I had spent hours back at Solstheim Castle, trying to work on the summon bear and wolf spells, but even though they were cast correctly, nothing happened. It wasn't even possible to enchant any ring or amulet with their spell. My guess was that they would only work in Solstheim, out in the wild, where the bear and wolf could actually be found. That made sense, actually, since they weren't being summoned from the wilds of Oblivion.

I flew back to the Skaal Village as a cliffracer and got a good night's sleep, determined not to let it get me down. The next morning, we headed out to a small trail near the village that we were told would lead to a bridge just to our west. That bridge, I was told would put us on a direct path due west to Castle Karstaag.


It wasn't long before the bridge came into view.

For being in such a remote area, it was a remarkable piece of engineering work, far surpassing that of most of the wooden suspension bridges I was used to seeing in most of Vvardenfell.


As we approached the foot of the bridge, the other side of it came into view.

Reavers, river-bandits, all waiting for some unwary traveler to cross the bridge, right into their arms!


"Laurenna," I said softly, "use your arrows as they try to come across.  I'll get their attention with a little of God's Fire."

Always ready to get a little marksmanship practice in, she got her bow ready. I inched my way forward, then let two of the Reavers have it with God's Fire.

Instantly, they ran in my direction, into a hail of silver arrows from Laurenna's bow. As others of their group followed suit, I used another spell of God's Fire, making Laurenna's job easier.


Having disposed of the Reavers, we continued directly west, following the northern coastline of Solstheim. All along the way, we encountered Ricklings, tusked bristlebacks, and a number of dead or dying horkers.

We also encountered one of the most powerful blizzards yet, making it almost impossible to see ahead of us.


Eventually, even through the blinding snowstorm, a huge structure loomed ahead of us: Castle Karstaag!

Laurenna came up from behind, asking "Do you think anyone is there?"




"Oh, yes, I believe someone's home." I replied.    


"Wow." she said. "That's a buncha Ricklings. You want to take the ones on the right? I'll take the ones on the left."

I wasn't sure if she was joking or not.

"I think we need to cut down their numbers a bit first." I replied.

"How are we doing to do that?" she asked.


"Oh, let an old mage handle that little problem." I said with a smile.

"All we need is an army!"


I summoned a number of creatures using Aryon's Helper, then added a few more with the help of some enchanted rings and things.


Ricklings reflect spells, but a low-powered lightning spell would at least tell my summoned creatures who to attack.

I let loose a weak shock spell at one of the Ricklings.


Yeah, that got their attention! My summoned creatures ran to the attack. As they approached, the other Ricklings joined in the battle. As they slew my summoned creatures, I made more.


More and more creatures had to be summoned as the front lines were starting to come closer and closer to us.

Laurenna must have used 30 silver arrows, just trying to cut the Ricklings down as they charged our position.


More Ricklings came from the southern face of the castle, so I summoned six more creatures to do battle with them. More than one potion was consumed to restore the magicka I was using up.


Six more Ricklings came from out of nowhere, probably hiding behind rocks, waiting for the right moment to attack.

More creatures were brought to bear to fight on our behalf.


More Ricklings! This castle seemed to have an endless supply of these little pests.

Before I had the chance to summon more creatures, three of them charged me directly.


Ricklings resist spells, but they're not completely immune to them. I used one Amulet of Leaches, blasting the closest one of them with it. While it reflected most of the spell, the Rickling it was aimed at eventually fell victim to the amulet's effect, allowing me to absorb my attacker's life force into myself.

I went through four of these amulets before the last Rickling fell.



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