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.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Day Eighty-one: Lost...and found

I spent the entire day wandering around in the West Gash. I did not find Hannat Zainsubari. I didn't even find Mamaca, the underground complex he is supposed to be investigating. I found kagouti, kwama, alit, wild guar, and an abundance of cliff racers, which is to say I found nothing of particular interest. Then late in the day I encountered a man pacing alongside one of the many twisting paths that seemed not to lead anywhere, and he gave me a good excuse.

The sun was settling very low in the west, and I was thinking there was nothing else for it but to bed down in the wilderness for the night. I was not looking forward to that. Lucan Ostorius is not someone I would want to do business with, but in this case an exception was warranted. He is a trader, and was supposed to be meeting a buyer. The obvious questions about what kind of trader meets a customer at a roadside in the middle of nowhere I left unasked. Not surprisingly, the product consisted of an assortment of quality steel weapons, and the buyer turned out to be an Orc who Lucan expected could be found at The Rat In The Pot, an unseemly tradehouse near the Fighter's Guild hall in Ald-ruhn. There were a dozen good reasons not to get involved in this deal. But I did.

The load of weapons was heavy. Not too heavy to carry, but certainly not something I would want to trudge all the way back into town with. So, one intervention spell later I was standing in the dusky twilight in the courtyard of the temple, a short walk from The Rat In The Pot, followed by dinner at the guild house and my own bed. Tomorrow I will go back and renew my search. The walk out will not take that much time away.

Late Addendum:
Despite my last line I have been pitching and turning in my bed. Smuggling weapons for Orcs and thieves wasn't why I came back to town. I came back for the comforts, disregarding that my friend's son could be suffering far greater discomfort than a night sleeping on the ground. Fortunately my conscience was keeping me awake.

Lying in my bed I heard the distinctive pop of a teleportation spell. The guild guide's platform is right down the hall from my room, but it is not that close. Someone had materialized closer; much closer; in my own room! I rolled in the darkness, pitching off the side of the bed away from the door just as the mattress erupted in a storm of feathers. I quickly cast a nighteye spell so that I could see my assailant, then upended the bed. The frame levered upward, sliding the shredded mattress into his feet, and I continued lifting until I could push the empty frame over onto the black clad assassin. My devil spear, abandoned under the bed weeks ago, leapt to hand.

The Dark Brotherhood has stepped up their efforts. This assassin was no novice. With a single slash of his wakizashi the bedframe exploded into splinters. Even in the distorted colors of the nighteye spell I recognized the gleam of a Daedric blade. I have been practicing the heavy armored styles, and close infighting of the shortblade. But my hands gripped the spear like an old friend, and the unarmored fighting styles are still my favorite. Unfortunately, the confines of the room gave the advantage to my attacker, and he struck to good effect with the vicious blade. He was obviously well versed in the Akaviri styles, using the shortbladed wakizashi to slash where a more conventional shortsword would be thrusting to bring the point to advantage.

I was bleeding profusely from a wicked gash across my chest and the situation was deteriorating rapidly when my assailant's nighteye spell ran out. He quickly gulped a potion to restore his vision, but in the brief advantage I struck with good effect, my spear point sliding off the cuff of his gauntlet and up the sleeve of the pauldron to shred his right forearm into useless meat. The heavy wakizashi clattered to the floor. His Akaviri training showed again, as he whirled into an unarmed combat mode and struck a powerful spinning kick to my wounded torso. As I well knew the light flexible mesh of his armor did nothing to hinder his movements, and hardened the already devastating impact. I fell in a heap gasping while he recovered his blade.

Scrabbling among the wreckage of the bed I flung myself into the corner by the door and threw it open. With the blade in his left hand and his right arm disabled the assassin took the swinging door with his shoulder, slowing him enough for me to roll out into the hallway and gain my feet. Outside my door is not actually a hallway. It is more of a balcony overlooking the main room one floor below. I vaulted over the railing, trusting that all my recent practice in the alteration arts would give me sufficient command to rely on my levitation spell. It worked, catching me somewhat below the balcony level, but far above the floor. As I rose I conjured a spear.

The assassin had dropped his blade once again, and his one good hand struggled with a pouch on his right hip. He never had a chance to throw the deadly ebony dart that emerged. That he would even try to throw a dart, left handed, testifies to his confidence in his marksmanship. My conjured spear struck first, piercing through the fine seam between the mask and shirt of black chain mesh. Blood gushed from the severed arteries of his throat, and he died before he hit the floor. I landed, sitting on the stone rail of the balcony, and dropped the conjured spear. Only then did I hear the shouting chaos of my fellow mages.


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