an approximate area the Stones would be found in, but it should be enough, as we had been told they'd be quite easy to spot, even from a distance.

The sky became crystal clear, allowing the sun to shine down, which caused the snow, which crunched beneath our feet, to sparkle with the brilliance of a million stars.


We enjoyed the pristine look of the land, for even with the snow covering everything in sight, the air was fresh and crisp.

Suddenly, Laurenna touched my shoulder, pointing to a Rickling on the back of a bristle-back boar. Dangerous things, these creatures. Ricklings tend to reflect spells cast at them.

"What will you do?" she asked. "Do you want me to attack him?"

"He he, no." I replied with a chuckle. "Watch this."

I hit him with a mild frost spell, which, as expected, reflected back to me. I knew it would happen, but as soon as it caused the Rickling to charge to the attack, I fired up a Wall of Fire spell, right in his path.


The spell did the trick, stopping the Rickling in his path, but it did nothing for the other Rickling coming from my left. Neither one of us saw him coming. In fact, we didn't see the other boar coming behind him until they were both nearly upon us.

Using the Ring of Weapons, I brought forth my shield and broadsword, while Laurenna brought her own silver longsword to bear.

Laurenna took on the bristleback boar, while I dealt with the Rickling. That tough little guy took a lot of punishment, but both he and his ride eventually fell dead.


After the Wall of Fire spell died out, we saw one of those old hags in the distance. Deciding to back away from this one, I summoned a Demora, and got his attention by hitting the evil hag with a spell from Dracula's Ring. Once he got the idea of who to attack, he summoned his sword and got to work.

Laurenna and I just eased back and let him to all the work.


We saw another hag hiding behind a tree. This time, a flame Antroch, clanfear and bonelord were called into action, and once again, Laurenna and I were able to watch the fun from a safe distance.

Good help is hard to find, but when you find good help, it's just too good not to let them to the work for you.


The bonelord and clanfear, once their work was done, headed back to me (the flame Antroch had returned to the realm of oblivion, the spell bringing him here having faded out).

Laurenna drew her bow, not sure of what to expect, but I calmed her down, explaining that she had nothing to fear from them - they were under my control.


We continued south, always encountering the occasional hungry creature that didn't know the meaning of the word "Go Away". We came up upon a hill, and just on the other side, I saw a huge pack of Ricklings, just looking for trouble.


"Do you think we can take them all?" asked Laurenna.

"Not alone." I replied. "See that large flat rock over there?" I said, pointing to what looked like a very defensible position. "Let's get up there. Use arrows only. I'm also going to bring up some help."


We both ran for the large flat rock that I had intended to use as a base of operations for our attack. Suddenly, one of the Ricklings saw us, and charged to the attack. I summoned a Dwemer sphere centurion to assist us. The Rickling was caught by surprise. He had obviously never seen anything like this machine before. He never saw the retractable longsword shooting out at him, cutting him down. While the centurion was busy with the Rickling, Laurenna and I took care of the boar he was riding on. It was a perfect example of teamwork.

Suddenly, hearing all the noise, the rest of the Ricklings turned to attack.

"Run for that rock!" I shouted. "Climb up as quickly as you can!"    


We made it to the rock just in time, climbing up and out of range of the Rickling blades that wanted to chop us up into little tiny pieces.

Quickly, I summoned a clanfear, Dremora, storm Antroch and bonelord. With just one arrow hitting a Rickling, they all turned to attack each and every one of these creatures.


The Ricklings managed to defeat some of my summoned creatures, but I summoned even more, including a bonewalker, and hunger.

Laurenna kept hitting one after another with silver arrows, adding to the frustration that the Ricklings were now experiencing.


There were two more Ricklings that refused to come and join the party. After things were cleared, we got closer to them, summoned a bonewalker and bonelord, and with a single arrow hitting just one of them, my creatures attacked.

The Ricklings never had a chance.


When the rush of the battle had cleared, I noticed a very tall structure nearby. In checking the map, I figured this had to be the Standing Stone I was supposed to find.

Keeping an eye out for more Ricklings, we headed up the embankment to investigate.


As we drew closer to the Standing Stone, we could see the outline of a beast etched in it's side.

This had to be the Beast Stone shown on the map we had brought.


I reached out to touch it, to make sure it was real. As my hand made contact with the stone, I saw writing appear on its surface:

"Travel south. Find the Good Beast and ease its suffering."

Just like in the story I had read.





PAGE 011