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 16, 2005

Day 139: Wizard's staff

I returned to Sud healed and rested. Before climbing the stone arches I dropped lightly into the water to check for defenders. I found none. The hunger had fled, and only the floating corpse of the daedroth held vigil. I climbed.

When I reached the great chamber I peeked cautiously around the edge of the tunnel, then slipped in under the cloak of my amulet of shadows. Huge blackened marks on the stone walls marked the scene of battle. Silence reigned. It was eerie. I activated my boots and floated upwards. Atop the fortifications on either side stood a door. No clue indicated which direction to turn. Much to my surprise I made the right choice, though it took some time to find that out.

I opened the door on the left. Looking in I was confronted by another stone battlement with no stair or ramp. The ancient Dunmer were clearly well versed in levitation. I stepped forward with the incantation forming on my lips to activate my boots. Fortunately it did not keep me from hearing the now familiar sound of feet slapping on stone. The alcoves on the sides of the chamber were cut using the natural contours of the stone to disguise their presence. I had passed into the crossfire unaware. Fortunately the conjured monsters of Anirne's defenses did not coordinate their attacks well. I turned to meet the daedroth charging from my left and was somewhat warned by its eyes flying wide. I dove to the stone floor as a sheet of crackling lightning roared over me to lash the scaly green beast.

Seeing the error it had made the storm atronach charged to join the attack. Had they both launched the horrific bolts of magica they are capable of harnessing, aiming low to keep each other from harm, the two guardians could perhaps have destroyed me. At the very least I would likely have been too badly wounded to press my attack on the wizard who lived beyond the door at the top of the battlements. Instead they chose to rush me with snapping jaws and grip crackling with the energy of a thunderstorm. I met them with Daedric longsword and shield. Soon enough they both lay dead, and some minor healing spells restored my own condition to its best.

Anirne was far wiser. She did not open her door to assess the effectiveness of her defenses. She did not count on seeing an assailant come through her door. She merely waited for it to open and launched a tremendous poison bloom that burst in the doorway. It struck with even more potent venom than the daedroth's spell yesterday, but I had the advantage of solid footing. I quickly reached into my belt pouch and drew out a vial I have kept for my encounters with the poisonous bull netch. The poison antidote did not heal me, but it countered any further ill effects of the spell from the moment it passed my lips.

I cast off the empty vial. I brought my shield up to deflect the object of my mission. The great ebon staff rang against the daedric plate of the shield. My arm stung from the vibration as if it were being host to a swarm of pestflies. A rush of flame burst from Anirne's hands to singe my eyebrows and blacken my face. I could not long stand against her spells. The wizards staff, unlike normal weapons, does not obstruct the spell caster. She adroitly mixed powerful blows from the staff among her attacks. I responded with my daedric longsword. Despite the lack of enchantments it is a fine and powerful weapon.

I would like to have talked to her about what had led her to reject the guild. I would like to have discussed what could be done if a new archmage were to replace Trebonius. I would like to have had her teach me some of her skills with the art of conjuratan. None of that was possible. I could not understand what led such a wizard to be sheltering in such a remote and unpleasant place. I will never understand. Anirne is dead. One of us would die in her tiny room.

With her staff in my hand I should be able to take command of any of remaining defenses here in this rugged underground fortress. Tomorrow. For now I have cast a locking spell on both doors. If her bed offers a level of comfort suitable for a wizard I am sure that it will be fine for resting my weariness away. I must sleep.


Anonymous mikekearn said...

I hate to nitpick, seeing as how the story is amazing, but at the end of the second to last paragraph, you typed "I" and nothing else...just thought you might want to know.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

That isn't nitpicking, that is editing...and I appreciate it greatly. One day I hope to have an editor, as self-editing is the hardest editing job in the world. When a writer reads what they have written the tend to see what they meant rather than what is actually on the page. Thanks to everyone for hanging in through a couple of turbulent days!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

As evidenced by the missing 'y' above!

9:51 AM  

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