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 10, 2005

Day Forty-nine: The fall of Daren Adryn

Tonight I can barely hold quill to paper. Drunkenness. Result of celebration, or a search for oblivion? I am a killing machine. Five more lives snuffed out, and more tomorrow. Deservedly so, but why by my hand? What fate has sent me to Vvardenfell as the right hand of death?

This morning was glorious; sailing the open water, clean sea air. Grytewake is a prize that gave even the gruff Wadarkhu a spring in his steps. His command of the ship, the loyalty of his crew, not only to him but to each other, spoke volumes. I helped with the rigging, and worked cheerfully as directed. I was the pirate who delivered the prize, and I was treated well. Still I couldn't help but notice the sideways glances and wary eyes. When we reached deep water the bodies of the former crew and their accomplices were dumped over the side. I did not help with that. I wasn't asked.

We brought the ship in to a secret dock and boarded Wadarkhu's coaster. I was again useful as we transferred the bulk of the provisions to the smaller ship. The cargo of ebony we buried. Neither Wadarkhu or I know a buyer for such a load. We will both be looking. We are agreed that the profit from the cargo is mine, the ship is Wadarkhu's. As we shook on the deal the cynical Khajiit smuggler spoke with morbid humor. "If you find a buyer my good friend Arvil Bren, try not to kill them." Only Wadarkhu was in on the plan for the rest of my activities today, so his low humor was understandable, but I couldn't bring myself to laugh.

The crew sailed for Gnaar Mok. On the smaller ship I was just a passenger. As we rounded the north end of the island I slipped over the side breathing water and swam stealthily ashore. Wadarkhu sailing brazenly to the dock gave me ample opportunity to slip into town. Coming from the north I had to slip past the manor house of Almse Arenim. The small Arenim clan is closely tied with Great House Hlaalu, and Almse is their agent in residence, administering their Bitter Coast holdings. She and her guards obviously have turned a blind eye to the activities of the Tong and there is a certain complicity in that, but House Hlaalu veers with the wind of profits. They are not themselves glaringly evil, and I would rather not put myself directly at odds with them. I was successful today, but the guard posted to Hla Oad may be a problem tomorrow.

I secreted myself near the shack that serves as headquarters for the Tong, and waited. Wadarkhu and the Hluulu guard were in a heated exchange on the dock. There was no contraband in the cargo, which Wadarkhu's crew were unloading and moving into the Druegh-jigger's Rest. The debate was about taxes, on the surface; the undercurrent were powerful, and obvious. Wadarkhu did not acquire the mountain of provisions, clothing, armor, and weapons on a 'trading voyage', as he was stridently claiming, and the guard knew it. Eventually Almse Arenim herself would be down at the dock, taxes would be levied, and the excitement would pass. But first the typical crowd would gather. I counted on that.

Among the early arrivals in the crowd was Nadene Rotheran. She provided the cover for the Tong's shelter. An innocent commoner paying a minimal stipend for her shelter, making a meager living fishing and collecting mushrooms; she goes unquestioned about the coming and going of her frequent guests. Unquestioned by the legal authority at least. I didn't question either, I eavesdropped. As she and another woman pulled away from the crowd and headed towards the shack I was delighted to hear "We have to get Daren. Can you believe the Theive's Guild? Sailing up to the dock in broad daylight like regular merchants?" They opened the door on my quarry.

Gulping a potion of invisibility I swept through the door in their wake. Their conversation clearly identified Daren
Adryn. From his robes I guessed that he was a mage of some sort. From his rank in the Tong I guessed he would be a dangerous sort. The other toughs and thugs clearly deferred to him. I positioned myself so he was between me and the rest as my potion wore off. He roared in outrage and began casting a spell. He never finished, interrupted by his life blood gushing from his mouth as his lungs collapsed around the spear through his chest. The fall of their master put the rest in a frenzy, but they were also disheartened and rapidly fell before the gleaming point that dripped with his blood. I stood in the carnage gathering my breath.

Breath was all I had time to gather. The sounds of running feet, undoubtedly clad in the bonemold boots of a Hlaalu guard were bearing down on the door. There may have been a slight swirl of magica lingering in the air when the guard burst in. I wouldn't know. I was reappearing in my cave.

As usual, my journal has served me well. The writing has sobered me somewhat, and given me perspective. It is not my place to question the fate that has brought me here, nor mine to judge the choices made by men such as Daren Adryn. All I can do is complete the task set before me, with steady hand and clear head. Tomorrow, Hla Oad.


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