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, January 15, 2006

Chapter 75: Schism

I identified the Dunmer priestess Mehra Milo by her distinctive copper eyes and copper hair; features Caius Cosades had told me to look for. He had ordered me not to ask for her at the Hall of Wisdom: he didn't want the Temple to know that she was meeting with anyone. Mehra herself was just as paranoid, making me follow her into a secluded spot amongst the rearmost shelves of the library before she would speak to me.

"Before I tell you anything, Sera Frost, you must promise to deliver a message to Caius for me."

She waited for me to reply, her intense metallic eyes boring into my own.

"Yes, you have my word;" I shrugged slightly; "I have to report back to him regardless, so..."

"Good. Tell him I don't feel safe here anymore." I noticed her eyes flick back and forth as she spoke. She was keeping an eye on the front of the library. There was an Ordinator standing guard there... "I don't know how much longer I can stay. If something goes wrong, I will leave a message under the code word 'Amaya'. As in 'Lake Amaya'. Tell him that." The priestess looked me up and down briefly, before adding: "You remember it too, Sera."

Code-words... I was beginning to really feel like a spy.

"Alright, listen;" Mehra whispered; "I don't know anything about a 'Sixth House' cult, but I can tell you about the Nerevarine cult. I'm sure you already know that the Tribunal Temple persecutes the Nerevarine cult because the cult claims that the Tribunal are false gods. The Ordinators, especially, go to a lot of effort to hunt down Nerevarine cult members. What most people don't know is that a little while ago, there was a schism within the Temple over all this."

This sparked my interest: I had not heard even a whisper of such a thing.

"A group of priests and priestesses left the Temple a short while ago - actually they were driven into hiding - and came to be called the 'Dissident Priests'. They agree - to an extent - with some of the things the Nerevarine cult say. Indeed, their main point of contention with the rest of the Temple is that they think the Nerevarine cult may be right when they say the Tribunal gods are false." Mehra cast another glance at the front section of the library. "I can't go into detail right now, but suffice it to say that they believe that the Tribunal have the power of gods, but that their power comes from sorcery, not divinity; that their power comes from the same source as Dagoth Ur's! You can understand why the Ordinators hunt them just as mercilessly as they do the Nerevarine cult members."

I could indeed. It was quite an extraordinary claim on the part of the Dissident Priests: Dagoth Ur was presented as the evil antithesis of the righteous and good Tribunal gods. To suggest that the two parties had such a significant thing as their godly powers in common had to be an outrage to devout followers of the Temple. For my part, though I was a member of the Temple, I was not upset at such claims. I believed in the Tribunal: I believed in their existence and their powers; I could see evidence of both all around me. However I believed in them in the same way that I believed in Mehra Milo standing before me.

I believed in the Tribunal, but I don't think you could accurately say that I worshipped them. So these claims the Dissident Priests made were not outrageous or offensive to me: rather I found them surprising and curious. Where could they have got an idea like that from?

"The Dissident Priests released a pamphlet - a now banned pamphlet," Mehra continued, "called 'The Progress of Truth'. All I could tell you about the Nerevarine cult is in that pamphlet, plus a whole lot more besides. If you can locate a copy of the Progress of Truth, you should be able to answer Caius' questions. It might be difficult to find, for obvious reasons. Try local booksellers - you'll probably have to ask for it directly... but use common sense: don't let anyone hear you ask for it - especially not an Ordinator."

I nodded, and thanked the priestess for her help. She looked relieved to be away from me. I felt sorry for her; I couldn't imagine what it would be like spending your days being endlessly watched by Ordinators, wondering if today would be the day you were taken away and locked up - or worse.

In any case, it was clear that I would have to find a copy of that pamphlet: I would have to keep an eye out for bookstores during my day in the holy city.

The next informant on my list was a Khajiiti Thieves Guild Operative named Addhiranirr. Caius certainly had some colourful contacts. She was apparently to be found somewhere in the Saint Olms canton, where she lived. Conveniently enough, the Saint Olms canton was just across a small bridge from the High Fane, so in a few short minutes I was in the Saint Olms waistworks, deciding who to approach to try to learn Addhiranirr's whereabouts.

I stopped a Dunmer man who was passing by and asked if he knew someone by the name of Addhiranirr. He gave himself away by starting at the name, and I noticed him glance at a well-fed Imperial man in very fine clothes, talking to a stall owner some distance away. For some reason, the Dunmer pretended he didn't know Addhiranirr:

"Addhiranirr? That's a Khajiit name! Why would I know a stinking slave by name?" He was trying to deceive me by acting as some Dunmer did at the mention of Khajiiti or Argonian people: as if they were merely beasts, good for nothing but slavery. He did not give a very convincing performance.

One surreptitious Charm spell later, I had the man's full co-operation:

"Alright, I'm sorry for that, but Addhiranirr's a friend, and I'm trying to watch out for her. You see that s'wit over there, in the man-skirt?" The Dunmer tilted his head in the direction of the finely dressed Imperial. On closer inspection he did appear to be wearing what looked like a skirt. Odd. "Census and Excise agent: a taxman. He's looking for Addhiranirr - and she doesn't want to be found; not by him, at any rate. She's probably hiding down in the underworks - lucky her. Such a lovely place..."

By way of sarcasm, he was right. The 'underworks' was just another name for 'sewers'; and the sewers of Vivec were not nearly as dry and odourless as those beneath Mournhold. They stank. Gritting my teeth, I made my way down to the underworks.

Addhiranirr had to be the most sarcastic Khajiit I'd ever met.

"Caius sent you to talk to Addhiranirr, did he? Tell you to look for her in her lovely new sewer home, did he?" Her tail flicked back and forth irritably. "Do you like it? I find the filth here mats in Addhiranirr's fur in such a way that just can't be found in other places!"

I looked her up and down. Her fur and her clothes were indeed filthy; she looked miserable.

"I take it you don't like it here," I said, drawing a withering look from the cat; "I heard that you have a problem with a Census and Excise agent."

"Addhiranirr is too popular these days. Too many nice people wanting to talk to her; like that nice taxman. Emperor doesn't like Addhiranirr trading certain things: Dwemer artefacts, ebony; smuggling, he says! Pompous Census and Excise agents enjoy being a pest about such things." The Khajiit gave a theatrical sigh. "Caius wants something from me, doesn't he?"

"Yes," I began, "he wants to know -"

Addhiranirr raised a paw to stop me.

"Addhiranirr couldn't possibly help right now. Far too busy avoiding unwanted guests. If Breton wants her help, he can make the bad agent go away." And with that, she refused to say another word.

Persuading Duvianus Platorius, the Census and Excise agent, to move on was quite simple. The over-dressed Imperial man was actually claiming that Addhiranirr was his friend, but he couldn't remember exactly where she lived. With the aid of my Charm spell (an extraordinarily useful cantrip, I was finding), I was able to make him believe that Addhiranirr had just left for the mainland. He left the canton immediately, actually looking quite cheerful. Perhaps he thought Addhiranirr would be caught coming in to the mainland by officials, due to the quarantine of Vvardenfell.

Addhiranirr had already heard of the taxman's departure by the time I returned to her. She must have had someone watching Duvianus for her; maybe that Dunmer friend of hers. The Khajiit was gathering up her belongings when I found her.

"So," she said, "you are the one Addhiranirr must thank for chasing away the annoying taxman? Then Addhiranirr is very happy to tell you about... what did friend Breton want?"

"Caius said to ask you about the Nerevarine and Sixth House cults." I said shortly. I was attempting to speak as little as possible, so I didn't have to breathe in as much of the horrid sewer-stench.

"Addhiranirr can't tell you much about this Nerevarine superstition. Fuzzy tales for little, itty bitty kitties. The Sixth House though; that she knows, because it's about smuggling."

This assertion came as something of a surprise to me; I had thought that the Sixth House concerned an ancient Dunmer Great House, not smugglers. Perhaps the cat knew nothing useful after all. Still, I listened to what she had to say:

"Some smugglers suddenly have no time for their usual clients, because they have a new employer; the Sixth House." Now that was interesting. It meant that the Sixth House was definitely still around, and in contact with people. That, or some modern group had simply taken on the name 'Sixth House'. Either way, I would inform Caius. The Khajiit thief continued: "This new employer pays very well... but Addhiranirr doesn't know what they smuggle now. They keep very quiet - which is very strange, because smugglers usually make a big yeowling noise, bragging about their work."

That was about the extent of Addhiranirr's knowledge on the cults. I thanked her, and we both left the filthy underworks at the same time. None too soon, in my opinion.

Next, I told myself, I would have to confront Tanusea Veloth; the holy woman with Corprus disease. This might go without saying, but I was not looking forward to it. She was carrying a contagious disease, after all: one that may as well be fatal.


Anonymous Stygian said...

By way of sarcasm, he was right. The 'underworks' was just another name for 'sewers'; and the sewers of Vivec were not nearly as dry and odourless as those beneath Mournhold. They stank. Gritting my teeth, I made my down to the underworks.


Also, Vivec is in the water, therefore not situated on the land of Vvardenfell. When you described Frost's encounter with the taxman and described Frost's thought on the matter, 'mainland,' was interpereted as, not Vvardenfell, but the large landmass surrounding. Now, I'm not saying that's wrong, but in the game, that diologue option says that the Khajiit took a Gondola to the mainland... I interpereted the mainland as Vvardenfell, as Vivec was on water, and because gondolas are small, propelled by a single oar. They're also described as riverboats.

I am NOT saying that "Frost's" interperetation of 'mainland' is wrong, and it could be right. The Khajiit was trying to get away from someone, so wanted a small boat so as to not attract attention. But a Teeny, tiny boat?


With one oar?


Across a sea


That Khajiit must've been on skooma....

Monday, January 16, 2006 3:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

And sorry for being a grammar/spelling/youforgotaword whore.

Just trying to help ;_;

Monday, January 16, 2006 3:58:00 pm  
Anonymous dagothjake said...

Yet another wonderful installment in the story of edward frost.

By the way, I was wondering if Frosty is planning to join a great house? (tell). lol. If he is, than...ANYTHING BUT REDORAN!! I HATE THE REDORAN!! NO!! NOT THE REDORAN!! NOT THE REDORAN!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:43:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

If your gonna join a great house let it be the tellevany! They give the best quests and they live in mushrooms!

Think about it MUSHROOMS!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:26:00 am  
Anonymous Stygian said...





Redoran is the most honorable of all the houses. But Frost killed a ton of their Members....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:30:00 am  
Anonymous Matar said...

tellevany sounds cooler :P


<( <)<( )>( >)>

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 12:14:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks, Stygian - fixed. Also, with the 'gondola to the mainland' stuff, you're probably right. I'm just so used to Vvardenfell being the island, and ... the mainland being the mainland.

I forgot at the time exactly what a gondola was - getting one of those across the Inner Sea probably would be quite a feat. :-)

Let's call Edward stupid for making up such a story, and the taxman even less intelligent for believing it. :-)

At this stage at least, Edward has little interest in the Great Houses.

- Joseph.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 3:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let him join anything but Hlaalu. They are corrupt Cammona Tong worshippers- and they have a gay councilman. I'd make him go for Redoran, because Telvanni isn't very humane, but they're both good

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 8:06:00 am  
Blogger Meej-Dar said...

I think that, if Frost was going to join a Great House, it should be Hlaalu. Hlaalu is the most accepting of outlanders. But I don't think Frost should join a Great House. Also, schism is a funny word. It makes me chuckle.

Sunday, July 31, 2011 10:53:00 am  

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