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.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Six: Day of the Archmage

Well, I clearly have a job to do. Trebonius did not trust his staff, so he involved himself in managing the tiniest details. It may take a while to get them settled into a new pattern. We started today.

I walked into the dining room for breakfast and the chatter immediately died. I sat at the head of the table in the oppressive silence. I slowly spread scrib jelly on a roll, eyeing the staff with what I hoped would be taken for amusement. Their furtive glances told me that hope was in vain. "Since I got the roll out of the common basket I assume it is safe, but I suppose someone may have poisoned my knife. If I keel over, throw out the rest of the Jelly," I said, then bit in with gusto. The silence was deafening.

I put down the rest of the roll. "Listen," I said, "I know I came through here yesterday like a bull kagouti. Flacassia, I said some harsh things to you in particular that I'd rather you would forget were said. If I had seen another way to move Trebonius aside I would have taken it."

"Trebonius was right!" she snapped. "Everyone else said he was just paranoid, but you were maneuvering to kill him all along!" Her eyes flared with anger.

"Well, not all along," I replied quietly. "Just from the moment it became clear that he was endangering the guild."

"You say he was endangering the guild! You say it so you can justify killing him! No one else says so!" Tears glistened in her eyes. Flacassia had clearly been Trebonius' favorite, and I was doubting that anything I could say would make any difference. Fortunately someone else could.

"Arvil Bren is not the only one Flacassia," came a calming voice from the doorway. "I saw it also. Even sooner. Arvil Bren put off seeing the obvious because he knew it would fall to him to do something about it." As she completed her speech Ranis took a seat at the table. "Edwinna and Skink should be here soon," she said, turning to me.

"That is good," said Malven Romori the Dunmer wizard. She turned to Flacassia. "It is not just Arvil Bren, and not just our members in the outer halls who saw the danger Trebonius was leading us into. Do not stand against the transition of power Flacassia. We need an Archmage now, and we need one who can stand against the Telvanni."

"There is no standing against the transition of power," hissed Skink from the doorway. "The only other Master Wizards in Vvardenfell are behind Arvil Bren. We see in Sadrith Mora that there is no time for..."

I interrupted. "Wait." May the nine divines bless his political soul, Skink fell instantly silent. "Skink, Ranis, I appreciate you backing me, and I appreciate you being here today as we do have a lot of work to do. But the staff here is going to have to accept that or not on their own terms, and at their breakfast table is not the time to force anything down their throats. Flacassia, I think it is clear that no matter who likes it, and to be honest I really don't, I am the next Archmage. There are a lot of ways that people expect that to be a change for the better, and I plan to make sure that is how things go. One thing that will be very different. I cannot do what I do best if I am sitting here in the headquarters, so Malven, as the ranking member of the staff you will assume the duties of a guild steward." I got out of the chair. "So this is your seat." I waved to include the entire staff, "If you choose to have my company at meals I will be honored, but not as a formality, or to manage the business of the hall. If there is business for the Archmage, it will be handled in my offices, not at your table." I swept out of the room. "Ranis, Skink. Malven, finish your breakfast and join us please."

"Excellently handled Archmage," Ranis said as we settled in downstairs.

"Malven may want to trade Flacassia for another guild guide," I said without acknowledging the compliment. It remained to be seen whether or not it would work. "If so I want her handled delicately wherever she goes. She can't go back to Cyrodiil because of the quarantine, but I don't want her to look at it as being trapped here."

There was a brief flicker in Ranis' red Dunmer eyes. Not dissatisfaction, just the clicking realization that her former apprentice really was the Archmage and could give her direction. "As you see fit Archmage," she said. We looked at each other silently for a moment, then burst out laughing. Edwinna entered at that moment and shared a puzzled frown with Skink.

"Okay, now that that is out of the way we need to get on with the business of waiting," I said. "I for one need to eat." I crossed the hall to my chambers.

"Waiting for what?" Edwinna asked. "I thought I was late."

I let Malven have some time with the experienced guild stewards while I cooked my own breakfast, frying kwama eggs on the back of my shield. When I returned the four of them seemed to have settled any issues that needed immediate resolution in the headquarters. "Malven, I am counting on you," I said. "Not only as a guild steward here in Vivec, but you are now in the council of my closest advisors.

"Thank you," was all she said in response. Without consciously realizing it I had done exactly the right thing. Of all the mages assigned to the headquarters the highly qualified wizard had certainly chafed the most under Trebonius intrusive management. I had actually promoted her into the position she was probably assigned here to fill in the first place.

The brain trust met through the morning. Then our plans went into motion. Ranis drafted the necessary dispatches to the high council, and I got out of the hall. I wanted to get on with pursuing the lost prophecies of the Nerevarine and give Malven an opportunity to establish herself in the hall, but in the immediate wake of Trebonius death I had to agree that I could not go far. I spent the afternoon roaming the foreign canton halls and businesses, letting everyone get accustomed to the idea of a new Archmage.

I was delighted when I returned to the hall and was invited to dinner. I sat at Malven's right hand, the seat of an honored guest. The conversation was light and lively, free of the business of the guild. This will work out.


Anonymous Lord of Vas said...

Well played...
I cant wait to see where this goes next.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous pferris said...

I hope it does work out - but those last words seem ominous.... Cant wait to see what happens

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Gothos said...

Just like it would have happened. Nice.

2:28 AM  

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