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One 14.1[21][26]

Jessi03, and three comrades of the 9of13, were moving through the ancient underways of the Grand Imperial Undercity, in the more civilized, less dangerous, Haven District.


It had its own semiofficial Sheriff, as semiofficially supported by the Imperiarna High Sheriff herself. It was semiofficially supported by the Empire in multiple ways. Imperial Guardsmen patrolled the area. Ancient Aldmer made light crystals lit and mildly warmed the great hallways, halls, other chambers and more unusual spaces such as shafts, water canal tunnels and spiral rampways. The population was much larger in the Haven District than most outsiders would begin to consider possible, let alone probable.


Tourists came from the 'Overcity' to gawk at ancient statues, the exteriors of sealed off temples and other such sights. They paid good coinage or trade good quality items for local goods and-or services.


The four tried to act like tourists but locals were not fooled, knew the smooth pacing motion of elite fighters when they saw it. The newcomers were generous with good quality gold coins and small good quality tradegoods such as tinderboxes, general purpose knives in sheaves and fishing hooks to use in some of the canal tunnels that flourished with life.


They were searching for the real, older, daughter of the Necrowizard Frankenstane. That is the one who had been faked by some poor, altered, victim of a woman. They had identified the victim and had notified the grieving family of her fate, with the assistance of the Sheriffs. The victim had turned out to be known to both of the Frankenstane Sisters.


In return the four had learned that Marsaline Frankenstane had spent much of her time in the Haven District of the Undercity carrying out all sorts of business, most of which she was most private about. She had spent a good deal of time with her younger sister, Rosaline Frankenstane. The activities, of Rosaline in the district, were even less generally known about then those of Marsaline.


They asked questions and gained answers only after bribing people. There was 'something' that told locals not to lie or the newcomers would know it and not be happy about being lied to. There was something in the eyes of the four that promised big trouble for any who tried being false with them.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 15.1[22][27]

The false Emperor examined Jorzi01 carefully even as she spoke of things not fully explained in the past. "We only know the basics of our home realm of Earthriel of the world of Torra. That is not the OldEarth of Terra or the NewEarth of Mars. We even know less of them. We were first cloned in Earthriel in the capital supercity of Centropolis. Much of Earthriel, of Centropolis, and other features of Earthriel were designed by the Genius13. The numbers were significant but we do not know why."

The fanciful golems were in the court; they were both being decorative and protective of the CloneEmperor, along with the rest of the court. Two graceful, elderly, courtiers had come to be in the court. They were the married couple Marisha and Davida Wisemarsh. They had retired to remain with their extended families, in the Grand Imperial City, but had returned to part time service at the court for reasons unknown to most. It was noted by a few that they seemed to keep closer to the Venturers13, in the chamber, than to the CloneEmperor himself.


Jorzi01 gave Marisha a quick, mildly, puzzled look for she 'sensed' no threat in the tall, graceful, rather motherly woman. Then she went on speaking in Imperial Cyrodilic of the Imperials. "The Genius13 attempted betrayal on a grand scale, to take over the whole of Torra with the armies, and other forces, they had created in secret. They failed for the Mahargia13 had suspected them all along, as did others such as government elite security intelligence agencies. There was a brief, destructive, war that did much damage to about a third of Earthriel; much less death and damage was caused than could have been if the treacherous plans had gone undiscovered. The Genius13 vanished, leaving most of their loyal followers and enslaved puppets, behind in yet another treacherous act."


Jorzi01: "Then three of the Genius13 returned, stating they had been forced to 'vanish' and they had escaped to return to face justice. One was actually loyal to Earthriel, in her own distorted way. Another was loyal to the abandoned loyal followers but he was also remorseful over other crimes. The other was a female who was more frightened of the leadership of the Genius13 than she was of facing justice; in that she was most sensible. The three had been suspected by the others, of the Genius13, but were still able to give valuable data before they were internally exiled into transdimensional spaces. Since then they have been working off their sentences assisting the peoples of Earthriel and the rest of Torra."


Jorzi01: "The Genius13 created gameworlds, worlds based on what we would call super reality game programs, but also other such realms. They did so utilizing vastly ancient alien artifacts of the people known as the AraAncients, as we did to create Earthriel, Torra and Galactus. They are based on Tamriel, Nirn and Mundus. I am not saying that your realm is just a gameworld, far from it, for that would seem to be a simplistic explanation at best."


The CloneEmperor nodded. "Then you are seeking the Genius13, or what remains of them, here in Tamriel. How much of a threat are they?"


Jorzi01 scowled. "Sire, they are a threat to everything and we suspect they have always had mysterious allies of great darkness and power. Perhaps that is the Great Enemy that the ETEs were waging war against. The Great Enemy, of what we know of it, is linked to what we call the 'living-dead' of necrotechologies or, as you might call it, necromage artificing. We suspect that the Necrowizard Frankenstane is of the Genius13 though which one, for none formerly used that name, we do not know."


Emperor Uriel Septum VII sighed. "You will need to give me, and my people, an expanded version of much that you have spoken of plus explanations for a few of the terms."


Jorzi01 nodded. "Sire, we will do as much as we can considering the constraints that we are under. We will give no false promises."


The Emperor smiled warmly. "Thank you!"

Edited by Maharg67
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Zero [6][28]


The CloneEmperor was concerned about the knowledge that the Venturers13 had brought with them. There was not just the potential for technological, scientific, breakthroughs but even such as magical ones. Yet his greatest fear was the challenges that might appear to be in their information, to the culture and spiritualism of Tamriel, even if they were not really there. Thus he formed an agreement, with the thirteen newcomers, whom he had come to love; the agreement had them being extremely carefully of what they said to who and even what they recorded down.


Yet there were those that considered that the Emperor (who they did not know was a clone) did not go far enough and decided to take matters into their own hands; they should have known better. The CloneEmperor was no fool but he was also backed up by others of much experience, insight and watchfulness including the real Emperor. Yet it was the Venturers13 who were the biggest surprise to the conspirators.


When fifteen Dark Brotherhood Assassins tried to kill Jorzi01, and some of her comrades, the Venturers13 turned into amazingly fast, agile and otherwise deadly death machines. Though they outnumbered their targets, the assassins quickly fell even as Bladeguards killed the last five of them. From then on the newcomers would train with the Bladeguards and, though much of value was exchanged, the Venturers13 would do much to increase the fighting abilities of the Blades. Soon they were helping to do the same for other fighters of the Empire.


Jorzi01 became three of herself, becoming Jorzi01, Jorzi02 and Jorzi03. Such trickeries could only be done in a limited fashion for they took much focus and energies.


The Hubmind began to communicate with the Venturers13; it should have done so earlier but it seemed some unknown force had been attempting to block it; yet that attempt had backfired in more than one way.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 16.1[23][29]

Some force, linked to the living-dead, had successfully driven the MythicDawn from the Grand Imperial City or so it seemed. The attempts to find the Frankenfane Sisters, in the Haven District of the Grand Imperial Undercity, had quickly come to a dead end. For the first time all of the Venturers13 gathered together in one place and that was before the CloneEmperor himself in his grand throneroom.

Except now the Venturers13 numbered 15.

The CloneEmperor smiled at the 15 young adults, who were being guided now by the two elderly courtiers who had come to love their charges. "You have done well in assisting the Empire and the peoples of Tamriel but perhaps you could remain in the Imperial Palace from now on; you will be of strong use to us here."

Jorzi01 spoke out. "Sire, we agree to remaining within Imperiarna, including the Undercity, but please know that others of our kind have arrived in other parts of Tamriel and are already busy hunting the Genius13. We do not know anything of them so we can tell you nothing even if we wanted to. Through the Hubmind we have sent your concerns about possible negative impacts that could be made, on the Empire, by our people. Information has been exchanged of great value."


Jorzi01: "Across large areas of Tamriel the undead are restless, as are the unliven and the dead who have not passed on through the Great Veil. The priests, priestesses, of the Divine Orders have picked this up as have many others including the illegal Necromancers Guild. Ghost-hunters are much busier, in such areas, trying to deal with the hostile dead. The biggest focus of such happenings appears to be in the infamous Shades of the Grand Imperial City with its sealed up temples, strange unexplained ruins, magically caused mutants, political exiles, strange cults, mimes, yuppies and fringefolk along with much else of supposed infamy."


The false Emperor sighed. "Dark stories are spread by the Empire itself, to keep most people out of the Shades, but in truth most Shadefolk are typical people trying to survive. They have done quite well and even trade valuable resources with the Empire through the Imperial Grand Guild. Despite that the Empire does assist the peoples of the Shades, along with those of the rest of the Grand Imperial Undercity. Most of the Empire's people have no idea that the population of the Imperiarna Undercity is more than triple of that of the Overcity. Nor do they know of the exotic nature of many of those people, in many cases I use the term loosely, and it is best they do not do so for many reasons. I will support your operations in the Undercity, in the Shades, but you must be most careful for your own sake."


Jorzi01 smiled. "Sire, we love you also, dad!"


Courtiers looked shocked, except for a few including the elderly couple. The CloneEmperor, who had come to know that the Venturers13 were cloned from his genetic material, smiled. "Thank you, daughter!"

Edited by Maharg67
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I have removed the term 'steammagic' from the one place it has been placed in the story and have replaced it with 'magic-mechanical'. This is because I now plan to introduce steammagic into the story as it unfolds in future.

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One 17.1[24][30]

The attacks rose, seemingly, from within the Imperial Castle itself. Necromages began the onslaughts, along with non magical necroguards, shambling living-dead necrozombs, striding massive necrolems, smarter armor-arms using necromans and various twisted necrolife of former dogs, cats and other animals. Servants, servitors, Imperial Palace Guards and others were massacred at first as they were taken by surprise but then the many forces of the palace struck back as always ready to do.

The Venturers13, despite there being 15 of them, struck in two teams of four while the other five guarded the throneroom of the CloneEmperor. There were Bladeguards there, all of them battlemages of at least basic power and skill, along with Imperial Palace Guards, Mages Guild mages and battlemages along with others. The chamber was heavily armored and magically warded. It was not expected that the enemy could even get that far.

Then hidden entrances opened up as two wall sections, one each on separate walls, collapsed and through it poured the enemy. They were led by a powerful, malignant, necrowizard who were elite above mere necromages. She looked as if she were already part living-dead and the living necromages, and necroguards, seemed nervous of her.

The woman pointed a bloodwooden magestaff at the CloneEmperor. Then she screamed out in Common Cyrodilic. "Kill him, kill the fraudulent enemy of true purity of existence, of the Great One of true eternal bliss."

The blast of magical energies, from the Dragonthrone, made her explode into flames along with many around her. The necrolife creatures burned away once killed, as if by sped up spontaneous combustion, just as the undead tended to do.

The great ornamental golems each exposed a heavy lasergun and unleashed pencil thin beams of destruction that swept across the invaders, coming from both sides of the big chamber. Arrows, bolts, magical projectiles, struck down other enemies.

The attackers perished so quickly that they failed to even get close enough for close order fighting to begin. That was so in the throneroom as elsewhere, in the palace, weapons clashed against other weapons, magical energies sparkled and the non weapon using necrolifen tried to smash, grab, claw or bite their enemies. Defenders fell along with attackers but more attackers did so, despite surprise having been on their side.

When the battle was done 38 local people had been killed while over 100 had been wounded. Thankfully none were infected-infested. 108 enemies had been killed, 29 of them having been alive and the rest of the living-dead. The palace was largely in shock and there was deep puzzlement at how such a terrible surprise attack had been achieved.

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Please use the poll; doing so is anonymous, easy and quick; it assists me to keep my story as well written as possible.

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One 18.1[25][31]


With the crisis, inside the Grand Imperial Palace, the Venturers13 had to focus on working within its confines. Janni02 became Janni01, Janni02 and Janni03. Now the Venturers13 actually numbered 17 individuals or so it appeared. In truth the Venturers13 were a network-clone, were semiautonomous individuals to the 'one that was many'. The CloneEmperor was not surprised, or shocked, when Jorzi01 told him the truth for magical cloning had often resulted in such clones; magical cloning was a set of skills too often troublesome and even dangerous to use. Thus it was illegal to all but those who were with the Mages Guild or Arcane University but even then the individuals had to have approval from the Emperor.


A small, heavily empowered, group entered one of the partly hollow walls of the throneroom. The wall was not part of the original Outer WhiteGold Tower but had been added much later by an unknown faction. Clearly the tunnels had been put in place from the start. There was a light layer of dust over everything and as the group moved it passed odd little alcoves in one wall that held each a small, deformed and disturbing looking statue on a pedestal covered with bizarre symbols of some long forgotten language.


Sandrind, an ImperialSage, shook his head and muttered quietly to himself before explaining. His specialty was the history of the Grand Imperial Palace, also known as the Imperial Palace. "I can not understand it but it appears to be a distorted version of ancient Grand Aldmeric. The statues, the pedestals, were most likely copied from some kind of records."


Janni01 shook her head. "No, these were moved from somewhere else. The language is hard to read but they are an attempt to lay a curse of living-death upon any Emperor, or Empress, on the Dragonthrone. The attempt was made, and failed, at least two centuries ago. The curious burn marks show where symbols have burned away. Despite that these objectionable objects should be moved as quickly as possible for they still radiate necromagic."


Sandrind, an elderly Imperial of the age of 325 years, was elegantly robed and overly full of pride and hubris. He did not look happy that Janni01 clearly knew more of what was going on than he did. "You clearly do not think clearly of such matters. I have done many studies in the much respected archives of the Imperial Palace Library."


Janni01 shrugged. "I know what I know! The evidence is right there, in front of you, as marks on the floor and on the objects. Important question is where did the statue-pedestals come from? The distorted language is Necromeric of the mostly unknown Necromer. They were an Aldmer subgroup who were understandably rejected by the main Aldmer; the Grand Aldmer drove them into exile in the Nullvoid or so our knowledge states but only after a short but terrible battle. The Necromer dabbled in both necromancy and in necromagery, along with other forms of knowledge that were not always magical based."

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One 18.2[26][32]

Something flickered ahead of them and a strange stench came drifting to the group. At once all prepared to fight except for the two non fighters amongst them. The fast moving, repulsive, 'rot stinking killers' came racing towards the group. The five of them met a whole lot of magical projectiles, such as fireballs, and magical arrows. The creatures moved very fast but died, with strange screams and their shapeforms burning away into nothingness with amazing speed.

The ImperialSage shuddered and wiped away sweat off his smooth skinned face with a silk like handkerchief. "I am not sure why the Emperor insisted I come on this expedition. I have of much greater value, to the Empire, quietly doing research in the Grand Imperial Palace Library."

Baurus snorted softly. "Such is for the Emperor to decide; you need to be more grateful that he has chosen you for the important mission."

Sandrind scowled. "What would a mere soldier know about such things?"

Janni01 knelt at the place where one of the rot stinking killers had perished. On the floor there was a partly burned, horrible small doll figure. She carefully scooped it into a small transparent cube and then examined it through one side of that cube.

She spoke. "This is some kind of transdimensional anchor that keeps such living-dead, or unliven, spirits in any the living dimensional realms. This is the result of very dangerous and skillful dark knowledge. We best keep going."

Three Mages Guild wizards placed special wards on the walls, as they moved, as did two divine priestesses. They were multiple purpose in nature but largely to suppress any lingering living-death magic remaining in that tunnel.

Bladeguards, Imperial Palace Guards, three of the Venturers13, wizards, battlemages, priestesses, the ImperialSage and one other kept moving along that tunnel. Oddly enough the others only semiconsciously took in his being there. He was a smiling, short, fat man in jolly a colorful Cyrodilin traveler type outfit. As the group moved onward, behind them the statue-pedestals were burning away, were disintegrating quickly and dramatically, to leave nothing behind.

Edited by Maharg67
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Zero [7]33]


The Grand Imperial Palace was very ancient, had been so long before it became the Grand Imperial Palace. Centuries ago it was but one of three Imperial Palaces, two being in other Imperial Cities of Cyrodiil. The other palace complexes still existed but were long sealed up. A massive review, recharting, of the Grand Imperial Palace was made and many secrets were exposed, there were many surprises but there were also many discoveries that only led to more questions.


It was well known that the palace was riddled with secret tunnels, chambers, and other features but it turned out to be a true labyrinth over 100 times bigger than anybody had seriously considered it to be. Security, for the palace, had to be urgently reviewed. Much of the Grand Imperial Labyrinth, as it came to be known, was kept secret but a few areas were made more public.


As lost magically preserved troves were gathered, being filled with valuable items of many kinds, it was realized that the Empire was suddenly far richer than it had been. The CloneEmperor was just as amazed as others, at the size of the finds, as it was heaped up in front of him in the throneroom in the Outer WhiteGold Tower. There were neat stacks of books, great chests filled with treasure, great powerful magical weapons, more decorative golems, coin-chests full of old dynasty imperial coinage that was still legally recognized, elemental chargejems, Dwemer devices, small Ayleid statues, finest exotic furs, rolls of silk cloth, jars of rare herbs, magical crystal globes, extra large ornate carved royal chess sets, a magical puppet theatre and much much much else.


But not all finds were so good!


There was dark arcane stuff, known as narcane magic; these were such as torture devices, magical prison paintings, books, scrolls, blood-wands, killer golems, mind-stealers, seducer serums, death spells and warp-weapons. These were in minority and while some would be studied, much would be carefully destroyed.


There was dark necromancer stuff such as soulstones, seer-skulls, soul-cages, lich tables, books, scrolls, magestaffs and much else. It was far less common than items of arcane, elemental and divine magic but was in large enough quantities to concern the CloneEmperor. The necromantic stuff would be treated the same as the narcane items were.


A few finds were puzzling, ridiculous seeming, pointless appearing but everything was studied with great care in case any of them were designed to conceal secrets.


Most of the Grand Imperial Labyrinth was yet to even begin to be explored when the first of the truly starting discoveries was made; it was a discovery that was linked to current events, to the living-dead and the killing of MythicDawners.

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