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 01, 2005

Sixteen: Master Barelo

I spent most of today reviewing what I know of the Nerevarine prophecies and comparing it with texts maintained here in the monastery. Most of the Heirographa, the writings of the Tribunal Temple can be found here. One of the critical differences that has led to the casting out of the dissident priests is their belief that the Apographa, writings the hierarchy have kept secret for millennia, should be open to study. Much of the Apographa is also available.

I found texts of the critical prophecies of the Stranger and the Seven Visions of the Seven Trials, which I heard from Nibani Maesa the Wise Woman of the Urshilaku. It is impressive how the oral traditions of the Ashlanders have preserved the legend. Texts transcribed by temple scholars many generations ago match the notes I took when Nibani described the trials to me almost perfectly.

The first trial reads;
On a certain day to uncertain parents
Incarnate Moon and Star is born

This is what got me into this in the first place. The 'certain day', by tradition, happens to be my birthday. When the Emperor got that piece of information his agents found me in the Imperial prisons. Parents unknown, born on the correct day, the perfect pawn in the game of creating a false Nerevarine...or a true one. In any event, Nibani agreed that I do meet the test of the first trial. She was, however, quick to point out that a great many people share my birthday.

When I met Nibani that was a deciding factor. The only factor that went my way in fact. Now the second trial has taken on great significance. It reads;
Neither blight nor age can harm him
The curse of flesh before him flees.

The 'curse of flesh' is a common reference to the corprus disease, and Nibani suggested that this could mean that the Nerevarine could cure that dread disease. I cannot cure the disease, but I have been cured of it through the wizardry of Divyth Fyr. Through that disease and curing I have taken an immunity to diseases, including the blight. Divayth Fyr also speculates that I will not age normally, if at all. While it is not exactly what Nibani expected it does seem to serve, especially since Edwinna tells me Fyr has not been able to cure anyone else.

I discussed this today with Master Barelo, leader of the dissidents. He agreed that this second trial could be seen as fulfilled by my condition. He seemed easily convinced in fact, more easily than I am myself, and I'm afraid more easily than Nibani would be. To her the Nerevarine being an outlander is absurd, and it seems easier to agree with that than anything else. When I suggested that to Master Barelo he stopped, pondering, and suggested we move on to the third trial.

The third trial reads;
In caverns dark Azura's eye sees
And makes to shine the moon and star.

This appears to me to be the definitive trial. Nibani hinted at knowledge of a 'cavern of the Incarnate' when I asked about this, but she said she could not reveal anything more than that there is a shrine to Azura there. If I can convince her that I have passed the second trial she will perhaps tell me more.

Barelo nodded at that and excused himself to do some research. I suppose he may be able to locate this shrine, or perhaps he can find the 'lost prophecies' that Nibani is seeking. Despite the uncanny consistency of the oral traditions handed down by the Ashlanders, Nibani knows there are pieces that have been lost. If those pieces were recorded by temple scholars before they were lost Barelo may be able to find them.

I continued my own search through the ancient texts for a while, but must admit that the task is too much for me. When Mehra Milo came into the chamber in which I was reading she apologized for the interruption, but I thanked her. "I will have to rely on the scholarship of others to sort what I need from the wealth of documents here Mehra. I hate to do that, but to do anything else is a life's work."

"Yes, it is. Master Barelo knows a great deal about where to look. Have faith that Azura will guide him to what you seek."

"What I don't understand is his interest in helping me. I read Progress of Truth, and I honor the stand your order has taken against the persecution of the Nerevarine cult by the Ordinators. But it seems like that was a stand against the injustice of it. It doesn't ring of any great belief in the prophecies."

"I'm not sure there is any belief in them Arvil Bren, and there certainly wasn't at the time that Progress of Truth was written. But times have changed. At that time the ghostfence and the power of the Tribunal seemed to be keeping Dagoth Ur safely contained, and the good works of the Tribunes was openly and obviously visible, and on going. Now things are...different." She looked like she was about to cry.

"The blight," I said.

"Not just that. There's the tools of Kagrenak."

"Kagrenak. The Dwemer master enchanter."

"Yes," she murmured. "Accursed Kagrenak. His efforts to create a God to do the Dwemer's bidding destroyed the Dwemer."

"So I understand. Not really a bad thing though, considering that the Dwemer were at war with the Dunmer at the time. It could have gone much worse for the Dunmer."

"Yes, it seemed good in the short term. The Dwemer were destroyed, their outlander allies scattered. But the Heart of Lorkan, and the tools Kagrenak used to tap its power remained. Nerevar decreed that the tools were too dangerous to use, but Lord Dagoth fell to their temptation and became Dagoth Ur. So did the Tribunal after the death of Nerevar."

"They used the tools? So they are like Dagoth Ur?"

"Not entirely. Dagoth Ur tapped directly into the power of the heart, driven by greed and fear. The tribunes were cautious, and at heart wanted to do good. Dagoth Ur was immediately driven mad...with them it has taken longer..."

"But they are mad all the same," I concluded.

"Yes." She nodded sadly and her eyes brimmed over with tears. "I don't think we believe in the Nerevarine prophecies Arvil Bren. It is just that they hold out our only hope."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is stunning- I always found the prophetic accounts hard to piece together - you have done so!

- now I realise why you said this next section of the journal was going to be difficult for you.
BUT it is working, and is making excellent reading, as always.

Thank you again.


2:48 AM  

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