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.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Day Twenty-nine: Collection agent

I write tonight as the denizens of Sulipund settle down around me. I am a guest of Llarar Bereloth. Bereloth is a sorcerer and a member of the Dunmer great house called Telvanni. I was sent here to convince him to join the guild...or kill him. Fortunately I was able to convince him of the benefits. He has a number of retainers here in this isolated tower who would add to the already dangerous task of attacking him. Overall it has been a very successful day.

This morning I left the cavern in which I had sheltered without any further exploration. The red candles still burned, and I wondered at who would be there to maintain them. Did the corprus stalker just wander in there like I did? Or was the diseased man a part of whatever rules that darkened pit? I felt no desire to be face to face with any mystery that might have accounted for the ominous feel of the place.

Today's trek through the ashlands was not unlike yesterday; cliff racers, shalk beetles, and a dubious trail that at times wandered and occasionally disappeared. In the midafternoon heat I found the lake which Ranis had offered as a landmark. The ancient Dunmer stronghold at Marandus loomed to the southeast, but I turned to the north. The trail here is fairly clear and I had no trouble finding my first destination, a cavern opening on the right side of the trail, secured with a stout wooden door.

Inside the cavern, known as Punabi, the crackling energies of magica can be felt in the air. Ranis had told me some sort of research was going on there, and Punabi is apparently a good place for stank of power. Fortunately I did not have to venture far inside to accomplish my task there. The first person I met was Manwe, a renegade mage whom I had been sent to find. When she learned that I was there to collect her back dues for the guild she was furious, and suggested that I might be wise to pay Ranis myself rather than bother her. I was grateful for the education I received on the streets of High Rock. Manwe is, I suspect, a far more capable spellcaster than I, but I know how challenging it can be to concentrate on spells while getting jabbed at with a sharp spear. The diversity of my skills gave me the courage to continue trying to reason with her. Eventually, perhaps just to get rid of me so she could return to her research, she produced the two thousand septims in back dues which would restore her standing with the guild. With a sigh of relief I made my exit.

As Ranis had said, the tower of Sulipund was not much further along the trail, and I arrived well before dark. I was ushered to the highest room in the tower by surly retainers who clearly would have preferred that their master order my death, or at the very least my unceremonious removal from the premises. Bereloth also did not extend a warm welcome, but since he did pause in his research to see me I expressed my gratitude in a stream of praises for his work and the grandeur that he had brought to what had been a long abandoned tower.

Our conversation ranged widely, although it did frequently come back to Sulipund. The Telvanni district does not extend this far into the ashlands, and Bereloth could technically be considered a 'rogue' by the leadership of his house for settling here. It is certainly outside of the Imperial charter, which grants the governance of this area to the Dunmer Tribunal Temple. In order to avoid being held in violation of the charter the Telvanni house would simply disavow Bereloth and others like him, but in talking to Bereloth it was clear that this does not keep him from being actively involved in the activities of his house. While he is not really as isolated as his official status would indicate, he did come to see my point that membership in the guild would be a benefit. We agreed that he would visit Ranis on his upcoming trip into Balmora.

I told Bereloth that I greatly appreciated his hospitality for the night as I had other business to attend to in the area. I did not mention that I had already completed my other task. When he does visit Balmora he will unknowingly provide collaboration of my whereabouts tonight. I am not imposing upon his house for breakfast, as I have informed them that I will be leaving before dawn. Sulipund will soon settle into the early rest of the remote ashlands. I am preparing for a busy night.


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