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, January 31, 2005

Day Forty-one: Heart of the Dunmer

Frequently I have heard the hissed "outlander" from some passing Dunmer and felt outrage. Often I have felt the sting of their prejudice. Often I have felt that kindred spirit with the bandit, the rogue, the opportunist. Today I feel none of that.

I left this morning after enjoying breakfast with Drulene. I said nothing about returning, and she did not ask. She squealed with delight when I returned this evening though, but perhaps it had more to do with the two guar I led. One of the guar belongs to a neighbor, and Drulene will return it tomorrow, the other was the prize of her herd.

I headed south this morning, searching for any sign that would lead me to the camp of the bandits that had plagued the area. I thought to reason with them. As the morning wore away and my path seemed to wind fruitlessly through the grassy hills I began to doubt that I would find them, and began to wonder at myself for the effort. I could think of no excuse to return to Drulene's farm to report having looked in vain, but I wanted to see her again. I used my boots to ascend the highest peak in the area, and was rewarded with a most confusing vista.

On the far side of the peak, nestled against the lower slope, stood the familiar arch of an ancestral tomb. In my early days in Morrowind I pillaged such tombs haphazardly, and recently I very purposefully took a skull of a revered ancestor from another, but I would never contemplate the desecration I found today. Outside the tomb grazed two tethered guar, in an area well cropped by their feeding. I could only assume the bandits were inside, and had been for quite some time.

I slid down the slope and entered the tomb. It was typical of such places, a long stair descended to a door, which opened into a long entry chamber lined with blocky stone altars. On the altars stood the familiar burial urns, which I knew would contain the remains of honored family members. The doors had been left carelessly ajar, and I dispatched a rat who had found its way into the hallowed interior. At the far end of the entry hall another door stood, and I crept forward through the chattering wails of the disturbed spirits.

Beyond the door was a chapel. One of the Dunmer's many revered texts lay at the base of a lectern, pulled down by yet another monstrous rat. I destroyed the vermin with my spear, but my anger was building at the thoughtless bandits who I was sure were sheltering here. As my anger grew the spirits seemed to subside, perhaps sensing that swift justice was about to befall those who defiled this place. I crossed the chapel and swung open the door to the inner crypt.

The bandits had constructed cots on the raised altar, and were roasting meat on spits over a fire built in the sacred fire pit. Sizzling grease spattered into the age old ashes of a Dunmer family. My stomach heaved. The wood elves dropped their half cooked lunches and sprang to the attack. I was enraged. I now have a clear understanding of the berserker attacks of the Nords. I could not say how they got there, but the two bandits lay dead at my feet. I leaned on my spear, panting heavily, bleeding from minor wounds. The spirits chatter, so ominous to my ears on all my previous excursions into these depths, now soothed the fire in my heart.

I did not know how to set the tomb right. I piled the bandits belongings in the entry, along with their corpses. Hopefully the family will find them and be appeased. I led the guar back here. Drulene's initial outburst crashed when she saw my wounds, which I had done little to attend to. She treated them tenderly, and listened quietly as I told the tale. In the end I could only look into those red eyes and moan out an apology, a wrenching lament for what other outlanders had done, and no doubt would continue to do. In her beautiful face I could see the heart of the Dunmer people.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this a lot. Keep up the good work mate :)

10:42 AM  

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