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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, May 31, 2005

Day 127: Surprising cure

Divayth Fyr is a genius; underhanded perhaps, but a genius. His potion did not cure the corprus disease. It just countered all the ill effects. I retained the extra muscle that I put on while the disease was active, and I retained the immunity to other diseases that is a side effect of having corprus. Also, since I technically already have the corprus disease I can clearly fit the prophecy that says 'the divine disease before him flees'. I can't catch what I already have. The resounding success inclines me to forgive the ancient wizard, although I was extremely angry when he gave me the potion to drink.

No one could have been more surprised when it worked than he was. He had me shut my eyes while he administered the potion. When it started taking affect I could not help but open them. Divayth Fyr and one of his daughters were there. He was observing, dictating to her as she scribed furiously in a book. The page was headed "Manner of Death'! As I took this in, the wizard started shouting. "Look!" he cried, "Alphe, Look! It's working! It's actually working." She looked up from the book with shock spread large across her face.

"I thought this was just an experiment," she said.

The wizard grabbed my chin and turned my head from side to side. "The eyes are clear," he said. "Skin normal. Open your mouth. Tongue not swollen. He appears perfectly normal." He muttered a brief incantation. Some of the words were familiar from my cure spell for common diseases. I think he tried to give me a disease of some sort. "He still has the immunity, and I can detect the corprus, but the harmful effects are completely checked." He cut my arm with a small knife. "Look, the wild regenerative effects are stopped."

I had had enough. "If you didn't think it would work why did you give me the potion?" I asked as I pressed on my wounded arm to stop the bleeding.

"To see what would happen," he said. Such are the ways of Telvanni wizards.

I spent the day recuperating. Though the disease was arrested it had left my thinking disturbed, and I applied my restorative spells to my recovery. They require substantial reserves of magica, and I rested in between castings to recover. It was during this recuperation that I came to terms with being used in Divayth Fyr's tests. Whatever the motive, in the end I could not complain about the results. A favor from Alphe Fyr also improved my disposition.

I was reclined in a bed gathering strength for another round of spell casting when she knocked on the door. She entered without waiting for a response. "There are two men looking for you," she said.

"Looking for me?" I repeated dumbly, as she was quick to point out.

"That's what I said. Your disease is inactive, you have no excuse for your thinking slower than a kagouti. They said they have been looking for a Breton friend, Arvil Bren, and that they heard he had been infected with corprus. Lord Divayth is bursting at the seams to tell everyone about you being cured. I just managed to fit in saying that you were recovering in the corprusarium before he would have dragged them in here. There is something wrong about them. You don't strike me as having friends who would look for you." Even doing me a favor she was insulting, but I must admit I couldn't think of any friends that would be looking for me either.

In fact people looking for me have a nasty habit of not being friendly at all. "Were they armed?" I asked.

"This is Vvardenfell, n'wah! Every traveler is armed, at least well enough to fend off the wild beasts, but these two carry adamantium swords, heavily enchanted."

Their armor would be under their clothes, masks and gauntlets concealed in belt pouches. "Their feet. Did they have boots on?"

"Yes. Both of them. Black boots of some fine chain mesh. You know them?" she asked.

"I know them." Dark Brotherhood. "Did they go down to the corprusarium?" I asked.

"No. We gave them a room and told them to refresh themselves, then we would take them down."

I started quickly slipping on my armor. "Want to bet that they aren't in their room? Tell your father I'm sorry. I seem to have brought a second plague into his house. This one I will cure myself."

I activated my chameleon amulet as I raced through the twisting passages of the giant tree that Telvanni magic had crafted into a mighty tower. Though I was hurrying I moved as silently as possible. It would not do to be ambushed. I released the spell when I reached the ante-chamber of the caverns, appearing suddenly before the warden, Vistha-Kai. The startled Argonian had his sword half out of it's scabbard before he recognized me. "Dangerous to sneak up on us Arvil Bren," he hissed. "Especially with little tricks."

"Tricks?" I asked.

"The noises in the stair, the opened gate." After a quick exchange it was clear. The assassins had distracted him into the stairs long enough to slip through the gate. They were in the caverns. I trusted the doughty Argonian to hold the gate against them, but assumed they would use magic to teleport away when their job was completed; if they completed it. I activated the amulet and passed through the gate.

I went straight to the center of the caverns to warn Uupse Fyr. She began playing on a guar skin drum, calling the inmates to her. It amazes me how their savagery is abated by her simple rhythms, and how much she cares for their welfare. Clearly she got the best heart from the process by which the daughters of Divayth Fyr were made. The dangerous game began.

While I am not the master of silent movement that the assassins of the Dark Brotherhood are, I have developed some skill. I crept through the passages and caverns, listening. I had an advantage. I knew they were looking for me and they didn't know I was looking for them. And there were two of them. They would coordinate their efforts. That would take sound. Like the clicking sound of a kwama worker scuttling over rocks. A sound not far out of place in such a cavern, but I knew that a kwama would have been torn to shreds by the crazed victims of the corprus. I moved silently towards the passage the sound had come from. The soft clicks came at long intervals, barely sounding above the drumming that echoed soothingly through the caves. The assassins were searching the chambers systematically, and I closed in on them.

They had to be less than ten feet away when I heard the soft whisper "dead end". I pressed into a niche in the stone wall of the passage and held my breath, straining to hear them pass. They were heading back through an area they had already searched. It made them less wary.

The fireball I cast down the passage was not designed to do a lot of damage, but it burst over a wide area, filling the passage with a sticky spray of flame and illuminating my prey. I followed it with a lightning bolt that blasted one of the assassins off his feet, then drew the Lifetaker and my Daedric shield. The second assassin was upon me. I was surprised that the adamantium blade he wielded was a typical shortsword. Most of the Dark Brotherhood's assassins I had encountered had used the wakizashi and fought in the Akiviri style that I have adopted as my own.

As I blocked the first thrust with the Daedric shield I understood. The shortsword is a piercing weapon; the damage done mostly by the point. The Daedric spirit bound in the shield increased my own native resistance to magica, but even so I felt it radiating from the point of impact. A jinkblade! Enchanted to paralyze the target. Even a pinprick wound could leave me helpless. To an Akiviri such a weapon would be the height of dishonor. I focused on defense, trusting the Daedric shield to stop the thrusting blade as well as its deathly spell.

The Akiviri were defeated by Imperial forces because they expected to fight an honorable foe. The second assassin had gathered his footing and was charging towards us. His adamantium shortsword appeared to be a twin, and I had no doubt it would be a jinkblade as well. The Akiviri style of the wakizashi would not serve me well against these two. They would use their number, their jinkblades, and any other advantage they could create. I dropped the Lifetaker, freeing a hand to grasp my amulet and reactivate the powerful chameleon spell that had lapsed. I dove, and rolled to a clattering halt behind a boulder jutting from the floor. As I rolled I cast a spell of silence on myself, then sprang to the top of the boulder as my opponents raced around it jabbing furiously. I bolted up the passage to put some distance between myself and the jinkblades.

I am no Akiviri. I have no scruples about jinkblades, I just appreciate the healing magic of my Lifetaker weapons more. My foes may have expected me to think their jinkblades dishonorable. I proved otherwise to them. I carry my own dishonorable armaments.

In my quiver I keep a dozen very special arrows. I have very few, and I guard them frugally for such occasions as this. I was extremely lucky when I got hit with one months ago. The assassins of the Dark Brotherhood were not. The grey shafts of holding did their deadly work. Just like jinkblades, the enchantment of the arrows paralyzes the target, leaving them defenseless to the onslaught that follows. Both assassins were reduced to stationary targets, and quickly felled. I stripped them of their valuable armor and slung the scabbarded jinkblades over my shoulder. The bodies I left to the inmates of the corprusarium.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

Wow that was good! Maybe even the best yet, in my eyes. I look forward to more ones like this.

1:24 PM  
Blogger madoda said...

I will second that! I really did enjoy that instalment, and could very clearly visualise creeping fround the corprusarium in pursuit! Superb!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spine-tingling! I must confess that once I was cured, I made off as fast as I could!
Arvil Bren is obviously made of sterner stuff!

-Angela

2:20 PM  
Anonymous talkkno said...

ya lets just hope arvil wont forget the mages guild. =P

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe with the makers of Morrowinds O.K., you could produce a book and sell. Im just beginning the game, so i dont know much, but if i hadnt known it was about Morrowind, i would have guessed this were a real book. Very nice work.

10:40 PM  

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