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, October 19, 2005

Chapter 37: My mind is glowing

Folms Mirel and I appeared on the guide platform at the Balmora guild at the same time. I had been somewhat anxious about being teleported simultaneously with the dark elf; I had never seen it done before. Upon finding that I was still very much alive, I breathed a sigh of relief and followed Folms as he went in search of Ranis.

Ajira was at her desk near the platform, and saw us arrive. She stared at me as I passed, the nostrils on her cat-like muzzle twitching and flaring sporadically. I gave her a quick smile, but she didn't seem to notice. Like everyone else, I don't think she recognised me.

And this was hardly surprising: as soon as I saw my reflection at the Caldera Mages Guild hall, the mystery as to why everyone had been giving me such strange looks was solved, even though a new mystery presented itself. Somehow, since the last time my friends and acquaintances had seen me, my face had changed. It was not the change seen in someone who has gained or lost a lot of weight, nor was it a change due to care-lines and wrinkles: I looked like a completely different person.

I had had no inkling that this had happened before speaking with Folms, and no idea of exactly when it may have happened. I had spent the last few days travelling through the wilderness, and the only personal interaction during that time had been conducted at the end of a blade.

At that moment, however, a more pressing issue was apparent: Folms did not believe I was who I said I was, and I couldn't think of a way to convince him - or anyone else. I was having a hard enough time convincing myself that it was all really happening.

We found Ranis in the main hall, reading through a sheaf of papers at one of the tables. Folms sat down across from her, and gestured that I should join them. Ranis looked up - first at me, then at Folms. She opened her mouth to speak, but then stopped, turning back to me to study my distinctive Netch Adamantium armour. I could tell what she was thinking. The last time anyone had seen me at the Balmora guild, I was wearing that armour; and they had never seen anyone with armour like that before - they told me as much when I first bought it.

The guild steward put her papers down and half-rose out of her chair, leaning forward to gaze directly into my eyes. Again, just as when we first met, the Dunmer's brilliant red eyes flared and glowed vibrantly, and I felt as if I could not look away. Finally, she spoke:

"What in the world did you do to your face, Frost?"

Folms and I stared at her for a moment. The enchanter blinked, then cleared his throat:

"You can tell that it's him?" Folms looked just as confused as I felt. "That's ... quite a useful skill you have there, Steward."

Ranis sat back in her chair.

"Not as much as you might think;" she said, her gaze slowly moving across my features. She then pointedly added: "After all, it's not terribly often that I see someone who's face has totally changed over the course of a few days."

Relief flooded through me, and I found my voice:

"You recognise me then? Well, maybe not recognise me as such, but you know that it's - GAH!"

I started in suprise; I could feel something tickling the back of my neck. I twisted around in my chair, and found myself looking into Ajira's big eyes. She had come up softly behind me, and begun intently sniffing at my neck. Her whiskers tickled.

"Frosty?" She ventured, looking very puzzled. "What happened to your face, Frosty?"

Folms began to laugh softly.

"Well, that settles it, then," he said, "there isn't much that can fool the nose of a Khajiit." Ajira grinned broadly. Folms continued: "Apologies if I was somewhat rude back there... but you must admit, something quite unusual has happened here. I can see that you were unaware of this ... transformation until just now, but do you have any idea what may have happened?"

"I've had an unusual few days," I said, shaking my head slowly, "I do know that my hair has been acting strangely since ... since that fireball spell!"

I quickly explained about my fight with the Daedra worshippers, and how I had been almost consumed with flames, before instinctively casting a healing spell and regenerating my flesh and skin.

"At least - I think I cast a healing spell." I finished, experimentally touching my new features. "I was a little ... distracted by the flames. And then afterwards, I noticed my hair kept falling in my eyes."

I swept my hair back out of my face with my fingers, and at that moment, two things happened: First, my head began aching explosively, and Folms and Ranis sat forward in astonishment, pointing at my face.

"What?" I grunted, in pain. "My head didn't really just explode, did it?"

"Edward," Folms said, leaning in ever closer, "there's a large glowing mark on your skin, across your left eye."

Ranis picked up a shiny silver plate from the table, and held it up for me to see my reflection. Folms was right - the mark was glowing brilliantly, and seemed to pulse in time with the throbbing in my temple. What's more, it was shaped exactly like the irritated patch of skin the Oracle, Lalatia Varian, had described back at the Imperial Chapel: a crescent moon. It was even blotchy and uneven, like a rash or a wide scar. I took the plate from Ranis and studied my new face. With no small feeling of alarm, I peered into my own eyes and realised that they too were actually glowing: a pale blue iridescence in the dim light of the guild hall.

What was happening to me?

"Ranis," Folms said, "you don't think... could his face have grown back differently from the healing spell? Tainted magicka due to his condition? Could something like that happen?"

Ranis nodded slowly, but sighed, and then shook her head noncommittally.

"Frost, you mentioned a healer at the Imperial Chapel." She said. "Perhaps you should go see him. He sounds as if he has a greater understanding of what's happening to you than we do."

I stood, dropping the plate on the table.

"I will. But not before I have everything I need to get that enchantment from you, Folms." As I spoke I sent my healing spell into my forehead, easing the ache behind my eyes. "First though, I'm famished, and I'm tired. It's been a long day; and tomorrow morning I'm off to Sheogorad."


Anonymous Matar said...

neat neat very neat...

so what was Ranis doing?? the passive brain scan from scripted spells???

(wicked smile) why dont you have him take a quick trip to ald-ruhn and vist the mage that teaches you thoughs kick ass spells? (imangens frosty riping spells from someones mind) SWEAT....

but seriusly ,thoughs spells are handy as hell!! espicaly the bone wall bat form and mind rip spells!!

Anyway cant wait to see were your going with this story bye for now.

p.s in Carnithus Armamentarium if you go to the basement behind the tapistrey in the room with the lizard thing theres a secret room i bet you knew that but wanted to make sure...


Matar Out

Friday, October 21, 2005 7:17:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Matar: Thanks. No, it wasn't Scripted Spells. If I mention something from a mod in the story, I always link to it.

The passive brain scan thing is a good idea, though. It probably would have suited what was happening quite well. Too late now, anyway: I made up Ranis' glowing eyes 'thing' to streamline the joining-the-Mages-Guild part, and then it made sense to bring it back when Edward needed to be identified.

I really should try Scripted Spells one of these days.

Oh yeah; you didn't like the new face, did you? Well, the face is not likely to change anytime soon, and he isn't supposed to look like a male model, anyway. :-P He is supposed to look weird, considering what's been happening to him. That first shot also isn't the most flattering... I chose it because he looks like he's looking at his reflection.

Incidentally, I made Frost's new face texture myself, so... "Mutated Michael Jackson"?

Ouch, man. Ouch. :-)

- Joseph.

Friday, October 21, 2005 1:42:00 pm  

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