The Ayleid Steps

This mod adds many circular/cilindrical stones to the landscape and to many indoor cells, but chances are you can play a long time before en...


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This mod adds many circular/cilindrical stones to the landscape and to many indoor cells, but chances are you can play a long time before encountering some. Many are well hidden, or partly buried or overgrown. To start the intro quest you have to try to activate one Stepstone, and read a book on the topic. All mages guilds (except Bruma) and the Mystic Archives have a copy. However, you can't continue before you start the Mages Guild quest in Vahtacen, where you have to do some guesswork with a pillar. During the quest you have to visit a rather hairy location, so OOO-players can hardly do this before level 12-18. There are no Quest markers in your compass - you have to examine, read and think a bit, and search a lot. When you can actually use the Steps, the quest is not over before you find a certain location mentioned in the clues. But after that, you can imagine your own neverending quest: try to map the Network, search for those VERY hard to find lost ruins, and of course hunt for Welkynd stones. (Please refer to the paragraphs at the bottom of this file for more info on the quests.) The mod should be lore- and immersiveness-friendly. There's no new spoken dialogue, no uber-items, no fancy textures. Just many stones, 4 books, a letter and a few new interior locations.

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THE AYLEID STEPS you know what those Welkynd stones are for!

Quest & fun mod v 1.4

As long as anyone can remember, hundreds of ancient Ayleid stones sit in Cyrodill's wilderness and in Ayleid structures such as ruins and wells. What almost nobody knows however, is what these so-called Steps are supposed to do. Doing the intro Quest, you find out that this network of stones is in fact a teleporting system. Each time you want to teleport, you have to energize the Step with a Welkynd stone.
You can teleport directly into Ayleid ruins, to Ayleid wells, and to lots of locations that the Ayleids once considered important. But you have to prepare yourself: many Steps are defective and will refuse to work, or beam you to random locations. You can land in someone's basement, in government buildings, in caves in the middle of a bunch of goblins, and in very remote and unusual places. Or you can discover sunken ruins, hitherto unknown to man, where lots of treasure and enemies await you. There's a new home to be found, too - it's not pretty, but it has a bedroll, a private Stepstone (no doors) and many safe containers (and a waste bin).

The mod is BUILT with only Vanilla Oblivion and aforementioned official patch. It is PLAYTESTED with UOP, OOO, MMM, the UL mods and many smaller mods activated, and so far no conflicts were found. However, in general, chances are that this mod will conflict with other plugins that:
- alter the vanilla landscape (Unique Landscapes, house and village mods, City redressing mods)
- alter vanilla interiors, change architectural layout, move furniture, etc.
- alter availability and/or prices of Welkyndstones. (To be sure, load after those mods).
If you teleport somewhere and become stuck in a wall or a rock, you know there's a mod conflict. If you don't see a Stepstone where there should be one, maybe another mod has buried it. As a consequence you can't use it. This doesn't have to be a problem; there are so many stones in the game that you can easily do without some.
Although I tried to avoid putting stones in cells that are modified by UL mods (because I love them), I cannot guarantee there are no conflicts. Not to mention their future releases. 
The Mod is tested with the Valeria Caresse companion; there were no issues so far. Every companion that can teleport to the player should work. 

CHANGELOG version 1.4
* Added even more missing quest icons :-(
* Fixed issues with items falling through the hideout floor.
* Disabled 1 Step to avoid conflict with the new UL-River Ethe.
* Changed teleport sound to something less annoying.  
* Welkynds in containers & shops are now generated in leveledlists.
* Market price of Welkynds rises with number of stones used.
* There are now Steps in the player-owned houses of Anvil, Bruma, Chorrol, Cheydinhal and Skingrad. All of these dump you in the pond in the IC Market district, until I find better destinations.
* Added a new quest: solve 12 riddles to find 12 of the secret dungeons.
* Slight changes in some book texts to fit in the new quest. 
* Added more 'secret' locations. There are now 17 Lost Dungeons.
* Added more StepStones. There are now 618 Steps in 416 locations.

- Add more Stepstones.
- Add more 'lost' sites.
- Maybe build a follow-up quest ... the intro quest is a bit vague about certain 'facts'... there's more in this story than meets the eye. I wish I knew what, though. :-)

This may be the last non-OBSE version of this mod. With the growing number of Steps in the Cyrodiil landscape, chances are we will 'intrude' the areas that were reworked by the Unique Landscapes (and perhaps Better Cities) mods. Retaining compatibility without OBSE would require producing a bunch of patch files. OBSE makes it possible (if I interpreted their docs correctly) for the mod to check by itself if any UL mods are loaded, and then reposition the Stepstones as necessary. I'd rather have the elegance and flexibility of this solution than having to maintain a long list of patches.  

I'd like to receive any constructive criticism, error and glitch reports and any other feedback. Is the quest too difficult or too easy? Any clashes with other mods? Also, if you think up cool locations for Stepstones, let me know. As English is not my native language, PLEASE point out errors and peculiarities in book texts, quest journal updates and the like.  
Thank you, and happy Stepping :-). 

* to several people in the various forum threads or sending e-mails, for suggestions that helped improve the mod.
* to PresetM, for producing and maintaining a German translation of this mod, and for his ideas, suggestions and playtesting.

You can freely incorporate this mod or any part of this mod into your own work; then please give me credit for making it. You may not alter the mod itself and then sell or release it. This mod is never to be used in any mod compilation without written permission. If this mod breaks your game or your computer, I'll gladly pay you back what you paid me for this mod.

And now for NO SPOILERS on the 2nd Quest ... :-)
The clues for the new quest require creative thinking and a thorough knowledge of the Cyrodiil topography. If you're not into puzzles and detective work, you may find it hard to solve the riddles and codes in the notebook, and you may feel you need extra clues or directions. Then don't bother with the quest. After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to NOT include a clue-sheet for this quest. Also, I will NOT help anyone to solve the 12 riddles. 
a. It fits the storyline and immersiveness. After all, it's very secret information, that's why it was coded or encrypted. 
b. Solving these riddles is not essential to any follow-up quest.
c. The 'reward item' hidden in the last dungeon is not an essential must-have.
d. This does not deny anyone access to the lost Ruins. The Stepstones are still there to be stumbled upon. If you keep on Stepping and exploring the nooks and crannies of Cyrodiil, you will eventually find them anyway. 

So, any query for help in e-mail or in the forum thread will be answered with a copy-and-paste of this part of this Readme-file. And if you solve any riddles and want to rejoice, then please do so silently. Thank you for your understanding.

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