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, May 25, 2005

Day 123: Uncharted ruin

Today I traveled through unfamiliar wilderness; unfamiliar to me, and I suspect seldom seen. The Telvanni have settled along the eastern coast of Vvardenfell, mostly on the numerous offshore islands. The eastern grazelands they have left mostly to the Ashlanders, though there are some conflicts. Even the Ashlanders do not travel inland very much, onto the long slopes of Red Mountain known as Molag Amur.

I kept to a mostly eastward path. Ancient trees petrified by ash dot the landscape, and in places give evidence of great forests lost to the fury of the volcano. Pools of bubbling lava seep from the stone to relieve pressure, but clearly demonstrate that the mountain is quiet, but not dead. The cliff racers glide overhead on still wings, lofted by the rising heat. They scour the terrain for a meal, but even they do not nest here. The desolation is near complete. To live here a creature must subsist mostly on magica and heat. There are few that can do so, but around midday I encountered one such monster.

My progress was blocked by a steep ridge of cracked stone. I turned south along the base, seeking an access to the top that did not require levitation. The broken rock did not defy purchase, and I reasoned that a lesser slope could not be far out of my way. Soon I was proven correct and resumed my eastward journey by clambering upwards. I paused atop the ridge, surprised to see a narrow path winding along the base of the further slope. In the arid waste the path could have been cut a week ago, or a thousand years ago. It may have been made by the endless pacing of the great green behemoth that strode purposefully along it, then for no apparent reason turned back the other way. The pacing monster turned at random making no real progress in either direction.

It strode on great legs, each like the trunk of a tree, that ended in great round pads. Three large claws distinguished the front of the leg from the rear, but no discernible foot protruded. The mighty legs held up the weight of a hugely distended belly, arms which also reminded me of tree trunks, and a great dome of a head split by a huge maw. The beast's green skin grated with scales as it moved, and even high above on the ridge I could almost feel the jarring vibration of its ponderous tread.

I considered my options. I could have waited until the erratic random pacing took the monster away to north or south. I could have used my amulet and my stealth to slip across the trail without being noticed. I did not want to wait perched on the hot rock, and I did not want to risk being caught on the flat road. I deemed it better to use the advantage the steep slope gave me and brought forth my bow.

The first arrow buried itself in the green scaly neck of the creature. It seemed that it could have been a fatal shot, but the monster turned with a roar and began lumbering up the slope. I stood my ground, launching shaft after shaft into the great green bulk. It was not long before I actually could feel the strike of each heavy footfall. Fortunately the ponderous gait and the slope prevented a rapid rush, and shot after shot punctured the green flesh.

As the great beast neared I leapt to the top of a rocky spire to gain every possible second. Small tusks flanked the crevasse of the beasts mouth. Beady eyes glared, puzzled, from pits in the bulbous flesh of the face. Hot moist breath roared over rows of teeth as the huge bellows of the chest fell with each mighty exhalation. The arrows were taking a slow toll, and bloody froth flew forth to spatter my boots as the monster gained the top of the ridge. I put a final red fletched arrow into the beast, striking the soft palate inside the gaping mouth, then dropped my bow and drew the Lifetaker sword from its scabbard.

I was wary of the great arms, which could have grappled me in a bone crushing hug from which there would be no escape. I also recognized that even though the teeth lining the great mouth were neither large nor sharp the mighty jaws could snap with shattering force. The monster glared its fury, but stopped its hulking charge with me still just out of reach. The great chest heaved. The eyes glazed. The massive titan wavered, then toppled backwards onto the rock with a shattering crash that nearly shook me off of the spire on which I was perched.. I recognized the monster from conversations, and my study of the Book of Daedra. Why an Ogrim, either summoned or escaped from the nether planes of the Daedra, patrolled this abandoned road I shall never know. It patrols no longer.

The setting sun disappeared early behind the great mountain at my back. I continued in the shadowed daylight, but now it is near dark and I am forced to camp in the open and hope for the best. The dream addled sleep of the corprus disease cannot be stayed. In the distance great spires rise. A mighty Dwemer ruin which in the morning I must pass, or avoid.


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