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 22, 2006

Chapter 78: Dreamers... Sleepers

I was plagued by nightmares all through the night, and I didn't know why. Some of my days were filled with horrors I struggled to forget, but not that day: it had been entirely spent talking to people. So why did I dream of the tall figure in the golden mask, leading me through a crowd of dead people as if he was a host introducing me to the throng? The dream really was quite unnerving: I knew everyone there was long dead, and yet I could hear a buzz of voices. I tried to ask what was happening, but then I couldn't even breathe. At the same time I could not take my eyes off the masked figure; talking, joking, laughing with the dead bodies.

That was not the only disturbing dream I had, as I said: and every distinct nightmare I can remember included the tall man with the golden mask. The vast majority of them seemed to feature the masked man earnestly talking to me, as if trying to persuade me of something - but I couldn't understand what he was saying. Periodically, he would reach out for me, and for some reason it terrified me: especially that I couldn't move to escape him, or speak to object. I was frozen, as if paralysed by magic. In fact, I remember feeling scared that he was trying to cast some kind of spell on me.

I can't remember how any of the dreams ended; and I know that they were separate dreams - and not one long drawn-out one - because more than once I rose from my bed to try to clear my head in the fresh breeze atop Wolfen Castle's lookout tower, before returning to my chambers. The night felt as if would stretch on forever.

I was tired and ill-at-ease all morning. Why was I suddenly dreaming of nothing but this man in the golden mask? I had never seen a mask like it before, and I felt fairly confident that it was not some sleep-addled dream of an Ordinator's gold mask: they looked quite different. No, the mask in my dreams was big and round like the sun, with three chimney-like tubes radiating from the top. Very odd indeed.

It weighed on my mind, but I made no mention of it to Caius when I delivered my report on my assignment in Vivec. I didn't know what I could say to convey exactly what it was that perturbed me about the dreams. The spymaster was very pleased with the information and documents I had brought, though; especially with the banned 'Progress of Truth' pamphlet. He promoted me to Journeyman rank in the Blades on the spot. Despite all this, he seemed to have little time for me that morning, sending me off so that he had a chance to study everything I brought him.

He recommended spending a few days or so doing some work for the Mages Guild and the Temple - especially the Temple. Caius was obviously quite keen on the idea of me gaining a position of power within the Temple, considering how many references to the religion there were in the information I was bringing back to him on every assignment. I think the allegations the 'Progress of Truth' made of corruption and conspiracy among the higher-ups in the Temple were the main reason he wanted me to be an important member, though...

I had reported the resolution of the matter with the holy woman Tanusea Veloth back to Endryn Llethan at the High Fane the previous afternoon. He had appeared almost ecstatic at the news, promoting me to a Disciple of the Tribunal Temple immediately. The holy woman was obviously of great importance to him and to the public face of the Temple both. The priest had suggested firming up my new position in the eyes of other Temple members by performing the Sanctus Shrine Pilgrimage: one that required a vow of silence until I had reached the shrine.

More to the point, this vow specified that I make no communication with anyone until the pilgrimage was over: I had to reach the shrine under my own power. This meant no note-writing or creative gesturing to get someone to teleport or transport me part of the way. It was something that would normally have interested me, I think; but as I have said, I hadn't the time to hike a long way across-country without a very good reason - not with my shortened lifespan. Endryn said I could take my time to prepare for the pilgrimage, so I decided to place my magical Mark somewhere near the Sanctus shrine and then return to the priest to begin the pilgrimage. Then I could simply teleport there. Some might scoff at the validity of this as a pilgrimage, but magic was allowed, so...

In any case, I intended to follow up the business with Tashpi Ashibael in Maar Gan first. Guild Steward Ranis wanted her dead, saying she was a necromancer. I had my doubts, as I have mentioned, and would ask around Maar Gan about Tashpi first, before confronting her.

At the Caldera guild hall, I asked Folms to teleport me to the Falasmaryon Velothi stronghold, using the Master Propylon Index he had made for me - according to my map it was near to Maar Gan. It was to be the first time I made use of the Master Index. Before departing, I enquired as to the wellbeing of the propylon-based transport service the Dunmer enchanter had hoped to establish. He looked pained at the question.

"Things could be better, I'm afraid to say. It seems that many are worried about how safe the strongholds are as an arrival and departure point." I noticed a cunning gleam in his eyes. "Perhaps you could do me a favour... I'll pay you another five-hundred drakes for it, of course..."

I motioned for him to go ahead.

"What would help me immensely, Sera Frost, is if you could scout both Falasmaryon's interior and the area immediately surrounding it. Also, if it proves feasible - and not too risky - I would be indebted to you if you could clear the stronghold of any dangers."

Despite the awful experiences I had had previously in ancient Velothi strongholds, I agreed straight away. I intended to use my Master Index regularly, and I would personally feel more comfortable knowing what to expect when teleporting blind into a remote place. I decided to explore Falasmaryon as soon as Folms sent me there, and carry on to Maar Gan afterwards: I was already fully equipped for 'trouble', in case Tashpi Ashibael turned out to be dangerous after all.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I appeared in Falasmaryon's propylon chamber: the smell gave it away. As I followed my nose out from the dark chamber to the featureless grey slab of the stronghold's 'roof', and back inside, into the stronghold proper, I worked out what it was.

Falasmaryon was the same as Telasero: the stench of rotting flesh and infection, the dim red candles, the endless abrasive whispers, and the collection of half-dead horrors attempting to kill me. There were the robed, tentacle faced, magicka-spewing men, several naked Dunmer 'Dreamers' (who I did my best to simply paralyse or knock unconscious), hideously deformed Corprus men, plus a number of adversaries that... rattled me somewhat.

The first was an aggressive, raw-looking zombie that just refused to die a final death. No matter what part of its body I hacked off, the revenant would merely fall to the ground for a moment, its wounds knitting together and its severed parts pulled back by some force to rejoin the body. The thing would then get slowly back to its feet, ready to pursue me once more. In the end, I knocked the sickening thing down and fled, magically locking the door to its chamber behind me.

Soon afterwards I encountered what I can only describe as the dried husk of a Dunmer man, with skin resembling dusty grey paper. There was a great black cavity in his head, right where his nose and eyes should have been. He was shortly joined by a similar-looking creature with the same cavity in his face, only with a short and thick tentacle-like growth sprouting from it.

Despite the lack of apparent eyes, the two 'husk-Dunmer' sensed me well enough to launch a series of magical attacks my way. I was fortunately able to paralyse them with my own Holding Field spell and thus dispatch them fairly easily.

The resemblance of Falasmaryon to Telasero was uncanny. I even found another red, unsettling shrine room with troughs alternately full of rotting hunks of meat and miscellaneous valuables. Being somewhat prepared by my visit to Telasero, I was able to retain my last meal; but the relentless, stomach-churning atmosphere still took its toll. I was quite glad to be out of there. Folms was not going to be pleased with the news, but I would have to tell him that the Falasmaryon stronghold was too dangerous to send people to at that time.

I did bring one good thing away from the infested place: a cuirass, pair of greaves and pair of boots from a suit of green volcanic-glass armour. I had to peel them off a putrefying Dunmer corpse, but the armour was such a fine prize that it made the severely unpleasant recovery work worth it. I didn't personally fancy wearing glass armour, but armour of that type was so rare and expensive that it would make a fine addition to my museum.

An ash-storm was threatening to sweep over Maar Gan as I arrived at the outskirts of the village. I was so distracted by the sight of the great wall of dust and ash building on the horizon that I did not notice the wild-eyed Dunmer woman until she was right in front of me, levelling a quivering fore-finger at my face.

"I am a Sleeper!" She exclaimed. "One among thousands! I bring you a message from Dagoth Ur..."


Anonymous dagothjake said...

"I am a Sleeper!" She exclaimed. "One among thousands! I bring you a message from Dagoth Ur..."

WOOOT WOOT!!! very suspenseful ending!! i wonder how frosty is going to react to this!! lol ill see in the next chapter. also hopefully frosty will at least *think* about joining great house telvanni?

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:42:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way!The Telvani are stinkin' cowards!

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:51:00 am  
Anonymous JeeBee said...

Placing a mark, exactly how I solved the Sanctus Shrine pilgrimage.

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:57:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww. Did you have to write so freaking good chapter? Now I am forced to play Morrowind! Just can't resist it.

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:59:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey man great story im on like chapter 52 or somthing

but i was wonderin that if i gave you the credit for writing this, if i could post this in the forums at
that i started
that way we can tell everyone what morrowind is

thanx in advanced if yes, if no then thanx for writing the story its great

Monday, January 23, 2006 9:45:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great story dude. is Frost going to loot the Great Houses Vaults?

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:11:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks everyone.

Anonymous #2: Sorry to have to turn you down, but I like having 'Frost in Morrowind' where it is, as the site design, links and pictures here all work together with the story to form a cohesive whole.

It's for this same reason that I don't post the story on forums myself.

I am glad you like the story, though; and you can certainly link to 'Frost in Morrowind' if you want: I can't stop you doing that. :-)

Anonymous #3: Thanks. At the moment Frost has plenty of money, and doesn't even know the vaults exist, so probably not. I think he also has too much of a keen survival instinct to try something like that. :-)

- Joseph.

Monday, January 23, 2006 4:41:00 pm  
Blogger billy said...

dude thats cool i love this story and by the sounds of it YOU should put it in a book, you love doing this and we love reading this, i told all my friends to start reading this to get a better understanding of morrowind,and if you made this into a book, i would most CERTAINLY buy this thank you for answering my question about the sending to forums and maybe you could give me some help on my story its right here if you want to check it out: go to the fan fic i could use some pointers

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 1:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude great reading it really is. You probably already know about this but there is another person writing about their Morrowind Journal and it also has great writing in it. Its called Arvil's Dusty Tomes. Try to visit it if you can at any time it is just like your stuff and maybe the two of you can chat about morrowind and stuff. Once again Great story.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 4:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

The only problem with making a book out of this is the legal issues. The story, lore (The words like 'Sera' and such) races, and the land itself, are not his ideas and he would have to get Bethsoft's permission to publish it.

But that's the only problem I can see...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 1:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

true but if they did people everywhere coild read this excellent story like i said about making it a book, i wold most certailnly buy, the story is great

Thursday, January 26, 2006 1:03:00 am  

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