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, March 13, 2006

27: Back to Ald-ruhn

I have returned to Ald-ruhn, but still have not reported to Lord Ramoran. I don't yet know what I'm going to tell him about his lost love. I have an appointment with him tomorrow, so I will have to figure out something.

I was too busy to give the matter much thought today. When I teleported in to the guild hall I was told Edwinna was holding a message for me. It was from Lloros Sarano at the temple. I listened to the ash-storm howling outside as I read his request. Rather than push through the swirling ash I opted to use an intervention spell to reach the nearby temple courtyard. A wasteful display of magica perhaps, but I just wasn't ready for the grit that inevitibly works itself under the armor and collects in the corners of the eyes.

Lloros had decoded the note I recovered from Galtis, the gambler who had given Varvur Sarethi the ash statue. The note was instructions regarding distribution of the statues, as could have been expected. The biggest difficulty of decoding it had been that it was written in an ancient dialect, a dialect common in house Dagoth. The priest had traced the origin of the note to a commoner, Hanarai Assutlanipal. I consulted with the Redoran guard about her.

She lived in one of the numerous small houses in Ald-ruhn, paid her rent on time and drew little attention to herself. So little attention that no one we spoke to was quite sure how she made her living. I did not envy the junior guardsmen who were dispatched into the ash storm early in the investigation to keep a watch on her home. I envied them even less when one of them burst breathlessly into the guard headquarters.

He reported that two men had been seen leaving the house under cover of the storm. When the guards approached them they had fled into the ash with a trio of guards in close pursuit. Our breathless informant had been sent to report, and get assistance. We rushed out into the blowing ash, spears at the ready, and sped eastward towards the slopes of Red Mountain. We did not go far before we heard the shouts for help, cutting thinly through the howling wind.

One guard stood over his two fallen companions, who writhed on the ground. I let the guard captain ask the questions, listening absently as I kept a wary eye roving through the blowing ash around us. The two fallen guardsmen were showing the signs of rapidly advancing corprus, evidence of a Dagoth somewhere nearby. The description of the two men clearly marked them as dreamers. The dreamers had split up, with the lucky guard pursuing one while his two companions apparently followed the other into an ambush. The captain quickly drew out this summary of events while arranging litters to bring his fallen guardsmen to the temple.

A short time later we sat in his office. "Two good men lost; a dark day Arvil Bren."

"That's not the worst of it," I said.

"You'll want a raid on the house, I assume."

"Yes, but I'll do that myself. Corprus is too dangerous. I have a certain...resistance. Keep your men clear. But before we worry about that, you need to put a watch on your lucky guardsman."

"He's at the temple with his fallen comrades, waiting to bring me word when Lloros Saranen completes his examination. Why do I need to watch him? Do you think he might have been exposed to the corprus?"

"No, I'm sure he was not. Here is a question though. If the two dreamers knew they were running towards a Dagoth who would ambush their pursuers, why would they have split up? The Sixth House has sleepers everywhere captain, never drop your guard." With that ominous warning I stepped out into the storm.

A new group of guards held a loose perimeter around Hanarai Assutlanipal's hut. They were understandably nervous. "She is inside," one said quietly as I approached her.

"Well done," I replied. "It falls to me to go in and get her then."

Subtlety had gotten me nowhere with Galtis at the Rat In the Pot. I also thought that making an impression on the guards might be a good thing. Perhaps really I was just irritated by the ash that had slithered down into my boots and was slowly chafing the skin off my ankles. I combined a powerful opening spell with a massive discharge of elemental lightning and blasted Hanarai Assutlanipal's door off its hinges.

The woman was not intimidated, and rushed me as I charged through the splintered doorway. I sidestepped the slashing dagger and crashed my fist, encased in a Daedric gauntlet, against her temple. She dropped like a slaughtered guar, and I kicked the dagger away as her fingers uncurled from the hilt. I called in the guards and they led her away. Behind a locked door in the basement of the house I found a Sixth House shrine, and crates of ash statues.

Later, at the Temple, I sat in Lloros' chamber emptying the grit from my boots into his wastebasket. It seems uncouth, but is actually accepted in Ald-ruhn as a neccessary common practice.

"You were right about that guard," he said. His voice was dispirited.

"What happened?"

"The captain ordered a watch on him, but by the time they got here he had gone. They went looking for him, but didn't raise a general alarm. He made a stop at the jail...chatted up one of the guards there about taking her to the guar races. She didn't think much of it, but apparently he slipped a knife into Hanarai Assutlanipal's cell. She cut her own throat before I could interrogate her. The guard has disappeared."

Not the most successful day. The ash statues, at least, have been destroyed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply brilliant, Tim. You transformed a rather mediocre quest into a very captivating detective story. I re-read your first posts (from day one)and you have improved your writing a lot. I especially like the way Arvil became what he is now.
Best wishes & keep up the good work ;)


1:30 PM  
Anonymous Allan said...

The bit about dumping boots being an accepted necessity in Ald'ruhn was great. Little things like that would never have occurred to me, but make perfect sense. Bravo.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, Arvil was pissed at Hanarai's door.


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying Arvil's journal.The quests are so well explained, Ilove all the extra details; I'm not sure how you find time to imagine it all, let alone write it all down Excellent as ever. Thank you again.

- Angela

2:36 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

I find it somewhat funny that I am doing the same thing Avatar did; reading through everything again from Day 1.

This was a great journal entry as usual. I really liked the blowing the door off part. I wish we could do that in Morrowind.

2:50 PM  

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