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, February 17, 2005

Day Fifty-four: The addicts of St Olm's canton

When I transported back to Vivec City this morning I set out directly for St. Olms canton. The cantons of St. Olms and St. Delyn are affordable residential areas. Caius said it would be the place to find his friend Addhiranirr. Ahnassi said it was her mate's home also, the last she had heard. Neither of them were likely to want to be found, so I began my inquiries very discretely. The upper plaza of the canton houses a temple, dedicated to St. Olms. I thought this might offer a good place to start.

Vaval Selas, a healer, took my offering and conferred the goodwill of the Tribunal upon me. I told him I was examining the effects of skooma addiction, and had heard that the drug was quite a problem here in the poorer cantons of Vivec. He agreed. He suggested a couple of avenues to explore for first hand information, and a book to read. I returned to the foreign quarter to visit Jobasha, who had a copy of 'Confessions of a Dunmer Skooma Eater'. I found a quiet corner in his shop to read, rather than return to the guild hall. Jobasha gave a customer a discount on their purchase, and they brought us lunch from the Black Shalk. I think it is best for me to stay out of there, at least for a while. The book gave me hope that J'Dhannar could be cured.

Below the main levels of the cantons lie the canalworks, and beneath that the sewers that direct drainage into the surrounding waters. Vaval suggested these lower levels of St. Olms would be the place to look for skooma users, but he asked that I speak to a Dunmer woman named Moroni Uvelas about her husband before I went. I sought her out in the Brewer's and Fishmonger's guild hall. She is a hard working server, and I found her behind the bar. The afternoon is slow, and it gave us a chance to talk.

Moroni's husband Danar is a skooma addict. He frequently disappears for days at a time; as he explains it 'working'. She says he does sometimes come home with gold or other valuables, but just as often he disappears with anything she has put aside. It wasn't hard for me to recognize the description of a smuggler caught in the web of the narcotic he was smuggling. "Where is he now?" I asked gently.

A stifled sob barely broke through. "Gone. Missing again. He came home last week and he was so sick. He said it was the skooma, and he swore he would never touch it again. It seemed different this time though. He was so sick. I'm afraid he might have gotten some horrible disease down there in the sewers. That's where he goes to hide when he has skooma; him and the rest of his friends. They hide down there among the rats like animals, and they don't even think about the risks. I've even heard there's a Daedra Cult that has a shrine down there, and they prey on the weak and sacrifice them to the bad Daedra." Her eyes brimmed over with tears, and my heart broke for this hard working, good woman. I promised to look for her husband, and protect him as well as I could from danger, though what he most needs protection from is himself.

I had no leads on Addhiranirr, but the skooma inquiries were all leading me towards the sewers. My best hope was that Ahnassi's mate J'Dhannar would be able to give me some information about his fellow Khajiit. It wouldn't seem like such a risk asking about an operative of the thieve's guild if I was talking to a skooma addict. I set off into the nether realms of the canton. Then luck played to my side.

As I rounded a turn into the canalworks level I startled a Khajiit. His frantic scrambling, and the dulled hearing that let me startle him in the first place, marked him as being loaded with skooma. I stood very still, and spoke softly, apologizing for startling him. He grew calmer. "I am looking for someone who knows about moon sugar, and skooma," I said. "I found some. I know it's illegal, but I want to see what it does before I destroy it."

His eyes bulged. "Do not destroy it!" He was shaking, shifting his weight rapidly between his paws, and his tail swished in a blurring arc. "I know the skooma well my good friend. I will tell you all you need to know."

"Great!" I said. "What is your name friend Khajiit?"

"J'Dhannar." Pay dirt.

I lead J'Dhannar to the foreign quarter and got us both transported here to Ald-ruhn. I settled him in a spare room and locked the door, then went to Balmora to get some skooma from Ajira. I told him I had skooma, and I don't want that to be a lie, but I hope he chooses not to use it.


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