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, February 12, 2006

Chapter 87: The Survivor

Zeno Faustus' account of all the warm clothes and armour in Frostmoth Fort being "already wrapped around bodies outside" made sense in such a cold climate, but did not help me much. I was stuck. Forced into helping Captain Carius once more, after all; unless of course I could find cold-weather armour elsewhere.

With that aim in mind I teleported back home, and then to Vivec. The two best-stocked armouries I had ever seen were in the Foreign Quarter Plaza there; and if they had nothing suitable, then I would be well and truly beholden to Carius if I wanted to pursue my rescue mission. In the first piece of real luck I had seen in days, one of the armour stores had in stock a full suit of 'Nordic Fur' armour. I bought it immediately, and it was actually quite inexpensive. I got the impression from the generous amount of dust nestled amongst the fur that the store-owner had had a difficult time selling such warm armour in the sun-baked holy city of Vvardenfell.

"Now, you are aware that this is classed as Light Armour, then?" The store-owner said, eyeing my Netch-Adamantium armour (which itself was in the 'Medium' class). "Light Armour can be tricky for one used to heavier armour."

I merely nodded. I did not really have a choice, obviously; not if I wanted to avoid freezing to death on Solstheim. Back in Wolfen castle, Falorn helped me change from my regular and (almost) comfortable Netch-Adamantium armour, into the Nordic Fur. Shortly afterwards I was standing once again on the dock near Fort Frostmoth, getting a feel for my new armour.

I felt ridiculous. Not to mention vulnerable: I was uncomfortably aware of how easy it would be for blades or teeth to sink right through the soft layer of fur. The owner of the armoury in the plaza had been right to caution me. At least I was warm at last.

So: I could either set off on my own and try to follow the line drawn on my rough map of Solstheim to indicate the proposed path of Louis' airship, or try to expose the weapons smugglers for Captain Carius and then set out with guides and extra muscle. In the end I decided to, at the least, take a cursory look into the matter of the smugglers. I had my Charm spell, and the assurance of the captain that his men now held me in high regard for returning their much-loved alcohol to them. I also had one of Carius' soldiers to help me: overall I did not expect the investigation to be difficult. On top of that was the (perhaps tenuous) hope that finding the smugglers would lead me to their stolen goods, and ergo some sturdier cold-weather armour.

Ignoring the sniggers of the soldiers at the sight of my new armour, I made my way through the general quarters of the fort to find Saenus Lusius, the man Carius had recommended as the best person to help me expose the smugglers. He was a wiry man with noticeable laugh-lines radiating from the corners of his eyes and mouth. I got to him just in time, it seemed: he looked about to be drawn into a drinking game with several other soldiers when I appeared.

With an exaggerated show of reluctance (but the hint of a smile on his lips), he lead the way out of the general quarters and across to the armoury, talking without cease as we went:

"Old Carius said you might show up to ruin the party for me. Oh well, never mind that - an order's an order, of course, of course. Now, you are after the weapons smugglers, am I right? Well, I think we should have a word with Zeno, seeing as he's in charge of the weapons... Ah, Zeno. Drunk yet?"

The quartermaster, who had been reclining in his chair with a mug of what smelled like sujamma, sat up as we entered.

"Not so far gone as you, Lusius - I would wager." Faustus said shortly, but with a light smile. "I see you found some fur armour after all, Mister Frost. And very nice it is, too."

I did not miss the subtly mocking tone in his voice, but seeing as I more-or-less agreed with him, it did not bother me very much.

"Yes, thankyou Mister Faustus." I cleared my throat. "Captain Carius has actually asked me - and Lusius here - to help him track down some suspected weapons smugglers. Lusius tells me that you're the person to ask about that."

The quartermaster looked to Lusius, his brows knitting together.

"It's alright, Zeno." The wiry soldier said.

After a moment's hesitation, Faustus shrugged and said to me:

"Well, I can tell you that I've noticed the stores going down too. At first I thought the captain was sending men down here to collect things when I was out - but... obviously not. Now," he lowered his voice, and motioned for us to lean in closer; "I can also tell you that I've heard some of the men talking - didn't see who they were, you understand -" he indicated the nearby window. "They were outside. They talked about the Gamdrung caverns, just nearby; and mentioned a stash of weapons there. That's all I know. And - of course - you did not hear it from me. I'll deny it, should it come to that."

Lusius lead me directly to the caverns the quartermaster had mentioned, joking that if we hurried, he could be back at the fort before someone stole his drink. The entrance to 'Gamdrung' was partially hidden among an outcropping of large, angular boulders, and opened onto a narrow cove. It looked the perfect place to bring in a small boat for a smuggling operation.

Clambering down the rocks towards the entrance (with the aim of avoiding the icy water), I glanced at my soldier escort. I barely knew the man, and we were about to dive headlong into a potential nest of weapons smugglers together.

"Are you ready?" I asked. Lusius nodded once, drawing his broadsword. I noticed he was not smiling anymore.

Once inside the twisting stone passages, we were set upon almost immediately by a young-looking Legionnaire wielding a silver axe that glittered with some kind of enchantment. I discovered very quickly what the enchantment was, when the renegade soldier's blade sliced easily through my armour and my flesh: paralysation. I was very lucky that Lusius was there: he was able to pull the man off me whenever I succumbed to the vicious enchantment. I had to return the favour more than once, too - and after a brutal fight, we put the thug down.

As I propped myself against the wall to heal my many painful wounds, I noticed Lusius staring at the dead man's face.

"Roscius..." He breathed. It was obviously someone he knew.

I said nothing, my teeth clenched as I sent healing magic into a gash in my side. The man had attacked us, and it had been all we could do to overcome him, armed as he was with such a cruel weapon. Lusius, too, grew silent from that point on.

We were ready to press on within moments; and a little deeper into the dark, echoing Gamdrung caverns, we encountered a fearful sight: two massive, brutish Orcs in Imperial Legion armour. (Orcs were commonly enlisted into service in the Legion - unsurprisingly, for their strength and warlike nature). One flew at Lusius, and the other, with a grunt, at me. In such close fighting, and with Lusius nearby, I dared not use my powerful offensive spells for fear of harming my ally in error.

Without my magic and the high-quality Netch-Adamantium armour I was accustomed to, I was clearly outmatched. In a flash I was down, with an agonising gash across my chest and several broken ribs. I tried to back away, pushing with my feet, and battling with my own body in a desperate attempt to draw breath into my broken chest. The Orc towered above me, taking his time to line up a killing blow. Through his legs, I could see the other Orc's back - and beyond him was Lusius. The pair were locked in grave combat, my ally frantically trying to hold the Orc back. I couldn't quite see what was happening, but I heard Lusius cry out:

"No, wait! Stop, stop! We're both -"

But there was a clang and a sharp -crack-, and Lusius' plea was cut short. Through the legs of the Orcs I saw him crumple to the cave floor, quite motionless.

There was nothing I could have done, of course. I was still on my back, bleeding and with my breath driven from my lungs. My attention was drawn forcibly back to the Orc directly before me, his blade raised high above his head. With Lusius down, and my own death an instant away, I could not afford to hold my magics back. I threw my 'Holding Field' spell out, hoping to halt both my enemies in their tracks at once. A ripple passed through the air around us, but the Orcs only hesitated for a short moment, a slight shudder in their step the only sign a spell had been cast at all. Orcs and their damned resistance to magic!

The blade came down, and I managed to catch it with my shield, but another sharp -crack- and an intense burning pain in my arm indicated that the bones had been broken. I tried the spell again, aware that if it did not work, it would likely be the last action I ever took. Facing the prospect of one's imminent death inspires thoughts of such anguish and desperation, I... do not truly know how to describe them.

The moment seemed to hang there in time, never moving forward. The Orc's blade seemed to slow in its downward, whistling arc, until it stopped. It stopped! It wasn't a dying hallucination, a figment brought on by a mind about to be silenced - the spell had worked!

Choking back both tears of relief, and pain from the exertion, I ran my uninjured hand over my wounds; letting healing magic soak into my body - closing cuts, mending bones, and replacing lost blood. Once back on my feet, I did not hesitate to terminate the paralysed Orcish Legionnaires. Both took two heavy strokes of the Daedric longsword to sever their heads from their bodies, their necks were so thick.

Lusius was dead. I knew it even before checking for a beating heart. The Orc had cut through his armour and deep into his chest. I had to leave him there to check the rest of the Gamdrung caverns. With Lusius... gone, I was free to make full use of my magic. There were other renegade soldiers there, but none came within striking distance of me.

I snuffed out the life of anything still breathing in those caves.


Anonymous Matar said...

So I was not the only one who could not keep that weak as man alive. That is why I always take the lady. At least she halps a bit >.>.

Sunday, February 12, 2006 6:18:00 pm  
Anonymous person said...


I also found it almost impossible to keep either of them alive. I told them to wait outside and went in spells flying.

Don't feel bad Joseph, i'm pretty sure the same thing happened to a lot of people.

Monday, February 13, 2006 12:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always take Lusius to get past the talking and stuff...Usually I could kill the smugglers in a few hits but those damn paralisation swords!


Monday, February 13, 2006 4:21:00 am  
Anonymous dabigpman said...

u guys are a bunch a noobs. I rolled in there Hopesfire a blazin and killed them all before either of them could swing a weapon. Not to mention the fact that i was *cough cough* level 72 when i went in there.......XD

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 2:55:00 am  
Anonymous dagothjake said...

I just told my companion to wait outside. lol. he looked like more of a book-guy than a swordsman...
I didnt fight them up close, my trusty Auriel's bow shot ebony arrows off at those fools...

anyway, my usual: JOIN HOUSE TELVANNI FROSTY!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:39:00 am  
Anonymous dagothjake said...

nice pic of frosty in fur armor, by the way---i keep seeing that awesome textured water! could u tell me what mod that's from?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:41:00 am  
Anonymous dagothjake said...

ok one last question...which mod makes the robes fit better on female chars?? i was looking @ old journal entries and seeing how much better robes look in ur game than

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:46:00 am  
Anonymous Stygian said...

dabigpman said...

u guys are a bunch a noobs. I rolled in there Hopesfire a blazin and killed them all before either of them could swing a weapon. Not to mention the fact that i was *cough cough* level 72 when i went in there.......XD

Wow, I'll bet you had fun defeating the purpose of the game by power leveling. Good job.

dagothjake said...

nice pic of frosty in fur armor, by the way---i keep seeing that awesome textured water! could u tell me what mod that's from?
thx ,

It's called pixel shading >_>

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 5:02:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

That was the first time I had ever lost someone in Gamdrung. Nordic Fur is some of the weakest armour in the game, and since Edward's not that good with light armour, he was pretty much stuffed in that fight. :-)

But, of course, he pulled through by the skin of his teeth.

dagothjake: The mod is Canadian Ice's Robe Replacer.

And Stygian is right about the water: it's not a mod, you just need a video card that supports pixel-shading.

- Joseph.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'll bet you had fun defeating the purpose of the game by power leveling. Good job.

i transferred my old character onto my GOTY on my leave me alone!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2006 2:58:00 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home