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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, October 20, 2005

4: Guards and doors

I woke up this morning from a fitful sleep. Throughout the night I was caught up in thoughts of the door. Yesterday I was certain that Varvur Sarethi would be found behind the right hand door of Venim manor's entry hall. I am still certain, but there was no way to be certain enough. I couldn't just walk into the private home of the Archmaster of the house and start blasting his guards.

I spent the morning at the guild hall, catching up on reports. Plans came and went. None seemed workable. I went to Sarethi manor for lunch, burdened with doubts.

"If you are right the council will be torn apart," Sarethi said.

"I'm as certain as I can be without getting through that door. The Archmaster must have some way to explain himself though. There would be no way to explain to you, obviously, but he would have to have something he could tell the other council members. Some accusation he could make. He would have to be able to say your son was arrested, not abducted."

"And you would be taking a great risk. Helping a prisoner escape is much different than rescuing a councilman's son."

"Yes," I agreed. "A great risk with a great reward, possibly." His eyes narrowed. I realized too late that that sounded very...mercenary. "What I meant Lord Sarethi, is that house Redoran would be much more comfortable for a Breton like myself if someone other than Bolvyn Venim were the Archmaster of the house. If he has abducted your son, and if that can be proven to the rest of the council, it would be a boon to me."

"Someone other than Bolvyn Venim. Delicately put Arvil Bren. I must admit that the fall of Bolvyn Venim is attractive to consider. But mostly I want my son back. Get him out of there."

My concerns mounted as I returned to the guild hall. Am I being set up? Sarethi's pawn for bringing down Venim? I decided that my plan would include some assistance from Sarethi. If he is going to benefit he would have to take some of the risk. If he refused, that would tell me something. He didn't.

Sarethi had no trouble coming up with a reason to visit the Archmaster. He stumbled at the door quite naturally. A humbling experience no doubt. I slipped through the open door while he gathered his balance. One of the great difficulties of invisibility is that people get very interested in doors that open by themselves.

By the time the spell wore off I was well hidden in the planter. That gave me nothing more than a good view of the door on the right side of the entry hall. The door to the left leads to the guard quarters. That was pretty obvious when the guards changed shifts. The short hallway opposite the entrance leads to the inner quarters of the Venim family. Unfortunately the guards flanking that hallway had no lapse in their attention. Even when the room was briefly left completely empty they stood stiffly at attention; no conversation, no sitting on the uncomfortable benches...no opportunity to open the right hand door unobserved.

Disguises. I teleported out of the planter. I chose a moment when the entry hall was filled with chattering servants. The slight popping sound should have gone undetected. I considered using an intervention spell that would have dropped me at the temple in Ald-ruhn, but gave myself an excuse to come home instead. I am still haunted by the short time I will be able to spend with Ahnassi, and the long life that stretches beyond that for me.

It was a good excuse. I appeared at my target mark in the hallway of the house. The hallway is my storage area. I turned slowly in a circle, assessing all the armor I have collected. The standard issue bonemold of a Redoran guard; I could piece that together. The closed face helmet would hide me well enough. Unfortunately Venim's personal guards seemed to be uniformly arrayed in heavy armor of Dwemer metal. I could be anonymous in the guard's mail, but wouldn't blend in.

Dwemer metal plate. I have a full set of that as well. No help there either really. Going to an armorer and asking for a set of 'Dwemer plate armor' is a misunderstanding. My Dwemer metal plate is serviceable, but not an effective disguise. Every set is different. The Dwemer seldom made armor. The Dwemer were sorcerers, not warriors. Armorers, particularly good armorers, cobble together sets of armor from scrap pieces that are gathered from fallen centurions. I've done it myself, though my skills don't measure up to Wyan in Balmora. Venim's guards can probably recognize each other just as well from their distinctive armor as from each others faces.

I have to get through that door. I can't just walk in there and start killing guards. Magic. Magic is the answer.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice intrigue going on, Tim. I was wondering if the first two journals might ever appear in a downloadable format such as a PDF? If you still intend to publish them in some fashion, I could see how that would be detrimental, but if you aren't....

10:41 PM  
Blogger concaib said...

This is what makes this blog so well written....mostve us would just walk in then open the door and attack everything moving :P well i know i did ;)

2:45 AM  
Blogger Marcus said...

In my stroy (which takes place 200 yrs after the happenings in Morrowind) has Ahnassi killed by my character Olaf, by that point Arvil Bren has seen so many people die that he has barely any feeling left for life.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Khajiiti live that long.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though the webpage header and old screenshots are great, I'd love to see a picture of Arvil Bren as he looks now.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Morrowind Journal is such a great read. Thank you for not giving up writing it.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

You are welcome. This time I'm not just randomly flaking. My girlfriend has been sick. Looks like I should be able to write today.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every day we can read another episode of your journal is like a bonus in our day!!

Please don't feel pressured to write - we appreciate your commitment; I don't know of any other serial writer who has kept writing for so long!

best wishes
-Angela

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Random said...

It is good of you to put your girlfriend before this journal. I'm sure you'll show as much commitment to her as you do in the journals of Arvil Bren

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, I've been a big Morrowind fan for years, but got kinda bored playing the game after a (long) while. The game seems flat compared to your story...sure, there's a great framework in the game's backstory, but it lacks some "life." After reading your story, I'm off to start a new game again...as a Breton again at that! Thanks for the inspiration. Top drawer work and I look forward to more.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, guess what, we discovered your blogg in Eastern Europe :)
You should try writing literature, you have talent.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is your girlfriend doing Tim? Hope she is ok!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Scott Hanson said...

TIm, I hope things are going ok. My mornings have been slightly lacking without my Arvil Bren fix.

I look forward to hearing when things can get back on schedule, this is a great story, and I would love to see it come to a natural finish and perhaps become a complete and possibly publishable story!

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ditto!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Random said...

How's it going Tim? I hope your girlfriend is OK. I admit too, my days
are also lacking without Arvil Bren. Hope everything is back to normal soon.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We misses you, Avril!

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Monday without Avril... These are sad times!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does everyone call him Avril?

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Avril" is sadly the name Google seems to think you mean when you type in "Arvil"!....maddening!

How are you Arvil?

- Angela

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope all is ok Tim, it isn't like you to be away this long. Take care

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Random said...

Hey Tim, this is saddening. All my days now are dull and boring, without the daily updates. I seriously hope that you are OK. Maybe if you could just write in and tell us what's up so you can put us all out of our misery.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave Tim alone he does have a life outside of this blog. Just let him be for a small amount of time. You people keep coming and bothering him, even when he said that his girlfriend is sick. Give him some time to look towards people in his life rather than fufilling your every wish.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

I agree. However, it's right for people to ask whats happening. So, Arvil, whats happening? Are you Ok? Is your Gf Ok?

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Allan said...

To be fair, it's not like leaving a message at his blog is anything like calling him ceaselesly. It's not pestering because he gets to choose when to read this.

Seriously, I hope everything's okay, Tim. But, if this does turn out to be the end of Arvil, we'll have to deal. (I hope it's not!)

12:50 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Is there anything significant happening this week? Maybe he was invited to the beta testing of Oblivion? I don't know what the date is when they have the testing, but it seems realistic, don't ya think? Or he's got a impromptue holiday. And guys (and girls) if his girlfriend is seriously ill, like he said ages ago, maybe we should all leave him alone for a while, because a friend of mine has been diagnosed with luekimia, and at the moment, all I want is to be left alone.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news? *cries*

5:34 PM  

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