Vampire stories

As I come to terms with the revelation that my new allies at Castle Ravenwatch are vampires, I realise how little I know of them beyond camp fire stories and old wives tales.

I remember one such tale of how a vampire was created by a stray cat jumping over a corpse, and another of how a window left open in a room in which lay a recently deceased body allowed a mischievous black crow from the Reach to fly in and by its harsh caw, mislead the lost soul back to its former body.  Yet another told of how a vampire victim became so enthralled that even beyond death’s ethereal doors he was unable to resist the vampires pull and returned to his corpse to become vampire himself.

My only experience of vampires came when serving in the Imperial Legions back in Cyrodiil.  A fellow soldier travelling back to the Imperial City after a period of leave, stopped off to spend the night at a small village tavern.  As he sat down for evening meal with the landlord and a few local patrons a bedraggled old woman entered the tavern and sat with them at the end of the table, and just stared in silence at the landlord.  The landlord and the locals looked startled and horrified, and the soldier knew not what to make of the scene.

When the soldier rose the next morning he learned that the landlord had died in the night.  Upon enquiry as to the bedraggled woman he was told she was the landlord’s mother who had died and been buried two days prior.

Upon returning to barracks the soldier recounted his curious tale to his comrades and eventually it reached the attention of his superiors.  An officer was commissioned to investigate the facts of the story at the village.  The officer, a priest of Arkay, a member of the mages guild, and the soldier, came to the village and were met with a most gruesome scene.  The entire village was dead, their bodies left strewn all about. 

The Priest examining the corpses was shocked to find many of them of ruddy complexion, as if blood still flowed through their limbs and they showed little sign of the rigidity of death, as if each had been dead but less than an hour.

Suddenly the soldier, who had stood silently by throughout, attacked the priest, appearing to attempt to bite him.  At the same moment a corpse rose and attacked the officer.  Only the mage was able to escape.

Upon his return to the Imperial city the mage sought an immediate audience with the emperor, who upon hearing his horrific tale, ordered an entire unit of the legion, my unit, to return with the mage to destroy the village and all in it.

When we arrived however we found the village utterly deserted, not a single person, nor a single corpse could be found.  No birds flew in the sky, no beasts roamed the fields, and the flowers and grass all about had begun to wither and wilt; it was as if nature itself had forsaken the village.

We could do no more than raze it to the ground.


The Wonders of the Carina Nebula

“This broad image of the Carina Nebula, a region of massive star formation in the southern skies, was taken in infrared light using the HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Many previously hidden features, scattered across a spectacular celestial landscape of gas, dust and young stars, have emerged.”

Credit: ESO/ESO top 100

The Great Tarantula Nebula

This spidery nebula, known as the Tarantula Nebula, is seen in the top center of this cosmic image. If you look to the lower right of the Great Nebula, a web of filaments contain the famous supernova SN 1987A - with its remnants now illuminating these regions. Many other reddish nebulae are visible in the image, as well as a cluster of young stars on the left, known as NGC 2100.

Credit: ESO/R. Fosbury (ST-ECF)


Stars in a Pink Haze - A Stellar Nursery

Here, within the stellar nursery IC 2944, we see a group of thick clouds of dust known as the Thackeray globules (a more specific Bok Globule) silhouetted against the pale pink glowing gas of the nebula. These globules are under fierce bombardment from the ultraviolet radiation from nearby hot young stars within the surrounding emission-type nebula. They are both being eroded away and also fragmenting, rather like lumps of butter dropped onto a hot frying pan. Due to this process, it is likely that Thackeray’s globules will be destroyed before they can collapse and form new stars.

Credit: ESO

p.s. I’m trying a new thing. I’m going to do some inline links to extra sources, let me know how you like it!

M’aiq the Liar

M’aiq the Liar is a very odd character that first appeared in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. He has appeared in every game since–Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO. He is called M’aiq the Liar because in Morrowind, every line he said was a lie: except the one truth he told that related to the Boethiah’s Quest. The other things M’aiq says are references to the game itself.

Most of M’aiq’s dialogue addresses features of the game that were controversial and, in a playful tone, backs up the designers decisions in making the game. Other lines simply reference the game, like many of those in ESO.

“Wood Elves aren’t made of wood. Sea Elves aren’t made of water. M'aiq still wonders about High Elves.” (ESO)

“M'aiq does not remember his childhood, perhaps he never had one.“  (Skyrim, reference to the lack of Khajiit children in the game)

"M'aiq prefers to adventure alone. Others just get in the way. And they talk, talk, talk.” (Oblivion, reference to the lack of multiplayer)

“Dragons? Oh, they’re everywhere! You must fly very high to see most of them, though. The ones nearer the ground are very hard to see, being invisible.”  (Morrowind, on the lack of dragons)

“Dragons were never gone. They were just invisible, and very very quiet." (Skyrim, referencing the quote above from Morrowind)

"M'aiq’s father was also called M'aiq. As was M'aiq’s father’s father. At least, that’s what his father said." (Skyrim, M’aiq explaining his appearance in three games that span hundreds of years)

All other M’aiq quotes from each game can be found on their respective UESP pages: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO.

Elder Scrolls Mer
  • Altmer:We are the best because we are the original. We have preserved thousands of years of Elvan culture, knowledge, and civility. All other races shrink in comparison.
  • Dunmer:We are the most magically superior. Our ancestors are held in such high regard that we can summon them if needed. We have defeated and enslaved other races, and the great houses of Morrowind rule with an iron fist. Our Tribunal is fierce and terrible.
  • Orsimer:We are intimidating and strong. Our honor comes from the great Malacath from who the gods spurned. We are masters in battle and blood lust, never relenting until our dying breath.
  • Bosmer:*sweats nervously and hides "I love nature" sign.*