The End of Faolchu
I, Asarlai Thornai found myself in Aldcroft having to clean up a possible infestation by werewolves. Sure enough, I found several using an amulet of some sort to see if any of the people, especially refugees from Camlorn had Hircine’s Call on them. I dispatched them with more ease than I expected only to find out there was more to do.
I had to go with one of the guardsmen, capture one of these beasts, and take it to a cave where we could do a ritual on it. This should have been easy with so many werewolves north of Aldcroft, but no, it took fighting at least five before she got the spell on one. I ran off for the cave in a hurry to get this done with. I’m not one to let a werewolf live very long for any reason.
The ritual worked perfectly. The information it gave us; however, was definitely bad. Angof, leader of some Reachmen plaguing Glenumbra, had found a way to pull an ancient warrior named Faolchu, who was, and still is, a werewolf from way back in the past and set him loose on Camlorn. Faolchu promised to serve Angof now, but would see about changing that soon. Figures, both bad guys were full of themselves, even the one in the lesser position for the time being.
Then I find out from the werewolf we captured that Duke Sebastian is infected, so it really didn’t matter what we did. That’s what the werewolf at least thought before he keeled over dead. Turns out the blood of the person doing the ritual, a descendent of Faolchu, could cure him. Of course, that means she has to die. For the greater good we decided her sacrifice was what was needed. I try not to think about this too much. Of all the sacrifices of death for the greater good I have seen, if I sat wondering if I did the right choice, I would have been curled up in a hole somewhere by now.
So I’m like some bloody hero for saving Aldcroft and the Duke, so they think I can go help save the day in Camlorn. Of course, I’m not going straight there. First, there is something to figure out at the Glenumbra Moors. Not a place most people want to visit seeing as it is pretty much a ruined place from an ancient battle and it happened to be plagued with spirits when I got there.
It seems Servith, Master of Incunabula, can do something to pull up a vision of Faolchu’s death. Of course, in the process of trying to get a simple vision of the path the fool mage and his assistant open a door instead. He seemed like that was even better than what he had planned. Others did not seem so sure. I get to be the fool to figure this one out and test it. I figured, why not? It couldn’t be any worse than some of the places I’ve already seen in my day.
Of course, I have to put on some really bad looking ancient armor and the ghost who got pulled to our time assured me, not so convincingly I would come back to the future as soon as Faolchu died. Yeah, I’m rather particular about what I wear and more so about staying in my own time. I rather like it here, after all. But I put the armor on and next thing I know I am standing before a living version of the ghost who told me to put the armor on.
First off, I’m wondering how she got taller and then realize I look like the Breton male who used to wear the armor. The man who was her lover at the time. Not exactly the place this Altmer woman wanted to end up. Though it was a bit better than that crazy vision where I was an orc once to complete some task or learn something through a ritual. Time to just get this over with and hope I was back to normal in my own time when done.
First, I have to go find the Alessian orders and bring them back to the Direnni leader. It turns out Faolchu was supposed to have been some invincible Alessian general. Obviously he wasn’t because he already died once in history, this history I was about to see. I even got to talk to the Ayleid King, Laloriaran Dynar. He seemed a lot like the guy I saved from being caught in Cold Harbor and well, let’s not think about where that led. Anyway, I can’t remember the name at the moment to be sure.
After the usual spiels that leaders love to give, I get to run off again though I do get to talk to Alana, the ghost who sent me here in the first place. All is good, but then things get a bit crazy and I wind up with the choice to save Alana or go finish Faolchu. Since this is the past and I’m not wanting to change much due to crazy ripples it can cause, I’m off to see how Faolchu dies. After all, I’m probably going to have to know this information first hand in my own future.
We get inside and have to kill a few of Faolchu’s minions, who are trying to put out fires. Not surprisingly, when we kill enough of those Faolchu shows up in his full werewolf form. There is a bit of dancing around while I try to keep my precious hide intact and trying to burn Faolchu. It was interesting how he would lose his werewolf from and be vulnerable to fire. Nice. I made him run into a couple fires to get me, about died myself, when finally he fell over.
Then a portal opened and I was told to go through it to return to my time. Sure enough I pop back out in the tomb where I had put the armor on. Even better I’m back to my Altmer self and not looking to worse for wear. Time to tell them fire is Faolchu’s bane and figure out where they want me to go next.
* * *
I get to the siege camp, outside it at least, to find General Gautier trying to figure out how to route werewolves out of the siege camp. So the siege camp to take back Camlorn is already overrun, let alone even getting into the city. I did my best not to roll my eyes or sigh at this news. It got even better. I was to help this fighter, Shaza, clear out werewolves and find out if General Mardin was okay at the west gate.
I rather enjoyed slamming werewolves with lightning and seeming some of them turn to ash in the process. It is rather satisfying watching magicka mess up a brute’s day. Shaza proved to be no slouch with her sword and we made it to the west gate. I am sure we killed over a dozen werewolves to do so.
I slipped inside and saw a sorry lot of Lion Guard waiting for their last battle and expecting death. My showing up changed that fairly quick as I recapped what was going on. General Mardin got her troops rallied and sent me on back to General Gautier with the status report. He appeared relieved when he found out the news that they had not lost the contingent at the west gate. Time to wait for them to collect themselves before a push at Camlorn could commence.
* * *
They formed up outside the outer gate to Camlorn. The doors were open enough to see werewolves prowling about while others were feasting on the dead. That was going to be stopped. Disgusting! But how?
Just wait to hear this brilliant plan. I am told to go in alone all the way across the courtyard and throw the switch for the inner gate. Mmmhmm, right! No matter how much I wanted to clear that place out I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I took a few minutes to watch how the werewolves were moving about and picked my path. Maybe some of the ones feasting would ignore me. In reality, I expected all of them to just jump on me at once. It wasn’t like they couldn’t see what was going on once I got in there and started killing them. Maybe some feral stupidity had sunk into their brains and I could dance my way across to the gate house just left of the second huge gate I could see from the first.
I pulled up my clanfear to act as a fighter for me and stepped through the gate. Immediately, two werewolves decided they wanted fresh meat. It did indeed take a bit of dancing to dispatch them. No others came to help. I went up the slope almost straight for the gate and then angled left totally relieved the werewolves down by a smaller gate off to the left of where I entered totally ignored me. So far so good. I know I managed to get one alone, but for the most part had to fight two of them at once.
Quicker than I thought I found myself at the steps to the gate house. I rushed in, found the lever, and grabbing it in both hands moved it into the opposite setting. Next thing I know the courtyard is filled with fighting as the Lion Guard charged in. Within minutes we controlled the area and not a werewolf was left standing. Step two of this adventure in Camlorn completed.
It turned out that General Gautier’s son, Darien, was inside with a contingent of guards trying to hold their own. I have to find Darien, get the main gate key from him, and open the gate. Oh, it sounded simple, but believe me there was far more to this tale. Then General Mardin wanted me to talk to an alchemist named Alinon, who supposedly was working on a cure for the curse a werewolf’s bite can cause. That peaked my interest, not that I’m an alchemist, but a way to save people bitten appealed to me.
In through that smaller gate in the lower area of the courtyard I went into a lower district of the city itself. Much like looking into the outer courtyard, I stood there taking in my surroundings and noting a large building off in the distance. Darien was supposedly holed up in the cathedral and that building looked impressive enough to be one.
Fighting werewolves was expected, but Bloodborn cultists? Thankfully they were actually easier to kill than the werewolves despite my having to dodge spell as much as they dodged mine. Fire and lightning lit up the streets as I fought my way to the cathedral. By this point I was getting pretty tired and definitely needed to fix a couple holes in my armor. My healing at least repaired most of what the enemy did to me.
Somehow I managed to walk into the cathedral and not have them cut me down instantly. Obviously Darien paid attention to my entrance and knew I wasn’t an enemy. I give him the information from his father, but Darien decides I have to do things for him first before he gives me the key. Really? He didn’t want the reinforcement within the city immediately. I had to wonder about this brash, young fighter.
There were quite a few civilians in the cathedral and he wanted to get them to an inn that he knew would be safe. It turned out Alinon could not work on a cure no matter what he had on hand for components without some of the things an inn could supply, including a fire worth using. So I get to be the one to find the inn keeper, get the key off his apparently dead body, and open the place up. Once in I had to light a candle in an upstairs window that could be seen from the cathedral. If I made it this far, I could make it over there.
Darien pointed it out on a map, but once outside it took a moment of getting my bearings. The inn keeper was last seen not far from the cathedral and I believed there was going to be a short wall I would have to scale as the shortest route for me to get there. The fun part would be seeing how many enemy I could avoid and how many wanted to rip me to shreds. It did start off with a Bloodthorn and a werewolf combo, but then I ran around the back side of the building to find a little spot to slide through into another area.
A quick glance about showed me this may be the area to find the inn keeper. Not far from me was the corpse of a male without a werewolf feasting on it. Might as well start the search there. It was my lucky day. I came up with a key that looked like the one I needed. A quick look at the poor man’s body proved he fit close enough to the description to be the missing inn keeper.
So I had some blood from the first werewolf, but Alinon did tell me he would need a sample from more than one. No wonder I never got into alchemy. It sounds quite messing and had unappealing components to gather in the most disgusting ways. I still worked to find the inn via the path of least resistance.
I found the wall I expected and found a spot with a bunch of crates piled against it. A little adjusting and I had myself a makeshift stairs up and over. I dropped down on the other side and at the time of this telling I am not sure how close I really got, but I don’t recall it taking long at all to get inside. I even had all of Alinon’s vials filled. Time to make sure I got the candle in the correct window upstairs.
Due to the inn being locked, there was not a soul in the place other than me. Everything looked fairly well kept even if people apparently left the place in a hurry. Upstairs was a bit of a clutter, but I found a sconce for my candle. After thanking the gods for my wonderful sense of direction, I set the candle in the sconce upon a table by a stain glassed window facing the right way. I lit her up and not long after people started filling the place up. It was time for a needed break and someone cooked up a somewhat savory meal with the stores of the inn.
* * *
Another talk to Darien led to another job to do before he would even think of giving me the key. Infuriating man! I had to go out and get weapons and armor from the caches around the city. Wonderful. I must have been picked as the expendable one, since I was the outsider. Of course, I did have the advantage of surviving quite nicely on my own so far. I couldn’t say as much about my armor. My clothier would have my head for all the work I would put her through to fix it.
Darien pointed out where to find the caches. I did my best to mark them correctly on a map I actually managed to scrounge up for myself before heading to the door. Alinon intercepted me and handed me several vials. I was to somehow use these on weakened werewolves. I told him I would do my best and then out into the mayhem of Camlorn I went yet again.
I figured out why I got to go. As Darien put it, my “thrilling” exploits got Faolchu’s attention. Wonderful! I would bring fire on his head soon enough. Outside did not look any different with werewolves and Bloodthorn cultists running about. Now to see how this would all pan out.
My first couple of attempts to get Alinon’s potion on the beasts did not work. It seemed I had learned a pretty efficient way to kill the standard, mostly feral rather than intelligent, werewolf in my exploits thus far. I actually had to work to let them live longer while making sure my clanfear kept them from trying to hit me more than him. After the first two, I got a rhythm to it that helped though if there were two werewolves together I only saved one. The other was put to rest with flesh still smoking from some impressive lightning bolts. At least the potion worked.
The easier part of this current venture out into the wilds of Camlorn was acquiring the weapons and armor from the caches. Well, it did feel a bit cumbersome by the time I got back to the inn. It’s a wonder I didn’t lose some of it dropping it to fight enemies in my path.
Back at the inn I find it a little fuller with the few people the potion saved and Darien happy to see me with my load of gear. It’s a good thing I’m a lot stronger than I look for a slim, Altmer sorceress. Only thing impressive about my physique is that I’m tall even in Altmer standards and most Nords fall an inch or two short, most even with their horned helms on.
So now we are set to actually open the gate. About time, but at least there are more equipped forces inside.
Darien’s force would get to the gate to open it. I got to run and light the fire signals that would let the generals waiting outside to know the gate would open soon. Actually, Darien sent me with someone who would light the fires while I made sure the werewolves did not stop us. Time to char a few more of them and their Bloodthorn cronies with some fun lightning and storm calling.
Faolchu figured out what we were up to. We would fight our way to the tower and the one lighting the fire, she would slip in just fine. Within seconds of that I werewolves ran to the tower to attack me. Thankfully the timing wasn’t bad and I did not meet any overwhelming odds. Even so all this fighting even with some rest and some food in me, was taking its toll. I hoped I had what I needed when it came time for us to face Faolchu. With all three towers lit and knowing Darien opened the gate, it was time to face Faolchu.
He had holed himself up in Camlorn Keep. The place looked like a wreck. This would not be easy. Again I got the honors for what I considered the hard part. I would go occupy his attention while the Lion Guard got in position so they could find a way to rain fire down into the keep. This could even ruin our chances if the fire landed on me instead. One thing that would help them was the fact the place was already wrecked enough they could dislodge things down further into the keep after lighting it up.
I stepped inside surprised to find nothing attacking me. A wall blocked my view of the main room beyond. Openings to both my right and left led in there. I could hear voices as I moved to peek around the wall from the right hand side. A ghostly vision of Angof stood before Faolchu, who was spouting off that Camlorn was his and Angof could go take a hike. Angof was telling him that an army was at his door. Well, sure, but technically at that moment it was just me and my clanfear. Hopefully the rest would not be too long behind.
Angof’s apparition disappeared, so I stepped out to face the brutish Faolchu. We stared each other down before he howled and charged at me. I immediately slammed a lightning bolt down on him making him all the more infuriated. He slapped good before I could dodge. The fight was getting a bit tight as I used various ways to hurt him with my storm calling and destruction staff. The first fire fell in after a warning creak of timbers. It didn’t fall on me, but I got singed dancing around it. My stupid clanfear did not let Faolchu get close enough to weaken him however. I love the minion, but sometimes he is so single minded about fighting anything that even thinks of hurting me, he misses the point of having to come to me at times and backing off.
The next fire went a lot better even if that one singed me good. Faolchu got really upset with that one and took quite a bit of damage from me before I had to start keeping him off me. He realized the clanfear was the least of his worries. I almost dodged into more fire and came up smoking. I had enough. I pulled out my last stop of being able to throw lightning from my hands and got right in Faolchu’s face as I steadily shot lightning into him. He swatted me across the room, but another squeal of protesting timber came and fire dumped on Faolchu’s head. I threw my last bit of power I had into him with the lightning until I was sure he would not rise again. He looked rightly charred. I wished he had become a pile of ash for an added ending of all endings. No body for a necromancer to pull back one way or another, no way for Faolchu to rise again.
I stepped outside coughing some from all the smoke caused in the fight and blinking at the light after being within the dark interior. I was congratulated and given some reward I barely noticed at the time. I wanted a bath and a long rest with good food and drink. I moved on from there to talk to Darien, who wanted to have drinks with me of all things. I told him he wasn’t my type. For one, he was definitely too short and the other, too brash. He thought that would be a pity, but he was going to go figure out how to take out Angof. It seemed I would wind up doing that myself. Maybe I would even run into Darien again. At least I would know I had a decent fighter on my side with some brains.
But that story will remain for another day.
About the Author
Althea "Briseadh" Damgaard
Althea joined Gaiscioch back in October of 2009 and has been here ever since with only a few month hiatus between Warhammer and Rift. As soon as she knew they were in Rift, she jumped ship to Faeblight and has followed them onward through every chapter since with a few side games thrown in for spice.
She has been an avid player of RPG style games since 1980 when she first played Dungeons and Dragons. Since then she has created her own tabletop gaming world used with various rule sets as D&D progressed. Once she could get online she played MUDs. Her MMO days started with Everquest and have moved through over a dozen games with some lasting only a month's time in her life and others going for years. She has tested several games from the perspective of a disabled gamer with hand issues due to her multiple sclerosis.
When not writing about or playing games, she can be found writing novels, reading and doing various art projects. She also writes items based on her faith and is working on publishing a novel. She also does editing for a gaming developer.
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