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Harlwystyr's Notes on Wayrest, Through the Realms of Tamriel


Started by Harlwystyr
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Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Wayrest
Chapter III: Daggerfall
Chapter IV: Shornhelm
Chapter V: Evermore
Chapter VI: Farrun
Chapter VII: Jehenna

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The wonders of Wayrest would take a far larger volume than this to describe, but the beauty of this magnificent city lies deep within the strong walls. A shameful state of grime and disrepair has been allowed to besmirch the place under the current rulers of Wayrest since my last visit.

Of course, I waste no affection for His Majesty, the esteemed king of Wayrest. According to his courtiers, that worthy sir deemed my visit not sufficient cause to grant an audience. I was made welcome in his castle, but no more than that.

As I whiled away several days, I noticed a curious mood about the castle and the city below. Oh, the people of Wayrest were friendly enough, and I took several afternoons to peruse the wares of the city market in the east side, even taking the liberty of selecting a keen dagger from an old weaponsmith - once the armour for the king's troops, he claimed. And his weapon was a fine piece of work.

But I asked him about the current monarch and his nobles, and the man steered me to a new subject. Throughout the city, and even among the servants in the castle did I find this to be the case. None would talk about their privacy-favouring lord.

The city itself is a bright and cheerful place. The music of bards and minstrels abounds; wares from the far corners of Tamriel; from Hammerfell to distant Morrowind, are sold at the many small shops. Taverns, of course, are frequent, but are mostly clean and relatively quiet - unusual for a large port.

And the entertainment that abounded throughout the city gave to mind thoughts of constant festival, ever-evolving as the Wayresters found something to celebrate with the arrival of each day, much like in my native Daggerfall. Musicians walked the streets, playing their instruments and singing as the mood seized them. Bards, minstrels of Evermore, and pipers of Shornhelm were present in nearly equal numbers, such that just as the music of one began to fade from the stroller's ear, another would intercede to take its place.

Of the fabled sorcerers of the realm - at least, the council is fabled here in Wayrest, where there are quite few practitioners of magic compared to my homeland - I saw but one. This was a clean-shaven young fellow who greeted me curtly along the wall one morning then chanted a spell and flew over the city, attracting some considerable attention.

The castle itself is a splendid fortress, surrounded by thick walls of that strange, gray stone. It is huge, circling about the tops of three large hills. Access is granted through three large gates, one atop each of the hills, but the approaches to each gate are securely covered by adjoining walls and towers. Unfortunately, in many places the white stone was stained by soot, for no one seemed to make any effort to keep it clean. Cracks and chips had worn into the walls, and several of the highest towers had been deemed too unsafe for use.

I was granted access to one of the sturdier towers, and the climb was worth the view, even for these old bones. The spire seemed impossibly narrow, yet the joints in the stonework bespoke a truly immortal strength, and the view of the castle, city, and bay proved superb. It was easy to understand why the fortress had never fallen to an invader; the landward approaches are screened by a series of jagged gullies and ravines, and the slopes of the three hills steep and rocky.

I journeyed north from the capital aboard a jolting hay wagon that was carrying fodder to the mines near the Wrothgarian Mountains. Fortunately, the high quality of the road through Alcaire, apparently made of the same gray stone as the castle of the king, made the ride bearable. We moved quickly, reaching our destination in a few days.

The town of Lamwych is really a collection of shops, with houses added secondarily, for this northern town is the source of some of the finest iron in High Rock. Miners worked day and night, supervised by a number of crusty nords from Haafingar who must have been drawn here by tremendous wages. A pall of black smoke seemed to hang heavily across the town.

The mines are located at the bases of inland mountains. A steady stream of carts hauls the valuable ore down to the smelters and forges of Lamwych. The air stings one's eyes in that stinking place, and the litter of human endeavour is everywhere.

Although the town looked shabby, wealth was very much in evidence. I learned that gold had been discovered in more than one of the mines; the yellow metal was spent by many a dirt-stained miner on spirits, food, or ribaldry. The town, which I understand is representative of the mining towns along the northern border, had a sizeable, albeit ill-trained, militia. The town lord was much in evidence, Donswain I believe they called him. He marched about at the head of the militia during the day, and then staggered from tavern to tavern with a crowd of hangers-on at night.

Needless to say, I was not disappointed to embark from Lamwych towards the north-eastern part of the kingdom, beginning my journey via horse towards Menevia. This journey was without exception a pleasant one, until a band of merchants joined us and began to interrupt the serenity with their talks of trade and good prices.

As we landed upon an unnamed beach, my companions and I were accosted by orcs of Orsinium, who had come down from the mountains and used an ingenious snare to trap us. Things looked rather grim for a moment, but I managed to persuade them to give my companions their freedom and to take me to their ruler.

This gentleman, a remarkably well-mannered chieftain whom I heard them call Durgrak gro-Kashgol, apologised for a misunderstanding, as his men had assumed that I was travelling with a great deal of money intended for the coffers of the king of Wayrest. When he learned that my mission was simply one of learning, he proved a most amiable host. Durgrak informed me that the king had sent mercenaries into the hills to drive the orcs away and to colonise the region, even though the tribe had never raised arms against Wayrest. Apparently my host's most vigorous announcement of this opinion, which he believed to be absolute fact, resulted in an increase of mercenary activity within his lands.

A trust that can only be found in the company of closely-knit families could be found in this orcish tribe's members; loyal to their leader caring for their own, and thriving despite all odds in the hostile land, supplemented by whatever gold of the king they could liberate from royal coffers via caravans. Indeed, Durgrak and his tribe amazed me. I saw dozens of females, all of them carrying their weight, in the camp, and was treated to an evening of entertainment by an orcish bard who seemed to possess a surprisingly promising talent.

The orcs lived in an encampment walled off by a modest palisade, located in the northern regions of Menevia that was near the mountains. A longhouse - the chieftain's home - dominated the center, with few tents spread around a bonfire, or upon stilts that rose from the muck. They travelled about by foot, or used astonishing knowledge of terrain to scamper back and forth. I must confess to have stumbled a few times when I moved about - the hills, I fear, was designed for much younger men than I.

I stayed with the orcs for several weeks, enjoying a thrilling chase when the militia of the king of Wayrest came upon us quite by surprise. I'm afraid I was a bit of a nuisance as my scrolls went flying just as the iron-clad guardsmen burst into the camp. The opportunity to witness a truly cunning band of orcs in action was well worth the dishevelment, however; Durgrak's fighters lured the militia into a carefully laid ambush and then set upon them from all sides with delightful ferocity. The melee was relatively bloodless - Durgrak lost none of his people, and I think only one guardsman fell dead, but many of the rest fled with an assortment of cuts and bruises. I'm quite certain it will take incentive to bring that band into the mountains again.

With regret I finally departed from the orcish people, for I had another region of Wayrest to see before journeying on. Durgrak's men gave me protection to the southern edge of their territory, and furnished me with a horse that they, once again to my surprise, hadn't eaten.

My last stop was at the town of Crommoth, a large fishing community in southern Menevia. This community, finally, fit the preconception I had first held of the Wayresters so many years ago in my youth: it was a plain burg of several hundred cottages and a few dozen larger buildings. A stone tower, about a mile inland, provided security against raiding bandits.

A large community of nords and redguards was also to be found near the tower, and these folk are numerous in the town itself. Several own taverns and inns and serve a predominantly breton clientele, however.

Lord Gyrrick received me as his guest and treated me to an endless litany of complaints about his neighboring lord to the west, Lord Rennbry. It seemed that the two contest the rights to fish the fertile waters between their communities. They have appealed to the king for a judgement, but have as yet received no response. It seemed Lord Rennbry has now hired a company of mercenaries to protect his ships. Lord Gyrrick is certain they intend to march on his town. His lordship impressed me as a singularly timid man for a ruler of his station.

I have no indication of how the two lords resolved their conflict, for soon after my arrival, I charted a captain to take me across the Iliac Bay to Daggerfall. But that is a tale for another time.

- From the Journals of Harlwystyr the Wanderer, Through the Realms of Tamriel, published in 2E 188.
This post was last modified: February 9th 2014, 07:49 AM by Harlwystyr
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Post #139184
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You were right, I do like this. Very nicely done.


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Post #139188
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Perhaps you will like next part EVEN MORE - I hope!
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Post #139189
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Probably, I would be interested in hearing more about the Orc tribe.


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Post #139967
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I found Harlwystyr's encounter with the orc tribe interesting, as he had some preconceived notions of the race that made his exchanges thoughtful as if it were a learning experience. His neutral position as an observer during the skirmish between the orcs and the Wayrest militia gives the reader a bit more insight into his stance on things. He did not interfere, though whether it was because of his amicable relation with the orcs or because he simply stays out of taking sides is a bit of a mystery to me.


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Post #139968
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And, in the spirit of any aspiring writer, I will let you remain in that mystery, Horizon! >:)

And glad you liked it!
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Post #139990
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(January 31st 2014, 03:17 PM)Harlwystyr Wrote: And, in the spirit of any aspiring writer, I will let you remain in that mystery, Horizon! >:)

And glad you liked it!

A bit of mystery is always a good thing, keeps the audience in thought and wonder!


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Post #140041
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Precisely!
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