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.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Day 134: Prisoner of the Orcs

It is amazing how events can reverse the fortunes of the world. In High Rock I was a lad of no social standing. Like all Bretons I had a knack for magic, and picked up some spells here and there. Formal training was not an option for me. My adopted father taught me what he could, but his quick hands were more likely to delve into a passing pocket than weave the drifting threads of magica into some useful form. I was born, I assume, to the peasantry, and went downhill from there.

The elite of Breton society guard their secrets. Many nights I watched as mighty wizards gathered for great galas. I would tag along as my father and his fellows, members of the thieve's guild who I always knew as my uncles and aunts, made what they could, sometimes legally by hiring themselves out to do what work there was to do; more often through some minor pilferage.

Often at the center of the celebration some lad or lass would be being welcomed into society at their coming of age. I would dream of what it would have been like to be born of such nobility. To be raised by mighty wizards; to have access to their libraries; I longed for the privileges, the wealth, the security that power brings in High Rock. But if I ever crossed paths with any of the lofty elite the best I could hope for would be to stay beneath their notice. Were I to return to High Rock the skills with magica I have developed could not help but be noticed, but with my lowly heritage I could never join that society.

In Morrowind that has made no difference. Here I am in line, perhaps, to be the Archmage of the Mage's Guild. Arvil Bren, arriving as the penniless son of unknown parents, has the potential to become the Archmage, and the temerity to plot for it. And in Morrowind the daughter of the most legendary alchemist in High Rock becomes a slave.

I took my leave of Missun Akin this morning. He was glad to have had the company and happy to have seen the last of the Sixth House base, but clearly knew that having me around would be very unsafe. Dagoth Ur's minions will come for me; there is no question about that. In looting their base I set aside anything that the Urshilaku would trade for and left it with Missun as compensation for his trouble. I don't expect he will have any. Dagoth Ur will know I have moved on. Some high quality armor and weapons I kept for myself. Fortunately among them was a long spear with a silver blade. I kept it as much for a walking stick as a weapon, but it felt good to again have a spear in my hands. Despite al the practicing I've been doing with various swords it is a spear I still feel most comfortable with.

I had not gone far when I was beset by an orc war party. Four of the green skinned barbarians erupted roaring down a hill in a wild display of axes. They expected me to be intimidated, and I admit that I was. They called for my immediate surrender expecting me to comply. I would not. I could imagine no good end to any captivity they might apply to me. A ransom could perhaps be arranged, but not before the minions of Dagoth Ur came calling.

The orcs clearly entered the fray with no plan beyond me surrendering in the face of their wild charge. The least forethought, or even a smattering of common sense once the battle was joined, and the four to one odds would have been insurmountable. Fortunately orcs are known for neither of those qualities. Their tightly massed charge hampered their axes, and made it impossible to avoid my set spear. Their charge ended with two in a tangled heap from having collided with each other and one thrashing feebly on the ground trying to fit his entrails back in through the gaping wound left when he impaled himself on my point. The fourth had skidded to a halt casting spells that wove a defensive field around him.

I pressed the advantage patiently. Short jabs of the spear did little damage, but kept the two warriors from ever regaining solid footing. Orcs are fierce, and strong, but the battle lust can make them a bit clumsy. Keeping them enraged and off balance easily carried the day. Even the relatively smart one, who had avoided the calamity of the initial charge, bellowed rage and waded in once he had cast his spells, only to be knocked aside by one of his lurching companions. The fight was over almost before it began; the four orcs dispatched and myself barely winded.

That would have been the end of it, except for something one of the orcs said to another as they lay dying in the dust. "You see Gro-Mok, we should have sacrificed the woman to Molag Bal." If they had left a prisoner somewhere I clearly could not abandon them. Whatever the predations of the orcs, with them slain I feared their captive would be left to starve. I was wrong. The war party was a part of a much larger band. When I backtrailed them to their base I found a thriving community. Fortunately most of them were indoors avoiding the afternoon heat.

Having just come from Falasmaryon I recognized the ancient Dunmer construction. The camp consisted of stone domes much like Missun Akin's house, and the largest structure was a duplicate of the propylon chamber. The ancient ashpit, sacred to the Dunmer, was now filled with offal and refuse and lay desecrated under the baleful gaze of a large statue of Molag Bal. Fortunately the heavy construction of the domes precluded any raising of alarm during the slaying of the guard, and the subsequent conflicts inside the domes. Seven more orcs fell to my spear. Finally I raised a heavy bar from the door of what did turn out to be a propylon chamber as well as a prison cell.

I had seen Abelle Chriditte once before. Her father had one of my 'uncles' whipped for the way that he had looked at her as she walked from her coach to a grand ball. Looking back I realize that night was a formative event in my young life. She does not remember it at all. A peasant being whipped for looking at her was not a remarkable enough event. At first she was overjoyed to see a fellow Breton. When she realized what sort of Breton I am she clearly did not rate me much higher than the orcs.

I left her in the propylon chamber. The orcs had actually provided her a reasonable level of rough comfort, she has food, and she should be safe enough. In her view I was obligated to drop whatever I was doing and escort her to Sadrith Mora, her destination when her ship was wrecked. I made it clear that she would likely not survive two days in the Ashlands alone, and said I would return for her. Our conversation ended badly. I couldn't help myself. As she continued to alternately berate me and demand service I finally snapped, and with a wave towards the large heap of armor I had piled in the corner I said "Keep that safe if you know what's good for you, that is really all I'm coming back for."

I slammed the door and stalked into one of the other houses to rest, mad at myself. I have long believed rude behavior is the curse of wealth, and I wonder if I am losing my peasant heritage.


Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

Ha! Kinda a funny post! I loved the battle with the orcs! It was nice to have more of Arvil's past shown.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only one thing too say about your writimg technique *magic*. I honestly do feel priveleged too have read all your posts keep up the good work

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous above neatly sums it all up; about Arvil Bren's journal, and how I feel about it


2:06 PM  

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