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, April 06, 2005

Day Eighty-eight: The Urshilaku

I slept fitfully through the night, and more through the morning. The storm raged unabated outside the door. No further threats arose from the shrine below, but I was very happy to take my leave when the wind finally died down. The midday sun hung pale red above the settling dust. I set out to the north.

It was not all that far to the shore, and I had not strayed far from my course. The Urshilaku camp appeared off to the west as I topped a rise. I turned to approach, keeping a wary eye on the Ashlanders that could be seen moving among the grouping of yurts. I wanted to appear respectful and cautious, but must admit that I would have been far more comfortable with my bow in my hands rather than slung on my back.

I was well within bowshot, and knew there were many eyes upon me when a rangy Dunmer sauntered out to meet me at the edge of the camp. "Outlander. What do you want?" he asked. His tone was not the hissing accusation I had heard before, just a flat statement. I am an outlander.

I kept my own voice equally flat as I replied. "I have come seeking the counsel of your Ashkhan and your wise woman. I must know more of the prophecy of the Nerevarine."

"What would an outlander need to know of this? What brings you to this place? The Tribunal Temple has called the prophecy heresy. Do you say we are heretics? Would you burn our camp for the tribunes?" The red eyes were narrowed, and even though his hands stayed clear of his weapons danger radiated from him in a near visible cloud.

"I call no one a heretic. I was born on the certain day. I do not know my parents. I must know more about the prophecies. A good friend, an honorable man of the Ashlands, told me this is where I could find the answers I seek. I do not know what gifts to bring to you, your clan, or your honored chief, but I am willing to learn so I can follow that custom."

"An outlander thinks he is the Nerevarine," he said. "This is too much for me. See Zabamund, in that yurt there." He stepped aside as he motioned towards one of the large yurts set in a semicircle in the center of the camp. "He is a gulakhan, a trusted advisor to Sul-Matuul. He can weigh the merits of your story better than I."

I thanked him and walked towards the center of the camp.

"Outlander," he called from behind me. "Gold. We are in a modern age. Zabamund likes gold."

I entered the tent slowly. "Your pardon for the intrusion gulakhan. I would speak to you, and bring a gift of gold which I hope is suitable."

"You know our ways outlander. Many of your kind would call that a 'bribe', something dishonorable to be offered in darkness. I thank you for your gift. You may speak." Zabamund's eyes grew wide and incredulity spread over his features. "An outlander the Nerevarine! Why not a kagouti, or a shalk beetle? I think you may be mad Arvil Bren, but your voice rings true and I warrant you are no liar. Tell your tale to the Ashkahn. If he is upset at the disturbance he will be upset with me. I can afford that.."

The Ashkahn Sul-Matuul was not upset, stating simply that he trusted his advisors as he pocketed the gift of gold I delivered. He also seemed more open to the possibility of an outlander being the Nerevarine, but perhaps as the leader of his people he is just more diplomatic and humored me along. In any event he told me nothing of the prophecies, holding that knowledge secret among the clan. To get the answers I seek I must be named as a clanfriend. I thought this might be just a question of gold, and maybe if it was just up to the living members of the clan it would be, but it isn't.

Sul-Matuul sent me on a rite of initiation, to retrieve his father's bow from the clan burial caverns. I will be tested by his ancestors; either accepted or killed.


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