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.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

44: Outcast

Of course I wasn't really an outcast. I really just went to Sheogorad looking for outcasts, but there was an element of staying out of sight. It did give me a sense of what life is like for those who choose or are stuck with the nomadic lifestyle of the clanless Ashlander. When Tibdan and Shanat arrive I hope they can make the adjustment. I expect they will get here in a few days. They are traveling overland, moving their camp. I took the boat to Khuul and made the short hike to the Urshilaku camp.

I could have made the overland trek. I'm not anxious to get on with the next trials. Nibani has had time to consult with Azura in her dreams, though she has gotten no more guidance. With nothing further from the goddess we are agreed that the Redorans will be my first objective. I will travel to Ald-ruhn tomorrow and get started. I did not travel by sea for the speed, or even the convenience. The crossing of the sea of ghosts gave me an opportunity to wrap up a dangerous loose end. An opportunity that I took, but do not relish.

Ships are a mystery to me. Even though I know that the forest of winches and bollards on the deck are there for the sailors to use in raising and lowering sail, it always seems strange to walk the orderly but crowded deck when the ship is under sail, and all that equipment stands idle. It gave me a place to think. And act.

I made a few trips down into the hold. A sailing ship needs to be heavy in the depths of her keel to keep the sails from laying her over, and I took a few of the heavy stones from the ballast and brought them onto the deck. Not enough to affect the ship, but enough for my purposes. The sailors looked diligently the other way. The captain had warned them that I was the Archmage of Vvardenfell and had some unusual business to take care of so I should be left alone. The rumor circulated that I planned to throw something overboard, and that anyone who took too much note of exactly where that happened would go over with it.

I went to the port railing and untied the rope barrier that filled the gap where the gangplank would be run out. Then I balanced a chest carefully on the edge of the deck and loaded it with the stones I had gathered. No man or monster could bring up such a weight. The chest can't be recovered without opening it and unloading the stones.

I unwound Sorkveld's red cloak from around the mask and placed it on the stones. Even with only the skull's empty sockets there seemed to be eyes behind the mask; eyes that burned with hatred. "Clavicus Vile, there seems to be no way to remove your evil spirit from that mask, and no way to destroy the adamantium of which it is made."

"You are very persuasive, which is why I have stolen your voice." The broken skull inside the helm could make no reply, but the features of the mask twisted bitterly. "But even without a voice leaving you in my room at the inn was a risk. I'm sure you could dim the glow in your eyes, and some poor thief would have no idea of the danger. They would not suit you as well as Sorkveld the Raven, but it wouldn't take you long to betray your host to some necromancer and be loose again in the world. I thought about that quite a bit while I was away. I don't know if there is really anywhere completely secure from theives." The mask seemed to be smirking.

"But I can't just carry you around in my pack forever either. I am possessed by the spirit of Nerevar, and the corprus disease has extended my span. I will live a long, long time unless I meet a bad end; but I could easily meet that bad end. It may even come at the hands of Dagoth Ur. I don't know who would end up in control, but your spirit bound up with that demon is not to be allowed, or even contemplated."

"My circumstances scare me. I'm not an elf. I wasn't raised to think about life lingering on for centuries...millenia...forever. Now I confront that it might. Confronting that myself makes it hard for me to do what I must. But it was you who chose to bind yourself to that mask. You have cheated death. You chose eternity."

I closed the lid. I could not bear to see the mask as it contorted with horror. I gathered all the magica at my command and wove it into the plain, sturdy chest. The locking spell is complex, multi-layered, and permanent. The surrounding waters will be venomous. In fairly short order it will be buried in the bones of passing sea life. A metal pick in the lock will release a devastating blast of lightning. Even the insulated probe that a good thief would normally use will be useless. The salty waters of the Sea of Ghosts will carry the charge.

In a small box at the bottom of the sea eternity will be a very long time. I spent the rest of the voyage in my cabin, shaken by what I had done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

typo in eigth paragraph.

I see you've upped security.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

That was so awesome. I wish I could do stuff like that in the game. The best we can do is put a strong lock spell on something, and even that's a pain in the ass if you're not a high-ranking member of the the theives guild.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Eddy Hall said...

Tim, I've just caught up with your posts from day one over the past few days.


I love the detail, the embellishments, the change in style as Arvil has changed... it all adds up to a great story.

Excellent story-telling.


6:06 AM  
Anonymous Arthmodeus said...

It's hard to believe how much things have changed from hunting Mudcrabs and almost getting killed by a Slaughterfish.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

HEY! It was a BUNCH of slaughterfish!

Arvil Bren

3:20 PM  
Blogger Mikhail the Shmikhail said...


3:35 PM  

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