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, September 19, 2005

46: Decision

Although they are wise, my clanfriends and advisors among the Ashlanders admittedly don't know much about the ways of the great houses. I was haunted by the voice of Peakstar's ghost. She had, no doubt, advisors. She failed this trial. The politics of the great houses confused her, leaving her as bewildered prey for the forces of the temple. I awoke this morning with her story ringing through my mind.

My father taught me about something he called the 'circles of trust'. Like me, he had no family. He was respected in the local guild of thieves, even followed. Perhaps a guild of thieves is less reliable than a guild of mages, but perhaps not. Everyone in a guild has some agenda of their own. He always considered the guild his 'second circle'. His friends were the first. I never really understood how that strange mix came to be his trusted friends, but I am beginning to understand. My own inner circle is just as eclectic.

Nelos Onmar is a Dunmer, and a pure rogue. The beautiful Breton woman who stole his heart has settled him in many ways, but I'm sure few would consider him trustworthy in any sense of the word. I was the key instrument in bringing them together. I would trust him with my life, and perhaps more tellingly I would trust him with my fortune. Ahnassi left word at the Halfway tavern, and Maurrie and Nelos joined us for a late breakfast. In the guild halls it would have been lunch, but I get lazy at home. I fit in better that way, since Ahnassi continues to follow the ways of the Khajiit and prowls at night.

"The great houses," Nelos mused. "I don't know how I would approach them Arvil. My own clan tends more to graft than greatness so it wouldn't be any easier for me than you, even though you're an outlander. I will say though that you are a good candidate to be Hortator though."

"How? I'm no general."

"Neither is the Hortator actually," he said. "We don't really think the same as the Empire, and some things don't translate well. Look around Arvil. How many Dunmer are there, really? When we talk about an 'army' we don't mean the same thing that you do in the lands of the Imperial legions. The Hortator would probably be better described as a hero than a general. When the prophecy says the Nerevarine will lead an army against Dagoth Ur it probably means a ragtag band of adventurers, if that."

"Great. Nelos you are not making me feel better here."

"Well, I mean to," he said. "You were worried about convincing the councils that you are a general, which you aren't. It should be a lot easier to convince them you are a hero. All you need to do is get the great houses to pay a little attention to you and they will notice that you are a hero. You can't help yourself. Trouble comes to you like a magnet."

He's right, of course. The Sixth House cult sends ash minions after me constantly, and buried in the ravaged vestige of a mind of every blighted man or beast is Dagoth Ur's hatred of me, so they invariably charge me on sight. Most smugglers who aren't working with the Sixth House are working with the Cammona Tong, which also has a price on my head. Overall it is hard for me to get through a day alive without killing some adversary or another. "So how do I get their attention Nelos?"

"They adopt kinsmen Arvil, sometimes even outlanders. They'll probably send you on some minor errands to test your loyalty, but knowing you they will have you off scalping their enemies for them in no time." I sighed. If my every experience in Morrowind politics hadn't supported what he said it would probably have made me mad.

I walked to Balmora. It gave me time to think over Nelos' advice before I continued around my circle. By the time I arrived I had pretty well concluded that joining a house would be a necessary first step. Mostly I just couldn't see any way to approach a Great House Council and raise the subject of a Hortator, much less propose myself as one. I still don't, but being a member of a house seems to at least give me a chance of finding one. That settled in my mind I arrived in Balmora with two questions: which house? And: how to join them?

Ranis helped me resolve the first question. She is a native born Dunmer, from a good family. Being magically inclined her kin are mostly associated with the Telvanni. Joining the Imperial guild was an act of rebellion that they have never forgiven. I have never really gotten to the source of her hatred for the Telvanni, but I have come to think it is bottomless. She is brilliant about all things political though, and can set that emotion aside from her reasoning in a most amazing way.

"You could join any of the houses Arvil Bren, but your Ashlanders are correct, you must join the Redorans."


"You can be a member of only one house, but eventually you must be Hortator of all. As a Redoran Hortator you can still buy your way with the greedy Hlaalu, and the Telvanni will accept you once you kill enough of those who would reject you. They are...pragmatic. A Hlaalu or Telvanni Hortator would likely have to kill all of the Redorans. Those stiff necks take their honor far to close to their hearts."

It took the rest of the day to catch up on the business of the guild. I teleported home. In the morning I will resume my interrupted trip to Ald-ruhn. It has taken a couple of days, but at least I feel comfortable with my choice, and I have a manageable first step.


Anonymous Corinthian Coldflame said...

YES! I was right, Redoran it is! They've always been my favorite. I'm excited to see how you expand on their stories. Whoo hoo!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Arvil first expressed his admiration of the Redoran in Mar Gaan, I had a feeling, but I must admit that you threw me for a time when Arvil was looking for ways to protect the Mage's Guild from the Telvani. What better way to protect it than to bring them together? I must say, I'm very pleased with the choice though. Redoran are awesome.

3:18 PM  

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