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.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Chapter 39: Minion

A roaring, crackling ball of electrical energy swept by over my head as I dived to the pebble-strewn beach. It struck the supine form of the dead Ogrim with a loud -bang-, causing the massive body to begin horribly thrashing and twitching about in the bloody water again. The towering Storm Atronach stumped forward at a slow, deliberate pace, and rose its stony fists above its head to hammer me into the ground.

The Daedra's lumbering gait allowed me time to jump to my feet and dash out of the way, dealing the thing a solid slash to its side as I did so. I was very grateful for my new katana: since it was made of volcanic glass and not metal, it did not conduct the deadly lightning from the creature's body to my own. Nevertheless I still received several painful shocks as I reached in close to swing at the Atronach, arcs of energy jumping across to the exposed adamantium plates on my armour. Thankfully I did not explode like the mushroom trees had; some of the creature's 'charge' must have dissipated during its spectacular and fearsome approach.

I saw that my attack had broken off a few pieces of the porous stone that made up the Storm Atronach's body, and since at that point I was behind the creature, I thought I could quickly step in and hack off a few more pieces. It appeared, though, that I had woefully underestimated how fast the Atronach could move; because when I made to attack, I suddenly found myself at the receiving end of a massive, stony-fisted punch to my stomach. I doubled over, and I think my head pitched forward and collided heavily with the thing's forearm, before I was thrown back against a mossy boulder.

I'm a little unsure what happened after that: my next clear memory is of sitting with my back to a (different) boulder, trying to focus on a greater soul gem I was clutching in my fist. I felt as if I was terribly drunk, but at the same time I knew I had hit my head - hard, even with my adamantium helmet on. My hands were trembling and twitching violently, as if someone had a hold of my wrists and was shaking them. Actually my whole body was twitching spasmodically; it was difficult to move. A short distance away I could see a scattered pile of white, porous rocks, some of them sparking fitfully into the sand and stones.

I supposed that I must have defeated the Atronach - but in the process I had been turned into a burnt, walking bruise. The twitching and shuddering seemed to be some effect of the Daedra's electrical attacks; and the burns certainly were. As soon as I managed to settle my hands properly on my chest and send the healing spell into my body, my head began to clear. I actually had to cast it twice before I was fully recovered. I must have been quite seriously injured; thankfully (after a fashion), my head had been too muddled at the time for me to really feel it.

I gathered up my shield and katana, then the greater soul gem I had found myself clutching. Upon examination, I detected that it did indeed contain a powerful spirit: I must have managed to land a Soul Trap spell on the Storm Atronach. The Daedra's spirit had passed over the cheaper soul gems to take up residence in one of the highest quality stones I had. When this happened, everyone had assured me, it meant that the captured soul would be worth a small fortune to an enchanter.

I secured the gem carefully in my pack, and carried on up the gully - right into the ambush laid by a muscular, muddy-green Daedroth. Camouflaged against a mossy outcrop of rocks, I didn't see the crocodilian-headed beast until its great, toothy jaw hinged open and a jet of putrid green acid streamed out at me. Luckily for me, the creature seemed somewhat unintelligent: it had attacked as soon as it had seen me, rather than waiting until I was closer. As it was, the hissing noise it made as it spat what I could only assume was a deadly, acidic poison alerted me to its presence, and I was able to jump out of the way.

A Frostball spell momentarily confused it, and I rushed in to engage it with my katana. I soon regretted being so bold, as when I drew my sword arm back, the Daedroth twisted about and darted in beneath my shield, a blur of muscle, scales, and teeth. Its elongated jaw clamped around my thigh, and I could not help crying out as its long, irregular teeth bit through my greaves and into my leg. The Daedra's fingers ended in filthy-looking talons, which it raked up and down any part of me it could reach, all the while shaking my leg violently with its jaws. While it held me in place like that I was presented with an easy target, but with my long katana, it was difficult to get enough leverage to swing at something so close to me.

Shaking off my shield and letting it fall to the ground, I gripped the back of my glass blade with my off-hand and began sawing with all my might at the back of the Daedroth's sinewy neck. Pushing down with both hands, I was soon rewarded with a sickening -crunch- and -crack- as the katana dug deep into the thing's neck. The reptilian beast instantly collapsed, dead.

Prying the Daedroth's jaws off my leg took some strength and more than a little cursing, but soon I was away again, having healed the puncture wounds in my leg, and the gashes in my side from the thing's talons.

Just around a sharp, narrow turn in the gully, I disturbed a couple of 'Hungers', the grey, clammy-looking, reptilian Daedra I had seen from the ridge. Each of them constantly lashed out and discharged offensive magic, but beyond identifying it as belonging to the school of Destruction, I was at a loss as to what their magic was supposed to do; I certainly felt no ill effects from it. Incredibly, the Hungers neglected to use the spikes and horns adorning their body as weapons, or physically attack me in any other way at all! As they did nothing but constantly buffet me with their mysteriously harmless Destruction magic, I was able to cut them down with little trouble.

I began to feel more confident as I continued up the gully. By that stage I must have thinned the ranks of the Daedra on the island by at least half, I reasoned. I certainly needed that confidence facing my next opponent: a Flame Atronach. These man-shaped creatures of molten rock and dancing fire were generally considered to be less dangerous than Storm Atronachs; but then I couldn't actually remember how I had defeated that Storm Atronach, so that wasn't much help to me. Also, the experience of being burned almost to death in that Daedric shrine had instilled in me a healthy fear of fire.

I hung back, and neatly sidestepped the blazing fireballs the creature tossed at me. As I had hoped, the Flame Atronach proved to be quite vulnerable to ice magic, my Frostball spell causing the flames that licked across the thing's entire body to sputter, hiss, and die down significantly. Perhaps sensing that ranged combat with me was not the best course of action, the Atronach closed the distance between us with a single leap, moving fast as wildfire through the treetops. I took a couple of searing hits from the beast's arms, but managed to break the thing apart with my katana in fairly short order.

After soothing the red, raw burns on my arms and chest with my healing spell, I rounded another turn in the gully and finally came within sight of the holy woman's cottage. There were only three Daedra gathered in front of the small, weathered building now: two frill-necked, reptilian 'Clannfear', and further away, what appeared to be a golden statue.

Only I immediately saw that it was not a statue, as it turned to watch impassively from a distance as the two Clannfear scampered up to attack me. The creatures had sharp, weighty talons, and equally sturdy-looking beaks, but that was it. Unlike every other Daedra I had faced on that island, they had no means with which to attack me from a distance. However sharp their appendages may have been, the Clannfear had no opportunity to bite or slash me, because the greater reach of my fine glass blade allowed me to keep them at a safe distance.

As both beasts fell into a pool of their blood, their spirits whipping through space to rest within soul gems in my pack, the eerie moving statue finally moved to the attack, jogging leisurely up to meet me. I examined it as it came closer: it resembled a statue of a regal-looking woman clad in strange, yet elegant armour. Strikingly, the Daedra had the appearance of being made entirely of gold. Shortly I realised that I was facing the very type of creature Folms had told me about - the one whose soul I needed: a Golden Saint.

Of course, I was lacking a soul gem of sufficient quality to capture such a powerful spirit, so, cursing my foul luck, I prepared myself as best I could for the coming battle.

And what a battle it was. Never had I fought a single opponent for as long as I faced that Golden Saint. She - or it - was armed with a Dwemer shield - distinctive for its angular design and yellow-orange metal, and a small, unwieldy-looking sickle made of the same green volcanic glass as my katana. I think it was the odd (and to be perfectly honest, poor) choice of weapon on the Daedra's part that ensured my eventual victory. I suppose if the sharply curved blade had caught around any part of my body I would have been hard-pressed to escape with that part of my body still comfortably attached, but the weapon was simply too short and small to be effective.

Nevertheless, the Golden Saint put on a mighty show, and was extremely difficult to kill. It made up for its lacklustre weapon by constantly buffeting me with the Dwemer shield, and soon I was covered in swelling, purple bruises. It was also astonishingly proficient at dodging and blocking my scything attacks - and when I did actually connect, it was much as I imagined striking a solid gold ingot to be: not quite as jarring as striking solid iron or steel, but just as pointless. We traded blows for the longest time, and nothing seemed to faze the Daedra: I did not tire, because I had my Stamina spell to fall back on, but I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I made a fatal mistake.

Eventually, in a daring move, I ducked down low and hooked my katana behind the Saint's calves, before pulling it towards me, and yanking the creature's feet out from under it. Before it could rise again, I jammed the narrow end of my shield into the lip at the top of the creature's 'breastplate', and, using it as a kind of lever, kicked the shield as hard as I could into the Golden Saint's head, snapping it off at the neck.

The Daedra lay completely motionless, except for its head, which rolled away down a gradual incline. To my surprise I saw that the Golden Saint was completely hollow; nothing inside but an acrid stench. I took the sickle and tucked it away in my pack: as I could attest from the amount I payed for my katana, glass weapons were quite valuable, and after the punishment I had just put my katana through, I was going to have to spend a fortune having it repaired. I also strapped the Dwemer shield to my pack - they were prized by collectors, and fascinating, besides.

The only other thing the Golden Saint carried was an intricate silver ring on its finger, with the Daedric letter 'S' engraved in it. The ring was powerful, I could tell: it made the wearer fantastically compelling and beautiful to the observer. At the same time I instantly recognised a curse upon it: the wearer would also have their mind and their will befuddled, as if by strong drink.

I pocketed it. Azura had wanted proof of Sheogorath's interference with the natural course of their bet; perhaps the ring was suitable in that regard.

With one last look at the house of the priestess; the woman a goddess had forbade me to disturb, I cast my Recall spell and vanished from the island.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Stygian said...

^^^

Is that spam? Those bastards!


Anyway, this story makes me so happy

;_;


I lvoe it dude, keep up the good work!


*flashes dagger*

Or else....

Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:25:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Yes - spammers are evil. But the spam is all gone now, so... no need for the dagger, right? Heh-heh. Heh. *runs*

Anyway, thanks Stygian. I quite like this chapter too.

- Joseph.

Monday, October 24, 2005 12:14:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

well since what i said on last chapter still counts for this one i might as well just copy paste it...

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!!!!

http://70.84.131.212/data/toons/annoy.swf

p.s on an other side note stygian your silly i like you but i dagger wont do you should use a boomstick!!!

one made in grands rapid mitchigan retal price around 199.95 with with coltbalt blue steal and a hair trigger, thats right shop smart shop S mart..... ill go now

Monday, October 24, 2005 6:31:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Matar: Yes, those first shots of Edward's new face were taken with his face quite close to the 'camera', and made his nose look bigger than it is. A bit like those Busta Rhymes music videos, I guess. :-)

I'll admit that I only know Lilarcor from Baldur's Gate 2, in which (iirc) you *can't* just tell the sword to shut up. Who knows, maybe Lilarcor will make into the story at some point... We'll have to wait and see.

Oh, and that's probably enough of an arms race in the comments section now... No-one advertise the price of a stinger missile or something, please? :-)

- Joseph.

Monday, October 24, 2005 5:01:00 pm  

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