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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, August 15, 2005

26: Prison of Kogoruhn

Deep inside the fortress of Kogoruhn there is a prison. A dank, winding passage leads to three stout locked doors. Behind the doors are small cells; dirty, cold, and cramped. The Sixth House Cult does not provide much for prisoners, and the stench of death and decay hangs heavy in the stagnant air. I will get little sleep here. I woke this morning in my warm bed with Ahnassi curled against my side. I have traveled far from hearth and home today, in many ways.

I donned my heavy ebony armor as the dawn brightened the sky. My robes conceal the bulk, and throughout the day I left my foes surprised whenever their weapons struck home. I'm sure many of them died wondering what had blunted their blades when they expected only the light armors of a mage. I did dispatch numerous foes here in Kogoruhn before coming to this cell.

I avoided traveling by foot as the ebony is a heavy armor. I used my own spell to teleport from Pelagiad to Balmora, then the guild guide to reach Ald-ruhn. There I hired a caravaner to carry me to Maar Gan on his great silt strider. The mighty insect sped across the ashy wastes on its six towering legs. By mid morning I stood atop the ramp looking down on Mar Gaan. Redoran architecture is spare, and the strider ports of their towns generally consist of little more than a straight, narrow ramp climbing steeply up to the great height of a standing strider. The walk up or down can be a bit nerve racking actually. I did not bother with the decent.

To reach Kogoruhn I used a specially prepared scroll. The top of the strider port seemed as good a place for the casting as any. I read from the scroll, unbinding the magica it contained. The parchment smoked and fell to dust in the wake of my passing eyes. The intertwined incantations shaped the released energies and infused them into my body, hurling me into the air and blurring my form into invisibility. I streaked across the skies, but left no trace of my passage.

The spell was just beginning to fade when the ruined fortress flashed under my headlong arc. I swung around, using the last of it to completely circle the great structure. It is now nearly buried in the shifting sands and ash blowing down from Red Mountain. The huge stone base is almost completely buried, and drifts piled against the buildings on the top spill off the edges to join the rising tide. I chose the roof of the large fortress itself and lightly touched down.

A Dunmer in a loincloth patrolled the roof, and I alit invisibly behind him. He had the somewhat dazed shuffle of a dreamer and his heavy muscles indicated the earliy stages of corprus disease. I quaffed a potion to augment my own strength and grabbed him from behind in a hold I learned from Caius the spymaster, snapping his neck quietly. I pushed the corpse against a heaping drift of sand and collapsed it over him.

This prison lies on the third level down in the fortress. It is near the base of the stairs that descend from above, far from the doorway to the vaults below. I reached that doorway but did not explore beyond this level. Battles with the minions of Dagoth Ur took their toll and I could go no further.

The stairs from the rooftop entrance descend into a large square room on the uppermost level. The ruined furnishings are heaped in the corners to make space for the arcane rights of a Dagoth. The horrid creature, transformed to ash by the profane power of the amulet hung from its neck, was inscribing runes on the stone floor with the butt of an ebony spear dipped in the sooty ash of a blood crusted brazier. I slipped quietly into the room and pressed my back to a great central pillar. Incantations spilled quietly from my lips.

The Dagoth went past me unknowing, and dipped the butt of the spear once again into the ash. It cocked its head, puzzled, as ashes swirled in a sudden puff of moving air. The advantage of area spells is that their first flush of effect doesn't necessarily point to the spell caster. The summoned storm lacked the mass of a true thunderstorm, being contained in the room, but as the bolts crackled down on the Dagoth I was quite satisfied with it.

After the initial surprise the beast whirled, seeking the source of the spell. I could have hidden and let the spell run its course before taking any other action, but I was afraid the Dagoth would dispel it given a chance. Instead I added to the ongoing barrage of lightning and triggered a blast of flames as well by lashing him with my staff as he turned. The monster clutched its amulet and I was sickened by vile magic, but only briefly. The spell collapsed with the death of the Dagoth.

I took the spear. Its weight helped drive the finely sharpened point through the dreamers and lesser ash creatures that I encountered, which allowed me to conserve the magica charged within my staff.

The main feature of the second level down was the doorway that exited out to the surface of the base. I did not go out. It served more as a landmark, denoting the last chance to exit without having to climb back up out of the warrens of lower passages. Throughout the halls braziers burn, and the ash minions sprang forth behind me as often as ahead. I did not relish facing the return trip, which grew with every step I took deeper into the depths, but I had no choice. I slipped down the next stair.

The first large chamber I found on this third level down is hung with tapestries and large pillars support the vaulted ceiling. I used this cover to skulk around, making sure that the ash slave who paced near a door set in the further wall was the lone occupant. Once I was certain I plunged the spear through him, then opened the door to see what he was guarding; this prison. I hardly needed to enter to know what it was, but I did.

The three prisoners were proof of the horrors I would suffer if captured. Two had starved to death, and the third was too weak to move, or offer any hope of recovery. They had not even been disarmed; a sure sign that once their cell was shut they could not expect the door to open again. The cell doors show the deep scoring left by not only these prisoners but numerous predecessors as their hunger drove them to clawing madly at the door that barred their exit.

I pressed onward, battling the creatures, trying to marshall my strength, my reserves of magica, and the reserves held in my staff and other enchanted items. The fortress is too extensive. To continue downward to the next level would put me beyond the point where I could count on battling my way out. To teleport out would put me so far away that by the time I returned the fortress would be even more heavily defended. I saw no choice.

I moved the body from this cell to one of the others. The stink in here is terrible, but I will bear it. The doors to all three cells are locked, and there is no reason to think the cult will look in on their prisoners as they search for their attacker. In the shifting ash and sands outside they have no way to tell that I have not left. No way to tell until tomorrow.

3 Comments:

Blogger frootat31 said...

ugh I hated this part of the game! Very good description and account of this dark time in the story. I like how you add the little things such as the scrolls turning into puffs of smoke when you finish with them. That adds to the story...the little things. great job...as always!

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Random said...

The scroll you used must have been a Windwalker scroll. Nice move to take out the archer, snapping his neck commando style. Very good update.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Blackadder89 said...

It's a little thing, but you did it a few times...I'm certain it is spelled 'Magicka' not 'Magica', might want to look out for that in future entries. good entry otherwise though! :-)

9:50 AM  

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