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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.

Friday, August 19, 2005

30: Zabamund

The early silt strider ride left me with a long walk. Hiking across the Ashlands to the Urshilaku camp gave me time to think; too much time probably. In the early afternoon I brought down a nix-hound and stopped for lunch. I was grilling the meat over a small fire when Zabamund slid down a nearby hillside and strolled up to the corpse. "Spare some of these chops for a clanmate Arvil Bren?" he said. I nodded. "Easiest place to carry meat is in the belly, eh?" He held a large chunk over the fire on the point of a shortsword. We sat in companionable silence, listening to the sizzle of grease dripping onto the coals.

Zabamund is A Gulakhan; Sul-Matuul's champion and trusted advisor. "I was on that hilltop when you took down the hound Arvil Bren," he said. "There was little joy in your hunt. You are a skilled hunter, and bring honor to our clan even though you are an outlander, but you did not seem yourself."

"My mind was elsewhere I suppose Zabamund."

"Well, with that great bow that you conjure I suppose a nix-hound is not a really challenging target, but there is still the simple pleasure of a well placed shot."

"I've always enjoyed the hunt, even before I joined the clan," I said.

"But today you carry the weight of prophecy on your shoulders, and it is bending your back." I looked into the red Dunmer eyes. "Sul-Matuul keeps few secrets from me Arvil Bren."

"Did he tell you of the quest he has given me?"

"To Kogoruhn? Yes, he spoke of that. Kogoruhn is dangerous. I was with Sul-Matuul when he visited the ruins centuries ago, in our youth." A far away look came over the dark skinned face. "House Dagoth was much less active then, but Kogoruhn was still a bad place. It is an honor that he chose to send you there."

I grimaced. "I haven't been looking at it that way Zabamund."

He laughed. "I could see that. I also see the Shadow Shield of Dagoth Morin on your shoulder so it is hard to understand your sadness."

"I didn't find a cup. That was one of the tokens Sul-Matuul wanted."

"Ah." He looked into the fire. The far away look came back. "He liked those cups. I'm surprised we never went back for them." He sighed. "It was the first time I ever saw an atronach. We were in a small room with a man we thought was asleep. Sul-Matuul was reaching for a cup on the table when it seemed like it burst into flame. The old man summoned an atronach and it landed right on the table."

I couldn't help but grin. "That would be a shocker no doubt."

"We ran like Dagoth Ur himself was behind us, which for all we knew he was. We jumped over the parapet and tumbled down the side of the fortress...the ash wasn't near as deep then...and the old man stood at the parapet and roared with laughter."

I looked at the hardened warrior, and saw the young aspirant that he had been. We both erupted in laughter, eventually holding our sides and gasping for breath.

"Arvil Bren...I was young then. Rash. Full of fire. And I ran like a s'wit. I was older than your people ever get. Don't be too hard on yourself, and don't think that Sul-Matuul is going to rush you."

Zabamund and I climbed opposite ridges and followed them towards the camp, hunting the valley in between. My Daedric bow gave me greater range, but his eyes were sharpened by centuries of spotting game in the Ashlands. He beat me by two kills. As we carried the hides and meat into the camp we were both laughing. "Let that be a lesson, Arvil Bren. Respect your elders." He turned suddenly serious. "We respect you, probably more than you know." He reached up and touched the rim of the Shadow Shield. "Definitely more than you know."

5 Comments:

Blogger frootat31 said...

This is great. I love how you've added such character to the Dunmer. I really sensed the comradery between the two of them.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Nothing short of fantastic. As many people here have said, the life and character you bring to this story is immensely impressive.

This post is particularly good. Everything about it just feels right.

Thanks for writing this story.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! reminds me of the chapter 'reunion' with the fire antronoch chasing the assassins all over the place. Cant get over what flame antronochs can do to people

1:01 AM  
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8:49 AM  
Anonymous Blackadder89 said...

It keeps getting better!

10:08 AM  

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