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.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Chapter 38: Chorus

Ranis Athrys, as Steward of the Balmora Mages Guild hall, wrote me a signed note affirming my identity to anyone with doubts. This basically included anyone I had ever met, since I now looked completely different after my mysterious transformation. My face bore the most noticeable change, but the rest of my body was different too. Proportionally I was much the same, but for any part of my body that had been badly burnt in that destructive spell, it was as if I had wholly new skin. Scars, moles and blemishes I had carried my whole life were simply gone, without a trace. My chest and back had escaped being seriously burnt, protected by my snugly-strapped-on Netch Adamantium breastplate, and I could tell by a few identifying childhood scars that they, for the most part, had remained the same.

I hadn't asked Ranis for the note; she just gave it to me as I prepared to leave that morning, saying it would at least make any dealings with other Mages Guild members easier. I suppose that it was her job to plan things and think about the future, and what may be required. It prompted me to think about how I would deal with other people I shared associations with on the island. The Imperial Cult would pose little trouble: Master Healer Synnolian and the Oracle, Lalatia, had been able to detect my unique condition by laying their hands on me: I could ask them to do it again to prove myself. In addition, the Mages Guild was also an Imperial organisation, so the Cult would likely trust (or at least be swayed by) any report from them; Ranis' note, for example.

I didn't really know what I would do about the members of the Tribunal Temple; if, indeed, anything needed to be done at all. I had only had one brief encounter with them regarding Temple business, and that had been to start me on the pilgrimage to grant me entry into their ranks. I had yet to complete my pilgrimage, and by the time I did, enough time would likely have passed for me to be able to report to a priest and have them check for my name on a list - nothing more.

The Thieves Guild, I thought, should I ever actually have cause to associate with them again, would no doubt be delighted to learn that I effectively had a whole new identity.

All that, plus a visit to Synnolian to get his opinion on my tranformation, would have to wait, in any case. The Daedra goddess Azura had tasked me with killing a small island full of Lesser Daedra, in order to preserve the natural course of a bet she had apparently made with another god. So, that morning I was off to Sheogorad to attempt battle with a horde of the Daedra god Sheogorath's minions (the similarity between the name of the god and the name of the region was not lost on me). I had fought and defeated a Dremora before - but only one - and they were written to differ wildly in strength and ability; just like men and mer. Most other Daedra encountered on our plane were said to be more dangerous than Dremora. I had no idea how I would fare against a group of Daedra I had never even seen before.

Still, Azura had hinted that she would grant me her 'Star' if I could do as she asked - and Azura's Star was the main obstacle between me and the opportunity to lengthen my hobbled life through enchantments.

All this hinged, of course, on my not being insane. Said out loud, my tale of Azura's voice speaking through me in her shrine sounded fanciful at best; and given the visions that had plagued me since my 'magical accident', I doubted the tale myself. Folms believed me, however, and marked on my map of Vvardenfell the tiny, remote island he thought Azura meant. It was at the very northen edge of Vvardenfell province, some way north-west of Dagon Fel. I showed it to Masalinie, the best person in the hall to talk to regarding travel plans, given her duties as the guild guide.

A few minutes later, I was striding quickly through Sadrith Mora - a Telvanni settlement like Tel Branora, only much bigger. The massive, snaking, hollowed-out fungi that made up the city were intricate and fascinating, but I hurried past them all on the way to the docks, hoping that there was a ship leaving soon. This was the course Masalinie had laid out for me as being the fastest, but she said a boat trip up the east coast of Vvardenfell would still take most of the day.

As it happened, I was in luck, and there was a morning ship scheduled to leave ten minutes or so after my arrival. The voyage was no better than my last time spent in a boat, and after a very long day, we pulled into Dagon Fel a little after dark. I stayed the night at the 'End of the World' Inn, and got my first proper look at the rustic fishing village at dawn the next morning.

The place was quite picturesque, and I climbed a nearby hill to get a good view of the sun rising over the small cove and the collection of old shacks sheltered in the valley. It was soothing; something I needed given what I planned to do that day.

The Sheogorad region was much the same as Azura's Coast: shattered islands, monolithic stones rising out of the sea, and giant mushrooms in place of trees. Before too long into the morning, I found the island Azura had spoken of, and found, too, that I had been right to be apprehensive. I heard the Daedric horde long before I saw them, a great, bellowing, cacophonous chorus of alien voices.

Slowly and painstakingly climbing the slick, stony ridge that ran around the south-eastern edge of the tiny island, I had to steel myself against the temptation to teleport home right then and there. The sheer volume of the Daedra chorus was painful in itself. When I reached the top of the ridge, I cast an invisibility spell and craned my neck to get a look at what I would face, while exposing as little of myself as possible. I wasn't sure if invisibility spells even had an effect on those demons.

Down in a broad, gravel-strewn gully, I saw ten or so Daedra, all types I had never laid eyes on outside of illustrated books. Some glowed, crackled, and spat elemental energy; others had the appearance of reptiles: bipedal creatures with crocodilian heads; pale, clammy and gangly monsters; and large frill-necked lizards with powerful-looking beaks. Every one of them was directing its bellowing, shrieking 'song' at a small cottage at the back of the gully. That, I surmised, was the home of Azura's meditating priestess. I could see immediately what they were doing: the creatures were trying to drive the priestess mad with the endless noise (and perhaps with fear), thereby ending the bet in Sheogorath's favour.

There was no possible way I could face that many opponents at once, especially demons of unknown power. Sinking back down behind cover, I shook my head. How had my life come to such a point, after such nondescript beginnings? How could a Cult-raised orphan and thief fight a small horde of Daedra?

I decided I would face the creatures in the same manner I had reached that point in my life: one step at a time. I crept along the perimeter of the island, just below the crest of the ridge, looking for a way around to the entrance of the wide gully that harboured the demons. I needed a sheltered approach, so I could attempt to surreptitiously draw them out one by one and face each monster individually.

'Surreptitious' turned out to not be the best word to describe my approach. I found a way down to a small, pebbly beach; only with my invisibility spell in place, I could not clearly see my own feet, and I managed to trip on the way down.

Coming to rest on my stomach in a skittering, grinding shower of pebbles and small, flat stones, I threw a glance up the gully, and gritted my teeth as I saw a huge Daedra thundering towards me. Invisibility magic cast upon a person is dispelled when that person interacts with something. I had made quite a forceful interaction with the ground, and now the spell was gone - and the Ogrim most definitely knew I was there.

Ogrims resemble, more than anything else, massively obese men with green scales, treestumps for legs, tiny red eyes, and horns. They are also very large, and very strong. I scrambled to my feet, but not in time to dodge the creature's attack, nor bring my shield up (though I suspect doing the latter would have gained me nothing more than a broken arm). As it was, the creature's backhanded swing lifted me from my feet and sent me flying in an ungainly arc into the lightly breaking waves just off the shore. There had been a painful -crack- from within my chest when the Ogrim's meaty fist connected, and now digging pains bloomed out from my rib cage with every breath.

Trying to breathe as shallowly as possible (which was difficult considering I and all my heavy equipment had just been dumped in the sea), I rose from the knee-deep water and sent the Frostball spell streaking out for the Ogrim, catching it full in its giant pot-belly. The thing continued to waddle towards me, but was now staring down at its frozen belly, clumsily scraping at the ice with stubby fingers. A thin layer of ice had formed around my outstretched, gauntleted hand, since it had still been covered in water when I cast the spell. I clenched my hand into a fist, shattering the ice, and drew my glass katana.

The Ogrim was still distracted by the ice on its body, and I was able to give it a vicious swipe across its tiny eyes, putting them both out. The great beast bellowed in pain, throwing its head back - and presenting what neck it had as a clear target. I almost felt sorry for it, but with the racket it was making, every other Daedra on the island would likely hear it, even over their own dissonant chorus. I slashed it across the throat with my razor-sharp blade, again and again - the creature unable to ward off blows it could not see. In a short moment it was staggering about the shallows, its thrashing turning the water to a stinking, red, frothy mess.

I hastily stepped out of the bloody water, and gingerly sent my healing spell into my chest, giving a deep sigh of relief once the bones had knitted together once more. Looking again up the gully, I found that I needn't have worried about being heard: I had been seen. A colossal Storm Atronach, an elemental Daedra, had apparently seen me dealing the mortal blow to the Ogrim. I could swear that its features of porous stone betrayed an expression of intense anger beneath the waves of electrical energy licking across its body.

In its apparent rage, the atronach swelled with incandescent light, like a thundercloud in a violent lightning storm. It lumbered towards me, arcs of electricity leaping out to nearby mushroom-trees, causing each to explode with a deafening crack.

I was soaked through with salt water, wearing exposed metal plates, and facing an enemy that could channel electrical energy as easily as man or mer can exhale spent air. I was in trouble.


Anonymous Matar said...

:Smiles: Well frostys in trouble all wet and stuuf with a lightning dude on him.

on a side note though lightning dudes give me hell when I fight them....

yah you should try scripted spells it dose kick ass but the mind rip spells lag like hell, at least on my comp It do.

sorry bought what I said about the face dude, but its true and I gotta type/say what I feel :) of course it might just be the camera angle....

:poutse: and you STILL haven't put in Lilancor, I mean how can you play morrowind without that lovable, yet annnoying as hell sword?? I mean you just have to change what he says thats all...

And you have to admite haveing frosty argue with lilancor in the middle of balmora WOULD be preaty funny...

Well im gonna stop hinting at what I think are kick ass mods :coughyahrightcough:

bye for now

Matar Out

Friday, October 21, 2005 2:02:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Matar: About the face - Don't worry about it, I'm not that fussed.

It's interesting, though; comments about it have ranged from your 'mutated Michael Jackson' one, through 'technically good but freaky', all the way to 'awesome' and 'exceptional'. Different people like different things, I guess; and that's doubly true when it comes to faces. I mean, that's why some people find Jennifer Love-Hewitt attractive, right? ;-)

I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why Lilarcor isn't in there: he is, as you say, annnoying as hell. :-) But now that you mention it, arguments with Lilarcor at inopportune moments *could* be pretty funny. Though I imagine if Lilarcor kept doing things like that, Frost wouldn't keep him for long...

I mean, who wants a sword that screams out: "Yeah! Hit 'im! Hit 'im!" when you're trying to sneak up on someone?


Friday, October 21, 2005 4:24:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

In case anyone's interested, I posted a couple of shots of Frost's new face on this forum here.

I haven't posted these particular shots on the Frost in Morrowind site. They show the new face in different lighting conditions.

- Joseph.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 3:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

OH so thats what it looks like at a dif angle good cause that one screeny you put of his reflection made it look like his nose covered half his entire face. from thoughs angles it aint half bad... but the nose is kinds hooked at the tip...

anyways you DO know that you can tell lilancor to shut up right?? and saying that lilancor would annoy frosty to much is weird after all he kicks ass and as allways Life>annoying.... and think of it this way if you make lilancor a bit more serious.

Plus how funny would it be for lilancor to call some lady in the mages guild a "fine peace of ass" and them think it was him... LOL

Lilancor may not be in this story but im allmost positive I can change your mind!!!!!

on a side not I am now going to post a link to the best song ever made!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005 6:41:00 pm  

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