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.

Friday, May 19, 2006

50: Secret agents of a secret brotherhood

I spent the day today with Ahnassi, moving things from Pelagiad to our new manor at Bal Isra. It was an opportunity to explore a nagging question that had risen in the back of my mind yesterday. Ahnassi is tightly connected to the master thieves of Vvardenfell, most notably Habasi in Balmora. Her perspective on Frelene Acques would be invaluable, but tread frighteningly close to a personal fear.

"I met someone who knew my father's fence signs," I said to start the conversation.

She was non-commital, but her tail gave a sudden twitch. "Oh? Someone from the sands of your home?"

"Yes. She was with the guild steward of the fighters guild."

She hissed. "Fighters guild; they are dogs of the Cammona Tong. Their precious charter is supposed to keep them from illegal activities, but it doesn't keep them from working for thugs. Then they contract to 'enforce the law' against us."

"That seemed to be the point she was making to him. I don't think he knows she is a thief."

We were loading things into crates as we talked, and I think she might have been distracted. "She isn't a thief," she said absently.

"You know her?"

Her tail swished furiously. "Arvil Bren, this one does not ask you about mage guild business."

I stopped packing. "No, you don't, but you do hear quite a bit in your own quiet way. I don't worry about it."

"And you don't bring home security plans from your guild halls," she said.

"True. I was a thief. I grew up with thieves. I wouldn't tempt you like that." I grinned.

"Smart," was all she said, but she smiled back.

"I don't ask about your fellows," I said. "Things get stolen from the guild halls. I still don't ask. But this Breton girl is pulling me into her web. I need to know what she is up to."

Another hiss, angry this time, but not at me. "You? You are not part of her assignment!"

The question burst from the back of my mind and was out of my mouth before I could stop it. "Am I your 'assignment'?"

She dropped the ceramic pot she was putting into the crate, and it cracked in half. "No. Khajiit cannot mate that way. That is why we had to get a Breton." She looked at me with a look that filled me with remorse. "We are not just an 'assignment', are we, my Breton?"

It was a very difficult conversation, but we got through it. I'm not absolutely sure what to think, but truth is never a really absolute thing.

Even though it wasn't an intentional plot, Ahnassi being so close to the Archmage certainly benefits her shadowy friends. As the fighters guild became further embroiled with their enemies in the Cammona Tong it isn't surprising that the idea of attaching an agent to an influential member would occur to them.

"But I knew about you from the start," I said.

"Yes. You are open minded. Mercius is not. And you have your own past." So Frelene Acques had to deceive him, at least in part. She may not be an active thief, but the past she is feeding him is at least partly fabrication. Ahnassi got back to packing, but she was clearly still angry about something, and it wasn't me.

"How is our Breton spy 'pulling you into her web'?" she finally asked.

"If she has her way I'll be leading the Redoran's against House Hlaalu," I said.

"House Hlaalu might as well be 'House Cammona Tong', you know that."

"Yes, but we can't afford a house war right now. House Dagoth is enough of a problem. I also really can't afford some voice from my past announcing that the Archmage and the Hortator was raised a thief. That's the direction she's headed."

Her ears laid flat and her eyes narrowed. "We will take care of that," she said. "She is grasping at straws, but you are not a straw she can use."

I could see the problem. The target of her plan had come around, reaching the conclusion that his guild was operating outside the intent of their charter. Unfortunately, all that a guild steward reaching such a conclusion could accomplish is the destruction of his own career. In distant Cyrodiil the highest ranks of the guild welcome squabbles between what they consider 'minor provincial factions', and they are not known for making judgments based on ethics. They side with wealth.

"Actually sweetheart, I think I can be of some use to her. Just not necessarily the way she expects."


Blogger r.a.r. said...

I have to tell you Tim, I really don't understand what you're getting at in the last couple of entries. And I'm not getting a "just wait until it plays out" feeling either. I'm just not following the story.

The connections between Percius, Frelene, and Arvil aren't really clear. I feel like I missed something important (which I don't think is the case), not like there's a mystery here waiting to be unravelled.

Hope you don't mind the criticism. It's meant to be purely constructive. I've been a fan for quite a while. :)

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was confused beyond belief, but today I get a little bit more of what is going on. Maybe tommorow will clear up the rest.


1:16 PM  
Anonymous mikekearn said...

It might be just me, but I see the edges of a huge arc, a web, spinning it's way to the end. At the center of it all lies Arvil, and we are seeing the edges of it played out right now. That's how it seems in my mind, anyways, and I follow it to a good extent, so I suppose I might be excused for thinking it as such.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right.....I'm still confused as hell.


3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems pretty obvious to me.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it time that IImeni Dren of the Twin Lamps called!! IImeni Dren is the dauther of Vedam Dren the Duke of Vvardenfell.. Arvil already knows two of its leaders. Im-Kilaya of the Argonian Mission in Ebonheart. And Jobasha of the Rare Books, the Foreign Quarter Vivec.. One problem Arvil has not freed the number of salves needed around 20. Maybe you counld use IImeni Dren without doing any Twin Lamps Quests.. One quest takes place at Orvas Dren's plantation to free some of the plantations salves..

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok i'm getting it now, btw, nice job with the little lover's spat in there. just had a fight with my gf then read this and i thought it was pretty ironic. thanks.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I get it this is setting up killing or blackmailing Dren to get the Hlaalu supported needed.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Xikorolkel said...

For those who aren't following, this is my interpretation:

Arvil Bren needed to hire Fighters Guild members to guard his new manor. In order to gain the contract, he was told to break a Fighters' associate out of the Hlallu Vault in Vivec. He did so, and the ex-con escaped to Balmora (Tim's embelishment, not really in-game)

Arvil then recieved his guards, but while at the Fighters' Guild in Balmora, the ex-con flashed him a Thief sign of his "father's." This made him nervous because a) the ex-con obviously knows who he is and where he came from and b) it means that she has some presumed use for him in her own plans.

Arvil decided to ask his girl about it, and she was evasive, but told him that the ex-con's actions weren't part of her assignment.

So this ex-con, who is some sort of undercover thief in the Balmora Fighters' Guild, is pursuing her own agenda as opposed to her assignment. This involved Arvil in some way, but he has become aware of her intentions and plans to use her for his own ends. It's complicated, but good stuff as always.

8:48 PM  

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