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, August 16, 2005

27: Depths of Kogoruhn

I should say depths of Red Mountain. I have been underground all day and I am sure that I am far from Kogoruhn. A vast canal system carries water from the Ashlands into the heart of Red Mountain. For what purpose I cannot guess. The Sixth House has no doubt found this useful though. The passages are thick with ash monsters and other conjured minions of House Dagoth. The purpose of the canal system is just one of the unanswerable questions of the day. One of many, actually. The questions began shortly after I let myself out of the cell I spent the night in, and have come frequently throughout the day. Answers, unfortunately, are more scarce.

As I had hoped, the Cult stiffened their defenses on the levels above but not below. They had no reason to think that I was lying right in their midst. Hopefully they too will be struggling with questions tonight. I returned the body of the previous occupant to its cell and locked the doors, so there will be no obvious answer found there. When they find the ash slave who was guarding the outer chamber of the dungeon they will have no way to tell that his assailant came out of the cells rather than the corridor.

I slinked through the halls trying to avoid leaving a trail of blood and death to mark my passage. I was mostly successful. Hopefully the monsters I could not avoid were sufficiently scattered that their bodies will confuse any pursuit. I entered the waterways through a locked door, locking it behind me. The passage led steeply down, leaving me far below even the base of the fortress. At first I did not realize how extensive the canal system would be. I crept along, watching and listening at every corner. Eventually I recognized that there could be miles of tunnels. I maintained caution, but picked up my pace.

In the tunnels I found another mystery. I had turned up a side passage to investigate, finding only a dead end. When I returned to the main canal I could hear shuffling feet and murmured voices, so I melted back up the passage to let them pass. A group of sleepers and ash slaves tramped past the opening. They were moving with more purpose than is typical, and I wondered where they could be going. I think I know. I started out following them, which would have let me be sure, but I was torn by doubts.

The canal is patrolled by wandering atronachs as well as the ash minions. I had already encountered a few before the group came along. These personifications of elemental energy are powerful, but they can be countered with opposing elemental energies and their energetic nature makes them visible from a distance. It had not been difficult to either evade them, or lay them low with spells. However, the thought of meeting one with this group of enemies in the vicinity was a different concern. It did not take long for that concern to push me into action. I lurked at a corner, letting the targets get quite a distance down the straight passage beyond.

When they had reached what I thought was enough range I conjured a great Daedric longbow and leaned it against the wall, then stepped out into the open. The spell I cast after them is from the school of alteration; my chosen school, the school in which I hold the greatest mastery. The magica chorused around me and gathered into a great ball of shimmering purple. The ball hung between my outstretched arms, then compressed as I brought my hands together. When the gleaming sphere had condensed to a near solid mass I released it to streak down the passage. I'm not really sure who it struck. The blast of purple light as it burst was blinding. It didn't really matter who it hit anyway.

I grabbed the bow and started firing as fast as I could draw the arrows. A couple of the ash slaves were still on their feet and drew my first shots. As soon as they were hit they went down as well, writhing under the great weight the spell had dropped on them. I trotted towards them, pausing every few steps to fire at a squirming target. One of the dreamers in particular was trying to roll off the edge into the canal. I don't know if he had some vestige of magecraft that made him think he could cast a water breath spell, or if he hoped to hold his breath until the spell wore off. I took no chances, piercing his ribs with arrows until he stopped in a pool of blood. The deadly hail of arrows continued until the struggling targets had all stopped moving.

Unfortunately the great weight they had died under did not accompany them into death. The ash minions were no problem, their corpses collapsed into ash that disappeared into the dust of the ages once it was scattered far enough over the floor. The bodies of the dreamers though, they required some thought. In the end I was not completely satisfied with the results. The dreamers scant and ragged clothing did not give much to work with, but I did manage to tie the corpses together and weight them slightly with clubs they and the minions had carried. When I tumbled them into the canal they did sink, but I am afraid they will tumble with the current and possibly separate and bob to the surface.

I continued along the canal and found where I believe the group was headed. Solving that mystery only led to another though. A large pile of crates was stacked against the wall. The contents of the crates certainly serves no purpose here in the depths. What the Sixth House cult is doing with crates of moon sugar I have no idea, but I'm sure the group I stopped was meant to carry these crates somewhere. Instead, my friends among the Khajiit will welcome a couple pounds of the contraband crystals.

Fortunately, with the packing in the crates I was able to lash them together after pushing them into the canal. I towed them up this dead end passage and anchored them to a grate. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to teleport myself out of this oppressive place.


Anonymous Mike said...

Fabulous description of spell-casting. It is truly remarkable how much detail you can squeeze out of the game. Bravo.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree totally. your style has gradually changed, getting better and better. It reads much more like a novel - still absolutely true to Morowind, but "fleshed out" much more, and with remarkably clear detailed and accurate descriptions of places and encounters. I am sure it will appeal to non-players of the game just as much as true Morrowind enthusiasts!
I'm enjoing reading Arvil Bren's adventures even more now, if that's possible!

Thank you for your dedication; I am sure publication will be a certainty., which will be brilliant for you - and for us all!

- Angela

1:21 AM  

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