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, November 02, 2005

Chapter 43: Try not to think about it

I acted in self-defense. I did. It was unfortunate that it reached the point where I had to kill every last person in the stronghold, but I don't think I had a choice, in the end. I simply could not allow any witnesses to leave those halls.

The fight itself was not overly taxing: I suspect that the occupants had only made the old stronghold into a Redoran outpost relatively shortly before my arrival, and had not had time to plan an organised defence of the place. If they had, they might have had some longbows or crossbows to hand, and hemmed me in, in one of Marandus' tight corridors: where I could not manoeuvre or take cover. As it was, the narrow corridors allowed me to face them one at a time, while the others jostled and crowded in behind, tripping over the bodies of their comrades.

Once I had scoured Marandus for survivors, I felt satisfied that the stronghold would make a suitable place to take shelter in overnight, safe from the ash storm and the dragon outside. Nevertheless I found a room with only one entrance, and rolled out my bedroll well out of sight of the door. I then magically locked the door, and balanced a glass bottle on the handle, so I would be well-warned of any intruders. After the day I had had, I felt quite jumpy and ill-at-ease.

My close encounter with the dragon had shaken me, but what really bothered me was that it felt as if I had been killing things from morning to night. A small horde of Daedra, then Orcish Daedra worshippers, and finally a whole stronghold of Redoran fighters and retainers. I lay awake in my bedroll for a long time. With my eyes closed I saw blood-red, rather than the usual black. Still...

I did not wonder if all the killing was justified, or worth it. While I felt awful about it, my sense of self-preservation outweighed all else: every life I had taken had been in pursuit of one goal: remaining alive for as long as possible. I mean this in both the immediate sense ('fight now or this bandit will slit your throat'), and in the more peripheral sense of the 'casualties' resulting from my search for a cure - or treatment - for my condition. It may sound harsh, but my sense of self-preservation is what got me through my time in the Imperial prison; and part of that was a willingness to put my needs above those of others.

Strangely enough, perhaps, it was the fact that I had been fighting and killing all day that let me eventually drift off to sleep. I was exhausted. I had taken more lives that day than many others combined, and as my dreams began to replace the waking world, I could feel my body twitch, lean and tense as if I was still fighting.

The next day, thankfully, dawned bright and clear, with nothing in the sky save a few wispy clouds: no ash, no dragon. From the 'roof' of the stronghold I had a good view of Lake Nabia, and of the path Ranis had told me to follow, disappearing into the low hills to the north of the lake. I was glad to leave Marandus behind: my visit there had turned the ancient Velothi stronghold into a stinking tomb. I felt a momentary twinge of deep pity for whoever next entered Marandus: the scene inside was a grisly one. I did not permit myself to think about the families of those I had killed.


I waded through the shallows around the edge of the lake, ducking beneath the surface a couple of times (with my pack held aloft, out of the tepid water), letting the dried blood that caked almost every part of my body dissolve, and wash away. I had had no chance to wash the night before, being trapped in the stronghold with the bodies of those I had killed...

I sighed. I needed something to occupy my mind. I made an effort to consider the somewhat strange properties of my now fully restored 'Magery' ring. During my search of Marandus, I had happened across two appropriately-cut tourmaline gems, sitting on a rude wooden stool, next to a bed. They were about the only good things to come of my incursion into the Velothi stronghold, as with them I could fully restore the potent magical ring. 'Magery' acts as both a conduit and a reservoir for magicka, increasing the rate at which magicka enters my body, and also allowing my flesh and spirit to hold more than it usually could. It even emits a field large enough to occasionally 'catch' an offensive spell aimed in my direction, and channel the spell's energy into my body - as even more magicka.

With the final two tourmalines in place (bringing the total number of stones set in the ring to eight), all these effects were intensified even further; meaning that I had so much magicka at my disposal, and it was replenished so quickly, that I basically had no worry about ever finding myself running out. This of course would be a different story if I knew some more taxing spells - and was skilled enough to actually cast them...

In any case, along with this great power, I also noticed, upon completion of 'Magery', that another effect had surfaced in the ring; and I wasn't sure if it was a beneficial one. It was frustrating: I could not quite discern what it was, but whenever I wore the ring, my skin felt overly sensitive; not to sensation, but to pain. The difference was something like how a slight rap to the knuckles can hurt in the chill of the colder months, but go unnoticed on a warm day. I would have to study the ring further.

Meanwhile, my musings had successfully occupied my mind right up until I found Punabi caves, a little way along the path leading north from the lake. The entrance to the caves was closed off by a wooden door, much like many other caves I had seen on Vvardenfell; only when I pushed this door open, it tapped a bell hung on a hook, just above the doorframe. Clanging away like a shopkeeper's doorbell, and setting my already raw nerves on edge, the bell soon drew the attention of a woman in fine robes.

Emerging from the gloom with a pained expression, she introduced herself as Manwe - the very woman I was looking for - and asked (fairly bluntly) what I was doing there. Upon learning that I was from the Guild, and had come for her overdue guild fees, she rolled her eyes and said:

"Look, we're quite busy with our research here, and I really-" Before she could get any further, I pretended to shift the weight of my pack with one hand, reaching out (towards her) with the other, as if for balance. My charm spell leapt invisibly across from my outstretched hand to her body, and her attitude abruptly changed, mid sentence: "... really should pay my guild dues, after all this time; especially since you asked so politely." She gave me a strange smile. "Wait here. My associates can be ... cranky if they're disturbed from their work."

Manwe disappeared back into the deeper parts of the caves, re-emerging a few moments later with a pouch of coins.

"Here you go," she said, "two thousand septims - I had no idea it had been that long." I remained silent. I suspected that very little of the money was destined for the Guild itself; especially since Ranis had promised half of the drakes to me, should I manage to pry them away from Manwe. As it turned out, the charm spell had made it rather easy. Manwe went on: "I haven't seen you at any of the halls before. Be sure to stop by again, should you pass nearby." Again that strange smile.

I thanked her and left, hiking further up the path outside. It wasn't until a few moments later that I realised that Manwe had been behaving as if she was attracted to me. It was an aspect of charm spells that I hadn't considered before. Manwe was the first woman I had cast such a spell on (no play on words intended). I resolved to be careful in my use of charm spells from that point onwards: while most people who have had a charm spell cast on them remain unaware of that fact, such spells are certainly not permanent. One thing I would have to watch is acting overly familiar with the target of a charm spell: such behaviour around the person when the spell has worn off could make them suspicious.

Manwe and the Telvanni wizard, Llarar Bereloth, were close neighbours indeed. After only a few minutes of walking, I found 'Sulipund': a stone dome rising out of the ground; just like the necromancer's dome, 'Mawia'. The similarities between Sulipund and Mawia made me uneasy, but I went in without my katana drawn: Ranis had asked me to persuade Llarar to join the Mages Guild, and entering his home ready for battle would likely not go down well.

Like Mawia, the interior of Sulipund reminded me strongly of the ancestral tombs I had seen; only this one, thankfully, was not crawling with undead. Llarar did not appear to be a necromancer, at least. Nevertheless, I was made to feel quite unwelcome by the Telvanni wizard's many Bosmer man-servants. I asked several of them if they could direct me to "Mister Bereloth", but the best response I received was a flat "no". Some of the rude little wood elves actually asked me to leave, barring me further access to the dome! If the wizard's servants were so seriously opposed to letting visitors in, I shuddered to think how I might be received should I make it to the mer himself.

Ranis had instructed me to kill Llarar, should he refuse to join the guild. I suspected that with all his servants around, however, trying such a thing would quickly devolve into another bloodbath. I still felt guilty enough from the events of the previous night to want to avoid such a thing, if I could, so I made liberal use of my charm spell to persuade the Bosmer toadies to let me pass.

The nicest thing I can say about Llarar Bereloth is that he did not, at least, attack me on sight. He was just as boorish as his servants, if not more so. Fortunately, after using my 'reaching out as if to shake hands' trick to Charm him, he became reasonably amiable. My 'gift' of a good amount of coin helped matters, no doubt. Strangely (and somewhat unnervingly), Llarar seemed perfectly aware of my ruse:

"Ha-ha - nice little Charm cantrip you have there, Breton." I guessed that the effect of the charm spell was to make him amused, rather than angry, at being manipulated. The wizard went on: "And the coin should cover travel costs to Balmora well enough, so... why not? Fine. Should I have the time, I shall join your guild on my next visit to Balmora. Now, leave me be, n'wah."

That piece of foul language was my hint that the charm spell had worn off, so I bowed and cast Recall, teleporting back to Balmora. Llarar Bereloth had said that he would join the guild; I could only speculate as to whether he would keep his word.

I just hoped that the Telvanni wizard's word would be enough for Ranis. If it wasn't, I would likely have to hike all the way back to Sulipund to kill him, and the harrowing experience of my last trip out there was not one I wanted to repeat.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Matar said...

Nice update allthough Im currius will frosty ever enchant his sword (Asuming that you dont use lilarcor) after all very few things are better then a sword with paralize of command hummanoid on it :)

im not a fan of the charm spell that much but then agine i try to max out speachcraft... im more of a frenzy type of person, god I love that spell....

anyways why dont you put this on fanfiction.net... or do they not allow fics that use modded matirial??? any tell next time

oh yes witch ver of that evil armor mod (i forgot the name..) are you using the complete ver or the one were you have to update it???? cause in the complete one all you have to do is go to molag mar and take a quick walk :) perhapes you can have frosty take a trip there and hear some rumores about it :)

(Cough) anyway im out of ok if not sllitly stupied ideas... for now at least.....

Tell next time

Matar Out

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 12:26:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

So far he's had to save up for other things. He may have weapons enchanted later on sometime...

I like having Frost in Morrowind right where it is, because I have control over the look of the whole thing. I'm a web designer (among other things), and the visual side of this site is another place for me to exercise some creativity.

Carnithus' Armamentarium? I think I've got the one that places the shop in Molag Amur somewhere. Again, I sort of have to wait for the story to take Edward out there; which could really happen at any time. For example I didn't plan that encounter with the dragon (or to make that trip at *all* at that stage), but it became necessary... and will actually fit in nicely with some things I have planned for later.

- Joseph.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:56:00 am  
Anonymous Stygian said...

While I'm not against constructive criticism, or having some fun at guessing or hoping what will happen next to Frost, I beleive we shouldn't try to intervene outside and press the writer to add things that we like. This is a grand tale, and I am liking it very much the way it is, and I believe all decisions should be up to the writer (who is doing an excellent job) without pressure from readers.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 12:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

I knew someone would think im pushing him to do something i hear it all the time even if im not....

eh if im presuring him in any way im sorry but really im just talking and giving ideas not pushing for somthing to happen

if i were to push id say something like"it would be better if you did this" thats what i say when i push when i give an idea i say "maybe you could put in lilarcor" and then put why it may help or make something funny and stuff.

No biggy though people get confused all the time when I talk so lets just say I have never pushed for something on any fanfiction (at least not yet) and probly never will.

All i do is give ideas

Ill reveiw the next chapter (your not gonna get rid of me that easy!!!)

Matar Out

p.s dose anyone here watch big-o and would you wanna read a fanfiction i know a really good one and im hoping if she gets more fans she will continue them, but i thought i should ask if its ok first. (i dont want to seem rude).

Thursday, November 03, 2005 12:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey nice journal, i checked this site out after its name was mentioned in a post on Tim's website and its been a great read. keep up the good work.

Friday, January 27, 2006 11:30:00 am  
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Thursday, November 12, 2009 6:32:00 pm  
Blogger Meej-Dar said...

Dude, loving this story (5-6 years after it was originally published). Two things. 1: I'm American, but when I read this I can't help reading it with an English accent. 2: One thing I hate about reading this is I always drink something, and I have to go to the bathroom, but I can't because I have to keep reading. And if you leave the chapter at a cliffhanger, I have to read the next chapter, too. But again, loving Edward's adventure. It has inspired me to write my own journal, but I'm not quite as good a writer. Mine is about an Argonian healer, and I'm going to start from Arena (TES 1) and go through all the games. In case anyone wants to check it out, I have a blog on this same website. Address is meej-dar.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:54:00 am  

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