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 09, 2005

Day Forty-Eight: The slave traders

I am taking my bed tonight in the master's cabin aboard Grytewake; a fine jest. We will sail on the pre-dawn tide, and I will be a hand with the sails; a barely able hand. Wadarkhu's crew is short for manning a deep water vessel like Grytewake, and I will have to be made useful.

When I awoke this morning my mind immediately sprang to Wardarkhu as the answer to the question of what to do with this ship. I raced into Hla Oad and located Pallia Ceno. Pallia was the only person in Hla Oad who was even remotely civil during my last visit. She is an initiate in the Imperial Cult. While the Empire allows and encourages religious freedom in all of its provinces it does actively support the official beliefs of native Cyrodiil. Throughout the Empire order is maintained by the Imperial Legions, and civilization is maintained by the Imperial Cult. Pallia represents the cult here in the backwaters of the Bitter Coast. I admire her courage, particularly considering the strong influence of the Cammona Tong in Hla Oad. While she would like me to take the oath and join the Cult as a lay member, she is willing to help me out as my friend. A generous donation to her cause helped. I put her aboard the Harpy, bound for Gnaar Mok.

The Cammona Tong operates freely and openly in Hla Oad. I spent the rest of the morning sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. There are some honest fishermen, drawing their living from the sea and swamps, and Perien Aurelie the pawnbroker treated me fairly enough, but otherwise the town is run by the Tong. There was not much wheat to be found. I was taken aback by how pervasive the Tong is here, and briefly doubted my commitment to their elimination. Many members of the Tong claim they are just a society of businessmen, and I wonder how the business of Hla Oad would get done without them. There is not much business to do, but would Perien be able to take it all in the absence of the trader Tresteve? Dalam Gavyn is the only smith. Would another take his place if the Tong's influence were broken? My doubts were removed when I met Relem Arinith. A perfect example of the 'businessmen' of the Cammona Tong. I can hardly wait for his blood to darken my spear.

When I first laid eyes on Arinith he held a cruel leather lead in his hand. Bound by the lead was a Khajiit. Her fur was matted, and her eyes dulled by misery. My stomach turned at the thought that my dear Ahnassi could be subject to such a fate if the Cammona Tong's bigoted views were allowed to flourish. We were in the caverns beneath Fat-legs Drop Off, Tresteve's trading establishment, and surrounded by Cammona Tong and other witnesses. My hands itched, but I kept my spear in its sling. Cunning and diplomacy; I would buy the slave, whose name was Rabinna, and reclaim my gold from Arinith's corpse later. He would not sell.

"You could not afford her outlander," he said. "She does not look like much, but she has a great inner worth." He barked a short evil laugh, and was joined by the rest of the toughs gathered nearby. I did not get the joke. If I had understood the grotesque reference I would have gutted them all on the spot, despite all consequence. Arinith continued; "You may be able to buy her from Vorar Helas outlander. She is payment of a debt I owe him." He gave the lead a vicious yank. If you want her so badly, deliver her to him in Balmora, and perhaps he will sell." I recognized the name. Vorar Helas was a neighbor of Caius; a sneering, ill-tempered fellow. Hearing his name in this context marked him unsurprisingly as Cammona Tong. I knew Wadarkhu would not arrive before dark. I took the job.

Rabinna followed, docile and subdued, as I sped for Balmora. She expressed no complaint at the fast pace I set. She showed no curiosity when I turned off the road and approached the city over the hills east of the river. I used a pass that I had noted because it provided direct access to Caius' house. We descended unobserved to the roof of Helas' house, and slipped in through an upper balcony. Before Helas could raise an outcry, I showed him the cowering slave I had brought.

"Good work outlander," he hissed. "Using you is a master stroke. Relem is even more clever than I thought."

"Too clever by half," I said. "I'll be taking Rabinna with me. He would not sell her, and I promised to deliver her to you, to give you one chance to sell her."

"She is worthless outlander, a cat with a veneer of civilization. But she is a fine shipping container, and after I slit her belly open you can have her for nothing. Disposing of the corpse is always a task I'd rather avoid anyway." With that the vile smuggler cast a paralyzation spell on me and advanced on Rabinna, drawing a wicked dagger.

The small vial of protective potion in my belt pouch pulsed magica into my frozen body, drawing my hand. My thumb popped the cap as it came to my lips. As the fluid poured in full freedom of movement exploded into my limbs.

Helas and his dagger may have been ideally suited for killing a cowed slave, but they were no match for my spear, or my fury. There may be relative innocents among the Tong, but I will have no remorse for disemboweling Vorar Helas and leaving him to die slowly, clutching his entrails.

I couldn't leave Rabinna in the house with the corpse, but I certainly have no desire for a slave. I brought her back to the ship, and my meeting with Wadarkhu. The wrapping on the moon sugar the smugglers forced her to swallow will break down, and she will face some rough times. Wadarkhu will see her through, and I will meet her again at Gnaar Mok. Before then I will return to Fat-Legs Drop Off. The Cammona Tong there, with their laughs about her 'inner worth' will get a sense of my humor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

at 58 years of age, mother of 7 with 10 grandchildren, I have had no interest in computer games, despite the fact that several of our children played them. UNTIL I was introduced to Morrowind! The fact that you can be anyone and go anywhere and do anything is so amazing. It is its own self-contained world, whereanything is possible! Vardenfell is such a beautiful and interesting country, where you canalwaysimprove the weather,and the adventures, when you aren't just wandering along enjoying life,are fun, if sometimes terrifying!! When I was shown your website, Arvil's dusty tomes, I was enchanted - a fantasy about a fantasty ! You have captured exactly the essence of Morrowind for me,and turned it into an extremely well-written and hair=raising journal where I recognisethe story line and lots of the characters, and have in fact been to lots of the places you describe so well.
I love your daily journal. I shall miss it when you get to the end of the story - not for a while yet I hope. Your journal reflects juty how I feel about Morrowind. Thank you! Please keep writing ! Angela

2:41 AM  

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