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 30, 2005

Chapter 42: Slaughter

The dragon was forced to break off its pursuit to fly up and over the ruins, and since I was invisible to all, bar myself, I was free to stop and observe its movements. The scaly beast had obviously lost track of me, but did not appear to be willing to give up; as it began circling above the ruins, eyes fixed on the hole I had 'disappeared' into. I only had a few short moments before the spell wore off, but luckily there was an underground shrine beneath the ruins, and I was able to find the entrance fairly quickly.

Inside the Daedric shrine was not much of an improvement over the outside. Just inside the entrance was a flight of stairs leading down, and at their base were three Orcs, obviously attracted by the furious roars of the dragon outside. Like the last group of Daedra worshippers I had encountered, this lot wasted no time in leaping to the attack: two of them were mages, and hung back to cast their spells, and the other was a warrior in fine Orcish armour. Fortunately for me, the mages seemed to be holding in reserve their most deadly spells for fear of hitting their warrior associate in error. Still, I could not concentrate properly on fending off the mighty blows of the warrior with various offensive spells whizzing by my head, and after a couple of frantic attempts, I was able to land my paralysation spell on the fighter - no small feat given the Orcish race's natural resistance to magic.

The mages were not able to effectively escape my attacks and cast their spells at the same time, and since they were wearing nothing but simple robes, they fell easily. As for the warrior, well, I will say this about the Orcs' reputation as fearsome fighters: it is well deserved. While not as drawn-out as my fight with the Golden Saint, it was a desperate fight. I'm sure that without my healing magic, I would have died right there in that shrine; that Orc warrior was certainly a superior swordsman than I.

I was still somewhat peeved from Folms' news - but on one of the Orcs I found something that put me in an even fouler mood: a Grand soul gem. I had gone to so much trouble to earn Azura's Star - it was only that morning that I had killed the horde of Daedra - and there in my hand was something that could do the job just as well as the Star; for one enchantment, at least. Muttering several well-chosen curses to no-one in particular, I dropped the smooth, golden gem into my pack. I could at least capture some powerful soul into it and sell it: it ought to be worth a fortune that way.

In the offering place at the centre of the shrine, beneath the towering Daedric statue, were several glittering emeralds and rubies. Needless to say perhaps, I scooped them up and deposited them in a pouch at my belt. As soon as I touched the gems, I knew something was wrong. I had felt something; a disturbance in the still air of the underground shrine. Something was behind me.

Ducking and rolling away, I was able to avoid the scything cut aimed at my neck by the heavily armoured Dremora that had somehow appeared just behind me. It wielded a dull-yellow Dwemer axe, but the ancient weapon became the least of my problems. I was able to move much faster than the animated suit of Daedric armour the shapeless Dremora inhabited, but this particular Dremora was adept at Destruction magic. I spent most of the fight on fire - strange as that might sound - as the Dremora repeatedly sent magical flames licking across the surface of my armour. For my part, I alternated between using my 'Dispel' spell to negate the magical fire, and darting in to hammer away at the thing's armour with my blade.

I only tried using my own offensive spells on it once; and for my trouble I received the painful experience of feeling what my enemies felt when I used my Frostball spell on them. The Dremora actually caught the glittering ice spell in its hand, as if it was an actual ball, and then threw it right back at me - catching me full in the chest. Having one eye frozen shut and the other frozen open is just as painful as it sounds. I was quite relieved when my healing spell reversed the effects.

Eventually I got in a powerful enough blow to break the helmet off the Dremora, just like the last one I had faced. Unlike the one that had been summoned by the Altmer woman in Mabu-Ilu caves, however, this Dremora (and its Daedric armour) did not vanish in a geyser of sparks; instead it actually crumbled to dust before my eyes - rather like the weak vampire I had fought in Caldera. Strangely enough, it left the Dwemer axe behind. I left it behind, too: it was heavy, and Dwemer weapons, though rare, were not valuable enough to risk being caught carrying them.

I rested in the Daedric shrine for a while, listening to the beating wings and occasional snorts and bellows of the dragon outside. I guessed that the beast must have difficulty taking flight from flat ground - perhaps doing so expended more energy than continually circling above potential prey. Why else would it remain aloft - where I could hear it - rather than alighting on the ground outside and waiting silently for me to come out?

I felt uncomfortable while in the shrine - I had no idea where that powerful Dremora had come from: it seemed, in fact, to have simply appeared from nowhere, right behind me. So when the sounds of the dragon outside were replaced by the renewed howling of the ash storm, I chose to venture outside rather than remain in shelter. I had a plan: earlier, the dragon had been hidden from sight as it flew up above the stinging, gritty, ashen winds. It was my hope that I, too, could escape the beast's sight by making my way to the Marandus stronghold under cover of the storm. According to my map, which actually showed the Daedric ruins I had just left, the stronghold was not very far away.

The distance felt much greater than it actually was, I think. I spent the whole harried journey ducking and hiding behind the nearest rock or dead tree at every swell in the storm; afraid it was the dragon swooping in from above. What made it worse is that I could still hear the pulsing thrum of the dragon's wings far above me, punctuated by the occasional distant roar. If I squinted through the ash I could see the high dust clouds lit up sporadically by the creature's fiery breath.

It was just on dark by the time I reached Marandus. The way Folms had spoken about the ancient Velothi strongholds, I had been given the impression that they were long-abandoned; and Marandus certainly looked that way from the outside. The exterior of the squat, hulking, stone fortification was devoid of people, and what windows I could make out in the gloom did not have lights behind them. As it turned out I had completely the wrong idea about the place.

After climbing the stone steps to the flat 'roof' of the stronghold, I approached one of the fortified building that sat on top and pushed open a heavy wooden door set in its side. Just inside, my sudden entrance out of the wild ash storm startled a Dunmer woman, who had apparently been set to guard the door. I was startled in turn when she gave a shout, snatched up a sword that had been leaning against the wall, and made a clumsy stab at my chest. I acted reflexively, drawing my katana and whipping the blade across the Dark Elf's throat, breaking her neck.

In an instant she was dead, and her blood was everywhere, seeping into the distinctive tapestries on the wall, and spreading across the stone floor. A couple of people down the corridor were calling out, asking if everything was alright. The stronghold was certainly not abandoned.

I began to get that sinking feeling of dread I always felt when I suspected that I had done something wrong. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I got this feeling whenever I did something that could result in dire consequences - for me - should anyone ever find out. I was frozen to the spot, trying to work out what I should do. I had acted in self-defense, that much was true, but it was I that had intruded in their domain, and killed one of their number: and this was no den of bandits and smugglers. By the devices and tapestries on the walls, I identified the residents of the stronghold as members of the Great House Redoran. I had thought the place abandoned: evidently the Redorans had established an outpost there.

When there was no reply from the door guard, the people down the hall obviously realised something was wrong. The alarm was being raised throughout the stronghold, I could hear it: shouts and the ringing of weapons being drawn, echoing through the corridors and chambers of the place. I was not about to flee out into the storm, not with that dragon out there - and I was not about to surrender all my progress that day by teleporting away. On another attempt to reach Punabi caves I might not be so lucky in avoiding the dragon. Besides, my moment of hesitation had cost me my choices: the Redoran fighters were boiling out of the stronghold chambers, and had seen me standing there, above the bloodied body of the Dunmer woman. Anyone that saw me could not be allowed to leave that place alive.

There was no other way. I had to kill them all.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Matar said...

WOW frostys gonna have some trouble when he done with them all :)... getting blood out of stuff is a pain in the ass.....

anyways it is offical you have the best morrwind fanfiction out there by my books! if this was fanfiction.net Id put you in my favs, which is preaty hard because im really picky about what I put in there....

WOOT you thought that it was preaty funny!!!.... wait the part about what lilarcor says or me forgeting about the mod?

anyways update whenever man/girl/whatever

Matar Out

p.s The hungers spell destroys armor and stuff why didnt it have any effect agenst Frosty?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:47:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks Matar!

I meant that I thought the Lilarcor quotes were funny.

It *did* affect his armour/weapons, he just didn't notice. He's not observant enough to detect that his sword is becoming blunt mysteriously faster than usual. :-)

- Joseph.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 12:00:00 am  

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