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, June 15, 2005

Day 138: Into the caverns of Sud

I am back at my camp. I can see the entry to the caverns, but I am well screened from view and made sure that I left no tracks. I do not know if the renegade wizard Anirne will emerge to challenge me in the night, or bolster her defenses for tomorrow. Either way I must rest.

I entered Sud this morning and crept through passages lit by glowing crystals. Magica flows strongly in the caverns. The narrow twisting entry tunnel descended into a large tall chamber spanned by numerous arches of stone. Narrow ledges connected the arching bridges, or the bridges connected the ledges. Either way, traversing the chamber involved a torturous path. The exposed tops of the arches made me a target for the denizens of the small alcoves that opened off the chamber. I'm sure in ancient times these alcoves offered sheltered quarters to Dunmer guardsmen. The current master of Sud does not post men, but monsters.

I was ascending one of the great stone spans when a bolt of magica erupted from a hidden alcove and streaked across the wide space. It seemed at first poorly aimed, missing me by some margin even though it arced in flight, but as it passed by it shifted abruptly to strike the tip of my spear as if it were a lightning rod for destructive energy. I realized too late that the spear was the target all along. With amazing speed sheets of tarnished silver peeled away from the blackening point and crumbled as they flew through the air. Flew, not fell; the particles made a foggy stream as they flew back into the cave from which the bolt had struck. The weapon I felt most comfortable with was reduced to little more than a stick.

I activated the enchantment in my boots to levitate across the gap. I could see the path that would get me there, but it was narrow and could be difficult for running feet. The shallow water far below would not be enough to break any fall. It was sufficient to hide a Daedroth however. I was not a target with the stone arches shielding me from below, but before I could cross the gap to deal with my first assailant I was knocked headlong by a geyser of venomous green magica that struck up at me.

As I spun crazily through the air dripping with ichor a lean form leapt from the cave to the arch and nimbly scampered away; a hunger, devourer of arms and armor. The daedroth lurking below splashed about, clearing another line of fire. The poison etched my flesh, creeping through every gap in my armor, sizzling on my face. I slammed against the wall and clung to a ledge clearing my eyes. The great flat feet of the daedroth began slapping stone as it climbed.

I cast the Breton barkskin spell that I learned as a child, then a lightning shield that would not only protect me but actually damage my foe. Then I rolled off the ledge and fell. The great snout of the Daedroth split wide, showing double rows of sharp teeth. A word of activation and my levitating boots gave me control. I used the speed of my fall to swoop across the lowest arch, sweeping the daedroth off with a bone jarring tackle. We hit the water in a mighty splash and blast of sparks from my lightning shield. The impact knocked the wind out of me, but in combination with the crackling lightning the fall did great damage to the daedroth. Then the great jaws closed on my leg.

I struck the beast in the eye with my armored fist. I could hardly believe the creature could maintain such a grip, crushing my leg within its casing of volcanic glass plates. Arcs from the lightning shield crackled about its head, and the stench of burning flesh rose in a wave that made my first gasp as I regained my breath a wretched taste of the nine hells. My stomach heaved. My leg bones cracked. The lightning shield sputtered out. With hacking gasps I choked out an incantation and one great spark arced between my hands, then struck down to blast the last life from the daedroth.

The water was not too deep, but was deep enough to help support my weight as I balanced precariously on one leg. I guzzled a restorative potion which helped focus and contain the magica that fairly crackled on the air of the caverns. As my magical reserves replenished I quickly cast my healing spells to bind my leg. I was almost completely recovered, and the magica continued to flow into me. The daedroth was dead, the sated hunger had disappeared, and I was in fairly good shape, but my favored weapon was destroyed and I had consumed much of my magica restorative. I climbed the arches to the large passage leading deeper into the cavern with a longing glance towards the exit.

The large passage twisted deeper into the mountain, then opened into a great chamber. As I approached the chamber I could see a vast expanse of water casting wildly reflected torchlight. To either side great stone battlements rose, constructed of the dark blocks favored by the ancient Dunmer. They towered above, and I had to step out into the chamber to see the tops.

Undead warriors make great guardians. Their attention never wavers and their eyes never close. The enchantments that summon them require great command of the school of conjuration to make them last. Anirne apparently possesses such mastery. As I stepped into the chamber a fusillade of arrows rained down upon me. Skeletal archers scampered about the battlements above. Their arrows burst into flame as they left their ghostly bows. I dove back into the shelter of the tunnel with a smoldering shaft buried in my shoulder.

More healing magic, and then I cast a spell to give me resistance to magical flame. It would not protect me from the arrows, but would reduce the burning. I quaffed the last of my restorative and began an incantation as I leapt into the chamber. I fought fire with fire. The arrows rained down on my exposed position. The parapets provided cover for the skeletons had I used my bow to fire back, but could not protect them from the explosive bursts of magical fire I lofted up at them. Huge concussions rocked the chamber as the great fireballs burst. Instead of advantageous cover their confined location held them close together, within the blast. By the time I ran out of magica the tops of the walls were littered with scorched bones, but with no magica and another round of gruesome injuries I had no choice but to retreat.


Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

Thanks for explaining, I was kinda getting worried. Though two days in one is a great comeback, I cant wait for that twist... why did you have to say something, now I wont be able to sleep...

9:10 PM  
Blogger Qwikblade said...

I wouldn't say "completely unexpected" if I were you... but to avoid possible "spoilers" if I'm right, I'll just post what I expect in my LiveJournal, and post the link to a comment to your post on Friday if I'm right. :)

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't realised I was quite so hooked on Arvil Bren's journal, until yesterday when it didn't appear. I can't imagine how all your avid readers will cope if you stop !! BUT, please no pressure from us - we just love reading what you write because we relate so highly to it all!
Best wishes for a quick settling of your "other", non-Morrowind life.
We CAN wait !!! But the suspense is cliff-hanging!


12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain. It sounded a dreadful day. Almost as bad as one of Arvil Bren's!! I suppose one must be grateful that you were not attacked by cliff racers or slaugter fish!
- Angela

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Enix the Master Vampire said...

Hahahaha... my revenge against the one who destroyed my clan is working... hahaha.. it will only get worse!
Whoa. Sorry. Just kidding around. Hey man, don't worry about missing a day. Heck, take a week off. you deserve it. we read for free. we owe you. bad days are bad days. everyone has 'em.

12:57 AM  
Blogger frootat31 said...

Everyone deserves their 'bad day' and don't make it worse by beating yourself up for not adding Avril's journal. Hope things are better for you now, however. ;-)

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Celtica said...

You certainly got a way with words. Did you ever think of turning this journal into a fantasy novel (without any Morrowind references of course)? I truly enjoy reading your journal. Especially, since I remember my first time in Morrowind oh so well. Keep on writing!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

i totally agree with celtica, except for one thing: you should contact bethesda with your ideas for arvil. it would be awesome if this whole thing became the first official The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind novel, just like Halo and other games came out with novels of their games. i think that any novel based on MW would kick ass.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how you came up with another brilliantly excellent day's adventure, after describing your "real" day's adventures on Wednesday!!
I agree a Morrowind novel, with Arvil Bren as the hero, would be fantastic, but part of the excitement and pleasure in reading Arvil Bren's gripping adventures is the fact that the reader has to hang in there till the next installment! This episode is brilliant! thank you .


1:41 AM  

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