You take a deep breath and clear your mind. Every good story needs a dramatic pause after the title drop. You take the moment to assess the situation.
You already used your telekinesis a few times while the cloak was recharging, so you know blindness doesn’t inhibit your ability to…
Well, it’s not really the same as seeing. It’s more like… sensing the implication of something. Like how you can tell people have a skeleton inside them, even though you only see it through how they move. You doubt that you could have noticed this magical aspect of things while blind, but now that you know that it’s there, it’s easy enough to discern. It’s like listening for your name in a noisy room.
Magically-speaking, your own presence is loud and clear, linked with what you assume is the Cloak of Gray Tomorrow. The stone platform, the pillar, and a couple of the cage bars are vaguely readable, but without your eyesight as a guide, it’s trickier to get a sense of exactly where they are relative to you. Sigrid’s little daedra stands out much more than they do, and you can sense a strand of magicka connecting him to…
Out of force of habit, you toggle your darkvision, which you’re pretty sure just makes the illusory light even brighter. You hope eye-blood doesn’t show through your mask.
Luckily, you manage to coolly segue your pained flailing into a dramatic glance over your shoulder. At least, you’re choosing to believe it looked cool.
Aaaanyway, you tell Sigrid, let me tell you the story of the littlest dog.
Once upon a time in Hammerfell, there was a very small dog. He was a golden retriever named Pokey, coppery beige in color, with droopy ears, bouncy fur, and a thick leather collar. Through happenstance, we came to meet one day when I was little. Nobody knew who owned him, but we quickly became the best of friends.
Honestly, the littlest dog was my only friend growing up. I taught him how to fetch sticks, how to dig holes, and I would strap toy swords all over him so we could go on adventures. We were inseparable.
As time went on, though, the littlest dog started getting into trouble more and more often. Even though he was always ashamed when reprimanded, he just wasn’t good at being a good dog. One day, he just decided to leave Hammerfell. According to some people, he started responding to the name “Lulu” instead, and wandered off toward the heartland…
Huh, you’re already starting to struggle with the story a little. Maybe trying to base it off your own life wasn’t such a good idea. When you cut out all the sex and alcohol, your life story is pretty much “you were in Hammerfell and then now you are here”.
You could’ve planned this distraction out better.
You pause and explain to Sigrid that telling a story this long is a lot of work, especially after you’ve been running around town all night. Your throat is kind of parched.
There’s a barrel of water right here, Sigrid says. She asks if you have any objections to using an alchemical mortar as a cup.
Water is a little plain, you say. What you’re really in the mood for is some coffee. Like, not black coffee. Something with a lot of cream and sugar, if she has that upstairs. And could maybe go get it.
Sigrid says you’re kind of milking this request. Also, possibly trying to get rid of her.
No, you explain, you just need very specific things in order to tell this very important story adequately. But fine, if she’s not going to get you what you need, you’ll just stand here in silence and swallow saliva for two minutes until you’re not thirsty anymore. You tell her she brought this upon herself.
Try re-creating the properties you see on Tumblespider; perhaps if you can copy the one dictating that Tumblespider is a monster summoned into this world, you will summon your own.
If that kind of magic is possible, you suspect it’s way over your level. The “properties” you see on things aren’t concrete entities: they disappear and reappear from moment to moment, and they never look quite the same twice. Trying to build something like that out of rudimentary magicka-pushing would probably be like trying to build a living creature out of food. The best you’d get is one of those animal-shaped chicken nuggets they give to kids.
On top of that, you still haven’t been able to modify the properties of anything alive. It’s just like silver: even when you tried to levitate yourself, the most you could do was lift up your clothing. If you’re trying to directly alter the properties of something, you’d probably have better luck messing with one of the cage bars.
There were a few symbols that seemed like they might represent tangibility. Looking into them could be a start.
Essentially, if you freeze metal bars, then reheat it again, freeze it again and so on, the temperature fluctuations should make them shatter. then you can use your khajiit claws on the witch. She’s clearly expecting you to attack her with magic, not melee.
Or… destruction magic, on the other hand, might be a simpler solution. None of your earlier experiments with conjuring ice and lightning worked out, but if you could find the trigger for frost magic, it probably wouldn’t be hard to weaken and kick out a bar. Plus, depending how the bar breaks, you might be left with a viable weapon. Hopefully not in your leg.
Of course, Sigrid would have ample warning of what’s happening if she saw you heating and cooling a bar. Plus, destruction spells eat through your magicka reserve dangerously fast, and you have no idea how much you have left. Plus, fighting someone in hand-to-hand combat isn’t going to be easy when all you can see is the general direction they are standing.
Running away on foot isn’t an option, either – at least not until your sight comes back. It was hard enough making it down that twisty path when you could see.
And it’s time to build a shovel.
Focus on the magic around you, feel it’s flow. How it moves, what it does. You don’t need eyes. You can see what gives everything it’s properties. What makes everything what it is. Remember, you lifted a peg with an Amulet of Silence on. You aren’t wearing that anymore. You can do far more than lift objects and move them with your eyes. Not only can you alter the laws of the things around you. Your unicorns, which is to say your magic, can now leave your body with a rider. There is no bridge blocking its path.
Take that energy, guide it out of your body. Ride your magic outside of the cage and out of the cave you are in. Take it through the trap door and into the room you came from. Make a tunnel out of magic to out of here and somewhere safe.
Now, take each of the attributes that make you who you are. Your senses, your body, your mind. Steadily push them through the tunnel until they reach the other side. Do not lose yourself. Feel yourself sliding through the magical passage you created. Making your way to the other side should be as simple as climbing out of a bedroll.
Congratulations, Managan. You can teleport.
Wow, okay, that sounds like a solution you can work with.
You concentrate on your own energy, carefully guiding a strand of it out of the cage, through the ambient magicka, and toward the basement door.
Almost immediately, however, you run into a problem: once you get more than a few feet from your body, the ambient magicka fades into a black abyss. Sigrid still stands out like a sore thumb, and you could sense the tumblespider up until it stepped away from the cage, but without your sight it’s surprisingly hard to focus on inanimate objects you can’t reach.
You’re guessing it must be a factor of magical power. Sigrid and her enchantments are very strong, so you can pinpoint her all the way on the other side of the dais. The tumblespider is likely just an animal from another plane, so a short distance is all it needs to escape your detection. But things like the basement door are completely undetectable, as are the people up on the surface – even though some of the priests in town had considerable magic skills.
As you reach further, though, you start to notice something unnerving.
There are things you can detect even further away.