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December 1st, 2013, 00:56
Originally Posted by DarNoor View Post
Great shots. How do you get the fog effects in a couple of those shots?
In this case it is with an unreleased version of Somber using ENB weather hooks to handle fog lighting and atmosphere combined with a mod called "Supreme Fog" that thickens the fog and brings it in closer. Makes for great atmosphere!

Since I am posting I might as well include the conclusion to the tale I provided here :-)


From the Annuals of Grimulfr Fenrirson as told by WolfGrimDark

A Prelude to An Old Wolves Tale
An Old Wolfs Tale Part One

Note: A very gracious thank you to the talented Caelrya for granting me permission to use one of her images in my story.



Grimulfr stood and stared at the Old Wolf, his jaw slack with shock as the words Hircine had said worked their way through his brain. "… favorite grandson …" What in oblivion did that mean?

"Grandson?! What by the nine are you talking about?" Grimulfr sputtered, so overcome with shock he had completely forgotten he was addressing a Daedric Prince.

Hircine let out an amused sigh. "So your father never told you? How typical of him but I suppose I can't hold him at fault. He always was more wolf then anything else."

"Velulfr never said any …" Grim started to say before Hircine cut him off.

"Are you slow pup? I am not talking about the hunter who adopted you. I am talking about your actual father, my son, you know that heavy breathing spirit that thinks he is a wolf?"

Grim felt like he was missing one half of the conversation. He was neither slow nor stupid but he certainly felt like a halfwit at the moment.

"You. You mean … Fenrir? But I always assumed that was some mumbo-jumbo talk by our shamans; that they were just speaking metaphorically."

"Hardly. The lore of your quaint Black Wolf Company even states that a Champion of Fenrir has to be a direct blood descendant. You don't get much more real then blood."

"So let me get this right. Fenrir is my actual father by blood and he is your son. How, how is that even possible?"

"Well that, little pup, is a bit of a long story so make yourself comfortable."

Reaching out with his powerful mind, Hircine showed Grim memories of a time long since passed, during the Dawn Era, when the world was young and fresh. A time when the presence of the Aedra had not yet completely faded and before the terrible battle between Auri-El and Lorkhan that sundered the world. Grimulfr could see and feel the memories Hircine was sharing with him. Memories and emotions of Hircine coming to a small glade and spying the most beautiful maiden he had ever seen. She was reclining on the grass and, as he entered the clearing, she looked up coyly, raising an eyebrow as she saw the lean hard muscles of the hirsute and naked Daedric Prince in all of his magnificent glory.

Then, quick as a wink, she leapt like a startled deer to become a female wolf with fur as pure and white as fresh fallen snow. Raising her tail coquettishly she ran into the woods. Hircine felt his loins burn with desire and he immediately took after the bitch, transforming in mid jump into a sleek and well muscled night-black wolf. Letting out a howl he let her know the chase was on. For hours the two wolves chased either across the country side, running like the wind itself. Yet no matter how hard or fast the Old Wolf ran he could not catch this prey that so intoxicated him with lust and desire. Eventually the white wolf came to a halt near a small shrine and beneath the full moon transformed back into the young maiden he had first seen. Hircine paused, for the first time in his long life panting with exhaustion, while noting the nubile young maiden hadn't even broken out in a sweat. It was then he knew who he faced, the avatar of the Aedra Kynareth.

"You gave me a good chase Old Wolf and for that I think you deserve a reward." Kynareth said with a sparkle in her eyes as she sauntered over to the well built and masculine Lord of the Hunt. Running her hands through his chest hair she pulled him down into her embrace.

With a snort Hircine broke the contact. Grimulfr, feeling somewhat flushed and warm, shook his head to clear it.

"So there you have it pup. However don't let it go to your head. Kynareth was already closely bound to Nirn at the time and I was in mortal form. We stayed on your plane in wolf form until she had a single pup, the animal spirit your kind calls Fenrir. Because we were in mortal forms at the time Fenrir became a creature of Nirn and his spirit forever tied to your plane. Oh he has a few tricks and abilities but he is neither Aedra nor Daedra; he is something else entirely."

"From his mother he got his love for you foolish mortals and the natural world. From me he got his divine physical abilities, enhanced senses, and superb hunting skills. His spirit is strongly bonded with that of Lorkhan and I think that is where he gets some of his trickster instincts. Perhaps that is why it amused him to let you keep your own ideas on who he was. Or perhaps he simply did not want your ego to get out of control."

Grimulfr just nodded, still trying to digest everything he had experienced. It was far to much to take in all at once. But one thing did come smashing into his consciousness, a hope he had thought long since buried and pushed aside. Looking at Hircine (he could not bring himself to call such an entity grandfather) he reached out an imploring hand and asked, "So if you know my father then surely you must know who my mother is?"

At that question Hircine snorted and a sly look came to his expression. "I have some idea my inquisitive pup but it is bad form for our kind to give to much help, as it makes your kind weak and dependent, always expecting some supernatural aid to bail you out."

"So you won't tell me?"

Hircine seemed to hesitate for a moment but Grim suspected it was all an act and that much of this had been planned in advance.

"It is not my place to tell you, you should realize that. If you want answers on who your mother is I would suggest you ask Fenrir, although good luck getting the information out of him. My son is often too lost in the web of life and the world around him to be able to communicate in any manner that you mortals can easily understand."

Upon hearing this Grim nodded as he had experienced the same thing in his own contact with Fenrir.

"Do not look so down pup. Since you are my favorite I'll tell you what, I will make a deal with you. You prove your worth to me, show me you are worthy of being my grandson, and perhaps I will give you a scent, a lead, you can follow. Speaking of which, I suspect your reason for seeking me out hasn't been this fascinating conversation but something to do with that ring you hold in your hand?"

Grim started, brought back to reality, as it were, to recall why he was here in the first place. It also reminded him that much as Hircine was creating the illusion of being the doting old grandfather he was anything but. He was the ultimate hunter who enjoyed playing with his prey. He knew he best not forget that.

"Yes, of course. Will you remove the curse you placed on this ring?" Grim asked, some of his usual confidence returning with no small amount of anger that Hircine was somewhat responsible for this mess in the first place.

“I may consider it,” he finally said, “but first you must do something for me. A service for my glory, if you will. The one who has stolen my ring has fled to what he thinks is his sanctuary. Just as a bear climbs a tree during the hunt to escape, he has only trapped himself. Seek out this rogue shifter, tear the skin from his body and make it an offering to me.” Hircine commanded.

Grimulfr, his anger rising, met Hircine eye to eye in defiance. "The man has done me no wrong. He was not himself when he murdered that girl and he was desperate to cure himself of your 'gift' when he foolishly stole your ring from your shrine. How can you ask me to do such a thing?"

Hircine raised his head to his full height and glared down at the defiant young man, "Dare not to judge me, kin or not. It is not retribution I seek but the blood of the hunt. Sinding has become my prey by his own actions and I am not one to let my prey get away."

"But to flay the skin from his bones …" Grim muttered in disgust.

"No wonder our kind has never been able to understand you mortals," Hircine interrupted, "You stand there disgusted at the idea yet you have no problem killing and skinning all the beasts of the wilds for your food and clothing. You capture their souls to fuel your petty enchantments. Your arrogance and ego is a match for any Altmer; thinking you are better then these animals because you think you are more civilized and intelligent. Yet these animals think and they feel, and your kind shares more in common with the beasts of the wild then most of you care to admit. You hate and fear the vampires who feed on you like cattle and yet you do the same to lesser animals because you feel you are superior to them."

Grim paused, not sure what to say. Hircine had a point. Morals are often relative to the person or race involved. Yet in his heart he knew he could not rationalize such a thought and said as much, "I concede your point my Lord, but first and foremost I am loyal to my pack and my pack is more than just my brothers and sisters in the Company. My pack includes all of natures creatures and my enemies are those who would disrupt or hurt my pack."

"Is not Sinding then an enemy of your pack for killing that young girl?" Hircine asked.

"Perhaps yet he was acting under your curse. Why do you exact such a price for your gift?"

Hircine laughed at this. Looking Grim in the eye he explained, "You mortals bury your instincts and animal natures, distancing yourself from the natural world around you. My gift brings you back to your origins, to your bestial heritage. The bloodlust you feel is merely the intoxication that overcomes a mortal when he finally removes that yoke of civilization. Your little band of mercenaries have it correct; there is no difference between the gift given to the wild werebeasts and those idiot companions. The Companions think they have control so they are better able to manage the change. Your shamans know this which is why they have been able to 'save" some of the wild werebeasts from going rogue and losing their human mind."

Grim started to speak again but Hircine gave him such an intense look he quickly shut his mouth.

"Do this or not it is your choice. But while you delay my other hunters shall be tracking him. If you wish to earn my favor do this for me. Your choice." and with those final words Hircine faded into the mist leaving Grim standing there, his sense of self close to breaking at all that had been said. Still he knew what he had to do. He had to confront Sinding one last time and decide what was right to do.

However it was very late and he needed sleep and time to think about everything that had occurred. He returned to Falkreath and, before heading to the Inn, stopped off to see the old priest of Arkay for a blessing. Runil had been a master of conjuration and Grim had hopes he might have some tombs about the Daedra. After receiving Arkay's blessing, he asked the old man if he had any books relating to the Daedric. The priest eyed him strangely but finally nodded and handed him two books from his library.

Returning to the Inn, Grim retreated to his room to see if he could find anything useful in the books that might help in dealing with Sinding or Hircine. Not surprisingly the views of the authors differed from those of Old Wolf, claiming that the gift of Hircine created a bloodlust and violent tendencies. Grimulfr had had few interactions with wild or rogue werewolves so was unsure what conclusion to reach. The only useful thing he found was about Hircine himself. Seemed the Old Wolf was known for his sense of honor and fairness, always giving his prey a way out no matter how slim. Perhaps that information could be used to his advantage, Grim thought sleepily, as he finally headed to bed.

The next morning Grim changed into his hunting gear and sharpened his blades, checking them over carefully. He still did not know how the confrontation with Sinding would go, but at the very least Grim would be facing any number of mastr hunters and he was not sure whose side he would end up on. Best to be fully prepared for any eventuality.

Wasting no time Grimulfr set a fast pace. Hircine had mentioned during their conversation that Sinding was at some place called "Bloated Man's Grotto" and one of the guards had given him vague directions about some cave rumored to have that name. The leagues passed quickly as Grim raced through the countryside, finding some peace in the exertion of the run and the fresh air. For a short while a cute little vixen ran beside him, teasing Wolfgar by flashing her tail in his face.

Yet all to soon he found himself at the entrance to the grotto. It had not been hard to find as he had felt a gentle tug in his mind the closer he got. Fenrir most likely he suspected. It was clear Fenrir wanted something out of this. To teach him something? He did not know. Fenrir had always been very enigmatic and hard to decipher. Yet Grimulfr knew he would trust the spirit with his very life. They had a bond that transcended mere blood ties, it went soul deep.

Preparing himself, Grim snuck into the cave. As he entered something shifted and he almost gasped out in fear and loss as he felt his connection to the natural world cut off. It returned a few seconds later but it was distant and hard to reach. It was clear this grotto was not completely on the mortal plane of existence.

As he crept down further into the Grotto he could see a reddish haze coming from where the tunnel opened up along with the powerful stench of fresh blood. He was not surprised when he discovered the bodies of the dead hunters. Few mortals could take down a werewolf. It took careful preparation, the right weapons, and a great deal of skill. He examined the corpses and was not at all surprised to find that two of the hunters were members of the Silver Hand; most likely young and inexperienced. The smart ones would have let the werewolf exert himself on the weaker hunters. One Khajiit was still breathing to Grims amazement. He came aware as Grim tried to heal him, muttering something about a Bloodmoon and Hircine's glory before he died, to far gone for Grims meager healing abilities to help.

All his senses on alert Grim followed the trail of blood and wolf prints through the grotto, the blood red moon above once again confirming his feeling that this place was slightly out of sync with the rest of reality.

As he rounded the corner a voice called out to him and Grim knew it could only be Sinding. Looking up he saw him, in his wolf form, making an impressive display beneath the full moon hanging in the sky.

"You! Why you?" he cried out.

"Hircine sent me to kill you Sinding. He wants me to flay the skin from your bones as some sort of trophy. You stole his ring and that made you his prey."

"Flay my skin …", shuddering in fear, Sinding continued, "yet I deserve no less for what I did. Every night I am haunted by her screams, Over and over I relive the nightmare of what I did in my dreams. I see the people of the village hunting me, reproach and condemnation in their eyes. If only it hadn't been for that cursed ring, I could have run, I could have held out. But Hircines curse was too strong. A part of me was trapped in my own mind watching what my body did. Death would be a release from the torment I now face every night."

Grimulfr could sense the truth in the mans words, the torment and sorrow that came through in his voice. Grimulfr had been toying with an idea and he thought he might have a solution. Looking up he shouted out to Sinding, "There may be a way, a way you can atone for what you did and learn to control the beast inside of you in safety."

"I dare not hope. Death is all I deserve. Besides how could such a thing even be possible?"

"I am a member of a band of mercenaries blessed by the Nature Spirit Fenrir. We have trainers, shamans, who can help you learn how to control your transformations and funnel your bloodlust and rage against our enemies. You could help protect others and seek peace in duty to the people of Skyrim as a guardian of the natural world."

"I have never heard of this Fenrir that you speak of, or your band. Even if they do exist how could they help, how could they possibly know what it would be like?"

Grimulfr breathed deeply as he knew it would come to this. Laying aside his weapons and armor he triggered the transformation, turning into an alpha werewolf before Sindings eyes.

"Now do you understand Sinding? Will you trust me?"

There was a pause as Sinding went still. Then with a roar he jumped to land beside Grim. Slowly the beast that was Sinding nodded and said, "So be it. We shall hunt together and then I will join your company and see if they can help me."

With that the two werewolves begin to hunt down the remaining hunters. It was clear there would be no escape from this grotto until either they or the hunters had been defeated. Grim knew there would be no reasoning with the hunters, especially if they were part of the Silver Hand, a group of werewolf hunters that were no better than the so called monsters they hunted.

The two werewolves acted as a team, working there way through the maze of the Grotto as the night wore on. It was no easy task as the closer they got to the end the more skilled the hunters became. These were the clever ones, the masters that had come prepared for this fight. Yet they had not expected two werewolves, let alone one of Grims size and strength. Grim offered them a chance to surrender but they refused, they were lost in their own form of bloodlust. What a waste of life Grim thought. At the moment he was not very happy with "Grandfather" Hircine.

When they were done Grim told Sinding to stay inside the grotto, that it was probably best he discuss the issue with Hircine alone. Sinding agreed completely with the decision, obviously terrified of even the thought of meeting the Daedric Prince in person. Grimulfr reverted to human form, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts before getting back into his armor. It was time to face the music and tell Hircine he had refused to kill Sinding.

It was a weary and angry Grim that left the grotto to see Hircine, still in stag form, waiting for him. It was also raining. The insane thought that his grandmother was crying for him entered his head and he realized just how fragile his mind was at the moment. To much information, to many changes, to process in such a short time. Doing his best he faced the Old Wolf. He refused to bow this time and with a hard edge to his voice he said, "I did not kill Sinding," and added with a touch of sarcasm, "Grandfather."

"I know. The grotto is under my domain and I saw and heard it all."

"Then you know I have failed to prove my worth. But if proving my worth to you means destroying my own worth in my own eyes then it is not a price I am willing to pay to gain your blessing."

Hircine looked at Grim with such intensity that Grim found himself bracing for whatever might happen next. The last thing he expected, however, was the burst of wholehearted laughter that burst out into the night air. Confused he looked up at Hircine.

"Ah you mortals. You misunderstand us Daedra as much as we are amused and confused by your ideas of good and evil. You proved your worth and then some. You defeated some of the best hunters Skyrim has to offer with barely a scratch. These were no base prey, they were the best at what they did. If that isn't proving your worth then I don't know what is."

"And what about Sinding? By all accounts you are considered one of the few Daedra who has a sense of honor and fairness. We have escaped your hunt, will you let him go?"

For a moment Hircine seemed angry but then he nodded, "I am honor bound to let him go unharmed it seems. I shall remove the curse from the ring as well."

"Old Wolf, I understand you have to safe guard your artifact but what you did was cruel and unjust as it punished the innocent as well as the guilty. I … I do not know what to make of you. But I thank you for removing the curse and letting us go."

"Some advice grandson, do not try to understand the way of the Daedra as our ways are not yours. In my own way I care for you and because of that I will warn you; beware of my brothers and sisters as they all have a very strong interest in you. I fear your life will be in constant danger from their machinations. I will do what I can to protect you from them but my sphere of influence is limited."

Grimulfr was completely caught off guard by the genuine warmth he felt emanating from Hircine. He nodded, then he could wait no longer, "and what of my mother? You said you would offer me a lead, a hint?"

Hircine considered for a moment, then reaching a decision, said two words before fading away into the mist, "Nocturnal. Nightingale." Grim stood there, the rain soaking him to the skin, pondering the words. Nightingale meant nothing to him. As for Nocturnal, she was suppose to be the most enigmatic of the Daedra. He thought she had something to do with the thieves guild but could not recall why.

Ah well he thought, he could not stand here in the rain doing nothing. Turning to Wolfgar, who had been safely hiding behind some rocks, he said, "Well buddy I guess we can escort Sinding to the closet Company outpost and hopefully by then I will have some plan on what to do next."

Wolfgar grinned his happy grin and gave a quick sharp yip. Grim smiled at his buddy, at least he had one companion he knew he could always count on.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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