This is the autobiographical journal of Arvil Bren, a somewhat reluctant hero who has been placed on an unknown quest by powers that he barely knows exist. Follow his journey as it is updated daily, Monday through Friday, and enjoy! These are the most recent entries in Arvil Bren's third journal; Politics of the Redoran. His first journal can be found in its entirety here. His second journal, Trail of the Archmage can be found here.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Day Eleven: Lost to the slaughterfish

Today was a total loss. When I arose this morning I was thinking of myself quite differently. The tomb that had so nearly claimed me was now covered with a glossy success, and I felt like I had the Bitter Coast spread helplessly at my feet, ready for me to wander around drawing maps and collecting whatever caught my eye or fancy. What a difference a day makes.

One of the spells that I learned in Balmora allows me to breath water. It is a simple spell from the school of alteration, in which I have a fair degree of skill. I learned this spell with three things in mind; the deeper water kollop beds, a couple of submerged caves that I've noticed, and an old shipwreck lying across the bay to the southeast. As I stepped out the door this morning the shipwreck seemed most interesting, and I set off across the bay, swimming at a leisurely pace.

By the time I reached the further shore I had completely expended the healing powers of my ring, and was bleeding from several slaughterfish bites. They came at me in a steady stream, one by one or in pairs, and my leisurely swim turned into a tiresome gauntlet. As fish after fish died on my spear I kept thinking they would catch on and start avoiding me, but they are relentless. I crawled onto the beach and tried to rest.

My rest was repeatedly disturbed by mudcrabs, apparently emboldened by my stillness and the smell of blood. The afternoon wore on. Nothing was getting accomplished. I spent my ring's energy as fast as it accumulated. Although I didn't get anywhere near full recovery I finally set off hiking to reach the nearest point to my derelict target. I arrived at a small beach littered with flotsam from the wreck and scanned the sea. The waters near the wreck were teeming with slaughterfish!

I stepped into the lapping waters of the Inner Sea and lay about me with my spear. I tried to kill the slaughterfish faster than they could gather, and whipped the water into a bloody froth, but soon had to retreat onto the beach with numerous fresh bites weakening me even further. The mass of fish was so great that I could stand on the beach and spear those closest to shore as their escape was prevented by their later arriving fellows pressing in on them. In my weakened condition with no healing magic available I could only glare at the fish, and I saluted the shipwreck which defied investigation for another day.

Clearly I was in no shape to swim back, and I had no zest for the long walk around the bay. Gathering my magical energies together I cast a spell which stiffens the water underfoot, allowing me to make the much shorter walk across the bay safely above the realm of the fish. I set out, with my first step onto the water being taken gingerly; then with growing confidence I just walked over the backs of my swarming enemies and out to sea.

At the end of a day like today it is hard not to challenge my lot in life. The Emperor chose me for the Blades without explanation. Do I owe it to him to accept? I am released from imprisonment and free to make my own way. I could just as easily catch a ship and return to High Rock. Life among my fellow Bretons would certainly be simpler. I don't have the coin for passage though. Perhaps tomorrow I will consider selling off my goods and heading home.

A late addendum.
My fate may no longer be in the Emperor's hands, or my own. I have to assume that whatever my mission it is somehow at the source of the Dark Brotherhood's interest in me, and I doubt that returning to High Rock would take me off of their list. The precautions I have taken against them may have saved my life tonight, but I would be loath to maintain them forever.

Before laying my weary head to pillow I placed a plate balanced on edge upon a crossmember of the door. While my shack of bare planks crudely nailed together may not be fashionable, the door with its accessible construction does have advantages. When the plate crashed to the floor in the depths of the night I had just sufficient time to grab my spear before the assassin was upon me. Although the confines of my home are close, I was able to stay out of range of his dagger well enough and laid him low with my much longer reach. These members of the Dark Brotherhood are not as fearsome as I was led to believe, but I am concerned.

This second attacker was no more skilled than the first. As long as they do not catch me soundly sleeping and plunge their dagger through my throat I am more than a match for them. There is a question, though. Is this all they have? I must guess not, for the Dark Brotherhood did not build their reputation on the likes of these. I suspect that killing me is for them like gathering mushrooms is for the Mage's Guild; a task for the novice. With the death of this second agent I may have sent a message most undesirable, and started an even more powerful foe down the inexorable path to my door.


Post a Comment

<< Home