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.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Day Thirty-two: Dwarven tower

It's good to be home. This shack offers so little in the way of comforts, but it is so secure. I slipped in from the south, walking across the water unseen in the dark. I left Balmora this morning by levitating over the mountains west of the city, dropping rapidly into the swamps of the bitter coast. I would be very challenging to follow. Now my mark is reestablished here, so I will again be able to teleport directly home. Dark Brotherhood, Cammona Tong, any other enemies I might make; Arvil Bren will not be easy prey.

I like my home, but waking up this morning in the guild hall was a comfort as well. Tensions among the apprentices have eased, and the chatter at the breakfast table was lively. I reported to Ranis, and true to her word she split Manwe's back dues with me evenly. While my mastery of magic is probably only average, Ranis unquestionably has a high demand for my skills with the spear. She seems quite devoted to 'join or die' as a promotional system for the guild. We spoke briefly about someone offering training in the restoration arts who does not have guild sanction. I'll probably end up taking care of that for her when I get back there.

For now I am settled in after the long walk. I have become quite comfortable with the swamps of the bitter coast, and enjoyed exploring along my path today. An old Dunmer fortress, a small Dwarven ruin, abandoned ancestral tombs; the marshes abound with secrets, and I thirst to know. Of course the likelihood of plunder and riches does have a certain appeal as well. After my brief foray into Arkngthand the Dwarven ruin I discovered today was irresistible.

It was also convenient. In the mid afternoon I was getting fairly close to Gnaar Mok, and was just beginning to think 'too close'. I wanted to arrive under cover of darkness. With an eye half open to seeking shelter for a few hours I began to follow a more meandering path through the marshes. The ancient metal towers and unmistakable piping systems rose ahead of me like a gift. A gift with a steep price of danger attached. I now have a high regard for those who make their living looting Dwemer artifacts.

The ruin was small, just a couple of towers with a large subterainnian workspace underneath, nothing like the massive Arkngthand. What a testement to Dwemer engineering though. The Dwarves disappeared so long ago that they don't exist in the written records of the Empire, but their legacy lives on. The place was alive with constructs; centurions who have been on guard for an age. Gleaming metal spiders clattered about on six jointed legs. Rolling metal spheres erupted into sword armed warriors like the hatching of a mechanical egg. I felt some remorse at destroying these ancient machines, but the piercing legs of the spiders and the vicious cuts from the swords of the sphere centurions left me little alternative.

Any guilt that might plague me will be assuaged by the loot. There were actually very few artifacts in what was clearly a working shop rather than a luxurious home; a few bowls, a pitcher, some cups. What was lacking in artifacts was made up in material though. Stacks of gears made of gleaming Dwemer metal; metal which has never been duplicated since the disappearance of the Dwarves. Precious gems, raw glass, ebony, all in locked chests that also held an abundance of shining Dwemer coins. I will have to return for the metal and artifacts now that I have replaced my mark here. They are far too heavy to carry any distance. A couple days for the looters in Arkngthand to do their work and I will teleport their entire collection here also, hopefully including Hasphat's cube. First though I will return to my own little ruin, and also clear out the storage area in Shurinbaal. It would be better just to have everything here rather than be seen coming and going.


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