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, March 08, 2005

Day Sixty-seven: Journeyman Blade

I began my search for the Dunmer woman in the netch armor in the foriegn quarter. I don't know that she is the killer, but looking for her seems like the best way to start. I set out from this point: the Ordinators haven't found her, so she must be somewhere they aren't. This leads directly into the sewers beneath the canton. Another dubious benefit that came to mind is that if I go prowling around in the secluded areas of the foriegn quarter there is a very good chance the killer will find me.

The killer did not find me today, however. I actually didn't make it all the way to the sewers either. The canalworks, a level below the main thoroughfares of the city but above the flowing wastes of the sewers, caught my attention. Despite its huge size, the foriegn quarter canton is crowded, and I found that even the canalworks level hosts shops and other functions. To my surprise I found an Imperial cult shrine discretely occupying a small chapel. Among the businesses an Ordinator paced the halls.

He was not happy. Ordinators, in my experience, never are; but this one was particularly unhappy. I suppose that he also recognized this as the most likely place to look for the killer, and now that the killer has two Ordinators to their credit that isn't so appealing. Before descending into the sewers I asked him about the rest of the canalworks, specifically if there were any unoccupied areas he didn't patrol. He suggested the tombs.

I suppose during some periods of history Morrowind was almost completely isolated, which would mean no foriegners to throng the foriegn quarter. Apparently during those times the native Dunmer occuppied the canton, and where Dunmer live there are tombs for their ancestors. The tombs in the canalworks beneath the foriegn quarter are mostly ignored by those living in our current time, but they are still there, and still home to the dead. A Dunmer with a bent for killing outlanders might consider it a good home as well. I crept inside.

Unlike the family tombs I have visited in the countryside, there are no burial urns in the foriegn quarter tombs. Long centuries of disuse have left it barren; dusty and abandoned. The Dunmer ancestors do not rest quietly in such quarters. In their aggravation they present powerful opposition to disturbance. I was sorely challenged. Skeletal warriors beset me at every turn, armed with mighty claymores crafted of silver. Among them floated strange skeletal constructs with multiple arms held together by glowing robes that revealed no feet or legs as they fluttered above the floor in the creature's wake. These horrors struck with spells, and raked with their great bony claws. Their malice lent credence to the idea that they might shelter a Dunmer with outlander blood on their hands, but they apparently do not. I spent most of the day in the winding passages of the tomb, and found nothing.

I returned to the guild hall in time for dinner. I had an appetite after the efforts of the day, but was covered with dust and my shirt hung in rags over my armor. Rather than face the hostile glare of Sirlonwe and some other obvious jealousies, I got transport to Balmora. Ajira fussed and fretted over my condition. Galbedir gave me a shirt that she hadn't gotten around to enchanting. I had a hot bath and they saved me some dinner. I may not get the respect due my rank in Balmora, but I get friendship, which is far more valuable.

With a full stomache and fresh clothes I set out into the darkened streets, cloaked by my chameleon amulet. I found Caius at home, surrounded by piles of notes. He looked tired. I almost felt guilty as I added the Dissident priest's book 'Progress of Truth' to the stacks.

"Arvil," said the spymaster, "I must admit that when the Emperor sent you to me I did not expect much. The Nerevarine prophecies present some opportunities, and some risks, and to explore those opportunities we needed someone with the right birthday and unknown parentage. Not much of a qualification, but I didn't expect him to go to the Imperial prisons to find someone to fill it. I expected someone from the Legion I suppose, or something. I assumed you would disappear into the swamps, as either a smuggler or a corpse, in short order. You surprised me, and you continue to surprise me, and if there is such a thing as this Nerevarene I can't think of anyone better for it to be than you. Your performance on the missions I've given you has been exemplary. I agree in principle with your stand against the Cammona Tong, and I can't tell you how impressed I was with your efficiency and effectiveness in that matter. And your rise in the Mage's Guild has been meteoric. I've drafted a letter to the Emperor congratulating him on his choosing you for the assignment, and promoting you to journeyman rank."

From convict to ranking member of His Majesty's Secret Service. Amazing. I need to stop looking like a ragimuffin. My black armor was fine when I was using a spear all the time, but the close quarters style of the shortsword is destroying my wardrobe. Tomorrow I will wear a steel cuirasse that will protect me, and my clothes.


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