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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

3: Bolvyn Venim, Archmaster of the Redorans

Athyn Sarethi did not tell me where to look for his son. There are shops under Skar, buried deep below the bottom of the great emperor crab's shell. There are shops, but not many. Mostly 'under Skar' refers to the council chambers and the great manors of the council members. Logically, it is not a shopkeeper who has set themselves against Lord Sarethi. Advice rose up in my mind. Advice I had been given about being named Hortator. Those who are in power are the most resistant to change.

Sarethi has seniority, and he is widely respected. Among the common Redorans, and sometimes even among the guards, I have heard him referred to as the 'last best hope of the Redorans'. He could, perhaps, lead the house. The people would support him, the guards would not oppose him, the council might agree...but Bolvyn Venim, currently the Archmaster of the house, would certainly not welcome the change. How much would he resist?

Edwinna, my guild steward here in Ald-ruhn, seemed a likely place to start an inquiry.

"Yes, I've met him," she said. From her face I guessed that meeting the Lord of Ald-ruhn was not a welcome part of her duties. She confirmed that. "He is a complete Dunmer bigot." Beyond that impression there was little she could say. What lengths he would go to maintain power within the house could not be seen from the outside.

I went to the council chambers and approached Neminda, carefully. Sarethi is her patron, but clearly in her position as manager of the house she would have to stay on the right side of the Archmaster. Not an easy task if he is strongly against outlanders, as Edwinna had suggested. He is. Neminda confirmed it, and I found out for myself.

"I've been looking into the assassination attempt," I told her.

"Good. He has survived the Morag Tong three times," she said. "It is not like them to miss. They will take no chances next time."

I did not pass on to her that it seemed there would not be a next time. "It is hard to imagine an enemy of the house choosing him as a target. He looks to be next in line, and easier to deal with than the Archmaster. Seems like the other houses would be targeting Bolvyn Venim rather than Athyn Sarethi."

"I know," she agreed.

I pressed, indirectly. I could not suggest that Venim was behind the plot, but I could lead her to examine the differences between her patron and the Archmaster. In those differences she could look for a reason for Sarethi to be targeted rather than Venim. I could look for reasons Venim would think Sarethi such a threat that he would want him eliminated.

Neminda herself represents the problem. Outlanders. Sarethi is the most forward thinking council member when it comes to outlanders. Incorporate them into the house; support us when we subject ourselves to Dunmer rule; he is trying to find ways to coexist with the Imperial presence. Venim would run us out, even Neminda. He might be open to the prophecy of the Nerevarine, at least the part about driving out the outlanders. He is in for a rude awakening.

Eventually, I could not find any reason not to suspect Venim. All that was left was to meet him myself. Neminda scheduled an appointment for me.

The entry hall of Venim manor is spectacular. Crimson garbed servants bustled about, and guards clad in heavy armor of Dwemer metal stood at motionless attention flanking an inner door. Rich tapestries adorn the walls and lush foliage rises to the high vault of the ceiling from a planter in the center. I was led to a bench and told brusquely to wait. My first thought was that the bench was selected for appearance rather than comfort. After meeting Venim I corrected that. The bench was probably selected specifically because it is so uncomfortable.

The Archmaster himself is as impressive as his surroundings. He entered through an inner door, and the immobile guards snapped to an even greater attention, if that was possible. I rose gratefully from the bench. I greeted him with the respect due the Archmaster of my house. He looked at me with disdain and brushed an invisible speck from his ebony breastplate. "You have impressed some in the house," he said, making it clear that he was not one of them, "and I understand you have some rank in some outlander guild."

I was actually speechless. I had not expected to be welcomed like an old friend, but I have gotten used to being the Archmage of Vvardenfell. He laughed in my face. "You are surprised?" he said. "You think I should be impressed by you wizard? Your outlander guild means nothing to me. To me you are just another outlander taken into my house like a mongrel nix hound. Neminda says you are investigating the Morag Tong's attempt on Lord Sarethi's life. So investigate. Elsewhere." He spun on his ebony booted heel and stalked away, the high ridge of red hair bobbing over the otherwise clean shaven grey scalp.

I did the only thing I could do to accomplish the purpose of my visit. "Lord Sarethi's son found some useful information," I said to the retreating back. "I expect I'll have it all sorted out soon." There was the slightest break in his pace, and one of the guards let their eyes dart to a door on my right. Not really evidence, but I'm convinced. I need to get through that door.


Anonymous bravo 1 said...

*dum dum dum*

Does Arvil Bren get in touch with his stealthy ninja side?


7:24 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

I don't know about stealthy ninja... when i had my bad ass mage, it was more like "Giant fireball to your face, and to your face, paralyze you both, walk through like I own the place, grab what I need, and teleport the hell away from there before they can walk again."

It was fun.

8:12 PM  
Blogger frootat31 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Random said...

With me it was go in, pull out my daedric battle axe, kill them both, walk in to the room, grab him and then

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a note on the table and assumed they were taking someone hostage. Go in. Come out. Die.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

In my story I had the council of the Redorans killed when they tryed to disrupt Olaf's rule. The Redorans are traitorous maggots that need to be controlled, they have no "honor".

8:50 PM  

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