Feb 03, 2023 8:04 AM
Azem is delighted to live in Tamriel tbqh
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"She really should have known better. But yes, you see why I make a habit of checking up on anyone that leaves the College to see that they're not, you know." She waves a hand towards the dust.

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"That was a pretty long time ago, though, have you been archive trawling for everyone who's left the College over the past decades?"

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"Archive...? Darling, I'm forty-three. No, this is my work backlog, I knew her personally, if not very closely. This is just how behind I am."

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"what"

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"Mages live long lives! What did you think that looked like?"

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She's old enough to be his mother.

What the fuck.

"Definitely not 'hot readheads who can solo hordes of draugr', is what."

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She cackles. "Oh, fast recovery, well done! Let this be a lesson to you, though, I'm not even a particularly egregious example."

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"Yes, ma'am, duly noted."

As all proper dungeons and tombs, this one has TreasureTM, and as such he goes about finding it and collecting it into his bag.

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Ivethene seems less concerned about raiding the tomb for its treasure, and more concerned about going through the necromancer's things. This does admittedly begin with (respectfully) looting her body.

"Are you familiar with black soul gems?" she wonders softly, apparently finding something that turns her expression dark.

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"...I am not familiar with any kind of soul gems but the name spoken next to a necromancer's corpse does not fill me with joy and hope."

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"A wise assessment. Okay, magic lesson. Mystic energy comes from living beings with souls. It's not quite accurate to say that all magic is soul based, but most of it is. Mages use their souls while still inside them, worshipers unknowingly give some of the power of their souls to daedra when they worship them, and enchantments are powered from the souls of various animals that are captured in soul gems. ... I might have just ruined any enchanted items you were attached to, if you have any, but honestly it's important to know how they are powered regardless."

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"...so that's why Mother'd..."

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"I knew I liked her. Yes. Well, with normal soul gems, you can't trap a sapient soul inside. They're too opinionated and strong. Black soul gems, on the other hand.... are artificially created. Made from white soul gems that have been put through a ritual to make them able to contain a sapient soul. This one was probably meant to hold her husband's, though thank the Divines it's empty." She holds the innocent looking black crystal up, and it floats between her outstretched hands... then shatters. The pieces clatter to the ground, changing from black to a dead looking purple. "Should you come across those in the future, do try to get them to a mage. Preferably a moral one. They're outlawed by the College in Winterhold and the guild in Cyrodiil and anywhere else of any real standing, they'll know how to free any souls trapped inside and dispose of them properly."

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"So just breaking it with a hammer doesn't work, got it.

"...more seriously, uh, what the fuck?"

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"It sort of works well enough if there's nothing in it, in essence you're making it so small that it isn't big enough to hold a sapient at all, but without knowing standard soul gem sizes, you wouldn't know where to stop. And if there's a soul in it it will have rather a bad time, and you might not be able to tell. As to what the fuck, I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific," she says wryly, as she leans down to resume (respectfully!) looting the necromancer's body.

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"The thing where you can trap someone's soul in a crystal and use it to power magic. What happens to the person in there? Is it that much more powerful than - I guess using animal souls?"

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"When souls are used for enchantment, the decay they'd experience in Oblivion is accelerated, until they're converted entirely to something else. The experience of the soul itself being broken down for power? I've no idea, most who study this sort of thing go mad. But yes, generally speaking, they are more powerful, and people are more plentiful than any creatures of equivalent power. So."

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"- they don't even get to go somewhere????"

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"Not anywhere that we mortals know of." She's finished checking the body, and steps back to begin cremating it. With fire from her hands, of course. "I don't know if that's better or worse."

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"Worse!!!! You can't just, just steal Sovngarde from people!!!!"

Wow he did not expect to be this distressed at the idea but he sure is.

Mages.

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She looks up from her cremation and frowns, then cuts it off because he seems to be freaking out a bit, and furthermore, completely burning a body is actually very tiring, bodies are not very combustible.

“… I’m sorry. It's shitty, and it sucks. If it helps, this is sort of... magically niche? Soul gems are expensive, a ritual to turn them black is obviously not published anywhere reputable, many can be ruined experimenting to figure it out, and anyone that does dabble in it tends to actually go insane and get bad at... scale, foresight, and planning. So anyone that figures it out is often in not any kind of condition to," she waves a hand vaguely, "go outside of their sad little necromancer tomb to menace the general population."

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He covers his eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. "Yeah. Yeah. Sorry, I didn't think it - I'd never thought of that as a possibility. I guess I should have, I know draugr exist, but... anyway."

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"It's all right. I get it. You'll notice that I took the opportunity to lecture about enchanting and go, 'See this thing? It's bad! Make sure it gets destroyed properly!!'"

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"Yeah, you did at that. Happy to hear there do exist mages that are good people, if you listen to the average Nord you wouldn't know it."

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"Yeah," she sighs. "But we're just people. With, uh, admittedly very bad failure states, but that's mitigated by organized mage groups, not throwing them out entirely."

His emotions calmed, she goes back to incinerating the corpse. Eugh, she hates the smell so much, and this is so inefficient.

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