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.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Day One Hundred: Spy revealed

I joined the mage guild to cover my activities for Caius. I quickly found myself enjoying the camaraderie. I have benefited greatly from the experience and training of my fellows. I have collected dues and compelled recruits; done favors for all manner of wizard. I never thought it would come to this.

I returned to the Sadrith Mora guild hall in time for breakfast. We all had a good laugh over Angaredhel's spluttering response to the ghost's hospitality papers. Though I spent little time there I did get comfortable with the members in Sadrith Mora. When Skink-in-trees-shade said there was no spy in his hall I had to agree. I was actually doubting that there was a spy at all, but the wily Argonian squelched that thought. The hall in Sadrith Mora could legitimately be said to be in enemy territory, and he is the steward. I accepted his view that the Telvanni certainly had a spy in the guild, if not more than one. In his opinion the spy would be in the main hall in Vivec City, where the decisions are made that affect the guild throughout Vvardenfell. I had been avoiding Vivec's hall since I am not overly popular there, but after the frosty reception by the Telvanni the welcome seemed positively warm.

With Skink's suspicions backing up Ranis I decided to approach Trebonius directly upon my arrival in Vivec City. The Archmage scoffed. That pompous blowhard would not even discuss the matter, saying that his advisor on Dunmer matters, Tiram Gadar keeps an eye out for that sort of thing. An excellent watch keeper no doubt, but I had the temerity to ask if he could be trusted completely. Trebonius spluttered with rage.

"I am the Archmage!!" he shouted. "Do you think I wouldn't know if there was a spy in my own hall? Ranis has twisted your mind with her paranoid delusions." He flung a dry parchment in front of me. "Do you see that? Tiram comes recommended by Ocato the Battlemage! I suppose next you would question Ocato himself!" With that the Archmage of Vvardenfell stalked off. I didn't bother to tell him that even as the credentials lay scattered on the table I could see there was no need to question Ocato. The signature on the recommendation was misspelled. Rather than try to confront the Archmage with a reality he did not want to see I gathered the papers and returned to Balmora.

Ranis and I agreed on a number of things. The first I appreciated greatly. We were not going to kill Timar Gadar. By we I mean Ranis was not going to give the order and I was not going to march into the largest guild hall in Vvardenfell and kill Timar, even if he was a spy. Ranis, much to my surprise, did not want him dead anyway.

The next thing we agreed on was that in the right hands this credential with the misspelled signature from the the Imperial battlemage could be used to shatter Trebonius delicate credibility as the Archmage of Vvardenfell. Ranis as steward of the hall could easily get it to the highest levels of the guild hierarchy. Quite possibly Trebonius would be recalled to Cyrodiil. I was mad enough at the pompous fool that I was in favor of this course. Again to my surprise Ranis disagreed.

"Arvil," she said, "they would just send someone else with no knowledge of Morrowind. And they might send someone far more actively meddlesome than the scuttlehead we have now. Better to stick with what we have for a while and get what we want than have someone new that hasn't given us the means to get rid of him." She rustled the papers that were still gripped in her hand.

A glimmer of her plan broke through the haze in my brain. I thought it did anyway. "Knowledge of Morrowind; you have plenty of that. Are you angling to be the next Archmage Ranis?"

She smiled a rueful smile. "No Arvil, I'm not. I am ambitious, and I think I could serve the guild well, but they would not have a Dunmer take that office. We live too long and could accumulate too much power here in our own land. No, not me; and not some fresh Imperial favorite. The guild stewards in Vvardenfell need to stand up and agree on an Archmage that would serve well for us and still be acceptable to the guild."

"Edwinna?" I asked half-heartedly. I could not imagine her getting that involved in guild politics.

"No, she would not want to leave her research. And Skink in Sadrith Mora is a fine guardian for our interests in hostile Telvanni territory but an Argonian certainly wouldn't be able to manage our interests. The other Houses would hate him as much as the Telvanni, unfortunately. Edwinna and I have been talking, and we have agreed on someone both of us could support. The staff in Vivec would support anyone who supplanted Trebonius. Skink is not sure yet."

"Not sure about who?" I asked. I couldn't think of anyone else who was anywhere near the rank or skill to be the next Archmage. I also had no idea why I was being taken into this high level of counsel.

"Arvil, you need to get to know Skink better," she said. It felt like the floor was slipping out from under my chair. "And you really need to improve your spellcraft. You won't be able to hold the staff of office if you are clutching that spear all the time."


Anonymous Mebyon said...

As gripping as ever Tim. You make even politics sound interesting!

Congratulations on your centenary.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Minque said...

I´ve actually read quite a few of the chapters of your novel before, and all I can say is that it is just magnificent.

I´m very happy that you have joined our forums, Waiting4Oblivion, where I´m a moderator, and I will certainly pop in on your link and check for updates.

I´s completely clear that you are a professional writer, no doubt, and I hope you also find some amusement in reading our himble attempts on the forums.

I hereby wish you a warm welcome and also I want to thank you for sharing your wonderful novel with us.

Minque, mod at the W4O-forums

12:49 AM  

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