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, December 23, 2005

Chapter 65: Friends, lovers and painful thoughts

I told Folms about what happened in the filthy depths of Telasero: about the whispering shrine, the offerings of infected flesh, and the score of insane Dunmer people I'd killed. It was actually only as I recounted the grisly events of the morning that I realised that every single person I encountered in the stronghold was a Dunmer; even the 'tentacle-faced man' looked as if he - or it - could have once been Dunmeri.

It was a fact that seemed to upset Folms; perhaps because he too was a dark elf. He was obviously troubled at my story, in any case, and refused to meet my gaze.

"They didn't leave me a choice, Folms." I frowned. "They were all out of their minds - they would have killed me."

Folms finally looked at me, if only for a moment.

"Yes - yes, I'm sure you wouldn't have killed them for no good reason." The enchanter paused. "Dreamers. They had to be Dreamers." When he realised I didn't know what he was talking about, he went on to explain: "For a little while now, people have been complaining of... strange - dreams. Well, actually not many people are complaining, because the Temple tends to have a fairly dim view of people who complain of strange dreams... but the fact remains that people are having them. Mostly Dunmeri people, actually... and some of these Dunmer - usually the ones who complain the most of odd dreams - have just up and wandered off into the night. Some of them become violent if someone tries to stop them. More than one Dunmer I know has had their blank-faced lover push them down and run off into the wilderness, in the middle of the night."

The enchanter caught the Telasero index up off the table and held the stone up to his face, gazing into its depths. After a moment, he said:

"I think, Mister Frost, that you found where they're going, these 'Dreamers' - some of them, at any rate." He gazed into my eyes.

"You don't mean...?" I was shocked.

I sat down heavily, across from Folms. Since arriving on Vvardenfell, I had killed many, many more people than I would have liked. I had actually lost count. It never ceased to bother me, either... I kept myself going via the usual 'self-defence' argument - and by not thinking about those I killed. Those dead by my hand had no family, friends, or lovers. They had no past or future. They were nothing but an abstract threat to my life that I had removed.

Except that that was obviously not true, and what Folms was saying forced me to confront that awful thought: at least where it concerned the Dreamers in Telasero. Folms heaved a great sigh.

"They're going to be... upset when I tell them." The enchanter was staring into space. I assumed he was talking about his friends whose lovers had wandered off at night. "Anyway," he blinked and looked back to me, "I should have your Master Index ready tomorrow morning. Thankyou again for fetching all these -" he gestured with the Telasero index - "it really was a superlative effort. I'm looking forward to getting this travel service started... although I don't think I'll be sending anyone to Telasero just yet. In the meantime, I very much think you should report what you saw in there to the Temple. Perhaps they can cleanse the place. They would certainly want to know about it, anyway - I can tell you that."

I did exactly as he suggested, teleporting over to Ald'ruhn to talk to the monk Tuls Valen. He too was troubled by my story, and said he would inform the Ordinators right away. After I described the tentacle-faced man, Valen looked thoughtful, and said:

"That sounds like something I've heard Uvoo Llaren - at Ghostgate; you'll remember I mentioned him when we last spoke - like something I've heard Uvoo speak of. He may be able to tell you more about what it was you saw."

I left Valen in short order; he wanted to head off to talk to the Ordinators immediately. Back at Wolfen castle, I spent most of the rest of the day sparring with Rhek'feer, the Khajiiti martial arts trainer I had recently hired. After speaking with some of the castle guards, it had become obvious that none of us - especially myself - knew much about fighting without weapons.

This conversation was prompted by the events of one of the first few nights after parts of the castle were opened to the public. The castle was, of course, not open at night; but a drunken Legion soldier, wandering across from the Six Fishes tavern at Ebonheart, thought that it should be. He became quite obnoxious and belligerent, and the guards were apparently having a difficult time throwing him out: he was quite the brawler. I was woken by the shouting, and after jumping down from the battlements nearest my bedroom wearing nothing but my 'Infallible' belt and a pair of pants, I saw that the situation was becoming quite serious. A couple of the guards, sporting black eyes and bleeding noses, had just drawn their swords when I arrived.

I stopped them before any serious bloodshed could ensue, and incapacitated the drunken lout with a paralysation spell. A couple of the guards dumped the soldier outside the grounds, lowering the portcullis behind him. Once the spell wore off, one of the archers saw him off by firing a couple of arrows past his head.

This was all a cause of concern for me. We needed to be able to see off thieves and unruly visitors without killing them - and without putting ourselves at risk. So I hired Rhek'feer to teach myself and the guards unarmed combat. At first I only intended to keep him on until I felt that we had learned enough from him (and I told him this), but Rhek's incredible skill soon saw him fall into an unofficial 'captain of the guard' role. The great cat's daily physical exercises also proved quite a draw for visitors to the castle: his gymnastic acrobatics routines in particular were spectacular.

As promised, Folms had my Master Index ready for me in the morning. It was a carved blue stone a little bigger than a propylon index, looking somewhat like an elongated spinning top. It felt good to have finally finished that 'little' job for Folms - and to have the evidence in my hand - but I had no need to try it out right then.

I had decided that it was past time I returned to Caius Cosades in Balmora to see what orders he might have for me as a 'Blades operative'. I didn't need his money anymore, and I wasn't going out of respect for the Emperor's wishes or a desire to serve the Empire. I went because I was still curious to discover why I had been abruptly released from a Cyrodiil prison, and taken all the way to Morrowind. I also thought that if, by some chance, the Blades had the means to cure my affliction, they might develop the desire to help me if I served them.

"Frost! Just the man! Come in." Caius opened the door to his hut all the way. He looked as bleary-eyed as the last time I saw him; shortly after arriving on Vvardenfell.

He also seemed... happy to see me. It had been three months since the Imperial Spymaster had sent me off to regain my strength, make friends and contacts, and generally become better established on the island. During that whole time, Caius had apparently had orders waiting for me: I had expected him to be cross with me for keeping him waiting. I had my excuses, of course: a lot had happened - incredible things! I had a whole new face, for goodness' sake - and... actually - that was when it occurred to me:

"Mister Cosades, how did you know it was me?" I gestured at my face.

Caius sat on the edge of his bed.

"Ah, yes - you must be wondering how I could tell you apart from every other Breton on the street ... with a big glowing crescent mark on his face..." he gave me a mildly mocking look - "right?"

I took his point. He had, obviously, heard about my remarkable new identifying mark. Instead, I broached the topic of my long absence:

"I'm sorry if you expected me back sooner. Things have been a little... hectic."

"Hah! Hectic is right." Caius chuckled. He certainly did seem to be in a good mood. "The stories I've been hearing! I very nearly sacked some of my people because I thought they were making it all up. When I last saw you three months ago, now I mean no offence, but you looked like you'd just fought a cave rat for your last square meal - and lost."

The spymaster may have said he meant no offence, but his words nevertheless brought back some painful memories. While I had never 'fought a rat for food', in so many words, there were times in the Imperial prison when such a thing would not have been above me. They did not feed us well.

Caius, oblivious to the hurt he had caused, was still speaking:

"Now look at you, though. Daedric weapons." He pointed to my sword. "Armour I've ... never seen before. Killing Dremora. A goddess asking for your help - apparently. Your own castle!" Caius shook his head slowly. "I don't mind that you took three months to get back to me, because, to be honest, with the condition you were in I thought it would be longer before you'd be fit enough to even swing a sword properly. You've far surpassed my expectations. I couldn't really ask for someone better established here than someone with their own castle. Not to mention the equipment you've got there."

Once again he eyed my heavy Daedric sword and the Netch Adamantium armour - and the blue ioun stone bobbing lazily near my head.

"Anyway, Frost, take a seat." He indicated the lone, rickety wooden chair in the hut. "We have a lot to discuss."


Blogger Malaki Tarion said...

At long last, what I have been waitning for...the main quest. Its been hinted at, and now its finally in writing. I can't wait to see how Frost plays it out.

Looking forward to your spin on Bethesda's story.

Tarion out.

Friday, December 23, 2005 3:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

about time! this is where the REAL fun begins.

Friday, December 23, 2005 4:17:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Hmm what quest were you on agine? the first secand or third? well if it's the secand by the tomb is seyda neen and in seyda neen is a shop... inthe shop is...


Of course it will be rather tedious to find it on summit... so

It got a 10 out of 10 so you know it must be good, so unless you think the reveiwers are fools your get it!



Matar Out

Friday, December 23, 2005 6:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will we get a chapter on Sunday as usual?

Saturday, December 24, 2005 2:28:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Yes, the usual schedule still holds, so barring any major disasters, new chapter tomorrow... :-)

- Joseph.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 11:09:00 am  
Blogger Malaki Tarion said...

OK, Matar, not to be rude, but I think everyone who reads these posts has gotten the idea that Lilarcor rocks. I'm not trying to undermine what you're trying to say, just pointing it out (lol)

Peace and Happy Holidays to all!!
(normally I'm a Merry Christmas guy, but I'll respect any interreligious folks who post here)

Tarion out

Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:38:00 pm  
Anonymous JeeBee said...

Holidays means "Holy Days", so you're still on the bad side of us irreligious folks. Meh, just kidding. I'm a Merry Christmas guy, too.

After those Dremorae the bandits in Arkngthand should be piece of cake, right?

Sunday, December 25, 2005 3:30:00 am  
Blogger Malaki Tarion said...

Jeebee makes a good point. Most MQ enemies are easy for lvl 15, but if Frost is lvl 25, this should be a cinch.

Sunday, December 25, 2005 3:33:00 am  

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