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 11, 2005

Day Twenty-seven: Jobs to do

This shack is an excellent base from which to operate, at least until the Dark Brotherhood finds it, but it is lonely. This evening I brewed potions, using my new mortar and pestle. It is of much higher quality, lighter and providing a much smoother grind. My alchemy lab is much the better for it. I got it from Ajira, in trade for the skooma I took from the Cammona Tong. They apparently control the vast majority of the skooma trade, and Ajira was very pleased to get a good supply. I have also improved my enchanting lab. With some assistance I modified my soultrap spell so I can cast it on a distant target. Initially I though this would just improve my abilities with cliff racers, since I could cast the spell and bring them down with arrows. This afternoon I saw a much bigger improvement. Using a higher quality soul gem I was able to trap the energies of a bull netch which has been routinely hanging over my island. This gem is far more powerful than the racers I've been using. In fact I opted not to waste it on my latest project, a demon longbow, which I did successfully complete. I also set up all my new equipment in my forge this afternoon, working from the time I teleported home until dusk. As I said, an excellent base, but compared to having breakfast in the guild hall this morning it is achingly lonely.

At breakfast the talk of my drunken exploits eventually gave way to comments on my boots. Ranis was very explicit in her inquiries, but was soon satisfied that I had indeed enchanted them myself. She followed with some further questioning about my alchemy skills and repertoire of spells, then surprised me by promoting me to Evoker. While my friends are a bit jealous of my rapid promotion, they are also well aware that the comforts of life in the hall appeal greatly to me. It was difficult to take my leave. Ranis made it easier though. I think my promotion was in part just to have me qualified to take on a mission she needs accomplished. I am to recruit a renegade Telvanni, and also collect back dues from a lapsed member of the guild. When I transported myself out this afternoon I gave the impression that I was on my way, although I actually am much further from my destination now. I will pursue my duty to the guild dutifully, but it is not my only pressing concern.

After breakfast I made a trip out to Fort Moonmoth. Varro was pleased that Fjol had been brought to justice. He was disappointed that the outlaw had not been taken alive, but not very disappointed. In fact Varro is a bit on the bloodthirsty side I think. He told me what he called a 'story'. It was about a good officer enforcing the laws, a corrupt magistrate releasing the villains, and the bad people who bribe the magistrate. It did not take a genius to recognize the key figures in the tale. Varro says that the good officer's hands are tied, because the magistrate has powerful connections, but that if something happened to the 'bad people' it would make everything turn out in the end. The direction this was going was ominous, but then there was the clincher. If the 'story' were taken to represent Balmora, which it clearly does, then the 'bad people' in question are none other than the core of the local Cammona Tong syndicate! Varro certainly did not want anything so direct as a statement that I would take care of it, but it is clear that he would appreciate it if I did, and that there would be a tangible reward for me. I returned to town and spoke with my friends at the South Wall. They identified the key players who Varro could only describe. I stopped at the Council Club for lunch and identified them all. The hostile atmosphere made it very easy to resolve to take on this task, though how to conduct the 'bloodbath' that will give Varro the happy ending for his tale remains to be seen.

As if I did not have enough on my suddenly full plate, when I turned over my latest maps to Nine Toes he sent me to see Caius. I was going to check in with the spy master anyway, but the tone of the summons left no doubt that I was going to be even busier. Nine Toes thanking me for my efforts and suggesting that he would be handling the rest of the project without me made that obvious.

Caius wasted no time. "Nine Toes tells me you do good work. Now it's time to expand your experience...And your usefulness." I nodded acceptance and he continued. "You may have heard rumors about 'the Nerevarine'. The Dunmer are waiting for this Nerevarine, who they say will be the re-incarnation of their long dead general, Lord Indoril Nerevar. They expect him to unite all the tribes of the Dunmer and restore the Dark Elven nation to its former glory. The prophecies are handed down among the Ashlanders as oral traditions and poetic verses. We need to know a lot more about these prophecies, and you are going to be instrumental in finding out."

I was a bit daunted by the task. Ashlanders? I knew nothing about the ashlands or their people. Caius gave me a place to start. He sent me to Hasphat Antabolis, drillmaster at the Balmora fighters guild hall. Hasphat has lived in Morrowind his entire life, and is very well connected with the land and people of the Dunmer. He is also very interested in the disappearance of the ancient dwarven people, a collector of their artifacts, and a wily trader who gives up no information for free. To even begin to talk about the Nerevarine prophecies, he demanded a small 'favor'. In his research he has come across references to a 'Dwemer Puzzle Box', and has isolated it to a particular site. He gave me directions to this ruin, and instructed me how to gain access. He will trade his information for this artifact, and nothing else. What I will do if I explore the ruins and don't find the box is not clear. Hopefully I won't have to figure that out.


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