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 18, 2005

Chapter 50: Planning

The representative for the 'Lord's Men' company in Vivec was very helpful; and discreet. I'm sure it must have been apparent that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to hiring castle staff, but the Dunmer representative made no comment on it. Nor did it lead him to inquire as to how it was someone like me should suddenly be in the market for my own employees; he simply laid out the way his company did business.

There was a high initial fee for each staff member - the specific amount depending on their role - part of which went to the 'Lord's Men' company. The remainder went to the staff member as their first few weeks' pay. Wages after that point would be negotiated between the staff member and I. It seemed simple enough. I described to the representative how to reach Wolfen Castle, and hired my first staff members. The representative would send them on later: they would arrive at the castle on their own.


Instead of teleporting directly back to Wolfen Castle, I cast Divine Intervention and 'jumped' through space to the Imperial Chapel at Ebonheart, across the bay from Vivec. I had no business at the chapel itself; instead I walked down to the docks and warehouses area of Ebonheart, to arrange for wood and other supplies to be delivered to the castle. Falorn was going to repair the doors and other things the castle Guardian had damaged, and had told me what supplies he would need before I left that morning.

From there I did teleport back to the castle, to relieve Falorn from his vigil on top of the lookout tower. After all that had happened in the past few weeks, it felt good to just sit for a while in the sun and the cool sea breeze. My new staff arrived partway through the afternoon; much earlier than I had expected. From the lookout, I could see them making their way along the long bridge to the island. When they were just about at the portcullis gate, I jumped from the top of the tower to meet them, my 'Infallible' belt carrying me safely down to the yard. I took every opportunity I could to make use of the enchantment in the belt: it still took great mental fortitude to make myself jump from such heights; and I wanted to be ready to do so without hesitation should some life-threatening situation warrant it.

The castle staff was very slight in numbers to begin with: two guards - an archer and a swordsman - a cook, a blacksmith, and a housekeeper. I introduced them to Falorn, and we all got to know each other a little over a late lunch, out in the castle yard, near the flower beds. Ostensibly this was because it was such a pleasant day outside; but what I really wanted was to keep an eye on the gate.

Falorn and I showed them around the keep: the Bosmer groundskeeper took the cook, smith and housekeeper with him; and I took the guards, showing them their dormitory before taking them up to the lookout tower. Initially, I placed them on rotating shifts standing watch on the lookout, each of them awake for half the night and half the day. If there was trouble and I was home, they were to come fetch me; otherwise they were to wake the off-duty guard and deal with the situation as best they could. Ulfred, my new Nord smith, was quite strong also; and agreed to help if he could.

It was hardly ideal, of course. Over the following days, as my funds were replenished through visits to Creeper, I hired more guards; plus Yanika, an assistant mage. Yanika, an elegant-looking Altmer woman, virtually took the laboratory as her own as soon as she laid eyes on it. Like Estirdalin at the Balmora Mages Guild, Yanika was a gifted enough mage to aid others in the creation of their own custom-made spells. While I thought that that would no doubt become useful, the main reason I hired her was to act as a healer for the rest of the castle's inhabitants; especially the guards, of course. In the event of some kind of attack on the castle, having a mage in residence to aid in defence certainly couldn't hurt, either.

Once the castle's retinue of guards was fleshed out, I asked them to change the way they were deployed about the grounds. The guards were divided in half, as before; into rotating shifts. There would always be an archer and a swordsman assigned to each of the three portcullis gates, plus an archer stationed atop the lookout tower. The other guards were to stay in the keep while they were off-duty, except for three hours each day in which they could leave if they wished (though no more than half of them could leave at the same time). At first, this arrangement seemed somewhat harsh to me, but Falorn assured me that it was the way the Wolfen family had done it for generations.


One night, when we were eating dinner in the mess hall, I looked about at everyone and thought again about how I was financially responsible for every person there. Running a castle was expensive - and so was equipment, weapons and armour for a traveller like me, in a place like Vvardenfell.

"If only there was a way for the castle to raise money..." I thought to myself, casting my mind back to the books I had read on rainy days in the Cult orphanage; when I was desperately bored. Some of them, mostly the dry history books, had contained passages on castles: why they were there, what they did. According to those books, most castles were situated to protect the surrounding area - usually farmland. The people that lived on that land payed tithes to the master of the castle, and that was how the problem of funding was solved.

At least, that's how it was according to my fuzzy childhood memory of something I hadn't been terribly interested in at the time. At any rate, Wolfen Castle was surrounded by nothing but water, so that was no good... I did remember reading and hearing about certain castles or manors that housed items of interest, or attractions of some kind; and the public would pay for entry. Just then it occurred to me that I was in an ideal position to do just that: I travelled a lot, and always saw many interesting things: I could bring things back and put them on display in the great hall - there was plenty of room. The great city of Vivec, with its many people, was nearby, as was Ebonheart...

Ebonheart! It struck me that Ebonheart, being Vvardenfell's main port, was home and workplace to many, and also saw lots of people passing through after arriving on the island. There were the warehouses, the Legion fort, the Black Marsh and Skyrim Missions, the Imperial chapel... All these places and people, and yet Ebonheart had virtually no shops to speak of! If I could set up a private museum of sorts in the great hall, and have a couple of shops in the buildings surrounding the castle yard... Ulfred could make items to sell, and other things could be brought straight across from the Ebonheart docks. It seemed the perfect opportunity.

I was excited, and told everyone in the mess hall of my idea straight away, finishing by saying:

"If this works, the profits will go to maintaining the castle, and paying everyone's wages. I will cover the difference, of course, should it become necessary; but I have a good feeling about this."

Falorn was especially taken by the idea, and for the rest of the evening, every word from his mouth was part of a practical idea on how my plan could be made reality. So, the next day I hired Idaynia, a Dunmeri general merchant, and her and Falorn set about discussing plans for opening part of the castle to the public.


That night I stood for a while on the tower lookout (which was to become a favourite place of mine), gazing at the glittering stars. It was a clear evening, and both moons were full, appearing so huge that it felt as if I could reach out and brush them with my fingertips. Along with the full moons came the much-faster-than-usual surge of magicka into my body; being in the moonlight also made the crescent moon mark on my face tingle. More than that: the mark shone brightly, and actually gave off light. When I held my hand up to my face, I could see the pale light glimmering on my palm.

Needless to say perhaps, it was an odd feeling - and a forceful reminder that I needed to find a cure for my condition. The soothing enchantments in my 'Keeper Shirt' meant that I felt no pain from the magicka leak; but it was still there, and I was still dying. The problem was, of course, that I still had no idea where to look for a cure - should one actually exist.

I came to think of the Tribunal Temple. Religious organisations were renowned for (apparently) keeping knowledge and secret power to themselves, shared only among their uppermost ranks. The Tribunal Temple was native to Morrowind, a frontier land for an outlander like me. Surely if any religious organisation held a secret that might help me, it was the Temple. It was my understanding that one could rise in rank within the Temple by performing acts of service for, or devotion to, the Tribunal gods.

So it was that I decided my next course of action: I would continue my studies at the Mages Guild in the hopes of finding a cure, but in the meantime I would complete my pilgrimage of the Seven Graces for the Temple, so I could properly join their ranks. I also told myself that I really should report back to Caius Cosades, too: if he was really in the secret service of the Emperor, he might be able to help me - after I did whatever it was the Blades wanted of me. Perhaps that way I could also learn why it was the Emperor himself had ordered my release from prison.

Whatever I did next, it would be good to be on the road again.

7 Comments:

Blogger Joseph said...

Wow... chapter 50. It seems sort of momentous (pity the chapter itself couldn't have been about more momentous things - *shrug* - oh well; timing).

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone for reading, and for all the supportive comments you've made. Writing Frost in Morrowind takes a fair chunk of my free time, and one of the things that keeps me going is reading what you all think of the story.

So, thankyou.

Frost's journey continues on Sunday (as usual). He has a long way to go yet.

- Joseph.

Friday, November 18, 2005 11:43:00 am  
Anonymous Carnivore said...

Awesome as ever, dude! Happy 50th chapter!

I wonder when Frosty is going to get to the main quest? I suppose he needs to get over this first disease before he can get a new one.

Friday, November 18, 2005 2:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Woot i like this chapter for some reson

Well thats all i really have to say :P

Wait one more thing i wanna try my hand at hypnosis

You will use Lilarcor
You will use Lilarcor
You will use Lilarcor
You will use Lilarcor
You will use Lilarcor
You will use Lilarcor

Did it work??? if so read this

You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire
You will become a Aundae Vampire

If this works please read down.

You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House
You will join the Sixth House

Oh and by Sixth house i meant the good one where Dagoth urs just as good as Vivec is you know the one right :)

Hehe Well this is my silly way of tellin (and reminding!!) you about some good mods out there :)

....Well i thought i was funny :P

Matar Out

Friday, November 18, 2005 4:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Opps just relized!!!

Happy 50th chapter!!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2005 4:54:00 pm  
Blogger Star said...

Happy 50th Joseph and Edward!! I never thought of staffing the castle. Thats a great idea. I've been reading Frost in Morrowind since about chapter 7, I've loved watching Frost evolve into what he has become. I plan on sticking around and reading every chapter you write. Whether Frost dies trying to save Morrowind, saves it and settles down with a family or what ever else you brillantly come up with, I plan on sticking around. Keep writing, the story can only get better. I look forward to Sunday's chapter.

Friday, November 18, 2005 5:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Ravenholme CP42 said...

I wondered if you might use the Lords Men for staff (I always use them)

Happy 50th Chapter and I perhaps wonde if the cure to poor Master Frosts Disease is catching corpus itself......

Having one disease kill another is rare, but apparently does happen

Saturday, November 19, 2005 10:54:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks, everyone!

And speculation; that's great - I love it. :-) I can't comment on it, though, as I don't want to give anything away!

That Sixth House mod Matar mentioned does make me curious - I'll have to try it sometime - but not necessarily with Edward.

With 'A Lord's Men'; one day I was thinking "I wish there was some way to get guards for Wolfen Castle, so it's not left unprotected", and then the next day I went to the Summit and there the 'Lord's Men' mod was!

I then wished for a million dollars, but that one didn't come true.

- Joseph.

Sunday, November 20, 2005 12:41:00 pm  

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