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, March 02, 2005

Day Sixty-three: Wandering mage

My plan to walk back to Ald-ruhn was blown away by an ill wind this morning. I was awakened early by a strange sound, and slipped from my bed with shortsword in hand. Adrenaline coursed into my veins, quickly clearing my expected hangover. I guess it's true that even the most ill wind blows some good. Guest rooms at the tradehouse are on the lower level, below ground, and I crept up the stairs. The groaning creaking grew louder. I paused near the top step, and nearly bolted out of my skin when a great hand clapped loudly on my shoulder, backed by the hearty bellow of a huge orc. "Good morning Arvil! Didn't expect to see you up and about this morning! Looking mighty wide awake too, with sword in hand! You are more than I expected."

If we hadn't been fast friends drinking each other's health far into the night I might have stuck him with the sword. From the multitude of scars crosshatching the green hide the great warrior probably wouldn't have given one more any great concern. My hangover burst back with a rush. "Quietly. Please my friend. Quietly. What is that noise?" As if on cue a deep groan rumbled through the building.

"Oh ho!" he boomed, and I winced again. "These Redorans use the native shells of the giant insects of the Ashlands for their constructions. That sound is the sound of great plates of beetle shell grinding together as a gust heaves against them. The constant rustling is gritty ash being thrown against the building on the wind. This is an ash storm, not a good day to be outside. The ash carries the blight. Tomorrow will be a good day to find monsters, heavy and powerful with the blight, but not yet so bloated that they can't think or move well." The orc warrior's eyes blazed at the thought of glorious battle. I'd just as soon let them bloat up and pop them with an arrow.

The warriors gathered to defend Maar Gan shared a cheerful breakfast table under the great groaning shell. Andus will have a profitable day; they were drinking before the dishes were cleared. They were insistent in their invitation that I ride out the storm with them and join them in the battle that is sure to follow, but I had to pass. I'm confident I would survive the battle, but the preliminaries in the bar full of warriors were daunting. I braved the wind and made it to the strider port, and fled Maar Gan. As things worked out it was just as well I made a fast return to Ald-ruhn.

The journey was unforgettable, unfortunately. The caravaner stretched a tarp over the cockpit to keep the blowing ash out. I have somewhat adjusted to the hollowed space inside the shell of the silt strider. I've even gotten used to seeing the caravaners work the controls; some of which are cords running down into the guts of the beast to attach to unseen organs, others being exposed tangles of nerves directly accessed with prods and kicks. What I had not really noticed before is the smell! Keeping the ash out is critical, not only for our comfort, but obviously for the health of the strider, but I would have killed the caravaner for a breath of fresh air by the time we arrived in Ald-ruhn. I ran through the swirling ash and dust and burst gratefully into the guild hall.

Edwinna had left word for me to see her as soon as I arrived. The book, as it turns out, had been of no use to her research. I immediately took transport to Vivec City, where the guild hall was in an uproar. The missing book had been noticed, apparently. Sirlonwe had all but accused Trebonius of taking it out of spite. The archmage, for his part, was threatening her with disciplinary action for having lost the book, which he said was guild property. Tensions were running high. I visited the alchemist, purchasing comberries, gold kanet, and some other flowers that are abundant around Vivec City but don't grow in the Ashlands. With a good reason for my brief visit established I slipped into Sirlonwe's room, stashed the book in her closet under a neatly folded robe, and nonchalantly took transport back to Ald-ruhn.

Edwinna was pleased. "Sounds like you could be a suspect, but there will never be any proof. They're so wrapped up in their own petty sniping that they won't actually do anything, once the book is found. That pompous fool Trebonius wouldn't know a book if it slammed shut on his bald Imperial head! A handful of destruction spells and a will to blast away at anything he doesn't understand hardly makes an archmage!" It is clear that Trebonius' appointment as the Archmage of Vvardenfell by the council in Cyrodiil meets little local approval.

As always, Edwinna rapidly turned the conversation back to her research. Tonight I am collapsed with exhaustion in a tradehouse in the town of Gnissis, after yet another immersion in the miasma of a silt strider's innards. Thankfully, Gnissis is on the coast, and we broke clear of the dust storm about halfway here. The bracing sea air is working wonders, and I'm sure I will sleep well. Tomorrow I will travel north, to the outpost at Ald Velothi, and from there follow the coast to a Dwemer ruin called Arkngthunch-Sturdumz. As a language, I must say Dwemer does not translate well. Anyway, Edwinna needs a Dwemer tube for her project,and it falls to me to find one for her.



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