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, April 12, 2005

Day Ninety-two: Spirit of Sul-Senipul

I rose from my fitful slumber shortly after dawn and quaffed a restorative potion to make up for the lost sleep. A small pile of crumbly dry trama vine and a flame spell, a kwama egg fried on my steel shield, toast with scrib jelly, and I was ready to face my fate.

As Hassour had predicted new skeletal sentinels had taken their posts in the entry tunnel. Expecting their presence I crept in hidden by my chameleon amulet and let fly with a barrage of arrows. I have found that skeletal warriors are best dealt with by targeting the pelvic bones. The broad flat bones offer a fair target, and a bone splintering impact from an iron broadhead can knock them completely off their bony feet. With that initial advantage I dispatched many of my adversaries without actually having to cross blades with their mighty silver claymores.

Beyond the entry tunnel I found a large water filled cavern. Stalagtites from an earlier drier age broke the surface, providing a path that could be followed by nimble leaping or levitation. I crossed carefully, not wanting to find out what lurked in the still waters. Burial urns and mummies adorned numerous outcrops and niches in the stone walls. I didn't know how I would recognize Sul-Senipul, but this cavern seemed to have been used long centuries before so I did not expect to find Sul-Matuul's father there. Rising slightly from the far side of the lake a tunnel led into the next cavern.

I continued on, knowing that I was already deep below ground. The next cavern confirmed that, as the top of the eerily lit dome closed high above my head. Water tumbled down from far above, pooling around the base of a great pile of jumbled stone that rose in the center to meet the vault far above. Precarious ramps led upward in a haphazard spiral. As I scaled upwards I kept the command word for my levitating boots on the tip of my tongue.

Four burial chambers open from the great central dome. I peered into them briefly as I passed, but I could see that far above there were ledges that held mummified remains. I thought that perhaps the central cavern could be a place of honor appropriate for the latest Urshilaku chiefs. When I completed the climb the dust of ages once again indicated that this chamber had been used many generations ago. It was definitely worth the climb though. Clutched against the chest of an ancient corpse I found the Magebane sword. This powerful and beautiful relic is forged from the volcanic glass of Red Mountain and adorned with precious metals. It would be worth a fortune, even without the powerful enchantments that protect the wielder from magical attack. I may have to get instruction in the art of combat with a two handed sword, just so I can have the experience of using such a blade.

Hassour's instruction rang in my ears. I had abandoned dozens of the silver weapons brought from the undead plane by the skeletal guardians, but Magebane was different. It was as if the ancient weapon whispered to me, demanding to be free of the tomb of its previous master. I slung the sword across my back, surprised at how light it is for such a massive weapon. Light, but still an addition to my load that I hoped would not undo my quest.

I explored the burial vaults until I found the object of my quest. A stone temple shelters the remains of the recently deceased chieftain and offers his spirit a haunting ground. A ground that gave the shade a distinct advantage. Before I had any chance to see it lurking in the shadowy heights the ghost unleashed the power of the Bone-biter. Great bolts of magic blasted down on me, draining the agility from my limbs. My own bow fell from my suddenly clumsy grasp, and as the specter swooped to the attack I was afraid to dodge for fear of stumbling to the floor. Ghostly arrows clattered off my armor or pierced deep into my flesh. I dropped to my knees, huddling behind my steel shield and calling forth the healing enchantment within it, then gulping a potion brewed to dispel magical effects.

With my coordination restored I rose to face the angry spirit. "Revered ancestor, I would choose not to harm you, and mean no harm to your people, but I must take your bow back into the light of day and deliver it to your son." I dove and rolled to one knee with my own enchanted bow back in my hands. When I enchanted my bow I never would have anticipated this moment. My Bowes magic is an exact counter for the Bone-biter, fortifying the agility of the wielder rather than diminishing that of the target. We exchanged spells until both weapons sputtered, the magica pent up in their souls spent.

"Sul-Senipul, I did not come here to steal your weapon from the Urshilaku, but to restore it to hands that can use it every day. I fear you, and the judgment of the ancestors, but the quest given by Sul-Matuul must be completed. I would leave your spirit here, where it can guide the clan and continue to serve, but if there is no other way I will dispatch you back to the plane of the dead."

The spirit settled to the stone floor and seemed to gain substance until it was almost solid. The glowing red eyes looked deeply into me. I wonder if my own physical substance appears as insubstantial to him as his does to me. With a clatter the bonemold bow landed at my feet.

I am home. Home with the Bone-biter bow of Sul-Senipul. I cannot say the Urshilaku ancestors welcomed me with open arms, but the initiation is complete.


Anonymous Fejijar said...

Once again I commend you on knowing when to stick to the way things are in the game and when to alter them for the sake of the story. Your recounting of the battle with the Ancestor Ghost in the Urshilaku Tomb was an excellent example of this - In the game, you have no choice but to dispatch the spirit, but Arvil Bren can take a much more vocal and persuasive approach. I really am wondering about his character build, too. Obviously early on he was using a spear - And that means that he's getting a good bonus to Endurance. The switch to an enchanted shortsword containing the Summon Bound Spear spell was quite simply one of the best written parts of this tale so far, really adding to the realism of the atmosphere. And now the decision to train in Long Blade has been perfectly portrayed - A more than valid reason to learn one of the most valuable weapon skills in the game. Bravo!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Thanks. My favorite hangout to discuss all things Morrowind is at

Post to the Arvil Bren's Journal topic and I'll get in there with all the details of his character... as you probably guessed he is a 'custom' adventurer.

7:04 PM  

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