In-game books in forthcoming “Terminator-inspired” mod for Fallout 3

I was disappointed not to see in-game fiction in Fallout 3 of the type we’ve enjoyed in the Elder Scrolls games, so I wrote a short story to be divided over four parts, which will take the form of Holotapes (to be displayed via the Pip-Boy) in a to-be-determined mod inspired by Terminator (in the same way that one of Fallout 3’s quests is inspired by Bladerunner). The books will just be lying around for the player to find, and won’t serve any particular function in the story. I’ll release them later as a standalone mod.

He vomited twice and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. It wouldn’t do to get sick down here, where no help was coming.
Alice turned to him. “Are you OK?” she said.
He nodded, still nauseous.
She looked concerned but said nothing. In the dim light of the cave, the only way was down. “Come on, we need to keep moving,” she said.
She was really frightened, but couldn’t show it: not now.
John moved with surprising agility for his large, muscular frame, leaping from rock to rock. He had more experience with this sort of thing, and Alice followed tentatively, feeling her way down with clammy palms against cool rock.

After half an hour or so, they rested. They were so far below ground by now that surely it was safe to stop. John prepared a fire while Alice unpacked their lunch. Beef sandwiches, an orange each, and a bottle of fresh water. She wondered if it was madness to drink the water now, but it wouldn’t keep for long; the Nuka Cola would last, so best to save that for later. They ate their lunch in silence, savoring the freshness. Knowing it would be their last.

They were lucky to get out when they did. Alice had felt the dread in the pit of her stomach all morning when the four minute warning came, so they were already out in the Appalachian Mountains. She had told him that they were there for a camping trip, but he’d guessed it was more when he’d seen the tins of pork ‘n’ beans, medical supplies and other sundries packed in their bulging backpacks. Knuckles white with tension, she’d insisted they start climbing down and down in uncharted caverns. Was it premonition or a bad dream? He knew it was too important to ask. They’d been friends for long enough for him to trust her, and she’d never been wrong – at least, not like this. They were still within reach of the radio signal when the bombs dropped. They felt the earth shake, and then nothing. Wordlessly, they had continued their descent, numb with horror and endless grief.

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Books, Journals and Clippings in Silorn Manor

Here are some of the in-game writings from the Silorn Manor mod for Oblivion. First of all is the lengthy history of the town, which appears in ELSYNIA’S GUIDE TO SILORN. Secondly are the three journals: Antonius Lucius (the outsider who discovers the village and leads the player there); Berwen Silverleaf (a teenage villager); and Tandilwe (a servant in the manor). Finally, I have included a newspaper clipping that may be found in the house, which offers some insight into how the inhabitants of nearby Skingrad view their reclusive neighbours.


Auriel’s blessings be upon the village of Silorn and all who dwell there.


In the year 1E 243, Count Elanil Silverleaf fled the White Gold Tower with his new bride, Issmi, to Silorn. Issmi was a gold-skinned beauty from foreign shores, and with the political upheaval and uncertainty of the Slave Queen’s rebellion, Elanil was anxious to forge a quiet and settled life for himself and his household.

The caravan of the noble and his wife plus their wider relations and servants journeyed under cover of night to cross over the border to join their fellow refugees in Valenwood’s Camoran Dynasty.

Though structurally sound, the ancient catacombs of Silorn were hardly a welcoming home for the exhausted party, who had stopped there to rest on their journey. Terrified of offending the resident spirits in the tombs below, the band retreated and made a makeshift camp above the ruin that gave little protection from the elements.

All this time, news of the horrific events unfolding in the city-state was filtering through to the party. Elanil was reluctant to leave his homeland, and unsure of the warmth of welcome he would receive in Valenwood, especially as husband to an outlander with a mixed-blood baby due any day. Issmi’s condition was incompatible with travel, and the unsanitary conditions of the camp were weakening the Countess.

Fearing for his wife and child, Elanil consulted his crystal ball. He retreated from the rest of his party and stared at his gazing-ball day and night for three days without pausing to eat or sleep. When at last he returned to the group, his mind was set in resolve. He announced that he had seen the future for his clan, and then curled up in his place by the campfire and fell asleep for two days.

Upon waking, Elanil and the stronger members of the household began to dig down in the places he had foreseen. Sure enough, their shovels soon hit areas of hard stone and eventually exposed a hidden entrance to a separate section of Silorn that had hitherto lay undiscovered. The group labored for many hours until they could safely lower Issmi and the rest of the household into the concealed ruins. Once inside, Elanil and his party sealed themselves in the way they came so that they would not be seen by the approaching Alessian army. Before stopping to eat or rest, they made for themselves another exit that would lead out under the waterfall, where they may never be found.

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Vivec Hlaalu Condo

Another short-but-sweet unplanned mod, inspired by both Ravensong’s Redoran Condo and the kitchen stove from Sniper Daria’s Japanese House.

Berth: 4
Location: Curio Cottage, (next to) Curio Manor, Hlaalu Plaza, Vivec
Unique Features: En-suite baths, ashpit stove, fast travel to other cantons
Activities: None
Type: Apartment
Cost: None
Size: 8 KB WinZip


Adds an apartment called ‘Curio Cottage’ to Vivec’s Hlaalu Plaza.
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Buyable Hlaalo Manor

Requires Morrowind only. Adds 3 bedrooms (sleeping a total of 8 ) to Hlaalo Manor, converting the then-bedroom to a study, and adding a bathroom and kitchen area to the main hall, and decoration to the balcony. Adds a podium and lecturn for minstrels.


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Balmora Baths and Halls

Adds Roman-style baths, a public hall and communal firepit to the Hlaalu Council Manor in Balmora. Requires Morrowind only.

ScreenShot 40

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Retrospective: 15 Years of The Elder Scrolls

Fifteen years ago, something extraordinary happened. A small bunch of geeks in Bethesda, Maryland, published the first in a series of games that would lead them from being a modest sport and port game developer to one of America’s largest independents. Their history is as dramatic as any of the games.

First off, The Elder Scrolls: Arena wasn’t actually supposed to be an RPG. Bethesda were chiefly known for Gridiron! – a football game – and its pioneering real time physics engine, which led to a commission by EA for development of the first John Madden game. The relationship was not without problems, and Bethesda sued Electronic Arts for $7.3 million claiming that they’d stalled the cross-console release of Gridiron! after grabbing the best bits for their own Madden NFL.

With their roots so firmly established in sports titles, designer Ted Peterson says he was “laughed at” when he described the first Elder Scrolls game to other RPG developers. Arena was to be a simple gladiator game in which the player would travel throughout the world, fighting matches and rising in rank. Then the idea of adding side quests came in, and then areas were added outside of the arenas, until the initial plan was abandoned altogether and a full role-playing game was devised. The team then retconned the game’s name with the suggestion that the Empire of Tamriel had been dubbed “the Arena” due to its violence.

Ted Peterson, Vijay Lakshman and Julian LeFay were the brains behind the Elder Scrolls, under the guidance of Bethesda’s leader, Chris Weaver. The historic release was, however, beset with disaster, and the crucial Christmas 1993 release deadline was missed. Publishers felt that the packaging was misleading, and only 3,000 copies of the game were shipped on release. “We were sure we had screwed the company and we’d go out of business” noted Peterson.

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Hlaalu Council Quarters

Adds a living area to the Hlaalu Council Headquarters in Balmora. Storage, cooking area, table/chairs and double bed. And a bucket. Don’t ask about the bucket unless you also want to ask why there’s no bathroom. Requires Morrowind only. NOM water barrel.

A very quick and simple, unfussy mod.

DOWNLOAD from ElricM

DOWNLOAD from Planet Elder Scrolls