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, March 24, 2006

Chapter 104: Maternal

Since my 'change', my friend Folms Mirel at the Caldera Mages Guild had taken on the manner of a mildly disappointed senior relation; once asking rather pointedly if there had been nothing else I could have done to deal with my condition. Still, he continued to teleport me to the various propylon chambers on the island, if I asked. Folms was actually one of my better friends on Vvardenfell.

And so one evening, after feeding on a young man relieving himself in an alley behind a Balmoran public house (he was so far gone in his cups that I would wager he forgot me entirely upon re-entering the stuffy tavern), I asked Folms to send me once more to the Rotheran stronghold, south of Dagon Fel. This time I knew exactly where I was going, and I ran all the way there: the Sarethi Ancestral Tomb. It was there that I had manipulated my vampiric 'parents' into biting and infecting me with the... 'disease'.

I hoped to find them - and I hoped that they were not angry with me. I had so many questions about what it was to be a vampire; and who else could I ask, if not another of my kind?

The tomb was empty. There was no indication that vampires - or anyone else, besides the ashes of the dead - had ever been there. Except... there was a smell there, strong in the various dark chambers of the tomb. It was akin to a smell I had vaguely noticed, now and then, since I had become a vampire. I had not been able to discover where it came from - nor did I pay much attention to it until that night. It was not an unpleasant odour: at times I would describe it as having a familiar feeling to it.

After a moment I thought I may have solved the mystery: the smell I had noticed in the past week or so was actually myself (though it was unlike any other natural scent I had noticed myself producing), and since what I could smell in the tomb of the Sarethi family was similar, it was probably the scent of my vampiric parents!

It was true that my senses had become noticeably more acute since my change. I could now hear every syllable of a whispered conversation conducted at what previously would have been shouting distance. I could almost count the eyelashes of a person a few hundred steps away, in near-absolute darkness. I could feel the warmth of a footprint on featureless stone, and now I could smell the trail of my vampiric parents: it just had to be them.

Their trail (the strongest one, at least) lead out of the tomb and off into the wilderness to the south-west. I followed their scent across country for an hour or so; over hills and down rocky gullies, until I reached the south-western shore of Dagon Fel's island. The scent-trail continued right up to the gently lapping waves on the pebble-strewn beach, and there stopped abruptly. Across a channel though, I could see another, smaller island, with what looked like a short strip of beach at the entrance to a narrow valley. The position of the moons cast the valley into deep shadow.

If the trail of the vampires had continued in a straight line from where it left off, it would have intersected perfectly with that far beach. It was definitely worth investigating. With one great running jump (and the use of my 'Touch the clouds' spell), I soared over the water and just made it to the narrow beach, skittering slightly on the loose, wet pebbles.

It was tucked away there in that dark, narrow valley that I found the crumbling stone entrance to an ancestral tomb; 'Ashmelech' inscribed above the worn, wooden door. Several vampires - including a Nord and an Orc with tusks of gigantic size, alongside a couple of Dunmer - were seated on a grassy rise near the entrance. Apparently engaged in quiet conversation, they stared at the stars. Following their gaze, I thought I could almost see threads and streams of magicka flitting between the twinkling pin-pricks of light. Was that what they were looking at?

The small group of vampires turned to eye me with idle curiosity as I (cautiously) approached. Even if I was a vampire myself, at that point in time I had never spoken to one. Virtually every other vampire I had met had attempted to kill me - hence my trepidation. I needn't have worried, though; the Orcish vampire called out as I came near:

"What do you want, fledgling?"

Every glowing pair of eyes were on me, though they did not seem at all agitated at my presence. The same scent I had followed to that tomb - the same scent I had noticed on myself - was coming from each of the vampires before me. Actually, the odour pervaded the whole area around the tomb entrance. Many scent trails radiated out from the place, headed in all directions. Apart from making it clear that 'Ashmelech' was a central meeting place of some kind to these vampires, this meant that I had effectively lost the trail of my 'parents': it was smothered among the rest.

"Fledgling?" I remarked. "So you can tell that I'm... new, then?" The reclining vampires all nodded. After a pause, I went ahead and voiced what was at the front of my mind: "I was looking for my par... I should say, the vampires who -"

Most of the group seemed to have lost interest, returning to their vigil on the night sky - but the heavily tusked Orc interrupted me:

"Your sire? Or - do you really mean sires? ... Ah." He grunted. "So you're the one." The Orc rose to his feet, seemingly without pushing himself up. "The ones you seek came this way three nights ago - but they moved on straight away. They do not want to see you;" he said bluntly; "and you will not find them. They are looking for a place unknown to the living. They did not know where that might be, and neither does anyone here. You will have to forget them."

The vampire spoke without malice, but his words still hurt. Actually I think it was my perceived abandonment that upset me, really. I felt a sense of loss at the thought that I might never meet the two Dunmeri vampires who effectively saved me from death - final death. I had never known my mortal parents, and now it seemed I would never know my vampiric parents either.

Almost as if he read my thoughts - and saw my need for guidance - the Orc said:

"Our mother is here, fledgling. Dhaunayne Aundae." He pointed to the crumbling tomb entrance. "In the deepest chambers. If you must talk to one of us, talk to her. It is hers to say what will happen to you." He studied me for a moment longer, before adding: "And maybe she'll give you what you need."

Ashmelech was a maze, with no rhyme or reason to its twisting corridors. Whoever built it must have been quite mad. It was also very dark: I doubted I would have been able to see at all, were it not for my new vampire eyes. There were burning braziers here and there; but only a few. After what happened to the female vampire I confronted in the Reloth Ancestral Tomb, I must say I was not surprised at the scarcity of open flames in Ashmelech.

For the place was a communal home to a great number of vampires. Most were high elves, but representatives from all races were present. Not one would speak with me. As it turned out, the Orcish vampire at the entrance was marvellously friendly compared with all those below ground. As I searched for a way down to the 'deepest chambers' and this Dhaunayne Aundae, I contented myself with studying each vampire I passed. No-one seemed to mind: in fact, most conducted themselves as if I was not there at all. They all shared the same bloodless pallor and luminous eyes, but some dark individuals were obviously different.

They flit about, almost too quickly for me to even see. As I have mentioned, I was able to move much faster than I had previously - before the change - but these vampires were without compare. Brushing by them in the narrow corridors was an unnerving experience. I am sure my heart would have been hammering in my chest... if of course it had still been beating. They were powerful, powerful creatures; I could sense it. They moved without a sound, and were the ones that really made me notice how quiet it was in Ashmelech. There was little to be heard besides the occasional echoing -snap- of a closing door, or faint shuffling footsteps... a cough.

A cough?

In the time since I had ceased breathing, I had not once felt the urge to cough. Was there a mortal down there somewhere? I followed the sound to its source, and to my horror, found that there was.

A short, scrawny Bosmer wearing a slave-bracer was slumped against the wall of one of the insane, looping passages, staring into what must have been darkness to him. He could not see me. He was not the only one I saw in that tomb, either: other defeated-looking mortals were ranged throughout the sprawling corridors, some absently pressing their hands against bleeding puncture-wounds; usually on their neck or wrist. I was to learn later that the other vampires called these mortals 'cattle'. They were kept to provide the vampires of Ashmelech with a reliable source of blood - like a farmer keeps livestock.

Pushing down a cold feeling of disgust and anger, I moved on and left them behind. There was nothing I could do; not with those shadowy, supremely powerful vampires flitting about. I also still needed to know more about my new existence, and as much as their behaviour might have disturbed me, they were my new family: a bond of blood. I probably would not receive answers to my questions anywhere else.

Eventually, I dropped down a deep pit, and, at the bottom, found a sparse throne room of sorts, with a regal-looking Altmer woman in fine clothes seated in an antique wooden chair, atop a raised stone platform. Two menacing-looking vampires in black armour made to bar my way, but the Altmer woman called out:

"No, let him through. You are my new fledgling, yes?" I nodded, stopping at the base of the steps up to her platform. She peered down at me with glowing, golden-green eyes. "Well, come up here - now. What is your name?"

"Edward Frost." I replied, climbing the cracked stone steps. I could not look away from those eyes. They were like piercing beacons in the dark.

"Well, Edward Frost," she said, leaning forward in her chair, "I am Dhaunayne Aundae."

Before I knew what I was doing, I was on my knees before her, my head cupped in her golden hands. She studied my face, lingering on the crescent mark. Her gaze felt as if it would bore through my skull.

"... and I am your mother."


Anonymous Person said...

Wow, I enjoyed this introduction to the Aundae Clan very much. I liked the part in the second paragraph, with Frost talking about the drunk. It was something that would not have mattered if you did not put it in, but you did.

I very much liked the description of the of AlienSlof's Scent of Blood Mod. Very good.

"...and I am your Mother." Ooooh...

Morrowind Trivia - Who is Andre Maul?

Friday, March 24, 2006 2:25:00 pm  
Anonymous person said...

Of the of? woops...

Friday, March 24, 2006 2:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Matar said...

Ah but I liked it when she called me a monster... It was kinky.

Yeah umm perverted thoughts aside I liked this chapter alot :P.

Friday, March 24, 2006 4:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Mike L. said...

Strong chapter as always. The drunk was nice. The "and I am your mother" is a little creepy, is it not?

Person: Andre Maul is a Breton living in a Dwemer tower on a small island just NE of Dagon Fel.

Friday, March 24, 2006 4:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...


Morrowind Trivia - Who is Enchant Master Trainer?

Friday, March 24, 2006 4:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

All Your Base Are Belong To Us!

Sorry, felt like posting something random...

Friday, March 24, 2006 5:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a excellent chapter. makes me wonder what you could do in oblivion and how vampires work in it :P(not to mention the mages guild AND better magic system)

Friday, March 24, 2006 5:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Ray a.k.a. lorddnomyar said...

Person: Qorwynn- the Master Enchant Trainer.

Joseph: As usual, excellent chapter, I'm again on the edge of my seat as I eagerly await the next chapter.

Friday, March 24, 2006 7:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Correct! Qorwynn resides in the cursed Indoranyon Stronghold, North West of Tel Aruhn. The Stronghold, once you enter, loses it's front door. You must travel through it to the end to exit. Qorwynn is near the exit, but he is hostile, so you have to cast a calm spell on him.

Morrowind Trivia - Where are the Jewelers stolen gems on Solstheim?

Friday, March 24, 2006 8:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Tchakkazulu said...

Must... resist... Star Wars reference...

Exciting chapter. I've never bothered to become a vampire (heh, Argonians), but you make it sound really neat.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:04:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, becoming a vampire was a pain in the ass...


Saturday, March 25, 2006 3:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Why was that Noozooroo? Couldn't find any Vamps? Disease Resistance? Hmm?

"Fledgling?" I remarked. "So you can tell that I'm... new, then?" The reclining vampires all nodded. After a pause, I went ahead and voiced -----> what at the <----- front of my mind: "I was looking for my par... I should say, the vampires who -"

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the Jewel Stash on Solstheim?

Saturday, March 25, 2006 4:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joseph. You would be 25 this year. Do you think you have accomplished a lot of things ? If yes, please explain :P

Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have a picture posted up, like an authors' page.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:45:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Person: Thanks - fixed it.

Anonymous: I guess I've accomplished a few things... but not really that much yet.

I do have a picture posted up, along with some random info. Clicking on my name at the top of this comment should take you there.

Tchakkazulu: No matter where I start with a character in Morrowind, they almost always end up as vampires; because with the vampire-related mods I've linked to, being a vampire is really neat. They make MW even more interesting than it already is, and introduce new challenges when your character begins to reach demi-god levels.

- Joseph.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is more of an Question??
Dest anyone know what to do for The Head Of Scourge.. It's the wall mounted head of an Argonian found in an storage area.. Have something to the Argonian Mission in Ebonheart..

Just need to know!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006 10:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...


Saturday... And I am bored....

Sunday, March 26, 2006 5:48:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Joseph: :)

Anonymous: I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I've found Scourge's head, but never been able to figure out what it does. For those of you who don't know, The Head of Scourge is an Argonian head mounted on a plaque in the bottom of The Lizards Head Cornerclub (heee! I'm dumb and I get it!) in the Telvanni Canton in Vivec.

Stygian - Patience is a virtue.

Morrowind Trivia - Where is the Jewel Stash on Solstheim?

Sunday, March 26, 2006 12:47:00 pm  

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