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.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Day Three: Cave of the smugglers

The day dawned drab and rainy; appropriate for my attitude. Good citizenship looked like an endless parade of days spent hunting in the rain, my spearpoint is getting blunted from punching through the hard shells of the mudcrabs, and the gleam of gold set off a nostalgia for my old ways. I set out for the nearby cave known to the locals as Addamasartus, with the intent of throwing in my lot with the smugglers that reputedly use it as a hideout. Once again though it seems my fate lies on a new path.

When I entered the cave I was immediately attacked by a knife wielding rogue. She fell quickly to my spear, but it was clear that throwing in with this particular band of smugglers would be most unlikely. As it turns out smuggling here in Morrowind is not to my taste anyway. One of the fallen rogue's pockets yielded a key. I took the key expecting to find some sort of lockbox. As I went deeper into the cave I quickly found out otherwise. Penned behind a locked gate I found three manacled slaves. It turns out that slavery being legal in Morrowind although rightfully banned throughout the rest of the Empire has made for a strong black market in captive labor. I freed the captives, and their manacles now adorn my table. While I might not be the most upright citizen, I will not traffic in slaves.

The smuggler's other major commodity is moon sugar apparently. From their crates and barrels I recovered at least a pound of the illegal granules, as well as two vials of the refined form, skooma. Looting this cache called for dispatching two additional smugglers, one a particularly dangerous mage and the other a rogue who inflicted numerous wounds with small throwing stars before I could corner her within range of my spear. My friend Arrille at the tradehouse gladly purchased their used armor and weaponry, as well as some fair quality weapons that I found laying about. I sounded him briefly regarding the moon sugar, but clearly running a tradehouse directly across the street from Morrowind's major customs house calls for him operating completely above the boards. I thought briefly, well very briefly, of destroying the contraband materials, but my own good citizenship is of such a recent vintage that I could not bring myself to do it. I will just have to transport it to one of the larger cities and find a market for it.

Reasons to make the trip to Balmora are accumulating fast, and I may find myself following the Emperor's orders after all. Being a good citizen for three days has certainly been profitable enough, and the townspeople of Seyda Neen are beginning to warm up to me a bit. The guards response to my elimination of the smugglers does have me convinced that corruption is the norm here, or at least widespread, but it is certainly not my place to sit in judgment. If they were clinging a little tighter to the straight and narrow it would have been a lot more difficult for me to get settled in here the way that I have. While I have taken four lives in three days I go to bed with a clear conscience, and no legal entanglements. Refreshing.


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