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.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Day Thirty: Council Club

I have slept most of the day, in a camp left to me by the departed Snowy Granius. Apparently his taking of tolls on the bridge over the Foyada Mamaca had been going on for quite some time. His camp provides a little shelter from ash storms and cliff racers, and much more importantly will keep me out of sight.

Once Bereloth's house had settled last night I crept out to the hallway and prepared for my task. My black armor I covered with a robe of common material. Nondescript steel gauntlets and my lightly enchanted bonemold boots offered no clue to my identity, and the effect was completed by a closed helm of netch leather that covered my features. I did not expect anyone to see my magical appearance in Balmora, but if they had they would not have known me. I quietly cast my spell of recall.

As expected my arrival in the deep nook under the strider port went unobserved, and I strode quickly to the door of the Council Club and entered. I was immediately accosted by Thanelen Velas, a smith by trade, and according to my sources one of the five local Cammona Tong ringleaders that Varro hoped would meet with an 'accident'. He peered at me with narrowed eyes and hissed "Why the closed helm? This is a peaceful establishment. Are you trying to hide that you are an outlander?" He fairly spat the final word, as if it left a bad taste in his dark elven mouth.

"Many of your brethren Dunmer have manners, dark elf scum," I replied. "Of course with good manners they have no need to shelter among your corrupt and cowardly Tong."

He grabbed an axe of gleaming Dwarven metal from a nearby table and took a wild sideways swipe. I ducked under the arc and drove my halberd through his unarmored body until the blade caught against his ribs. With another heave I drove him backwards over the table, the long shaft of the halberd keeping me beyond the range of his axe. Blood foamed from his lips as he gasped his last. I yanked the wicked point of the halberd free and spun to the stairs.

The main room of the Council Club lies one flight below ground level, and I crashed down into this salon with Velas' blood still dripping from my ready weapon. I raced through unhindered. The bartender took shelter behind his bar while three patrons stared in slack jawed surprise. They leapt to their feet too late to block my progress and I continued into the storage area. My boots skidded on the carpet as I made the sharp turn onto the ramp leading down to the sleeping rooms. At the bottom of the ramp, just emerging from her room, stood the thief Madrale Thirith. I used the steep ramp to accelerate my reckless charge as I activated the devil spear. I was committed, no one who saw that distinctive weapon in my hands would leave alive. The enchanted spear seeked out its target and the full weight of my charge drove Thirith to the ground, stricken through. I was not unscathed though. As she fell the skilled thief delivered a viscous cut with her shortsword, which gleamed with enchantment in the dim light of the hall. A jolt of magical electricity seared the flesh around the wound. With a quick glance at my pursuers I threw open a door to a sleeping chamber and dove inside.

Two of the five leaders of Balmora's Cammona Tong lay dead, and the other three crashed against the open door which obstructed the hall at the bottom of the ramp, slamming it closed at my heels. By stepping into the room I had avoided giving them the same advantage I had used on their partner, but I was still outnumbered three to one. I called on the dragon skin spell of my ancestors and tightened my grip on the devil spear as they tore open the door.

Fortunately in their haste and arrogance two of the Tong leaders had charged down the ramp unarmed. The third however wielded a longsword of fine steel which dripped with green magical venom. Even in my black armor I knew I would not survive many strikes from that blade. I jabbed with my spear, and sent the tip in glittering arcs across the doorway. The narrow access countered their numbers, and I dared not let them enter. In the close confines of the doorway they impeded each other, and first the pawnbroker and then the foppish savant fell to my spear. Unfortunately the skilled swordswoman had taken her opportunities, striking at my spear as it cut down her fellows. Green ichor flowed up the shaft and enveloped my hands and arms in stinging agony. She held a clear advantage as she stepped over her fallen companions into the room.

We glared at each other warily. She respected my spear, which was now completely inundated with the lifeblood of her companions. For my part I knew that I needed to keep well clear of her green stained blade. She raised the blade to strike, I jabbed quickly. Giving up on her swing she parried. I just as quickly feinted back, swinging my spear away from her venom lest my hands be tortured further. She could not close against the spear, but I could not fully commit to an attack; a dangerous standoff. Very dangerous for me, as each passing second brought me closer to the expiring of my defensive spell.

I braced myself, more in mind than body, and leapt forward thrusting with the spear. Her blade rang against my shaft, then slid along to rake my gauntleted hands with agony. I kept my grip through the wrenching pain, and the enchantment of the spear carried it to rest among her shattering ribs. Again red Dunmer blood quenched the Daedric spirit of the devil spear. I gulped restoratives, thankful to have survived.

I grabbed the enchanted weapons and rifled purses for whatever gold I could find, then tore up the ramp to make my escape. The Bartender stood behind the bar, gripping a huge steel warhammer in both hands. As I spun into the main room I growled a warning at him, "Peace friend, my contract does not include you." He lowered the hammer, but watched warily. "This Cammona Tong may be a big deal in Morrowind, but the Thieve's Guild is established throughout the Empire. I recommend you lose your reputation for hosting the Tong, or we will close your doors." With that bit of subterfuge I sprinted up the stairs and out into the street.

My headlong flight into the night was uneventful. I ran up the steps to the strider port until I could clear the city wall, then leapt free. Gulping sujamma, which I had grabbed from the bar, I raced towards the foyada. The sujamma enhanced my strength sufficiently for me to run under the burden of weapons that I had gathered, but muddled my thinking. Fortunately my well laid plan carried me through without calling on my mental resources and I arrived here safely. I spent the day resting my battered legs and easing the pounding in my head, aftermath of my sujamma powered flight. I will sleep here tonight and begin my search for Hasphat's puzzle box tomorrow.


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