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, November 11, 2005

Chapter 47: Monster

I jumped away from the doorway, back towards the stairs leading up to the great hall; the Wolfen Castle Guardian hurtling through the space in which I had just been standing, to crash into the opposite wall. Every part of my skin feeling as if it was about to jump from my body in fright, I turned to project a Frostball spell at the monster. There was no way I wanted to get within reach of those filthy teeth and talons.

This turned out to be little problem for the Guardian, as before my magical ball of ice could connect, it opened its mouth, shuddered, and squirted a great, virulent-looking stream of acid at me. I ducked to the side, managing to avoid the worst of the burning poison, and my Frostball spell luckily caught the creature in the mouth; slowing it down enough for me to gain some distance on the thing. My plan was to lead the beast outside, where I had more room to manoeuvre and make use of my spells - I just hoped the diminutive Bosmer groundskeeper could stay out of the way.

As I pounded up the stairs, however, I discovered that there was no way I was going to reach the castle yard with that Guardian behind me. Just before I could throw the door to the great hall open, there was a great flash, a deafening -crack-, and I was staggering through the door in agony, barely able to control my limbs. The creature was obviously able to project electrical energy from those bizarre 'organs' on its palms - in much the same manner as the Storm Atronach I had faced. Forcing my healing spell to come, and directing it into the severely burned part of my back, I changed course and limped as fast as I could off to the left, moving deeper into the keep. I could not possibly make the straight run for the main doors that lead to the yard: I would be caught, and burnt, or poisoned, or...

I had to stay out of the Guardian's sight to avoid its electrical attacks; until I could think of some way to kill it. Once the healing spell had run its course I could sprint through the dark, twisting corridors and chambers of the keep, always only just ahead of the creature. Wherever I went I could hear the terrifying howling, gibbering and moaning of the beast behind me, its pounding feet and the occasional -crash- as it broke through a door I had magically locked behind me driving me to desperation.

Shortly, I found the castle's central stairwell, and, narrowly avoiding a splash of the creature's acidic poison, dashed up the stone steps. There were several exits off the stairwell, leading into each storey of the keep, but the Guardian was too close behind for me to risk trying the locks on any of the doors. Soon, of course, I ran out of steps to climb, and found that the stairwell terminated in a small chamber with a ladder leading to a trapdoor in the ceiling. To buy some time, I sent the Frostball spell into the steps just behind my feet as I ran into the small chamber; the satisfying -thud- telling me that the beast had indeed slipped on the icy floor, as I had hoped.

A cursory examination of the trapdoor satisfied me that it opened outwards, and was not bolted shut; and I crouched down, concentrating on my 'Tinur's Hoptoad' spell. As the Guardian burst into the room, I jumped, pulling my head in so that my armoured shoulders would take the brunt of the impact; as I shot upwards and crashed through the closed trapdoor. The Hoptoad spell enabled me to jump at least ten times higher than I normally could, and it gave me a spectacular view of Wolfen Castle and the surrounding sea. The trapdoor I had emerged from was set in the floor of the tower lookout, atop the keep. As I fell back down to the fortified lookout, a great black arm shot out of the open trapdoor: the only part of the monster that could fit through the narrow space.

The hand scrabbled about on the lookout floor, the Guardian blindly searching for me. The glowing blue organ on its palm scraped back and forth on the stone surface, sending out sparks. It gave me an idea. I drew my backup silver sword, and, using the force of my fall, drove the point right through the beast's hand; bursting the organ beneath.

With a howl, the Guardian monster withdrew its arm, almost yanking the sword from my grip. I heard it thunder back down the stairwell, and then... nothing. I held myself as still as I could, feeling the magicka flowing back into me, smelling the salt in the drifting, hazy sheets blown over the castle by the gentle wind.

There was a -crash- somewhere below me, and I rushed to the edge of the lookout to see what was happening. The monster was there, crouched on one of the castle walls amidst the shattered remains of one of the tower doors. It had doubled back, found another way out to the castle ramparts, and was now looking up at me with its huge, bulbous eyes. I backed away from the edge as the hulking creature gathered itself to jump.

It was a long way down, but still the Guardian managed to make the jump - almost. With a thud, the beast latched onto the side of the tower, its uninjured arm snaking around the parapets of the lookout to hold on. Before it could pull itself up, I (of course) took the opportunity that presented itself, and stabbed the monster through its remaining good hand, again bursting the dangerous blue organ against the stonework. This time the beast did yank the sword from my hand, sending it spinning down into the castle yard below. In the back of my mind, I wondered if Falorn had had the sense to seek shelter somewhere.

Finally, I could face the Guardian without the threat of its lethal electrical attacks. The creature, somehow managing to maintain its grip despite the wound I gave it, clambered onto the tower lookout and engaged me in what was, without a doubt, the most feral fight I had ever endured.

There wasn't much room to manoeuvre on the lookout, considering the size of my foe, but at least the open-air nature of the locale enabled me to dodge the creature's streams of poison without fear of being hit by secondary splashes, or succumbing to toxic fumes. Every time the thing spat poison, I was forewarned by the telltale way it shuddered and drew its snout back, opening its mouth; meaning I could move out of the way and let the venomous streams sail out over the side of the lookout, to dissipate and be blown away by the wind.

That left the Guardian's amazingly long arms and sharp talons; and I received many cuts and gouges as I darted in and out to slash at the scaly, furry thing with my katana. Eventually, after hacking away a piece of one of its arms, I saw an opening in the beast's defences, and lunged forward, thrusting my blade deep into the thing's chest. The Guardian let out a horrifying scream, and batted me away to slam into the ramparts, my katana still in hand. I was winded, so much so that I couldn't get up. Slumped against the stone wall, I stared at the black creature, striving desperately to get my breath back.

The monster lurched on its feet, seemingly having trouble staying upright. Rancid black ichor dribbled down its front from the puncture wound I gave it, but as its remaining eye focused on me, I knew that it wasn't out of the fight yet. If I didn't regain my feet, I was likely to be crushed against the wall, or torn to pieces. Before the beast could lumber over to me, I concentrated as hard as I could, and sent out my Frostball spell once more, catching it directly in the chest, right where I had stabbed it.

The force of the spell lifted the Guardian from its feet and carried it over the edge of the lookout wall, to disappear from sight. Finally regaining my breath, I rushed over to the ramparts, leaning over the edge to see the fate of the monster. I caught sight of the black creature instantly: it plunged ever downwards, a last scream drifting up before it dashed against the jagged rocks far below, coming to rest in a broken, twisted heap.

I watched for a while, the waves breaking against the Castle Guardian's grisly remains, stained black as they receded into the endless sea.

My Keeper Shirt was going to work as I stood there, my many wounds closing up, and the bruises fading away. I had defeated the Guardian.

Wolfen Castle was mine.


Anonymous Matar said...

Good chapter, I like it alot for some reason...

P.R.E. v4.0 Is the Persuasion response expansion you cant really use it in this story though... but it still is very good to have :)

Ok you saayed that your best character got lost in it... dose that mean you dont like it or you like it cause it was a challange??? IM SO CONFUSSED!!!!

(Runs around in circles!!)


Matar Out

Friday, November 11, 2005 1:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice battle, I sometimes wich that there was some way to actually link the inside and out side so that battles like this could happen where you would be chased out side and battle our foe on the hights of a catsle - yum

Friday, November 11, 2005 1:54:00 pm  
Blogger Star said...

Wolfen Castle is nice, but a caslte is a bit too big for my tastes. I do like that master bedroom though. I hope Frost's first night in the caslte is better than mine was, my character was attacked by two of the boys in black at one time. Do you have plans to ever use Goldbrand?

Friday, November 11, 2005 4:21:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks, everyone.

Matar: Confused? Well, that's alright because I was being vague. For the Horror mod, I can appreciate the amount of work that went into it, but it just didn't do it for me. Lacked cohesion. And yeah, I got lost.

Star: There are other house mods out there that are probably just as good, but I'm too used to Wolfen Castle, I think. Plus, have you seen the size of the Solsteim castle (in the mod of the same name)? Wolfen castle is tiny compared to that. :-)

You know, I've never, ever gotten Goldbrand before. No plans at this stage. But anything could happen. :-)

- Joseph.

Friday, November 11, 2005 5:24:00 pm  

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