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 22, 2005

Day 143: Gambling and good fortune

Good fortune smiled on me this morning, and also smiled on a gambler by the name of Dilborn. The kind of good fortune that comes to those who make friends. In my case it seems that friendship invariably involves some sort of favor, frequently dangerous favor, but such is my lot.

When I emerged from the Winged Guar this morning I still had no real ideas about where to look for the Dark Brotherhood. My best intention was to wander the streets of this quarter of the city, which is known as Godsreach, making myself known to the locals. In the street directly in front of the inn I found out that I am already known. One of the Ordinators, which I found out are called High Ordinators here, was in an animated discussion with a shabbily clad Nord. I am a member of the temple in good standing, so I did not waver when the featureless Ordinator mask turned towards me, but my status in the temple did not explain the man behind the mask greeting me by name.

As luck would have it this High Ordinator was only recently promoted, having served with distinction among the Ordinators in Vivec City. He knew me well from my involvement there with the Dreamer Prophet incident. After a brief exchange of greetings he turned back to the Nord. "Thrud," he said, "Arvil Bren here is a bit of a hero back where I come from. Perhaps he would be willing to help you." He turned back to me and said very quietly "We need to get him off the streets. I should be just taking him into custody."

It is not like an Ordinator to go lightly on a miscreant, but the tenets of the temple are their guides and some follow them more than others. When Thrud turned his simple gaze on me I could see the reason for charity. "Thrud has lost his only friend. Cannot find Dilborn. Dilborn reads to Thrud. But I cannot find Dilborn."

"Let's all step inside here and talk about this Thrud. What do you say?" I said, turning back towards the Winged Guar.

"Come along Thrud. Arvil Bren will be your friend. He is a friend to many, and a good friend to have." The words of the High Ordinator struck an exposed nerve. I had not been a good friend for my beloved Ahnassi to have.

I turned back to the Ordinator. "You know me, and you know I will help this fellow if I can, but I need some help myself." We all got what we needed. I agreed to take Thrud in search of his friend, who was last seen entering a nearby sewer; the local sewers being a known hangout for the poor and ill willed of the city. In return my Ordinator friend agreed to check among the other High Ordinators who have been in the capital longer regarding the whereabouts of the Dark Brotherhood. How long that took him I don't really know, but I got his message when I returned to the Winged Guar. My part took the rest of the day, and nearly my life, as well as Thrud's.

The deal struck we all left the hostel. Thrud led me to a sewer grate, through which we entered the shadowy underworld beneath the 'city of light and magic' as Mournhold is frequently called by the natives. The modern city may be a city of light, but underneath are the ruins of the old city, where darkness reigns. We dropped into the sewer tunnels beneath the grate. I had to ask Thrud what his friend Dilborn had gone down there for, but got little information. "To meet some friends" was as much answer as the Nord could produce. We glided quietly through the tunnels. I was not sure what to expect, so I prepared for the worst. My quiver is loaded with not only regular arrows but flame arrows recovered from the skeletal archers of Sud. I held one loosely nocked in my steel longbow. The Nord held an ebony axe at the ready.

Having a Nord for an ally is not the safest way to conduct a battle. They are quickly overcome with blood lust and don't hold well to a strategy. Thrud in a sense is better than most. At least it is clear from the start that any strategy more complex than 'Thrud kill with axe' is beyond his capacity. Simple of mind but strong of arm, Thrud could manage that quite well.

Living in the sewers is a species of small hopping humanoids that Thrud called goblins. I didn't know for sure if that was an accurate name or just a generic term, but either way the little monsters are dangerous foes, and well armed. My preference would have been to deal with them through stealth and archery, but my companion took a more direct approach despite my repeated demands. I could, and did, at least wound our opponents with a flaming shaft before they closed for combat, but any attempt at a second shot would have likely ended up in the broad back of Thrud as he charged into whatever odds. One shot and rush to his side was the only option available to me. Fortunately the great oaf is durable, and the goblins, though tough, were no match for his axe and my spear in concert. After each battle I spent my magica on healing spells to bring him back up to par, telling him all the while that the next time he should wait until I had fired as many arrows as the charging goblin's distance allowed. Wasted words.

Eventually, deep underground, we found a lighted alcove, closed off by a wall of iron bars. A door of similar construction stood open to allow access. A strong voice shouted from within, "It's about time." We entered.

Three Dunmer were inside, two of them holding a somewhat scrawny shackled man by the elbows. "Dilborn!" Thrud cried, and raised his axe as he leapt forward. I grabbed the fool as blades flew into the hands of the Dunmer.

"My men will kill your friend before you cross five feet," the third Dunmer shouted. "The bracers have drained his magica and he is defenseless. Did you bring the money?"

Thrud stopped and stood dumbly, axe hanging at his side. "Ransom?" I asked.

"Ransom. Yes, I suppose you could call it ransom. I saw the note delivered myself," said the leader.

Thrud drew a crumpled paper from his tunic pocket. "This note? I need Dilborn to read it to me. He reads to me." I breathed a quick prayer for patience and took the note. It demanded three thousand septims, not as ransom but as payment of gambling debts. It included directions and a password for getting past the neighboring goblins. I paid. I needed Dilborn to take his friend off my hands.

My good deed did not go unrewarded. Thrud was carrying a rare book for Dilborn, which the grateful wizard gave to me, and on my way out of the sewers I gathered shields and weapons from the fallen goblins which will certainly fetch something from an armorer. I suspect I will be collecting more. The Dark Brotherhood is apparently headquartered in the tunnels beneath a section of the city known as the Grand Bazaar.


Anonymous mikekearn said...

Nice turn of events, I like the link between Morrowind and 'the city of light and magic' as it is called...very nice.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

I liked the "Thrud kill with axe" comment, and the incluestion of the Dilborn quest as a important part, instead of a side quest. Once again it seems to came alive. Good job.

9:36 PM  

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