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, May 06, 2005

Day 110: Getting nowhere fast

I like sleeping at home. It doesn't seem to get these pilgrimages done though. Once again I have spent the day afoot, only to arrive home long after midnight; boneweary and further from my destination than I have been since I woke up this morning.

Last night I took the opportunity to check with all the mage's in the guild hall regarding the disappearance of the Dwemer. No one really knows anything, but there were some good theories. That was not the only benefit of the conversations. As Ranis predicted, the staff here would welcome anyone who could supplant Trebonius. Not that I openly forwarded the idea that I could; but their contempt for the pompous Archmage could not have been hidden if they had tried. For the most part they did not bother trying. Most of them openly said that since I don't have to report back to Vivec City any time soon I should just ignore the assignment. Over breakfast I again left Trebonius twisting in the political wind.

"I see you have opted for a free meal rather than getting an early start on your mission," he grumbled as he entered the dining hall.

"Ah, but I have been working on it Trebonius," I replied silkily. "Although most would think looking for the lost dwarves to be a fool's errand I am certainly willing to pursue it for you. I've spoken to everyone here already, and unless you have thought of something to add I'll be headed for Ald-ruhn next. Edwinna is quite a scholar on the subject as I'm sure you are aware. Oddly enough I recently acquired a book that may serve as a translation key for the Dwemer language. I may actually be closer to uncovering the secret than it appears; since I must admit it looks like I'm doing nothing but enjoying my breakfast." Obviously, the expression 'fool's errand' would normally refer to the fool on the errand in question, but from the smirks around the table it was clear another meaning had crossed at least most of the agile minds present. From the purple blotches on Trebonius' neck it was clear he got it as well; but roasting a magician at the breakfast table for something he might have meant would be a pretty far leap. Before he could gather himself to continue the baiting I rose from my seat. "I must away to Ald-ruhn. Pleasure all." I walked quickly down the hall to the guild guide platform.

For all my posturing I really have no idea how I'm going to resolve the question of the Dwemer. I have two large tomes written in Dwemer, and the book 'Hanging Garden' which is apparently translated to old Eldmeris. This is an improvement, but slight. No one at all can read Dwemer. No one I know can read Eldmeris.

Anyway, I wasn't actually planning to solve the riddle today. I was planning on continuing the pilgrimages of the seven graces. I checked in with Tuls Valen at the temple in Ald-ruhn and headed for Gnissis to view the ash mask of Vivec at the shrine of justice. I had not gone far to the west of the city when the rising wind shifted to my back, blowing from Red Mountain. It is an ill wind that blows down those ashy slopes.

By mid afternoon I was swallowed in blowing ash and gave up all hope of making a direct run to Gnissis. Mostly I just wanted to reach the West Gash, where the grasses would limit the dust somewhat, or at least keep it from thickening. When the grasslands came underfoot the storm did indeed ease somewhat, allowing me to recognize some landmarks of my previous travels. I knew the West Gash has plenty of caves, caverns and mines. I hoped to find one unoccupied that I could shelter in. My fate does not run to ease however, it runs more to fortune in a literal sense.

The thugs and brigands who occupied the cave I took shelter in were not very well organized. Perhaps they thought their numbers and reputation would keep any travelers away. Unfortunately I knew neither. Had they been reasonable I would have paid them some sum of gold for the shelter of their cave, but of course their door guards attacked me on sight. They had no system for backing up those worthies, and I cast a spell of silence over the area to avoid any alarms while I dispatched them.

The cave amounted to a long tunnel, swelling every so often into a chamber. The occupants of each chamber seemed almost independent of the others in the band, and without a concerted rush none were a match for the Daedric Lifetaker that I am becoming fairly adept at wielding. In each cavern there were bedrolls and chests and crates of loot, but little of great value. Some of the thugs, particularly the door guards, were thoroughly armored with quality steel and even more valuable bonemold, but I was not willing to gather more than I could comfortably carry. I wasn't willing until I reached the deepest cavern and met what I assume was the leader of the ragtag band. Over the long life of a Dunmer warrior many things can happen, and the leader of a poorly organized mob of cut-throats today may have been something far different during his earlier days. I'm sure that was true of this man. His armor is too finely crafted.

The plates are inlaid with the volcanic stone called ebony. Raw ebony sells for twenty gold pieces to the pound on the black market. In its raw form it is considered property of the Empire, which controls all mining, so the black market is the only source, other than Imperial armorers. Whether this Dunmer had received the armor from the Empire for some previous service I have no way of knowing. Whoever the armorer was they possessed great skill. Without even considering the workmanship the armor is valuable, the craftsmanship involved makes it nearly priceless.

Priceless, and far too heavy to carry all the way to Gnissis. The cave would serve as shelter, but at the dictates of my greed for the armor I had to teleport home. Ahnassi's eyes again flew wide at the sight of yet another treasure for my collection. This ebony armor is undoubtedly worth more than the house and all of its contents. My collection of Daedric weapons excluded of course.


Post a Comment

<< Home