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, September 30, 2005

55: Morag Tong

Today I learned a lot about the Morag Tong, the ancient and honored assassins guild of Morrowind. Unfortunately I might also have put myself among their targets.

I rode the silt strider back to Ald-ruhn, accompanying Mistress Morvayn. Our conversation was odd at times, but I think effective. When I am ready to present myself as Hortator I will have a good chance of receiving her support, I think. My efforts in Maar Gan have proven the value of the guild, at least to her. The difficult parts of our talk were about the Sixth House. I am not ashamed of the various battles I have had with the Dagoths and was willing to share them with this charming lady, but her interest was strangely intense. She probed constantly for details; comparing the color of the candles to every red thing we could see, having me trace the shape of symbols from the filagree on the cup with my finger. It was uncomfortable.

Lady Morvayn is the only member of the council that does not maintain her home in the manor district under the great shell of Skar. I escorted her to her door, then took my leave to report to Neminda at the council chambers.

When I passed through the portal into the great vaulted space of the manor district I was immediately taken by the absence of guards. The manors and the council chamber itself are entered through doors in the rim of the great shell, while some merchants have shops burrowed under the lower part of the shell. To reach the doors in the rim the Redorans maintain a series of catwalks constructed of rope and planks. Every time I have been in Skar these catwalks have been populated with the bonemold clad house guard; but not today.

The catwalks form a ring around a great central pillar, and radiate out to the rim from there. I had just stepped onto the long span to the council hall when Neminda burst out of the door. "Thank Almsivi! Arvil Bren! Sarethi manor, quickly! There!" She pointed to a door on the rim to my left, drew a sword and came barreling across the catwalk.

I had no idea of the problem, but drew my own sword and charged towards the indicated door. The boots of blinding speed revealed themselves, and the fleet footed Redguard warrior gaped in astonishment as I reached the door before she had taken more than a few steps. "Go in! Go, go, go!" Bursting unannounced into a council member's home is unheard of, but I obeyed.

The scene inside needed no explanation. A guard, easily identified by the distinctive bonemold armor, lay sprawled in a spreading pool of blood. A crimson robed gentleman with graying hair and distinguished features was vigorously defending himself, but was hard pressed by two lightly armored assassins who worked their daggers coolly, weaving a net of death that was drawing rapidly closed around him.

I cast a shielding spell as I crossed the room, enveloping myself in a shell of elemental energies, then fell on the assassins with heavy swipes of the stormsword. Their light armor and short bladed daggers offered the mobility and subtlety to perform their clandestine attacks, but were no match for my direct assault. They fell, dishonored by their failure to slay the councilman.

Neminda burst in after the fight was over. "Athyn! Are you all right?"

"Yes Neminda, I'm fine. I assume you sent this timely rescuer." He indicated me with a wave of his hand.

"Athyn Sarethi, Lord of the South Gash, Senior of the Council of House Redoran; Arvil Bren, Oathman of the House and Archmage of the Imperial Mage's Guild," she said.

The formal tone of the introductions faded. The odd interplay of non-elven retainers in Dunmer society quickly made itself apparent. Athyn Sarethi is a fixture in Neminda's life. He was her patron when she entered the service of House Redoran, just as he was her father's patron, and her grandfather's, and despite his graying hair he would be the patron of her children and grandchildren as well should they desire, which they no doubt will since they would be raised in the house just like she was. To her he is a fixture, but he congratulated her father on her birth and will comfort her children on her death.

"The guards were all called to a surprise inspection," she said, "and then I realized what day it was. I should have seen it sooner."

"You saw in time Neminda, don't fret so," he said. "In time since you had this fleet footed warrior available. Those are the boots of blinding speed I believe. You seem to have overcome their curse."

"Yes," I said simply. I have learned that there is no point asking how someone like Sarethi knows something. Over centuries, even millennia, there is no surprise that his path crossed that of the boots.

"Well I'm better for it. Now I have another year."

"Another year?" I asked.

"The Morag Tong will not act on a writ more than once a year. This is their third attempt on my life. The fact that they came exactly one year after the last indicates that they are under extreme pressure from whoever issued the contract."

"The Dark Brotherhood observes no such limits," I observed.

"They are an abomination! What do you know of them?" Neminda demanded. I told them the entire story, observing that I had been attacked at times on a daily basis.

"Tracked them to their source and slayed them all," mused the councilman.

"Not likely," I said ruefully. "They are a multi-headed beast, but their cell in Mournhold won't be troubling anyone for some time."

"Now you may be a target of the Morag Tong," Sarethi warned.

"For stopping them?" I asked. "That doesn't seem to fit with what I've heard of their professional honor."

"You are right, but the one who took contract on me may not be as honorable, he may want vengeance...or he may feel threatened by having you involved. You are a member of a great house, an acceptable target. The Morag Tong would take the writ, and they are a vital part of our society, you can't just track them down and eliminate them."

"At least I only have to worry about them once a year."

"Yes. And I don't have to worry about them for another year. I can continue my investigations."

"Do you know who sent them?"

"Not yet, but I believe I am getting close. It may be wise for you to leave the city for a while."

"Lord Arobar has requested that you return to Ald Velothi," Neminda suggested. "The hetman there apparently has some problems you are well suited to resolve. Nothing very serious, as I understand it."

So I am headed back to Ald Velothi, but for the rest of the day and tonight I have enjoyed my home. Seeing Neminda against the backdrop of Sarethi's vast lifespan has shown me that I need to treasure every moment with my Ahnassi.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a delightful interlude.

- Angela

1:51 PM  
Blogger Tyraus said...

I like how you included the boots of blinding speed's effect on people. I wonder if its in the book by his chair that the dwarf has in tel fyr.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*pokes Tim*

erm... What happened to monday? To busy to update?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Allan said...

Whew! It took me three days, but I finally read through the complete adventures of Arvil Bren (to date). This is fantastic. The way you embellish Bethesda's rather sparse characterization and storylines is ingenious, especially the stuff surrounding your role as Archmage. You should be selling this stuff.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE don't let this be the end of Arvil Bren...... How will we all cope without our daily injection of his marvellous journal?

- Angela - an avid reader since day 1!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Maybe he's having computer problems...

Hope everything is well, Tim.

- Joseph.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous PLightstar said...

Hopefully hes just on Holiday and taking a break, it can not be the end, not like this please.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*pokes Tim*

erm.. What happened to all of last week?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Arthmodeus said...

He's probably just taking a break. I wouldn't worry about it.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Rex Little said...

If this was just a break, he'd have posted something by now (10/12) to let us know. I'm afraid there's something seriously wrong with either Tim or his computer. I really, really hope it's the latter.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 to Anonymous 2 over.

This is Anonymous 2 I copy that over.

Anonymous 2 begin the poking procedure in 5 over.

Negative Negative charlie alpha gamma delta cannont commence must go with back up plan.


'Pulls out C4'

4:12 PM  
Blogger Tyraus said...

Dude i hope the anonymous wont have to resort to any other means of awaking you.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really hate to be a pessimist here, but i'm thinking something serious has happened to Tim, because if it was just the computer, he would find some way of logging in with a friend's machine or using a library or something. i really hate to think this, i love this blog.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tim - are you OK? You have a lot of people out here who are really concerned about you.
We all hope nothing is seriously wrong.
We all wish you well soon.

-From just one of your many wellwishers - Angela

2:05 AM  
Blogger Scott Hanson said...

Hey Time, I hope you're all right. I'm waiting patiently, as all your readers are, to hear what's been happening lately. I start my day with your journal, I feel like I'm in some sort of Groundhog Day when I keep seeing "55: "Morag Tong" as the title for the day. Come back soon, best wishes.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Random said...

Although if something serious has happened to him, surely he would have found a way to tell us. I hope tim's alright

7:15 PM  
Blogger becci said...

hope you are ok, i've enjoyed your posts and have even joined blogger to post comments on it. Take care and hopefully you will be back on board soon.

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These daily tales set in Morrowind truly create a whole new playing sensation. Thank You for providing such as great tale!


8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this journal continues sometime. I miss your great entries. I hope all is well and that you find a way to continue later on.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started reading this, and I'm sad it ended about 3 months ago. If you wanted me too I could make this into a in game book and do some other stuff from the Journal in a plugin/mod. TES Construction Set: Ultimate Waste Of A Summer

7:36 PM  

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