The Ayleid Steps

Discover the ancient Ayleid teleporting network of Step stones, find out how to activate it, and then use the Steps to discover a new way of...

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Discover the ancient Ayleid teleporting network of Step stones, find out how to activate it, and then use the Steps to discover a new way of traveling around Cyrodiil, and search for new unknown Ayleid sites.

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

Version 2.2, oct.3, 2008

INTRODUCTION:
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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).

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 aims to be lore- and immersiveness-friendly. There's no new spoken dialogue, just 4 books, a letter, a few new interior locations, a vast network of Steps - and more than 30 new dungeons. 

REQUIREMENTS:
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Vanilla Oblivion with the latest official patch 1.2.416.
OBSE version 14a or newer, for conflict-free usage with BC- and UL-mods. Get the latest version here: http://obse.silverlock.org/. 

COMPATIBILITY & ISSUES:
-------------------------------
UNIQUE LANDSCAPES & BETTER CITIES:
Running under OBSE, the mod detects wich (if any) Unique-Landscape-mods or Better Cities mods are activated, and adjusts certain Stepstone positions accordingly. It does this once after each savegame loading (and at the start of a new game). Note that this will ONLY work if you have not altered the original .esp filenames! If the mod cannot find a plugin, the Steps in the area will be reset to their default position. So no more displacements after you change your plugin load order. And how Oblivion stores the Steps positions in its savegames is of no importance at all, since the adjusting is repeated with every game loading.
If you have all your UL-mods merged into one .esp file, then rename that file to "xulAll.esp" to make the adjustment script recognize it.
This version of the mod is playable without OBSE (not thoroughly tested though), but several Steps in the UL/BC areas will then be dislocated or even unusable should you have those mods loaded. The two quests can still be completed however, and any Lost Dungeon can still be accessed through the Hubs.
Some other mods that The Ayleid Steps can adjust to, are listed under "Reference".

OTHER PLUGINS:
The mod is built with only Vanilla Oblivion, aforementioned official patch, and OBSE 14a. It is playtested with UOP, OOO, MMM, the UL and BC mods and many smaller mods activated, and so far no severe conflicts were found. 
This mod may conflict with other plugins that:
- alter the vanilla landscape (House and village mods for example)
- alter vanilla interiors, change architectural layout, move furniture, etc.
- alter availability and/or prices of Welkyndstones. (To be sure, load after such mods).
If you teleport somewhere and don't see a Stepstone where there should be one, an other mod may have buried it. As a consequence you can't use it. This is not necessarily a problem - there are so many Steps in the world that you can easily do without some.
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. 

ISSUES & KNOWN CONFLICTS:
* Some users reported getting stuck when trying to reach a particular Stepstone near the invisible borders of the game. The scripts were corrected for this one. In case you find another problem Step, you can correct it by editing this line in your Oblivion.ini file: "bBorderRegionsEnabled=1". Change the 1 to a 0, and save the file.
* The Frostcrag Reborn mod buries a group of 4 Steps in its landing pad mountain. Teleporting to this spot, you will probably end up standing on the statue or sliding off the slope. The Steps cannot be used. (The vanilla DLC Frostcrag does not conflict with Ayleid Steps).
* Ayleid Meteoric Iron Weapons: if you play with OOO 1.33 and up, the AMIW weapons of OOO will not stack with the same weapons originating from this mod, in your inventory or in containers.
* Playing with OOO and/or MMM, you may encounter bands of adventurers in the Lost Dungeons. I'm not sure wich mod spawns them. This might be somewhat immersion-breaking.

CHANGELOG release 2.2
---------------------------------------------
* Fixed accidental misalignment of a Bravil FG Basement section where you could stumble into the void.
* Fixed script error that made it possible to use Steps with an uncharged Purple Welkynd.
* The UL-adjustment script now recognizes a file "xulAll.esp" for all your Unique Landscape mods merged into one.
* Added a soundfile for Stepstone failure.
* The mod is now compatible with (official) DLC FrostCrag landscape changes.
* Many general stores now sell a few Welkynds.
* Put (respawning) Ayleid coffers with Welkynds in several vanilla Ruins. 
* Re-re-tweaked lights and enemies in most Lost Dungeons.
* The Steps that take you to the Lost Dungeons now have their own texture, so identifying them is easier.
* Increased probability of Player being teleported to a Lost Dungeon entrance Step.
* The mod-specific Ayleid treasure chests in the Lost Dungeons will not respawn.  
* Lots of other little fixes, tweaks and enhancements.
* Extended the Lost Imperial Catacombs with 8 more levels.
* Built a Hub network with 33 rooms, a.o. serving as a backup system to ensure accessibility of Lost Dungeons.
* Integrated MadCat221's & RDjeke's Ayleid Meteoric Iron Weapons to be found in the Lost Dungeons.
* Added more Steps. There are now 795 Steps in 549 locations (plus 258 Steps in the 33 Hub rooms).
* Added more 'secret' locations. There are now 34 Lost Dungeons with over 70 levels in all.

THANKS:
-----------
* to the OBSE programmers for their nifty script extender.
* to MadCat221 (madcat221@gmail.com), RDjeke (rdjeke@gmail.com) and Sotobrastos for the Ayleid Meteoric Iron Weapons.
* to several people in the Bethsoft and TesNexus forum threads or sending e-mails, for suggestions that helped improve the mod -notably Skyranger for the Hubs concept.
* to PresetM, for producing and maintaining a German translation of the mod, and for his ideas, suggestions and playtesting.

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Ervvin


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Registered 1st April 2008

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