It has Been a Long Time

It has been awhile since I’ve posted anything here. Is there still a community of Skyrim players and storytellers?  Elder Scrolls Online is mediocre at best, its game play is nothing close to the greatness that was Skyrim, but Skyrim now looks dated by comparison.  I’d thought of trying an ESO story line on this site, but the game is too linear for creative storytelling and most of the missions are horribly repetitious. “Yawn,” listen to complaining NPC, follow arrow on map, kill something, return for reward. However, the world is stunningly beautiful if you have a machine that can run the game without burning up.

Anyhow, why I came here today was to let everyone know that my 3rd novel, Hounds of the Hunted will be available on Amazon and Smashwords by the weekend (June 20th, 2015). Fore more information about the book and to read the prologue, follow this link here —Jake Elliot Fiction . As the book becomes available, I will make updates on that site. Book 4 is written, but needs a lot of polish.

Here is the new cover for book three, featuring original artwork by Carter Reid…




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Kickstarter has Launched

The Kickstarter began yesterday for the re-release of The Wrong Way Down. After talking with editor/author Lincoln Crisler, I agreed with his suggestion of posting a sample of the story for everyone to see. I feel the prologue is the best place to start because it needs no introduction.

 TWWD cover x500

This is what most literary agents and submission editors read before deciding if they want more. Now you are that agent.

  Continue reading

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I’m Not Really Back, But I Could Be.

It has been a long time since I’ve posted here. I apologize to everyone who has enjoyed Strumbul’s story. After my good computer fried, I went with a laptop for business purposes. The laptop plays games, but not with good graphics.

Pictures were a large part of this story.

This is the sunset in Stros M’Kai.


Once I have money, I can buy a new gaming computer.

How will I get money, you ask? Well, like most writers do, I’ll deal drugs. (Just kidding. Drugs are bad.)

No, I’ll be starting a Kickstarter for my new book!! This one—

TWWD cover199x300

That is the little version of the cover. The big version will be on the book. I will link to the Kickstarter from here and from my other site when the funding goes live. I’d love to sign a book for you and have it sent before the holidays.

Here is the synopsis for the book:

“Katia is an accomplished thief. She accepted a job with a heavy price for failure; her life. Popalia is the acolyte priestess who has vowed to return her church’s stolen treasure. Ambitious and impetuous, she’ll go to any lengths and pay whatever cost. Wynkkur is a self-taught sorcerer who miscasts as much as he evokes. He’s been conscripted as a bodyguard and sent on a hopeless mission. This is not the path to their victories, but the story of their fall. This is The Wrong Way Down.”


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Elder Scrolls Online — Final Decisions

From deep dissatisfaction to modest appreciation, ESO still may not work for the purpose of this blog.


Meet Balreth, Lord of Strife

Meet Balreth, Lord of Strife

I’m still undecided. The game is truly beautiful, however, my bad luck last week was when my power-surge protector failed. It was old, over 7-years old and I did not know they are only good for 3-5 years. Last Tuesday, an unwanted spike of electricity fried the motherboard of my gaming comp. I don’t want to talk about it, I start spewing uncontrolled F-words by just thinking of it.


Purely, by the blessings of Jesus, I had enough money to buy a new computer. The new one isn’t as awesome as the dead one. I compromised awesome graphics to afford a new laptop.

FUUUUUCCK! <<< See, F-word. I’m still RAGING pissed about my foolery.


Lando Lang faces a big snake

Lando Lang faces a big snake

The other issue I project with ESO not working for this blog is that although cool by it’s own rights, the game lacks the free form arena like Skyrim. The story is very linear. There are side quests, but the open storytelling that Skyrim offers is still superior.


What is you’re opinion? Should I assume other gamers will reject the beautiful graphics of ESO and come back to Skyrim? or do you think the new game should become Strumbul’s adventure despite it’s shortcomings? The new computer will still play with modest graphics, but at the cost of grass and water reflections. The two top screenshots were taken from the old computer. The bottom pic is from the laptop.

Notice the cat's name. (by the red line up top.)

Notice the cat’s name. (under the red line up top.)

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Elder Scrolls Online—Day Two/Three Review

Lando Lang takes a day off, but not his armor.

Lando Lang takes a day off, but not his armor.

My dislike of this game has somehow converted into an addiction. Heroin addicts have it easier, I’ve quit sleeping, eating, talking to my wife—I stop playing now only to poop. (I’ve got a bottle by the computer to pee in.) Luckily, I don’t have a traditional job—otherwise I’d have contracted the measles—“Cough, cough, sorry boss, I’m sick.”


What changed my attitude? I think the answer is time. Speaking of time, I’m barely making time for this review and then, “Once more, unto the breach my friends.”

There is a significant learning curve from the ease of Skyrim. My hope and expectation was that ESO would have incorporated the smooth interface that Skyrim perfected. Key re-mapping is difficult, and I had wanted to reformat the keyboard to Skyrim template, but it won’t work. The keyboard is very busy and reforming the keys would prove disastrous.

Remember what I’d said about healing during combat? Using ‘Q’ you can pull up a radial menu and from the inventory screen you can assign potions and food. It is still very difficult to incorporate mid-fight and I’m still much better at dying.

Clearly, now that the game is MMO, there needs to be a method to communicate with other players in game. I have not bothered to learn the commands for talking with others. It isn’t a priority. However, gathering materials is important. The sooner materials are rounded up to create armor and a decent weapon, everything begins to change. Building your own gear is better than the post quest ‘reward armor.’ At least at this early of a stage in the game.

Do you know, the song, "De Camptown Ladies?'

ESO, in several ways is campy, especially when comparing it to the base grittiness of Skyrim. I personally believe that Skyrim was the perfect RPG. So I’ve decided to quit comparing ESO to Skyrim. This adventure became fun once I left the Breton city of Daggerfall, and went to Stos M’kai. A hint for future ESO players—enchanters sell rune stones, and mystics sell soul gems. All of a sudden, I saw the world through rose colored glasses.


This is the sunset in Stros M’Kai.

This is the sunset in Stros M’Kai.


One last warning to avoid getting pissed off, there is a mission near Daggerfall about ‘The Badman.’ It claims to be level five, but that is a lie. There is a giant snake that will kill you at level five. It’ll kill you at level eight. Then when ‘the Badman’ comes, don’t even think about fighting him. I got lucky and a 21st level sorcerer showed up and kicked Badman’s ass for me. Words of wisdom—“Avoid the Badman!!”

And, I’ll leave you with some good news. Once I have a better feel for the controls and operation of this game, you will begin to see alterations to this blog. Verucca Salt will not become the new character as I’d originally planned. Instead, I will give “The Day Helgen Fell” a proper closure, re-name this blog, and start the next chapter in Strumbul War-Proud’s adventure.


ESO Strumbul


(I was supposed to publish a short story today on Smashwords, but instead I’m playing ESO. However, on Smashwords is an awesome short story that I just re-released about Vikings and a sea monster. It kicks ass—I’m serious, that isn’t my ego—the story is awesome.)

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Elder Scrolls Online—Day One Review

I’m not in love with ESO, and at this point I think the game sucks. Everything is off kilter. Enemies seem mechanical and repeat limited scripts, bosses are silly-hard to beat with having a mismatched team, and nearly impossible to kill when playing solo. NPC merchants lack the personality of Skyrim, and orc women have been made ‘cute.’ Humorous, yes, but not true to expectation or tradition.

Screenshot 2014-04-09 15.07.26


So far, I haven’t found any hirelings. I’m under the impression there aren’t any, concluding that the game must be played with others. (The Elder Scrolls franchise has always appealed to solo gamers and it is sad that they’ve abandoned this facet to meet a popular trend. ESO=Metallica.)


Example #1– Do you need to heal yourself mid-combat?—forget it—you’re going to die.


Example #2– Want to recharge your weapon?—where?––I can steal souls with Lando Lang (as pictured below) but I haven’t found any soul gems yet.

Lando Lang, MR. T's little brother.

Lando Lang, MR. T’s little brother.


I am not new to Fantasy RPGs, and at this point in the game I feel like a total NOOB.  There is a tremendous amount of disorientation, even with the basic controls of game play. The default controls are in awkward places, so you’ll need to remap some things. The tutorage is awfully simple. You might find a book in a shop that’ll tell you the very basics of ___ craft. (Fill in the blank.)


If this experience continues to suck, Strumbul may be back soon. If I do try for an ESO tale, my character is going to be a High Elf Princess named Verucca Salt—like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Why?—because there is a shared bank for all characters upon each account. She’ll start rich by default. (See her pic below.)

The best of the game is the detail of character generation. (Body paint and tattoos.)

The best of the game is the detail of character generation. (Body paint and tattoos.)

I’ll have a new report again soon. Hopefully, this game will grow on me. But day one didn’t win me over to ESO. This game counters the greatness of what Skyrim has been.


(Post thoughts—as I wandered through the world of Tamriel on day two, I’m finding some enjoyment here. This game might grow on me after all, but this has been the most adverse reaction I’ve had from the Bethesda/Zenimax franchise, and I’ve been following since Morrowind was new.)


If I decide to write an ESO adventure, Verucca will begin in Coldharbor, the realm of Molag Bal.

If I decide to write an ESO adventure, Verucca will begin in Coldharbor, the realm of Molag Bal.



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This Blog is in Temporal Stasis

Isn’t that the big word? It means ‘time has stopped.’

I really don’t know what to do with Strumbul. He’s been so much fun to write about. He (and you) has taught me so much about raising my game as a writer that to leave him (and you) hanging isn’t right. I just don’t know how to end his journey. I’d sensed the end of his adventure coming last autumn, and I think we have finally reached it. I was going to have him join the Dawnguard, but that would not end Strumbul’s story.

Strumbul owns a home in Whiterun and has a couple thousand in gold stashed away, plus some gems. He is the Thane of Whiterun. It would make sense that he join the Whiterun guard in a lead position, like sergeant of a watch, and eventually be raised to Captain of the Guard. Perhaps he’d even find an Amulet of Mara and get married at some point.

The good news is, I will be participating in Elder Scrolls Online and have decided one character will be dedicated to a tale like Strumbul’s, although I’m thinking of trying something difficult—maybe an orc woman. That isn’t iron-clad, so don’t quote me yet. I’m hoping I learned from the mistakes I’ve made here, and will produce an even tighter story. When I start the new blog it will be linked from this one. I will announce it here.

Skyrim has been a fun platform and I would continue with it, only my readers are dropping off like mad, and I believe they will more rapidly disappear once the new game is released. The problem is this simple; I am a writer—I need readers—so I need to go where the readers are. Writing this story has been a very fun hobby, but it was always intended as a marketing opportunity. This vehicle has been left behind due to new gadgetry—the Elder Scrolls Online.

I will miss Strumbul, absolutely.

Until my next announcement, here is a picture of Sinding the Werewolf walking around Riverwood without a care in the world.


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