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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, June 07, 2005

Day 132: House of Missun Akin

I set out from Maar Gan this morning, once again headed northward. From Maar Gan there really did not appear to be any faster way so I left on foot. Had I anticipated being halted by a dust storm before the sun had reached its noon peak I would perhaps have traveled a different way. Probably not. The result has turned out very well.

The winds were just beginning to pick up, but the signs were clearly indicating that I should find shelter. I was still in the rugged foothills of Red Mountain, and hoped to find a cave or other suitable place, preferably unoccupied. I considered the various familiar caverns of the northern Ashlands, but I had previously approached them from the north and was not sure I could find them coming from the opposite direction even if I could reach them before the storm hit.

As I plodded onward down the hills I came upon the slithering tracks of kwama foragers, the wormlike scavengers that gather food for a kwama colony. Though they can travel far afield I had hope that there would be a kwama colony nearby; perhaps even an egg mine cultivated by the locals. Sight of a scrib scrabbling over the shale slopes improved my chances. The baby kwama forage freely, but do not travel as far as the foragers. I was considering whether or not to take a shot at the creature with my bow. They are a tempting target, with muscles that dry to an excellent and nourishing jerky and filled with a jelly that serves marvelously on toast or in a sandwich.

The range was great though, and even though they are over two feet long they are low to the ground and can be difficult to hit from a distance. Difficult for me, and I am getting very skilled with a bow. Or so I thought. As I moved quietly towards the scrib; not really creeping as they are not easily scared off, the morning was split by the singing of an arrow cutting the air. The scrib convulsed once, the thin neck with its scaly plating cleanly severed, the head rolling free.

A voice rang out from a nearby hilltop. "I did not want to steal your kill, but from that angle you could only have taken a body shot and wasted half the jelly anyway. This way there is plenty for both of us, unless you would rather fight for it?" I considered my exposed position, and the range from which my potential adversary had slain the scrib, and opted for discretion.

"No, there is no need to fight. In fact you are welcome to all of the jelly and meat. I am more in need of finding shelter. The wind from Red Mountain blows ill, and I'm sure the ash will follow."

The Dunmer archer was striding down the hill. He was tall and distinguished, with graying hair worn long. His armor, made from the chitinous plates of local insects, gave him a scaly appearance that could pass at a glance for one of the abandoned husks left behind when they molt; or die. "I am Missun Akin outlander, and unlike many in the Ashlands I bid you welcome," he called out, but I noted that his bow was still very much at the ready. Suspecting that an exchange from any distance would be no contest anyway I slung my own. Missun Akin stopped his approach and slipped his own bow over his shoulder. "With your armor and blades you have the look of a dangerous man outlander, but an honest one."

"I prefer Arvil Bren to outlander, and I am a clanfriend of the Urshilaku," I called back, then added "I am honored to meet an archer of such skill."

"I too am a friend to the Urshilaku, though I don't see as much of them as I used to, or would like to. Come then Arvil Bren. You carry the scrib, I will offer you my home as shelter against the coming storm." I picked up the eight legged carcass, Missun picked up the round head in his right hand and unslung his bow with his left. "Practice Arvil Bren, practice." The head flew into the air in a high arc. When it landed three arrows had pierced it, crossing within at square angles. There was not much for me to say.

I followed the Ashlander over a nearby ridge. I was expecting to weather the storm in a yurt, the sturdy tents of hide favored by the Ashland tribes. As we topped the ridge I could see that our path led directly to a looming fortress of ominous black stone. "Falasmaryon," said my host, "a citadel from the most ancient days of Velothi glory." Velothi, the ancestors of the modern Dunmer, contemporaries of the Dwemer; sometimes allies, sometimes foes. "Atop the main bulwark there is a large fortress, a propylon chamber, and a small house of stone. I live in the house. We need to be inside when the storm hits. I have bad neighbors." We made it easily despite my many questions. "We can talk inside," was the only answer.

The house is small but comfortable, and definitely sturdy, having stood for uncounted ages. We cleaned the scrib, enjoying the jelly and putting the meat to dry on a rack high over the fire. Missun answered my questions in depth.

He had adapted the round building that is his house. It had likely been built to serve as a duty room. Missun has lived here for two centuries. Hunting provides his basic needs, and he trades hides and shells to the Urshilaku for whatever he cannot make for himself. He is an Ashlander born and raised, and the spare surroundings are more than sufficient for his simple needs.

The slightly larger square building in the compound is the propylon chamber. Missun explained that the Dwemer had assisted in the construction of this and other citadels, and provided a transportation link between them, somewhat like the guild guides provide between mage guild halls. The propylon system though, being of Dwemer manufacture, uses machinery to harness the magica for teleportation rather than human spellcasters. Inside the chamber are two great structures; bare ribs that outline spheres with platforms at the base. Inside the sphere defined by the ribs the channeled voidstream flows in a continuous cascade of energy. Apparently each sphere is keyed to a particular destination, and requires a specific artifact called an index to be activated. Missun has no idea where to find such an index, but has heard rumors that the system still works.

Which brought our conversation to by far the largest structure atop the vast stone base; the fortress itself. The fortress which houses the reason Missun seldom sees the Urshilaku traders any more; his bad neighbors; the Sixth House cult. I was glad to enjoy the hospitality of his home. Above the roar of the gritty wind against the stone the wail of ash monsters and the deep toll of bells can be heard outside. The hours chafed on me while the minions of Dagoth Ur reigned under cover of the storm, and now I cannot sleep.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

I have one thing to say, thank you. With out this update I would have never looked in that stronghold and found the Marksman master trainer. Now that thats over with, great post.

6:38 PM  
Blogger frootat31 said...

Very nice way to introduce the master trainer! What could be more appropriate than showing off his skill with hunting? I also like the take on the history of his home as well. Good work.

8:14 AM  

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