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, July 14, 2005

Four: High Council

It is official. Odd word to use to describe what others might call treason. Edwinna, Skink, and Ranis are in agreement, and I have deemed them the High Council of the future Mage's Guild of Vvardenfell. The High Council of the Imperial Mage's Guild would no doubt call it treason. However, we are far away in distance and condition.

Reports are coming in from all over Vvardenfell. The blight worsens day to day. The Ashlanders get more hungry, and more dangerous. The highest orders of the Tribunal Temple hold that the ghostfence contains Dagoth Ur as it always has, which does more to damage their credibility than it does to reassure the people. Even the devout are starting to openly question. The strange madness called 'soul sickness', characterized by the disturbing dreams sent by Dagoth Ur grows ever more widespread. My own experiences with these dreams I keep to myself.

I could not keep everything about the Nerevarine prophecies from my advisors though. For one thing, they needed to know fully how their chosen Archmage could be embroiled in events outside the guild. For another the protection of the Nerevarine may, in the end, be the only way to preserve the guild. Despite our brave stance we knew as we embarked on this conspiratorial path that we could be 'baiting the mad kagouti', as the saying goes.

I explained what I know of the Nerevarine prophecies. The Ashlanders expect a reincarnation of the hero Nerevar to unite the Dunmer and lead them to victory over Dagoth Ur, as well as throwing off outlander rule. Though it seems absurd to think that this prophecy could be fulfilled by an outlander there are certain aspects of the prophecy that I have already been found to fit. The most critical being that I have been restored from the corprus, known to the Dunmer as 'the divine disease'. According to Divayth Fyr, the wizard who provided my cure I still have the disease, but no longer suffer the ill effects. The corprus grants me immunity from other disease, and I can expect to match or better the Dunmer in longevity. This revelation made it easier to launch our conspiracy. There will be no concerns of succession for a long time unless something happens to suddenly end my extended life.

"The power of Lorkhan's heart," Edwinna said with a nod of her head. We all looked at her. She flushed and looked down at her hands.

"Edwinna, this isn't the guild of Trebonius the flathead," I said gently. "Your research is of tremendous value to me; to us." I met Skink's reptilian gaze, then stared down Ranis. "Not every wizard is a battlemage, nor should they be. It is a fact that almost all positions of authority in the Imperial guild have gone to those with demonstrable mastery in the school of destruction, but that isn't this guild, and it isn't going to be."

Edwinna brightened. For her to have risen to the position of guild steward, even in what the guild considered the far backwater of Vvardenfell, is a testament to her incredible brilliance. I could not afford for her to be cowed by the more warlike natures of Skink, Ranis, and myself. "Well," she said, "I've been examining those texts you had translated, and of course talking to Yagrum Bagarn." Yagrum Bagarn is the self styled last surviving Dwemer. "It seems the source of the Dwemer's power, and likely the source of their ultimate undoing, is a stone buried deep in Red Mountain. The stone they believed to be the heart of the banished god Lorkhan."

"So this 'Heart of Lorkhan' would be what Kagrenak tapped for the power that he thought would transform the Dwemer into godhood?" I prodded.

"Right," she said. "And make no mistake Kagrenak was brilliant. His ego, or the immediate needs of the war, may have caused him to reach too far too fast; elevating an entire race. It seems likely though that he would have understood the essential core of the stone's power. That power lying unharnessed beneath Red Mountain could be a contributing factor in the Dunmer's longevity to start with. And it would certainly account for the apparent immortality of Dagoth Ur. Then Dagoth Ur's power that lies at the source of the blight has the effect of passing that longevity to you."

Skink gave a sudden hiss of indrawn breath. "We have had many conversations with Minabi," he said tentatively.

Seeing the question cross the other faces I filled in background. "Minabi was an apprentice wise woman of the Ashlanders. Her mistress let her go to Sadrith Mora to meet with Skink."

"Yesssss." The drawn out hiss was unusual for Skink, but he was clearly deep in thought. "The Ashlanders say the immortality of the Tribunal is not a gift from the gods as they claim. Ashlander tradition says that the Tribunal stole the profane power of Kagrenak."

"That would make sense," Edwinna agreed. "Not to say the Tribunal is definitely lying. It just makes sense, given that immortality seems to lie in the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, and there would certainly have been opportunity for them to tap that power."

Though I am glad to have the brilliant Edwinna for an advisor it is valuable to have a balance. Ranis brought our flight into the magical realms of speculation back with her usual pragmatism. "Immortality can still come to a bad end. This conversation would bring the Tribunal down on our necks, and whatever the source of their power we really can't afford that right now. We must guide the guild against the craft of the Telvanni." We all nodded agreement. "But of even more immediate concern," she continued, "it has taken all my political capital to block Trebonius from getting the High Council's approval to expel you from the guild. We can plan for the eventual withdrawal of the legions and the end of their authority. We can name you the next Archmage of Vvardenfell, and the Council will accept it for as long as their authority lasts. But there is one insurmountable obstacle that can easily portray this whole meeting as treason."

"She is right Arvil Bren," Edwinna concluded. "This involvement in the Nerevarine situation may make you immune to many forms of death and decay, but that doesn't change that Trebonius wants your head. While you were retired we could get away with leaving you alone, but when he hears that you are active again; running down necromancers for Skink and meeting with us, he is going to demand that we help him get it. Since we have blocked him from expelling you he can't order us to kill you, but he will demand that we send you to him, and not doing so would be an open defiance that would shatter the guild."

"Well then," I said, "it seems the blade is in the forge. Trebonius wants my head. Let us see if he can take it."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I can't wait to see how this is going to turn out. The fight coming up should be something truely special!

Good job as always!


2:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home