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, July 12, 2005

Two: The lonely cave

Tonight I see how my life could have gone. Vvardenfell is pocked with caves; hideouts for smugglers and bandits, or those who otherwise don't want to be found. Months ago I claimed such a cave for myself, near the Vivec-Balmora road. It was a refuge from the Dark Brotherhood; safe and comfortable. When my involvement with Ahnassi endangered her life I wished that I had stayed there. Today I saw what a trap that would have been.

Telura Ulver put herself in such a trap. Skink-in-trees-shade, the guild steward in Sadrith Mora spoke fondly of her, and respectfully of her abilities; but he had no choice but to order her death. If we are to establish a viable independent guild on Vvardenfell in the wake of an Imperial withdrawal we cannot harbor necromancers, and Telura Ulver chose the path of necromancy.

It's strange. The Dunmer ancestral rites have many similar effects to the spells of necromancy. So similar in fact that Telura may have been well beyond the limits of acceptable magecraft before she even realized it. A Dunmer of good family like her must have been shocked to find herself in those swirling currents of powerful but unsanctioned magica. That may have begun the unhinging of her mind. To be exposed by the Telvanni no doubt pushed her further towards madness as it forced her to flee their territory, and effectively condemned her to leave her homeland.

Unfortunately she could not leave. Fear of Dagoth Ur's blight has led to a nearly complete quarantine of Vvardenfell. The Temple, the Telvanni, any great house really, would put her to death and she had no escape. Even though she violated no Imperial law the guild cannot condone defiance of local law, nor can the legions. The only course available to her was hiding.

She chose a cave in the Bitter Coast region. The dank tunnel leading into the darkness opens onto a typical muckpond, its surface choked with the green growth. From the mushrooms growing in the tunnel she brewed potions that gave her breath beneath the layer of slime that hid her as she came and went, leaving no tracks. Her fine clothes reeking of the swamp, she became as one of her conjured spirits; a ghost of the marshes, unknown to men.

She may have traded potions and spells for supplies from an Orc band who dwell in the nearby ruins, hiding themselves also as they follow the arcane rituals of the bad Daedra. Or she may have relied on her undead minions to provide meat and forage from the swamp. In any event she had no interaction with her own kind; only savages, or worse. Alone in her cave she continued her descent, a descent into the depths of madness.

In a way it was a kindness for me to track her down here. She did not even emerge at the sounds of battle as I dispatched her skeletal minions to their wickedly delayed rest. As I forced the door to the interior chamber she lunged, gibbering, to lock a large chest. By magic, the key vanished into thin air. "No one must see, no one must know. No one can ever know," she muttered, then interrupted her rambling with a word of command that launched an icy blast from her enchanted ring.

My heart lurched with sorrow. Later I found, as expected, that the chest contained the profane texts of the necromancer. Her last thoughts were to hide what she had done. I ran her through with my spear. To have taken her alive would have been a further cruelty.

Tomorrow I will report back to Skink, taking the body to be turned over to the Telvanni authorities. Iwill leave the desolation of this cave behind, and be thankful that that other cave did not claim me as this one claimed Telura Ulver.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Telura :(

6:05 PM  
Anonymous pferris said...

Beautifully written

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Nimariel said...

I've been reading these for quite some time (a couple of months), but have never posted because others seem to say everything that can be said. But I have a question. Are these new entries going to give an indication of their date at all like in the past? It seems that Arvil has started a new book, so I guess it could make sense to stop the dates, but they were kind of nice.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

The numbers are restarting. I left off the '1' yesterday, but they will continue from now on. The first 150 days do make a 'book', and I wanted a clear, though indeterminate, gap between the return from Mournhold and getting back into action.

11:12 PM  

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