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 21, 2005

Day 142: Mournhold

This morning I crossed the bridge to the west fortress of Ebonheart. Asciene Rane knew I was coming, and met me in the antechamber. She was not happy to be teleporting me to Mournhold. She suggested that the capital city of Morrowind was no place for idle exploration, and I have seen that she is right about that. When I explained that my search for the Dark Brotherhood was no idle exploration she was even less happy about that, but she cast the spell.

I was welcomed to Mournhold by an Argonian mage who was surprised to see me. "Well, you aren't Apelles Matius," he hissed. "Yours to speak, ours to listen."

My wizard's staff came in very handy. Asciene Rane and this Argonian, Effi-tei, have set up a link much like the guild guides have between guild halls. Although it was intended exclusively for the general's use my own rank in the guild was sufficient to calm the guide. I am once again thankful for everything I learned about Argonians from Nine-toes. I could tell that Effi-tei had accepted my explanations even though he kept up what looked like a very agitated pacing. Though they consistently walk erect the Argonians' reptilian form is actually balanced better for running than walking, and hardly balanced at all for standing still.

Effi-tei could give me the basic layout of the city, but was not willing to speculate on or otherwise discuss the Dark Brotherhood. In fact it quickly became clear that it would be best for me to leave the palace. There is no guild hall in Mournhold, and the guide link was established inside the palace where it can be monitored by the guards. The previous king may not have insisted on that, but the recent ascension of Helseth to the throne has apparently stirred some twisting under the Imperial boot. Caius' advice to 'think locally' echoed in my head as I exited to the plaza.

I promptly got lost. The kind of lost that can only happen when, at root, there is nowhere to go. Mournhold is a huge city, with more buildings, alleys, plazas, shops, and people than I could begin to count. I had no plan, no goal, no idea where to seek the Dark Brotherhood, and in short order had no idea where I was. The guards were curtly dismissive, which was appropriate since I didn't really know what to ask. I suspect a lost stranger asking questions about the notorious assassins would get more attention than answers, so I wandered the plazas.

Eventually I found myself in a residential area that shared a large walled section of the city with a crafts district. On the edge between stands the Winged Guar, a comfortable hostel that I have taken as my base of operations here. Although it was still early I went inside. I wanted to continue the search, but could sense the futility. I need to find a source of information, and settled in an inn that is more likely to happen than it is wandering the streets. There is also the distinct possibility that the Dark Brotherhood will find me.

My first candidate for a source of information was the publican, an Altmer woman called Hession. Renting a room, implying a potentially long stay, buying dinner; these are frequently sufficient grounds for the proprietor of such an establishment to become talkative. Not so Hession. She was distracted; too distracted. Instead of getting information to further my own search I ended up being the end of hers.

Her bouncer, an Orc who had been surprisingly reliable to date, was late coming to work and the afternoon to early evening crowd included some customers who had already had too much to drink despite the early hour. To get on her good side I accepted Hession's request to settle things down. It seemed like it would be simple enough.

Simple enough until I got an education in what it takes to be a bouncer at the hands of a severely drunk Bosmer. I took an earful of abuse from the wood elf that to the best of my knowledge I and my fellow Bretons did not deserve. I kept my temper, which did no good at all, and told the miscreant that he would have to leave. He opted to sock me in the ear.

By then I had had my fill of his taunts anyway, and smashed him down with my staff. As I raised it to bring the ebony head down on the even denser Bosmer skull Hession leapt into the fray crying "Don't kill him, he's a customer!" The Bosmer took the opportunity to launch another roundhouse blow.

I will never try to hire myself out as a bouncer again. I subdued the Bosmer and threw him out into the street, but only after taking a massive pounding. Fortunately the restorative brews I carry were sufficient to carry the day, as my skill at unarmed combat is sorely lacking. By whatever means I did prevail, and succeeded in befriending Hession, as was my intent. In the morning I will see what information that is good for.


Blogger frootat31 said...

Goody! Now in the 'city of of magic!' the story is getting good! ::sits on edge of her seat::::

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I've not been to Mournhold, this day's entry ALMOST tempted me - but I'll read how Arvil Bren fares first !!
You continue to intrigue your readers; well done on making this transition so seemlessly, I await with bated breath for the arrival of the Dark Brotherhood!

- Angela

2:58 AM  

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