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, December 06, 2005

9: Will they ever learn?

I awoke this morning in my room at the Southwall Cornerclub, thinking that the honor of House Redoran had been safely restored. I had not finished breakfast before I found out that I had just gotten started. Hibasi, the local contact for the theive's guild, slid into the opposing chair at my table with feline grace and ruined my day.

"Arathor tells me you fought a duel last night," she purred.

I nodded, wondering what this was leading up to.

"I am surprised."

"Why? I've been accepted by the Redoran House. Nerano was slandering our Archmaster. He needed a good thrashing."

"And no one better than you to do it."

Life with Ahnassi, my own Khajiit, has taught me to penetrate the well known inscrutibility. Well known, but not real. I think it's an offshoot of that even more false idea; 'they all look alike'. Anyway, I could see that Habasi was amused, and had a 'secret'; the most prized possession of a Khajiit. "What?" I asked, knowing that she would not give me the smallest piece without significant wheedling, and that she would not let me go until I had gotten the whole story.

Eventually I dug out the story. Habasi's surprise was not that I was upholding the House honor, but that I had come for Nerano. His tale of infidelity may have been embarrassing to the Archmaster, but Meril Hlaano has been directly attacking the honor of the House at its core. Apparantly he has 'explained' House Hlaalu's success in Caldera as a result of clandestined bribes and common lowly behavior by Redorans.

So I returned to the Eight Plates for lunch. Meril Hlaano, another bottom feeder from house Hlaalu, was indeed holding forth in the bar.

"Interesting theory," I interrupted as I slipped up behind him.

He took in the bruise on my cheek and got cocky. "More than a theory, outlander."

"You might want to be careful who you call 'outlander'. Your own house is accepting us now, and so is mine."

"The Empire is here, and wealthy. House Hlaalu knows how to make the best of that."

"House Redoran doesn't look at things the same way. They only accepted me because I could meet their requirements; honor, for example. Something you should develop. Quickly."

"Says who, outlander? Give me a name so I can talk about you too."

I grinned. A Hluulu guard stepped close. "Excellency," he said, "you have heard the story of the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood in Mournhold?"

"Of course," the petty noble snapped. "The outlander assassins were swept by the Mage's Guild."

"Not exactly," the guard said. "It was the Archmage of the guild, but at the time he was not the Archmage. That was later, after he killed the previous Archmage in a duel. I would have thought that after he came back with a stack of Dark Brotherhood chainmail that would stagger a pack guar that the Cyrodiil would have turned the guild over peacefully."

"Dark Brotherhood chain? You can get that anywhere. Every armorer in Balmora has it."

It was time to put in a word. "They all got it from me," I said quietly. "It was hard to keep from saturating the market."

"From you?" His eyes widened.

"Excellency, this is Arvil Bren, the Archmage of Vvardenfell," said the guard. "I didn't want a duel on my watch, Archmage, especially during my lunch," he said after Hlaanu had beaten a hasty retreat.

"No problem," I said. "Keep him quiet?"

"Agreed. I respect my own House, of course, but there is no doubt that the Redorans have their honor."


Anonymous mikekearn said...

Wait, am I just tired and/or confused, or did Arvil switch from talking to Hibasi to Ahnassi? Well, either way, I love how that guy beat "a hasty retreat" away. That was great.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Yeah, Arvil did switch from talking to Hibasi to Ahnassi. Nice post today, nontheless.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Tchakkazulu said...

Neither. He was comparing his talk with Hibasi with an already known, and quite the same, talk with "his own khajiit" Ahnassi. How he coult tell Ahnassi has a secret, and how he asked "What?" then.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well, actually I fixed it after Mike and Mike pointed out the error.

An editor, an editor, my kingdom for an editor!

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Gothos said...

Seems like you already have quite a community of editors.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Nathan Harrison said...

Great Journal. I thank you for the endless hours i have spent reading, and re-reading. I still reckon Arvil should have joined Telvanni... or the Thieves Guild. Well, thank you

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to bother you, but you have spelled Hlaalu wrong in the paragraph starting "I grinned" you have spelled it Hluulu?!

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous: Yeah, I also noticed that in one of the chpater's in Arvil's Dusty Tomes.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Bren mos have perturbo per proditor deus ut vicis adveho.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous The Last Realist said...

Apparently Arvil owns me at blog shares... I hope he mentions that in the next story. The Serial story idea is kind of neat.. i wonder where everyone gets the time.. i write blogs make short films and short comic videos and put them on my blog.. but i get help... a story a day? impressive

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am plodding around in morrowind and ggreatly enjoyed arvil's adventures. been checking to see the latest updates but apparently arvil has been lured away again????

hope he returns soon

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having not checked in as regulary as I usually do, I have noticed somethings: 1)There are more comments being posted everyday, no doubt that the popularity of the site has grown, and ;
2) Tim seems to be lured away more than usual. But, no doubt, he will return.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can YOu Post a couple of screens of all your treasures please!? because that would be great...

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a great one!!

By the way, where are you, Tim? I started reading Arvil's dusty tomes a week ago and day 9 was the latest one even then. I look forward to Day 10!


3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, Will you be doing an Oblivion character journal?

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 month later we all wonder: Where is Avril?

1:58 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Tim is no doubt playing Oblivion. That game makes even morrowind look small. He's probably starting an Oblivion journal. What would be cool though is if he got Arvil to travel to the Cyrodil Province(Oblivion's setting) and kicked off from there.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would be quite a feat, as Oblivion is not out until March.

I too am curious as to whether we'll see Arvil or a new Tim character in an Oblivion journal. Just so long as he follows Arvil's story through to the end first!

12:23 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

It's already out fool, it's out here in W.A, australia.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it isn't. Anyway, Tim isn't in Austrailia.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim ?

- Angela

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out in Australia?

That's fascinating, given that Games Warehouse Australia has a late February release date listed. Unless you're with the secret Australian military project working on the time machine.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Shadowstrung said...

OMG, pwned.

I hope that Tim is alive...

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, be fair - he/she may also be with the secret Australian military project that circumvents the watertight Australian law banning Mature rated games nationwide. Well, that AND the time machine project.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Let's Just say that I have a good friend in Bethesda who can get me the game before all of you. Granted, our time machine is almost finished and is due to be released to the public soon. Who else has a valid reason for tim being away? I thought he was playing the BETA version not the complete version, soon to be released to the great country of Australia in late february. Now wait a second "our watertight law that bans all M-rated games nationwide". I bought GTA San Andreas and Manhunt, which are MA 15+, and no-one asked for ID. If anything, our ratings system and laws governing it are much better than anyone elses. And how do you know of our secret military projects?

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a valid reason for Tim being away - the same problem has happened to Arvil that happened to all Morrowind players.

Specifically, he's now a god among insects, so powerful that not even the mightiest creatures, not even Lord Dagoth himself, can possibly stand up to him. The story has gotten boring, like an eight year old creating D&D characters with miraculously high stats and every magic item under the sun. The game, though excellent, is unbalanced and unchallenging once pass the midpoint. Tim is having a hard time creating a character about whom we care and worry because Arvil is now so powerful that nothing can possibly threaten him. It's time to wrap it up.

Awesome about that good friend at Bethesda, by the way - the Maryland, USA company that sent a prebuild of an unreleased game to Australia at a time when Microsoft is viciously crushing any leaks of future 360 titles and is already furious with Bethsoft for failing to make Oblivion a 360 launch title. See if you can get me one of those betas of yours.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God, pwned x2.

I don't know about the whole "Arvil is too powerful" thing. Tim's done a great job telling the story of Arvil's rise from pretty weak to ass-kicker. Even though he's crazy powerful now, I still want to read the rest of his story.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- So do I want to read the rest of his story! Arvil Bren is a great hero, and Tim is a great storyteller - so please do keep on telling us the Morrowinding adventures of A V - we really do want to read on to the end - Dagoth Ur's downfall at the hands of Arvil Bren!

- Angela

10:49 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

I don't know about getting anyone else any betas, because he got fired. I had to give back my Oblivion copy, because the Australian Customs took it and returned it before I could play it. The good and very valid reason for tim bieng away, is that I found that after doing all the Fighters Guild missions that my character could stand an take it from Dagoth Ur. I found finishing Tribunal Expansion pretty hard, don't know why. If it was like Fable: Lost Chapters, where the AI of the villagers is that they carry out thier lives and evolve to hate or love you, instead of being like morrowind, where the walk a few paces and that's it, the game would be more enjoyable after a while. Time to wrap up Arvil and get ready for Oblivion.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

I think you are all wrong on why he is gone. Obviously it must be aliens in dire need of good entertainment. Why else would they choose him?

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, I hope you're wrong about the aliens. Tim's done nothing to deserve an anal probing, the poor guy!

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*pokes with stick* i think it is dead guys...

10:07 AM  
Anonymous OMGWTFPWNED! said...

I'm gonna go with it's Pres. Bush's fault on this one.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tim,

please will you put us all out of our misery, and tell us what you intend to do?!!

- Angela

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree with the reader who called it dead.

For the past three months Tim has been appearing, promising to post regularly, posting once or maybe twice, then vanishing for another month. He's either lost interest or has something else going on.

Of course, we're not paying for this wonderful entertainment, so I can't get mad or anything. Just disappointed. Goodbye, Arvil, and thanks for the great adventures! :(

6:07 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Guys(and Girls), don't leave! This may be where tim needs us most! We are stronger combined and weaker divided. Remember last time where he disappeared for ages then came back and thanked us all for bieng loyal? Yes, he like all morrowind players, maybe be bored from the game, but when he tells us, he knows we are all listening.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't disagree, but I think the point is that last time he...

1. Disappeared for ages
2. Returned and thanked us all for being loyal
3. Disappeared again.

That timeline of events has happened like three times in a row. I'll keep visiting the site for updates, but realistically I think Tim is done with Arvil Bren and has moved on to other projects.

I wouldn't be saying that if this were the first or even the second time he's been absent. And again I want to point out that he ain't being paid, so I'm neither angry nor indignant - I'm just missing the free and excellent story I enjoyed so much.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guy was really powerfull, and I wrote a book about him in my head while I was playing. I was so kick ass with unique items ,some made some found like eltonbrand, I just made a really simple dungeon thing with harder and harder stuff, while me and a few friends where working on a huge plugin/mod for thier wedsite. All Tim has to do is download some mods from anywhere that are hard and write about that. He's not too pwoerfull anymore.

Reading about a kick ass guy isn't really boring anyway, unles its: A dude walks into a bar. he kills a guy in one blow. He kicks another person. that person dies. My d00d is teh roxXx0rz!!!111


7:49 PM  
Anonymous Shadowstrung said...

I'm not too sure that it's how hard the gameplay is, it's HOW it's written. I mean, Tim made fighting cliff racers and smugglers interesting.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I haven't been a fan of Arvil Bren for very long, but judging by all the other posts Tim is getting pretty inconsistent with his postings. I hope that he is coming back soon, and I also hope that he will pick up where he left off instead of acting like Arvil was taking a break.

Anyway, it is great to go through Morrowind again, a Morrowind with life and much more story than what you get from the people of Vvardenfall in the game itself.

I wonder if Arvil will go to Solstheim or if he will follow the Tribunal Main Quest...

Tim, come back to us with more tales of Arvil Bren, Archmage of Vvardenfall, Clanbrother to the Urshilaku, Nerevarine, and most importantly, Ass-Kicker of all who oppose him!!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

AHA! I know: Tim got married to his gf! maybe tims on a honeymoon! If not, tell us what you intend to do Tim!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly the fact that Tim has NOT told us what he intends to do despite a month of silence (that's one long honeymoon) tells me that he's not reading the posts any more.

The story's done, guys. Time to let it go.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to post before me:

Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Arvil Bren must come back! He's too dang awesome to keel over if Tim decides to stop writing for a really long time........ though if he does come back it probably won't be for long becuase of the upcoming oblivion.......

DANGIT!!!!!Tim! Come back to us! I'll make you a muffin!!!!(rvb joke;dont ask)

3:33 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Honeymoons can be quite long, everyone I know has gone for atleast 2 months. and to the guy before me: If you make a muffin, I'll make a cuppa.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the guy before me:
Then I'll make three muffins and some scrib jelly for Arvil.

Yes i'm the guy who first made the muffin comment.

Tim!Come back!


7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are still here, Tim; hoping you still there?

- Angela

9:16 AM  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

Its weird to think that if tim were in the hospital, none of us would know... I hope you're okay tim! And if you arent, get better soon!

-Devoted Fan

2:37 PM  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

Or maybe he forgot his password? (fingers crossed)

2:41 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

If Tim is in hospital, it would be drastic, because staying in an australian hospital for a month would be luxury. I hope tim's ok.

to the guy before me: I think Tim is smarter than that. to Noozooroo: I'll make Arvil some of Hanin's Wake (potion described in book in many locations, under the name Hanin's Wake)

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Mebyon said...

OK-. Here's my take on the missing Tim.

We know that Bethesda were in contact with him some months back. We know that he really wanted to go 'professional' with this type of story. We know the current story was all for free. Sooooo....

Bethesda wrote to him and asked him if he would review a beta version on Oblivion so that he could be up and running with an Arvil Bren type 'walkthrough'. Wouldn't that be just great!

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Rex Little said...

One of the anonymous posters above wondered if Arvil would follow the Tribunal main quest. If you read through the whole journal to date, you'll find that he's been to Mournhold and mopped up the Dark Brotherhood, but didn't follow the Tribunal storyline from there--indeed, didn't mention finding the note which indicates who sent the DB after him. So my guess is he's done with Mournhold.

Even if Tim's gotten tired of playing Morrowind, I doubt that's the reason for his absence. He probably played through the main quest long ago, perhaps before he even began this project. It's the writing he's gotten tired of, if there isn't some more pressing reason for his being gone.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

Still, Tim's nice enough to let us know if he'd stopped writing. Although that could still be the case, or maybe he's having computer trouble? who knows

4:40 PM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

Tim maybe nice enough to tell us he's finished, but maybe tim is having difficulty coming forward and telling us, and dissapointing us. Or maybe Tim HAS gone pro, however he still would have found atleast 5 mins to write us and tell us. As I said awhile back about Tribunal, it would be a good story to hear and see how Arvil takes it when he realises it was a mistake. An Arvil Bren type walkthrough? Cool. It's better then: "walk into bar room and talk to barman, proceed upstairs and kill wizard"

9:32 AM  
Blogger Mindstroller said...

Or... (just throwing my thoughts out here, im probably way off) hes using his "Absence" to weed out the false readers from the true believers! ok so thats a stupid idea but... yeah

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Mebyon said...

True believers?

It may be that praying is all we have left!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of this blog and have much respect for Tim so feel slightly heretical suggesting this but have any of you read Frost in Morrowind:

Very good writing although very similar - another Breton mage with rather similar approach. Come to think of it suspiciously similar as is the writing style. Hope I'm not casting aspersions (sp) on anyone's integrity here but the resemblance is striking. The difference is primarily that the Frost author makes heavy use of mods which delays the main quest considerably.

Anyway, thought you guys might enjoy it while waiting for Tim to return.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous A Friend said...

It's sad that Tim seems to have so many fans but no time to rest. Perhaps you should let him be left alone so he can...breath easier.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Uh... yes; the author of 'Frost in Morrowind would be me. I've been a big fan of Tim's Morrowind Journal for a long time.

I must admit that I took direct inspiration from the way Tim's Morrowind Journal is hosted using Blogger; but as for featuring a Breton magic-user, that's just down to the sort of character I almost always play. :-)

For my part, I'm also holding onto hope that Arvil Bren will return. Tim is an excellent writer.

- Joseph.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Mebyon said...

For anybody who hasn't yet followed that link to Frost in Morrowind. Do it!

Joseph, it's taken me two whole days to 'catch up' with your journal and I have to say I'm impressed.

I still have hopes for Arvil as his is the unmodded version but in the mean time...

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frost in Morrowind is excellent writing. Joseph, I look forward to your continued adventures.

That said: Tim's silence concerns me. Perhaps it's time we moved past "there will be no more" and moved into "something bad has happened."

Our thoughts and hopes are with you, Tim.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:24 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Hi y'all...

I must admit I haven't finished reading all the comments yet....but decided I better say hello at least...

I'm alive, well, and almost ready to get Arvil back on the tracks.

I wish I could say a beta copy of Oblivion has been distracting me, but it was actually a completely unrelated game or two that consumed all my gaming time.

I will finish reading the comments, probably comment again, then spend the rest of this week catching up on my e-mail...and update Arvil's journal on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday next week. Promise.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Wow...I liked the 'married on honeymoon' theory a lot better than the abducted by aliens one...

I also need to check out Joseph's site...hope I'm not too far behind in the reading.

Honest truths time, since some people made some pretty accurate observations...

Yes, I was getting pretty burnt out with both the writing and the game. Prior to starting this project I had conducted most things in binges, and playing any one game or writing any one project for a year would have been out of the question. This has been an absolutely life altering experience.

I have admittedly taken some short breaks and come back less than effectively. This was a real break. I suppose I could have given some sort of warning when I realized that it was going to be long, but that would not really have been within the nature of the break.

Now the question is: how to move forward?

The first thing to note is that my original commitment to this project was to post Monday through Friday. All of my previous breaks ended with renewing that commitment. This one is not. Over the past year either I've gotten verbose or Arvil has gotten busier, but in either case the average entry is between three and four times as long and I am just not going to do that every day. I will post three entries next week, then present a working schedule of deadlines.

For anyone who wondered...
There is an older game that never got any play it seems (gotta laugh, 'older' means three or four years). There are no websites, walkthroughs, tips, or anything else, and the manual is something between spotty and useless. So the game, much like life, is a puzzling exploration. I fell into it by accident and have found that it is the perfect mesh for my own somewhat eccentric gears. If I ever disappear for a long period of time again you can add 'Europa 1400 Gold has got him again' to the theory list.

Thanks to all of is an incredible honor to receive your comments.


8:13 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

woohoo!! Arvil's back! good to hear from you tim, we were all worried. I made the comment about you and your girlfriend getting married, I thought it was nice and pretty realistic. looking forward to all your updates, they will be quality for sure

9:02 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Great to hear that all is well, Tim!

(And I understand getting burnt out with writing - I often feel that way with mine too).

I am very much looking forward to seeing how Arvil's tale plays out.

- Joseph.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... you wasn't kidnapped... :(

Just Joking :P

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And commence holding breath... NOW.

Sorry Tim, I love your work but talk is cheap. I look forward to you vanishing for another month in the wake of the whole "I'm back, seriously" posting.

Or rather the THIRD "I'm back, seriouslly" posting

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo Tim, It is VERY VERy nice to hear from you again. Please do take your time, it is completely understandable that Arvil needs "rearranging" as far as shorter, and fewer postings each week - we,ve all been pretty spoilt over the last few months with the very high level of commitment to your readers, as Arvil's adventures got longer an dmore detailed, as you got into the swing of his journal.

BUT we are all still here, perhaps with a little more respect for your time and need for space! The trouble is you set up such a brilliant story, we found it rivetting and pestered you for more!!! It was our first activity each morning "what is Arvil doing today" !!
best wishes for your future.

- Angela

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Angela said. Ignore the guy before her.

The story grows complex and it's unfair for you to expect to make a daily deadline. Many paid novelists don't produce as many words a day as you were.

I think three times a week will be more bearable for you and totally acceptable to us. Better still, with the extra time maybe we can look forward to even more detailed posts, since we're all enjoying it so much...? :)

7:49 AM  
Blogger Mindstroller said...


Like Angela said, you pulled out after you had us addicted, but i think most of us survived the withdrawal and are ready for you whenever you write

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tim,just wanted say that you really bring Morrowind to life. I've been an avid reader of your journal since Day 130 and I think this is the best Morrowind fanfiction anywhere. Anyway glad your back!

P.S. Forget that twit above Angela. Your certainly entitled to as much time off as you want.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous rarr said...

Nooo, he has escaped from my great author holding pen!

In all seriousness though, Tim, it's nice to have you back.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

That guy who put you down with the whole "talk is cheap" lecture is the reason why we don't bother curing cancer. Seriously though, it's good to have you back

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, what the guy above me said.

Talk may be cheap but the story is FREE. Quit yer whining.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Europa 1400 player, eh? Aye, it is a vast and fun game. I only ever played one game to 'completion', where the goal I set for myself was the elimination of all the other dynasties. I would use repeated thrashings, potions, and duels (in which I cheated) to accomplish this.

Man, I almost want to reinstall it, now that you've reminded me of it.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

I went from being the first person to comment, to being the last person now. I must admit, I feared that you had given up completely on Arvil, but seeing all of the new stuff about Oblivion reminded me, and I thought to check again.

I am very glad that I did, late as though it may be. It's good to know you are back, and safe.

Sorry about the alien theory.

11:42 PM  

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