Frost in Morrowind

Edward Frost's time in Morrowind has come to an end; but his struggles are recorded here for any to read. A year in the making, and spanning one hundred and fifty chapters… Violence, suspicion, loss, betrayal, revenge, power with a price, a fight for survival, ages-old mysteries... all thrust in the way of Edward Frost, a man simply trying to rebuild his life.

Chapter 1 can be found here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Chapter 1: Dreaming of the start

I had a dream just before I arrived. Like most of my dreams, it was muddled, and I can't remember much - but unlike any dream I'd had before, it was not of somewhere I'd already been, but of somewhere I would be. There was a woman's voice... She spoke of the surprising turn my life had just taken: how I had been recently released from the prisons of the Imperial city at the heart of the Empire, but taken under guard to the coast, and onto a ship. I was being taken to Morrowind, to the volcanic island of Vvardenfell that dominates that place - though no-one would - or could - tell me why. In my dream I saw the slopes of that volcano - Red Mountain - a barren land of wind-blasted rocks and spiny, serpentine weeds; though it wasn't until later that I knew that Vvardenfell was what I had seen. The woman's voice told me I was chosen.

My dream of dust became a dream of water; raindrops in a great storm, pummelling the ocean. After a while I realised my dream was merging with the waking world, and that the prison ship was passing through a sea storm. I drifted in and out of sleep until the morning: I was not used to the motion of a ship on the waves, and it was not a feeling I liked. I didn't want to wake up and face the prospect of trying to keep down what little I had had to eat recently. I was shaken awake by the dark elf with whom I had shared the hold of the ship during the voyage. I must have looked a fright, because he actually looked concerned. It was not an expression I had expected to see on a face like his: jutting and weathered, with a great scar down his grey features, from a wound that had evidently put out the red light in his right eye. It wasn't a great stretch of the imagination to see why I warranted pity; dressed as I was in old, rotting clothes that did a poor job of covering my pale and painfully thin body. Prison life had not agreed with me. Still, I must have seemed especially wretched and green from sea sickness that morning, as until that point this dark elf and I had barely exchanged glances, let alone words.

"We've arrived." He straightened up, hesitated, then said: "I'm Jiub. What's your name?"

I sat up gingerly, clearing my throat. "Edward Frost. I..."

At that point a man in full chain mail stepped into the enclosure I had taken to sleeping in. It was one of the prison guards. Sweat was running down his face, and he looked to be in a foul mood. Giving Jiub and I a suspicious look, he levelled a finger at me. "You. Follow me." Jiub remained silent and looked away as the prison guard directed me onto the deck of the ship, into the bright sun and sweltering heat. I understood immediately why the guard had been sweating. I was lead down the gangplank and into the Census and Excise building of the small village of Seyda Neen; which turned out to be a swamp. The air was stifling it was so humid - I couldn't seem to catch my breath.


In the Census building was a Breton man who had to record my arrival - and, it seemed, everything else about me. He smiled when I told him I was also from High Rock, and asked me what class I was. I didn't know what to say at first, and glanced down at the form he had been filling in as he questioned me. His quill was poised next to a list containing names like "Healer", "Master-at-arms", and "Mage". I had never received any formal training beyond the basics of reading and writing, and had never considered myself to follow a particular path in life.

"Night Mage. I'm a Night Mage." I had made it up on the spot. I studied his expression to see if he would accept that. Truth be told I didn't feel like much of anything standing there in my prison rags.

He began to write on his form again. "Ah yes. Things can be quite different in the night. One has to be ready for anything. I imagine then that in addition to various schools of magic, you have studied some forms of self-defence?" I nodded. I couldn't tell if he was being serious or not. I imagined I saw a slight smile appearing on his lips as he spoke. "Very good." He stamped some papers and handed them to me. "Take these to Sellus Gravius near the front door on your way out."

In truth I had told him I was a "Night Mage" because I was a thief. I had bent my magical studies towards two ends: keeping myself alive in the short term through self-protection, and keeping myself alive in the long term through aiding my thieving skills. My instincts in that regard took over as I passed through a small dining room on my way to the exit. This was not the house of a desperate pauper: it was a government building, and I felt no remorse in catching up an empty sack from a shelf and filling it with dusty and uncared-for silverware. As a bit of misdirection I took an old dagger from the table and broke the clasp on the window, leaving it ajar. I ensured the contents of the sack would not clank against each other with movement, then tied it to my back with a piece of cord and carried on to meet Sellus Gravius as if I had in fact arrived on the island with the sack. I was starving and I needed money.

Sellus Gravius made an imposing figure, and I had the feeling he was only in Seyda Neen to pass on some orders to me. Perhaps more to the point, he may have only been there to make an impression on me; to ensure that I actually carried out those orders. His golden armour, gleaming in the bright sunlight streaming through the window, certainly looked out of place in a swamp like Seyda Neen.

"You would be Edward Frost then." He took my release papers, barely glancing at them. "I have orders for you. Now these come direct from the Emperor." He paused, eyebrows raised, letting that point sink in. "You in fact owe your freedom to him - and don't ask me why Uriel Septim himself set you free - and so far from the Imperial city, because by the Divines, I would not have a clue. He does appear to have a job in mind for you, though: you are to report to Caius Cosades in Balmora. Give this package to him." He handed me a sealed scroll, and a large map of the island, on which he indicated the locations of Seyda Neen and Balmora. Finally Sellus gave me something I had definitely not expected, considering the treatment I had received at the hands of the Imperial guard recently: money. Nearly one hundred septims. "So you don't starve on your way to Balmora. Now, I'd recommend stopping in at the tradehouse nearby for some directions and supplies..."

Soon enough I was out of the Census building and taking my first steps on Vvardenfell soil. I opened the pouch Sellus Gravius gave me and looked at the coins within. It had been a long time since I had held any money at all, let alone money I could actually call my own. The prospect of an actual job with (hopefully) a reliable wage sounded awfully good to me and my rumbling stomach. I decided that I might deliver the package to this "Caius", and see if anything worthwhile could come of it. Right then though I needed food, water, clothes and equipment.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing in thought that was good. But can you tell me what trxture replacer you are using

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 6:54:00 pm  
Anonymous jan douma said...

HI,

Nice idea to make your own story with Morrowind (that's hard at the beginning i think?)
Than publish via a weblog
It is nothing more than explore your creativity and express yourself : it is good
Greetings
jan

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 7:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great read. Keep it up. thanks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 10:48:00 am  
Anonymous DTB said...

Great, so different, yet so familiar.

A walkthrough that is more an experience.

Congrats and thanks :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 4:11:00 pm  

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