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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

6: A good name

The council is in an uproar. Bolvyn Venim and Athyn Sarethi look to me like they could come to blows at any moment. Venim's guards were on edge, the regular guards assigned to the council hall were on edge, and I was happy to wait outside the chambers during most of the meeting.

I returned to Ald-ruhn this morning, openly. Though I am not yet considered a cousin of the house, and would not even consider openly pursuing the title of Hortator, I have developed a degree of respect and reputation. Sufficient reputation that the council has chosen me to lead an expansion project at Bal Isra.

Bolvyn Venim was clearly opposed, but his grip on the council is slipping. With the murder of Bralen Carvaren hanging over Varvur he is in no position to make any accusations so Sarethi did not openly denounce him for his misuse of the Morag Tong, but Sarethi is certainly emboldened by his own knowledge. With his leadership my growing popularity with the rest of the council was enough to carry the debate.

The rancor at the council meeting left no doubt that I am firmly in Sarethi's camp. I considered the diplomacy of accepting his invitation to return with him to Sarethi manor after the meeting, but Venim's baleful glare showed that I had nothing to lose.

"It seems I've made an enemy," I said as we entered the manor.

"Yes. Fortunately you have made more friends. Venim can be a powerful adversary. No one knows that better than I do. Fortunately he has other problems on his mind. So do I." We continued our conversation as we passed into the guard quarters. "I can't believe that Varvur would kill Bralen Carvaren," Sarethi said. "They were friends. Good friends."

"Venim wouldn't have used that pretext to grab him if he didn't think he could make it stick," I said.

"True. And unfortunately Varvur is not much help." He opened a door and we entered Varvur's room.

The younger Sarethi looked much more in his element, dressed in the rich brocades of a Redoran noble rather than the ragged prison garb he sported yesterday, but his eyes were haunted. "Thank you again for rescuing me kinsman," he said as he rose.

"You are welcome sir," I replied.

"Rescue is just a beginning though," said Lord Sarethi. "Varvur, we have to get your name cleared. And you have to help."

"I wish I could father. I am so sure that I didn't kill Bralen, but these dreams..."

I was looking around the room. To my surprise a sixth house ash statue stood atop a chest near the door. "Dreams?" I asked.

"I have vivid dreams...dreams where I am killing Bralen...but they started before Bralen was killed...we laughed about them. But then he was killed."

"And when you remember the dreams you wonder if one of them wasn't a dream," I guessed.

"Yes." His face fell. "I don't know. I can't believe it could be real, but the dreams are so realistic...all of them..."

"Where did you get this?" I asked, gesturing to the ash statue. The red gem eyes glittered evilly in the torchlight.

"It..." he hesitated. "It was a gift." He seemed puzzled.

"A gift? When did you get it?"

"I...have I always had it?"

His father looked concerned. "I've never seen it," he said. "Or anything like it."

"I have. It's a symbol of the Sixth House cult. Who gave it to you?"

"So strange," said the young Sarethi. "I can't remember. It's like it has always been there."

The elder Sarethi didn't need to hear any more. "Arvil Bren, take the statue to the temple. Lloros Sarano is a good friend of our family. Have him examine this thing. Perhaps he can shed some light." He sat next to his son, looking stricken.

I delivered the statue. The priest, Sarano, will have to make a more detailed examination, but at first glance believes the statue may have somehow controlled the younger Sarethi. I reported that much to Lord Sarethi and returned home. We did not discuss anything further as he was anxious to return to his son, but I doubt that Varvur will ever be a credible witness to Venim's wrongdoings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting times ahead....

Another excellent, gripping day!

I must confess I logged on with some trepidation...Will Arvil Bren be there....and he was. Phew!

- Angela

3:39 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

so the Sixth House surfaces again....very intrigueing...

5:19 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Good to have you and Arvil back in action, Tim!

The last two chapters are brilliant.

- Joseph.

6:32 AM  

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