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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 03, 2005

Day Twenty-one: The apprentices' bet

Today started off with a bang, literally. I bolted out of my bunk, hitting the floor with spear in one hand and a flask of healing restoratives in the other. The Dunmer mage Marayn Dren chuckled from his own bunk. "Well, I certainly feel safe knowing that such an alert guard sleeps among us," he said. "It is only Ajira raging in her laboratory my friend. Lower you spear before someone trying to get out of bed winds up as a breakfast shish
kabob." I laughed out loud myself as I slid the spear back under my bunk. Marayn laughingly agreed with my dry observation that it was better to be embarrassed a hundred times than dead once, and we went to breakfast.

As the mages gathered around the table we were all somewhat daunted by Ajira's snarling and hissing, except Ranis who watched her apprentice with calm detachment. Overcoming the gutterals and screeches of her native tongue Ajira roared out complaints. "I do two reports to her one. I must gather plants from the wildest reaches of the Bitter Coast. Time consuming journeys, terrible risks, while she putters in her shop selling trinkets! And now she has stolen the reports on which I have worked so hard!!" Everyone at the table, seeing Galbedir's open Bosmer face twitching to suppress a smile, knew that the accusation was most likely true. Ajira again lapsed into enraged hissing, and I expected spells and bloodshed to erupt at any moment. Chairs scraped as the rest of us prepared to seek shelter.

Ranis' voice cut harshly through the babble, "silence, apprentices!" In the stillness she continued; "the guild hall table will not be reduced to an arena, you will all sit quietly and eat." She glared around the table, meeting every eye with a steady gaze of command. I was quite surprised to see what I thought was amusement when she looked my way, but considered that the red eyes of the Dunmer might have been giving me false impressions. When order was fully restored Ranis spoke again, and this time I was sure there was amusement under her silky tones. "As to this bet, I am going to declare the victor right now so we can have this over with." Ajira and Galbedir edged forward on their seats. The bet being which one would be promoted to journeyman first they were both eager with expectation as Ranis continued. "Ajira, you have frequently spoken at length about the dangers of your chosen field of alchemy, the hazards of gathering ingredients from the wilderness, the risks of sampling unknown brews to get a sense of their effects without exposing yourself should those effects be undesirable. I agree, alchemy can be a dangerous study, and I have given you assignments that have built your skills in the relative safety of your lab."

She turned to Galbedir and continued, "you have not complained at your assignment, studying the properties and potentials of the soul gems which the guild has accumulated, but you did complain greatly that someone had slipped a fake in among them in your desk. When you were making your complaint I could not help but wonder at whoever had played this trick. You learned much of soul gems Galbedir, but when someone can slip a fake into your desk while a grand soul gem charged with the energies of a winged twilight lies there for the taking one has to wonder if you have a true appreciation for what it takes to charge them. Had that gem been stolen do you think you are capable of replacing it? You and Ajira together would make a tidy snack for a winged twilight."

Her eyes fell on me and I squirmed in my seat. It was obvious she knew that I had gotten myself enmeshed in the intrigue of this bet, and I braced myself for what I hoped would only be a harsh rebuke. A resigned voice in my head murmured "ah well, there's always the Thieve's Guild." I was now sure I was misreading the deepset red eyes which seemed to be balancing on the edge of outright laughter.

"And you Arvil Bren, we now come to you. You have been the one undertaking the dangerous missions about which Ajira complains, and I know all about the equipment you've purchased so I assume you have a laboratory set up in some dismal backwater somewhere so you can do your own experiments. The minor enchantment you had Galbedir put in your belt she demands recognition for doing in one breath, and condemns as petty in the next, and to some extent she is right. A minor restoration belt does not make an enchanter, and petty soul gems charged with cliff racers cannot even shed a glimmer on what can be done with the power of a winged twilight, so I thank you for having the good sense to leave those gems alone while you were running Ajira's little errands." Without looking away from Ranis I could feel Galbedir's baleful gaze burning at me, but Ranis turned again on the wood elf enchantress. "Galbedir, you would be well served to get out and charge some soul gems for yourself, petty or grand. There is much to be learned about the practical aspects of trying to set a soul trap upon a violent creature in the midst of combat. This Breton with his pocket full of petty soul gems has earned your respect, give it freely or fake it well, but I expect to see it." She turned back to me, now smiling openly. "Arvil Bren, you have won their bet, I promote you to the rank of journeyman in the guild of mages, congratulations." I was stunned.

2 Comments:

Blogger Count di Luna said...

Hi

I have now read all of your entries up to date and I must say I have enjoyed my self thoroughly doing so. I will definitely return here as often as I can manage to follow up on the fascinating adventures of Arvil Bren.

Best regards,
//Count di Luna ('Godunov' at the Morrowind forums)

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hooked on your journal updates and look forward to each new day's treasure. I'm posting my comment here simply because this days journal as been my favorite so far. I really like the way you take what's in the game and fill in the rest with your own telling. It adds new life to the story for those of us that know it well and I'm sure makes great reading for those that don't as well.

Bored Guest X - Morrowind Summit Admin

2:40 PM  

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