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.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Day Fifty-three: Huleeya of the Morag Tong

Today I succeeded in finding the first of the four people I seek. I am less daunted by the task, but a little disappointed in the city and its inhabitants. Perhaps I paint with too wide a brush, or I am just a magnet for trouble.

The social center of the foreign quarter canton is a cornerclub called the Black Shalk. This is where Caius suggested I start my search for Huleeya. I prowled the hallways and open bazaars, establishing myself as something between a merchant and a tourist. There are a great number of alchemists, apothecaries, and healers plying their trades in Vivec. It will be a good outlet for the many specimens I seem to collect in my travels. By lunchtime I had a fair command of the layout of the canton and headed for the Black Shalk.

When I entered the common room I saw Huleeya immediately. I couldn't be sure of course, but the striking Argonian certainly had the bearing of a Morag Tong assassin, and was using it to the fullest. Three thuggish Dunmer had the Argonian backed against the bar, and were trying by any means short of physical assault to start a fight. I thought 'Cammona Tong', and considered having at them on the spot. The Argonian was obviously not in a mood to fight though, and was holding his own, so I went downstairs to calm down. The lower room was quiet at that time of day. I shared a few words with a Dunmer, a bard who is a regular customer and performs at the Black Shalk in the evenings.

"They come in a lot," he said. "They are House Hlaalu retainers. Bigots. If Huleeya leaves they will probably attack out in the halls if they can avoid the Ordinators."

"What would the Ordinators do?" I asked.

"Throw the lot of them in jail probably. House Hlaalu would bail their guys out. It would be a mark against Huleeya with the Morag Tong. Huleeya is a good sort; a regular here, and really sharp; reads all the time."

"I suppose sending them packing to their own canton would be the best thing to do," I said.

"You are asking for trouble," was the bard's candid response. I went back upstairs.

I ordered a drink at the bar, and added "get something for my Argonian friend as well."

"What, are you some kind of lizard lover?" came the sneering voice behind me.

"No, just a bigot hater actually," I said, "and a businessman."

"House Hlaalu runs business in Morrowind outlander. You better watch your step." The three of them had shifted their attention almost completely to me. I leaned casually on the bar, but I was tense. Gutting these fools would be little problem, but conjuring a spear in the local eatery and killing half the lunch crowd would draw a lot of attention.

"House Hlaalu isn't in the business that I'm in," I said.

"What business is that?" The self appointed spokesman for the trio had the look of a nightblade; a magician agent for hire.

"I'm a mystic," I claimed. "I've found a way to channel the mystic energies of a recall spell so I can use it by touch." I peeled the black chain gauntlet from my right hand. "Touching you for example."

"A recall spell? To what end? My companions would kill you before I could recall myself back to my home, but not by much."

"Actually, they might kill me. But it would all be decided long before you got back. The receiving cell you would appear in is permanently silenced, and by the time your new masters let you out you'd be fully drained of any magica. I've taken a lesson from you Dunmer you see. I'm a slaver." It was hard not to let myself look disgusted, but I continued. "No surprise really how valuable you Dunmer are. With your lifespans you can serve for generations."

The spokesman noticed that his two companions had taken half a step back and away from him. His eyes narrowed. "I don't think I believe you outlander."

"One way to find out. We'll be heading to the bookstore across the way. If your argument with this Argonian is important enough to you you'll have your chance to continue it...or you'll meet a lot more Argonians in Black Marsh." I looked at Huleeya. "Come on my friend, I might have a job for you." We headed towards the door. If they had followed I would have killed them in the hall.

"Watch yourself lizard lover," was their final word. Cowards.

When we reached Jobasha's rare book store we were both convulsing with laughter. Huleeya could hardly hiss out the story to the clever Khajiit proprietor, who soon joined us in our mirth. "Well Arvil Bren," he purred, "I normally don't approve of slavers, but you are most welcome here in my shop."

I enjoyed Jobasha's company, and his hospitality. Huleeya and I sat at a desk while he illuminated Dunmer history for me. I took notes.

Tonight I enjoyed dinner with my friends in the guild hall here in Balmora. I could gladly call this home, but staying out of sight is not my nature. Ajira has arranged for Rithleen to come by in the morning to purchase a potion, and deliver my notes to Caius. Until then I will sleep well.


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