"Mr. Powers, allow me to welcome you to my underground lair!"
                                                                     ----- Doctor Evil


Oddly enough, if this was the lair of Lord Draugr Aesliip he certainly didn't guard it very well. There was nothing here except the light from a few torches just ahead of me. Still, I had my sun arrows and bow at the ready, just in case.


I entered a large cavern, and suddenly heard the shuffling of heavy feet just to my right. It was a draugr! I readied a sun arrow in my bow, but the creature didn't turn to attack. Instead, it was working on something cooking over a fire. There was also a bedroll, as well as a table and chair. Not something you associate with a draugr. I relaxed the arrow, and the draugr turned to face me. This was the only draugr I had ever seen that cooked it's food.

"You are brave or foolish to enter this place, Breton." the draugr hissed, "But I sense a bit of wisdom in you...perhaps. I might kill you where you stand, were you to try and keep me from my task, but there are more dangerous things in these caves than this poor soul."

Well, that's odd for a draugr to say. "Have I the pleasure of addressing Lord Aesliip?" I asked, trying to be diplomatic.


"I am." he replied, bowing gently, as much as his distorted body would allow. "I have been in this cave for many centuries. The draugr you met in this place are not my kin. Mindless creatures, driven only by desire for living flesh. My story is quite different."

There was more to this creature than meets the eye, that's for sure. First he warns me of other dangers in this cave, greater than himself, then tells me there's a story behind his being here.

"What story would that be, Lord Aesliip?" I asked, deciding to find out what this 'other danger' was he has spoken of.


"I was once a mage, of the people who call themselves the Skaal." he started. "I was powerful, mortal. Powerful beyond their reckoning. But I strayed, I delved into the black arts, became learned in the ways of Necromancy. When this was discovered, I was cast out by my people. Alone, I wanted to this place. I continued to learn what I could of the ways of the living flesh and the energies that animate.


I became a summoner, I communicated with the Daedra. It was then I learned of their machinations, their plans to destroy my people. You see, a group of Frost Daedra had taken up residence deep in the bowels of this island. I thought at first that it was my doing, that I had somehow summoned these fiends. But they were beyond my abilities. I learned that they would wipe this island clean of life, slaughter my people and all we held dear. I knew I must act! I tried to warn my people, but I was an empty voice to them, as though I were dead. So I used my magic to erect a barrier deep in this ice, strong enough to contain these Daedra and keep them from overrunning the island.


The barrier held; for years, I maintained it. But I grew old, and I knew that my death would mean the death of all life on Solstheim. My life had to be extended, so I used my knowledge of the black arts, and turned myself into the creature you see before you. A Draugr, Eater of Flesh. But my life was now infinite. I could keep the barrier intact so that my people might survive. And now you appear. To kill me, perhaps? You may have the power, but perhaps you have a greater purpose here. Fight with me, Breton. Together we might vanquish these creatures, send them back to their unholy plane. I will lower the barrier, and we will cleanse the land of this scourge."

I thought for a moment. If these Frost Daedra were as dangerous as he claimed, and he was the only one holding them at bay for all these centuries, this would be a greater threat than this Draugr Lord could have posed to anyone. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. "Yes." I replied. "Let's destroy these creatures. I will fight them with you."




"This is wise." he replied. "I will lower the barrier that keeps the demons at bay. You and I will be victorious, as the lives of all those above are forfeit if we are not."


With that, we headed around a column in the center of his cave, and came upon another tunnel entrance. This one had a barrier, similar to the Ghostfence, but as I approached it, Aesliip cast a spell, causing the barrier to fade away, probably the first time in centuries that it had been dropped.

A few feet into the tunnel, we came upon a crack in the icewall, and made our way into the next area.


Not sure of what to expect, I added another player, my ring-summoned clanfear. The creature sniffed around, but didn't see anything dangerous, so we continued to head through the tunnel, knowing we'd find trouble up ahead.


Knowing that Frost Antrochs through frost spells, I used one of my frost shield potions, intending to envelope myself in protection.


Just around another corner, we encountered the first of these many Frost Daedra. Knowing that fire and ice don't mix, I shot off a spell of God's Fire at the thing.

Suddenly, I could feel unbearable heat - the Frost Daedra was of a more powerful class, and had reflected my deadly spell right back at me!


I was dying from my own spell. The clanfear and Aesliip were doing battle with the Frost Daedra, so I grabbed two of my home-made health potions. They quickly repaired the damage the fire spell had caused, and just in time, too.

The Frost Daedra fell, and Aesliip and my clanfear returned to my side. After assuring him that I was alright, we continued on through the tunnels. Now, however, I could see that I would have to try a different tactic against these very powerful creatures.













PAGE 028