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, February 15, 2005

Day Fifty-two: Arrival in Vivec

I arrived at Vivec City around lunch time, and opted for mudcrab on a nearby beach. The first sight of the city was too overwhelming to think of searching out a place to eat. As I ate the succulent crab meat I gazed across the bay to the huge pyramids towering above me. Doubts crept in that have not yet been dispatched. The eight cantons of Vivec would each make up a fair sized town by themselves. Taken altogether they are too much for me to really grasp. I have four people to find in this teeming hive.

I crossed the bridge onto the skirt of the northernmost canton, which I knew to be the foreign quarter. In earlier days delegations from outside the Dunmer nation were not allowed beyond this first canton. I paced the skirting deck all the way around. Long ramps led up from the corners to upper levels. The lower deck offered no access to the interior. The structure would be very difficult to assault. I was thankful for Caius' suggestion that wearing the Indoril boots of a dead Ordinator would not serve me well in Vivec. I activated my levitation boots and avoided the ramps. Even without the dead man's boots the Ordinator who strode rapidly across the deck at my landing did not extend a warm welcome.

"Outlander," he hissed, "if you are looking for trouble you are sure to find it." He took stock of my spear through narrowed eyes. I was grateful that the black chainmail of the Dark Brotherhood was indistinguishable under my robe.

"For cracking crabs," I said, hefting the spear awkwardly. "I wouldn't want to get too close to the nasty creatures. Could you direct me to the Mage's Guild hall? I'm not looking for trouble, I'm just here to visit a friend."

Ordinators wear a helmet that completely hides their face behind a golden unsmiling mask, but I could hear the sneer in his voice as he grudgingly told me that the guild was located in the top tier plaza. Again I opted out of the ramps and lofted myself with my boots. I actually went all the way up to the top of the building; a windowed cupola that allows direct light into the plaza. The views out into the countryside were awesome, but turning to the south and seeing the mighty cantons arrayed across the bay was stupendous. A small moon, captured by the magic of Lord Vivec, hangs above his palace at the far end of the city. There is no vista like that anywhere else. I dropped down off the roof and entered the plaza. The familiar sign of the Mage's Guild hanging above a door was a welcome sight. I pushed through the bustling crowd and went inside.

I presented myself to the Archmage, Trebonius, and made the rounds of the guild hall introducing myself. I felt like a hick from the backwoods, but I think acquitted myself with sufficient dignity. The hall of the Archmage certainly put the intrigues of the Balmora guild hall into perspective. The tensions and undercurrents swirl almost visibly, and I don't think Trebonius handles it with the amused detachment of Ranis in Balmora. I think he is right in the thick of it.

After an uncomfortable dinner I excused myself and had the guild guide teleport me to Ald-ruhn. I considered Balmora. I could have bunked in the familiar and friendly confines of the guild hall and never crossed paths with House Hlaalu, but I had work to do in my lab. Tomorrow I will transport back, far better equipped to blend into the city. I have a fine steel shortsword scabbarded unobtrusively from my belt instead of the glowing devil spear to lug about. I am not very skilled with the shortsword, but lurking within it I have placed a daedric spirit. At a brief word of command the spirit will spring into the form of a mighty spear. In my stay here I have picked up a little skill as an enchanter...and a deadly hand with a spear.

Tomorrow I will face the hoards in the city and begin my search.


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