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.

Monday, February 13, 2006

16: Morvayn manor

Lady Morvayn will not be returning to Morvayn manor any time soon. It would be safe enough, but I suspect there are too many bad memories, and they are too fresh.

I ate breakfast with Sarethi this morning. Every conversation with the wily council elder leaves me wondering if he is advancing my cause or I am advancing his. I suppose our paths are basically parallel. The harder times get for House Redoran the easier it gets to swing council members to our respective causes. In any case Bolvyn Venim is our common obstacle. I'm sure Sarethi is maneuvering him into challenging me to a duel.

It was left to me to talk my way past the guards at the manor. It wasn't difficult. Having a home in Ald-ruhn taken over by fell creatures certainly affronts their sense of honor. Their main concern, of course, was the corprus disease. Having heroes and adventurers assault the house only to add to the number of infected monsters within is certainly no solution. I couldn't very well tell the devout guards about the real source of my immunity, so I left them with the impression that the mage's guild has solved the corprus least as far as master wizards and archmages go.

The ground level of the opulent manor gave little evidence of the corruption lying below, but I could sense it. The corprus is more a curse than a disease; a construct of magica and malevolence. I could feel swirling eddies in the everpresent flows of magica. I stepped back outside and suggested to the guards that they should establish themselves a little further from the building.

I entered again, and crept to the door that led down into the main portion of the manor. The stairs descended into a sitting room or library. I slipped through the maze of overturned chairs being careful not to make too much noise rustling through the litter of torn pages. The living areas of the manor were basically abandoned, Dagoth Ur's creatures had established themselves in the darkened storage areas, which were now bathed in the sullen glow from dozens of red candles.

The corprus victims were busily engaged in mindless activity, but there was obviously some guiding intelligence at work. The intricate designs of House Dagoth adorned walls and floors, drawn in dried blood. Tapestries had been hung, and hunks of corprus meat adorned crude altars. I felt among the threads and tendrils of magica being woven around these icons and found a warped familiarity.

The guild guides do not actually cast teleportation spells, they maintain a system that amounts to tunnels of magica connecting the various halls. The sense in Morvayn manor was similar, though incomplete. I have no doubt that if I had not intervened there would soon have been a portal constructed, and probably one of the dagoths would have been established right in Ald-ruhn. In my own sorrowful experience the dagoths have the power to call down the corprus on their enemies with immediate effect. The signs and artifacts that were already in place were a danger, but an actual dagoth would have been a disaster.

I was not fooled by the slow hulking of the corprus stalkers. Their numbers and the regenerative capabilities that stem from their infection made a physical assault precarious at best. I considered my arsenal of spells, but opted for a well designed scroll. The scroll is often thought to be a crutch, an access for those with little command of magica to spells that would otherwise be beyond them. There is more truth in this than not, but that is far from their only purpose. My confrontation with the stalkers gives a perfect illumination.

There are spells that are designed to lower the resistance to various destructive energies. Personally, the main use I have for this branch of the school of destruction is lighting campfires. A powerful boost in susceptibility to fire works wonders with firewood, even green or wet wood. There are those who use these spells in combat, but I have found that I seldom have the time. Scrolls can combine multiple effects in a single casting, a casting made very quick since much of the magica is already focused by the arcane symbols of the scroll.

I stood in a shadowy alcove under the stairs and readied a hellfire scroll. The combined effects worked to perfection, and struck in a sequence far faster than I could have cast the spells individually. A field blossomed around the huddled monsters. The channels of magica amplified the effects of the subsequent spells. The next wave of magica thus struck with much greater power, desiccating everything in the area to tinder dryness. Even the oozing sores of the corprus monsters dried and crackled in the instant. The scroll left no chance to appreciate the preliminary effects though, as the room erupted in a volcanic blast of searing magical flame. The scroll, bereft of the long pent magical power it had released, crumbled to dust in my hands. Just to be sure of an effective cleansing I launched a couple additional balls of flame into the room.

The corprus, and the eventual passage of a dagoth, were products of the arcane symbols, the altars, and the candles, which had been safely eliminated, but I was left with a mystery. What had led a loyal servant, who had been with the Morayn's for centuries, to begin gathering these icons of evil? Why would anyone call down the curse of corprus on themselves and those around them? The answer stood on a stack of crates in another room.

The glittering gem eyes seemed to follow me as I entered the chamber. Made from the ash of Red Mountain, sealed with the red wax of Dagoth candles, the ash statue oozed with strange power. It was frighteningly similar to the statue that had apparently possessed Varvur Sarethi to kill one of his best friends. These statues are a danger, setting the stage for invasion or worse. I must find out how they are being introduced into the homes of the finest families of the Redoran house.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how you don't emphasize too much on the fighting nowadays; you used to do it a lot. This was a great chapter in Arvil's journal, once again, it made morrowind come to life. Great job, Tim.

- Noozooroo

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pyromaniac. Overkill much?

The part about lighting campfires was funny.

4:00 PM  

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