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There Is No Umbra - A floating sword follower 1.17

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13 Screenshots

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About This File

https://youtu.be/FDZoBM-ptOA

 

Continue the legend of Umbra -now as a living, floating sword that will follow you in your travels and fight for you using custom animations. Includes two quests with good and bad endings, professionally voice-acted, and well-integrated with the lore. See the trailer!

 

The sword has her own follower system with features to wait, dismiss and do favors, as well a lot of voice-acted commentary for various situations. It's a joy to see her fight for you with her custom animations, and I based her story on official lore as much as possible, including, loosely, some of the events in the "The Infernal City" novel. I'm intrigued by the philosophical dilemma of a living sword that committed all kinds of atrocities in the past, but has now been re-forged. Should it still pay for its past sins even if she has no memory of them?

There are multiple endings depending on what is your answer to that question, and you will have opportunities through both quests to make your decision one way or the other. All the lore you need to know is already included in various materials within the mod, but you can always get a refresher.

 

Compatibility

 

Compatible with everything as far as I can tell, including mods such as:
 

  • Followers as Companions II -so that she will hover by your side instead of behind you 
  • My Home is Your Home -so that you can assign her a permanent dwelling place eventually, although she will not sandbox for obvious reasons
  • Amazing Follower Tweaks -in the sense that AFT ignores her and she ignores AFT, which is the way things should be for her
  • Likely every other Follower framework out there, too -they should all ignore her and she should ignore them all


That said, the following is law for every mod that integrates into vanilla Skyrim: as a modder you always have to touch a few things. For example: since I edited the text of a vanilla book slightly, then mods like Book Covers may lose their changes for just that one unique book. Could it be patched? Sure. Is it worth it? I personally don't think so, but I did it anyway and I'll be happy to accept any other patch submitted by anyone for tiny things like this (and please try to make them ESL to save people a slot in their load order). 

 

Other examples include vanilla cells which are frequently edited by all the popular light, shadows, or even music mods -the changes are so tiny and/or are done in cells so rarely-ever visited that I really don't think a patch is warranted. Spoiler: if you use 'T'Skyrim' this mod does overwrite its new Atronach Forge recipes, so you must sort this mod lower in the load order. 

 

Lastly, to start the quest you need to read a certain book which is found in common loot -this means touching two leveled loot lists: "LItemBook0All" and "LItemBookClutter". Again -it's not going to break anything and it doesn't really bother me, but merging leveled lists is a well-discussed subject in nine years of Skyrim modding 🙂

 

Requirements

 

You MUST have these two:

 

  • CVR Follower Voices - although the voice actress graciously supplied many brand-new lines, the mod still uses her work as the "Rose Deep" voice in CVR. My mod makes some changes to "Rose Deep", so I don't recommend you share that same voice type with other NPCs.
  • Dynamic Animation Replacer - this is a gem, everybody. I've met people who are leery of it -perhaps they fear it's like FNIS or Nemesis which requires doing special tasks with every install/uninstall: that's absolutely not the case. DAR is one of the most plug-and-play gems I've ever seen, safe as can be, and totally required to see the sword's unique, custom animations.


I strongly recommend you also use this:

 

  • Vibrant Weapons  - Combined with the FloatingSword_VibrantWPN_Patch.zip, this will make her produce real light. Very cool. Don't forget to use the Power from that mod to enable effects on NPCs.
  • Disable Follower Collision - it's a beautiful piece of SKSE witchcraft so that you will never again be blocked by your own housecarl while backing out of a small room!
  • Your favorite ENB, since the flames of the sword do emit particle light. Looks very cool.

 

Installation

 

Copy everything to your Data folder and check the checkbox, or even better, use a modern mod manager. Safe to add to an on-going game, and safe to remove too: it would probably leave little traces behind but you can always clean your save file with tools such as Fallrim's. 

 

Getting started

 

Read the "There Is No Umbra" book which appears in common loot, or find a copy of it -where else?- on Farengar's desk. Then it's all quest markers from there! If you get stumped at the part which requires you to operate a certain piece of arcane machinery, my sincere recommendation to you is to read its manual! 🙂

 

Quick QA

 

  • SSEDIT says your ESP has two errors?
  • A: Ignore it -the Floating Sword is not supposed to have footstep sounds, and I did remove some glowing mushrooms from a cave -they were in the way 🙂
  • Will this work in Oldrim, or VR?
  • A: It's been confirmed to work fine in VR! People report it works fine in LE too, but you'll need to overwrite this mod's meshes and textures with the LE version of Abyssal Sword. 
  • Can this be an ESL?
  • A: Probably in the future. I could compact the IDs in CK and push it out as an ESL master but I don't feel the time is right yet. I anticipate possible changes and fixes if any bugs or incompatibilities are eventually discovered.
  • Wait, how many scripts?
  • A: Relax, most of the files in the scripts folder are just fragments to advance the quests through dialogues, and the few that aren't don't do anything crazy like cloak spells or permanent onUpdate papyrus load. Everything is as safe as can be.
  • I don't see her flames!
  • A: You have to turn on the Vibrant Weapons effects for NPCs, using a spell power from that mod.

 

(more Qs and As to be added over time)


Credits

 

  • Netwalker123: without his flying sword animations this simply wouldn't be possible. And they're so beautiful! He was very supportive of my project, and I'm proud that he helped. Also, he took the beautiful screenshots you see in the media section. What a guy.
  • Kerstyn Unger: she is the best voice actress many of us have worked with. Her work in the original CVR Follower Voices inspired me to shape the sword's personality, and then she very graciously contributed even more custom lines just for this mod. If you enjoy her amazing performance as the haughty, mellifluous living daedric artifact please buy her a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/kerstynungerva and visit her site to see more of her work. 
  • Shawn L. Koch: he's just getting started as a voice actor, but you'll agree with me he can go as far as he sets his mind to. Also an author!
  • Cinnamine for the sword model, Trion77 for the beautiful pulsing textures, and PraedythXVI for not just making the weapon available as the stunning Abyssal Greatsword, but also making its permissions so generous that modders like me could use it. I searched for and found many, many beautiful unique swords in the Nexus, but the fact that this one had such open permissions is what made me choose it. Creative Commons, people!
  • jg1: for being equally generous with the permissions for his flaming effects in the stunning Vibrant Weapons. When you see the sword light up a dark cave is because of this guy.
  • Ckord: she helped me test this mod and gave me the motivation to add new stuff (like the entire Dragonborn portion of the second quest!). Don't miss her underrated "Thalmor Dialogue and Quests"!
  • Bethesda. I don't always agree with them, but this game has stood the test of time. Going nine years strong.
  • This community. I know saying this sounds as cliche as 'the real treasure was the friends we made along the way' but frankly, the people in various Skyrim discords who helped me in various ways all made a huge difference. I don't feel I'm coding in a vacuum -instead I'm part of something. This feels good.

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