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 10, 2006

Chapter 98: Give it to me

On the morning after studying with Sirilonwe, I went directly to Vivec's Foreign Quarter by way of the guild guide. This of course meant that I needed to pass through the Vivec guild hall - but I did not meet Sirilonwe while there; her door was closed. She was probably still asleep.

I was headed for Jobasha's bookstore in the Lower Waistworks: the place I had previously visited in the company of the Morag Tong assassin Huleeya - one of Caius' informants. Jobasha's was the best-stocked bookstore I had ever seen, and home to an impressive collection of very rare books. I had to learn more about vampires: Sirilonwe's assertion that not all of them were mere animals driven mad by a lust for blood - and that many in fact regularly socialised with mortals - was a revelation for me.

Everyone knew the fundamentals about vampires: they were immortal - barring accidents or acts of violence - but they needed to drink mortal blood to sustain themselves. Direct sunlight made them burst into flame. And they were very powerful and dangerous.

I had previously thought them little different to other kinds of undead, like the near-mindless ghouls and zombies: not an existence anyone would want. But what if Sirilonwe was right, and one could lead something approaching a normal life (or maybe 'existence' would be a better word) as a vampire? I had to know. I did not want to die. I certainly did not want to grow old in two or three short years, and then fade away. It was as simple as that.

I asked Jobasha to point out all the books he had that contained information on vampires, and surprisingly, there were only two: 'Vampires of Vvardenfell, Volume Two', and 'Legions of the Dead'. I bought them both and teleported home to read.

'Legions of the Dead' only contained a few general points on the history of vampires in Morrowind. Apparently they were hunted to extinction by the Tribunal Temple's Ordinators and 'Buoyant Armigers' in earlier times, but more recently they were being spotted once again; and in greater numbers. The book underscored the deep hatred the Dunmer people felt for vampires, stated that a vampire's power was directly related to its age, and also drew a distinction between normal vampires and 'ash vampires' - whatever they were. That was about the extent of that book's useful information.

'Vampires of Vvardenfell, Volume Two' was a little better. It was at least more relevant - as one might expect. Intriguingly, it described vampirism as a disease: one that was somehow contracted by coming into contact with a vampire. Infuriatingly, the book did not go into detail on what kind of 'contact' was involved, only saying that once the disease was caught, there were three days in which one could be treated, and thus cured. Once three days had passed... well, it was inferred that one would become a vampire after that, but the book was quite vague on that point.

In fact, most of 'Vampires of Vvardenfell, Volume Two' seemed to be about various accounts of possible cures for vampirism - though it did mention, again, the extreme line the Tribunal Temple took against vampires - and even against study into vampirism. This probably went some way to explaining the vagueness and couched language of the book - the author did not want to risk persecution by the Temple - but it did not help my cause much.

I decided to look for the first volume of 'Vampires of Vvardenfell' in other bookstores; in case the lack of relevant information in volume two was due in part to an assumed knowledge of volume one's contents.


I was in luck: the bookstore just across the way from the Balmora Mages Guild had volume one in stock; and the book contained just what I wanted to know:

Blood. The vampirism 'disease' revolved around blood; which seemed appropriate. The disease was carried in a vampire's blood (or however much of the blood in a vampire's body could be called its own, at any rate), and so did many unique aspects and powers of the various vampires found in the land. In fact, bloodlines were so important that three separate 'clans' of vampire (the Aundae, the Quarra, and the Berne) were known to exist on Vvardenfell: each defined by the single bloodline that ran through the clan. The blood in every clan member could be traced back to a single (presumably very powerful) vampire - so a clan was a lot like a family of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers...

This led to the topic I was most interested in: how one became a vampire. According to the book, vampirism was contracted by 'wounds received from a vampire' - especially ones that became contaminated with the vampire's own blood.

So there it was: I knew how to do it - I needed only to find a vampire...

This may all sound quite shocking; I know I must sound as if I was behaving rashly... and perhaps I was. But you must understand: I was desperate - I had been for some time. Being told that you are dying can do that to you. My confession to Sirilonwe of the extent of the recent changes in my body had only increased my agitation.

In any case, I did what I did - and I did it straight away. I knew where I could find a vampire: months prior to that day, the spirit of Thynim Velos had tasked me with killing a vampire for him; that is, if I wanted to keep the 'Amulet of Scrye'. Since the only occasion on which I had actually wanted the amulet was when it was in my hand (I was sure the enchanted item had influenced my mind somehow), I had never felt inclined to go looking for that vampire. But now I had a clear path; and it led to the Reloth Ancestral Tomb, north-east of Berandas - the apparent lair of the vampire.


I barely spoke to Folms as he went about teleporting me to the Berandas stronghold; my thoughts were occupied by the formulation of a plan. The trek across the expansive grasslands of the West Gash took a number of hours, and my mind was buzzing the whole time. What if it worked, and I caught the disease? Could I really commit to the path I was on? It meant I would likely never see sunshine again... And what of my friends, and my newfound place on Vvardenfell? Would I lose it all, just to... persist in that world?

It was better than absolute, permanent death, I told myself firmly. Anything was better than that...

Eventually I found the entrance to the Reloth Ancestral Tomb, huddled among a cluster of great boulders. I paused outside to unstrap one of the Adamantium-plate bracers from my forearm, and roll up the sleeve of my 'Keeper' shirt, leaving the skin bare. My plan was decided.


Inside the tomb, my Night-eye spell allowed me to clearly see the vampire - a Nordic woman in a robe - as she rounded a corner and launched herself at me, leading with a steel short-blade. I was ready. With a well-aimed stroke, my Daedric sword cut cleanly through the vampire's weapon, sending the severed blade spinning off into the darkness. Before she could recover, I struck her hard across the mouth and nose with my remaining Adamantium bracer, causing them to bleed profusely. Quickly sheathing my blade, I grasped the vampire by the hair and, shaking her violently, forced her head down to my bare forearm - trying to antagonise her into biting it.

"GIVE IT TO ME!" I bellowed.

If she would only sink her teeth into my arm, her blood would run down into the wound, and...

But she was resisting, a look of fear and confusion in her eyes. It was not an expression I had seen on a vampire before. With a tremendous show of strength, the Nordic vampire threw me off, and sprinted away, deeper into the tomb. At an open doorway, she cast a fearful glance over her shoulder; and it was then that the tail end of her robe caught on a jutting nail from the doorframe, causing her to pitch forwards... directly onto a burning brazier.

Before I could close even half the distance between us, it was too late: her robe had gone up in flames, and there was no way to put them out. As I watched, trying to block my ears against the awful screams, the Nordic vampire was burned to ash; it took less than a minute.

Roaring in frustration and feeling like a wretched beggar scrounging for scraps, I cast about for a spatter of blood that the vampire might have left behind from my attack - I think even a speck of it on the grimy, dusty floor might have been enough for me to scrape it up and attempt to rub it into a wound.

But there was nothing.


I spent the remainder of the day trawling through every bookstore I could find, searching for another book on vampires. My despair only mounted as the afternoon wore on: I could find nothing better than the three books I had already bought: and certainly nothing that gave any useful indication where I might find another vampire.

When night fell, I again found myself at Sirilonwe's door. For obvious reasons, I had wanted to keep my plan secret - but I couldn't stand it any longer... and I could think of no person more knowledgeable on the topic of vampires than Sirilonwe.

We sat side by side on her bed, engaged in idle conversation. I cannot remember exactly what it was we were talking about: my mind was more on the matter of vampires - and on the fact that Sirilonwe had seated herself awfully close to me. Eventually though, she asked me if I had come to her for something in particular.

"Well... I was actually wondering -" I began - "does anyone know... what it's like to be a vampire?"

A faint frown crossed Sirilonwe's face for an instant, and she turned in the direction of her books, making to get up.

"I don't believe I have anything like an account written by a vampire, or by someone who has spoken with one about such things - hmm..."

"What about where exactly they can be found on Vvardenfell?" I pressed. I couldn't help myself.

Sirilonwe froze, and then turned back to me, looking very concerned.

"Oh no - Edward, please: I was only joking about becoming a vampire!" She clasped my hands between hers. "I shouldn't have said what I did last night. Look - vampires are... dead things! They need to take the blood of living things into their bodies to keep their dead limbs moving. You cannot want something like that!"

"Please, Sirilonwe!" I replied, gripping her hands in mine. "It may not be something you can understand... you're an elf: you will live for a long time. But for us... for me... I'm dying. Please: I need to know."

Before I knew what was happening, my Charm spell - which had been rising, almost unbidden, in my arms - leapt across into Sirilonwe's hands. My heart lurched as I saw her expression and her posture soften: I could see that she might actually tell me what I needed to know - but at the same time, I had Charmed - magically manipulated - someone I knew I felt something for - someone I cared about.

"Well, I suppose you are your own man -" Sirilonwe said, a serene tone entering her voice - "and you deserve to make your own decisions." She paused, her hand leaving my own, and travelling slowly up my arm. "And in any case, it's not something you can't hear from any old sailor in a public house... Do you know the wild lands up in the Sheogorad, west of Dagon Fel? Lots of vampires have been seen around there."

Sirilonwe reached across with her free hand to grasp my other arm.

"But really, you should forget about it." She chided, leaning in closer and closer. This time she was definitely not studying the crescent mark on my face. "Here... let me help you..."

And with that, she lay back on her bed, pulling me down after her. I couldn't stop myself.

She may have been the one under a spell, but in the end it was I who could not resist.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Mike L. said...

(Speechless)

Friday, March 10, 2006 11:30:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm,*barfs*.

Friday, March 10, 2006 12:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Stygian said...

That was a very... 'Cavalier' chapter
>_>


There was also some such... 'events' taking place in the book I'm reading... And... Uh... If this isn't a sign, or true coincidences are rare, then my ass is made of fire.

Friday, March 10, 2006 2:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a very nice change of pace for me, excellently written.

Friday, March 10, 2006 4:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definatly a Vader chapter.

Friday, March 10, 2006 4:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Ah, I was wondering when we would hear more about the Amulet of Scrye...

And Joseph how did you get Sirilonwe pose like that?

Can't wait to see the repocussions for this. Edwards going to have a hard time explaining himself!

And some Morrowind trivia! Where is the Lost Dwemer Checkpoint?

Friday, March 10, 2006 8:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Ivza said...

I was waiting to hear the AoS plotline progress as well :) Too bad I never considered the case the player is a vampire or a werewolf in the mod. If I'm not terribly mistaken, the spirits should resent the vampires.

For this eventuality, I feel like I should warn you for entering untested territory. Because this is also a sort of spoiler relating to the original game vampires and AoS plotline, I put the warning here (at least for some time now).

Friday, March 10, 2006 11:11:00 pm  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

That was a great chapter and i love how u are making frosty a vampire. i have to ask y u made him betray sirilonwe though. i also cant beleive he charmed her. Frosty is getting careless.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 2:26:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Person: Isn't it in the Mudan Grotto?
LOL,I'm the same person who answered your last question! :)

Joseph: Uhh,wow.This is intense,Frosty definetly showed his 'dark side' here.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 4:50:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awsome chapter! I really like the turn of events here and I like the love interest. Hmmm...torn between being dead and one of the undead...and in either case can't have the women (sic) that he (might) love. I don't think that Charm is betrayal, but it just seems odd that she'd didn't notice it (maybe she did and wanted it?) Excellent!

Saturday, March 11, 2006 6:39:00 am  
Anonymous Stygian said...

Ah, but we forget that there IS a cure for Vampirism somewhere, and Frost would have all the time in the world to find it, being undead and all. And if I'm not mistaken, this 'cure' was designed by the developers to get rid of vampirism, but I recall the in-game words motioning towards curing ALL things...


Sorlution?

Saturday, March 11, 2006 9:03:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Yes, well... this chapter was always bound to raise some eyebrows...

I won't say anything to defend Edward's actions; I'll let him do that.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. :-)

Person: I also have Sirilonwe set up as a playable character; I took that shot in the middle of casting a spell. Not *exactly* the sort of pose I would have gone for; but you use what you have.

Thanks for taking the time to do that, ivza; and sorry if you've been waiting to hear more of your mod. :-) I can't really comment on anything else there, sorry - don't want to give spoilers.


Finally, a warning, with a possible apology: I'm going away this weekend, and I might not be anywhere near a computer with an internet connection until Monday morning (Australian Eastern Standard time). So it's possible that I might not be able to post Sunday's chapter until then.

Sorry, if it comes to that.

- Joseph.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 9:46:00 am  
Anonymous Nyxalinth said...

he's definately getting desperate. I'm going to hope that sirlonwe's actions are more the result of her wanting it rather than Edward's charm spell. Rather unethical.

As for S. herself, I wonder how she manages to stand upright with a chest like that :)

Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....................................
+raises eyebrow*

-Noozooroo

Saturday, March 11, 2006 1:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Correctamundo Anonymous! As for the Mudan grotto it is Located west-southwest of vivec. And if you didn't already know the Dragonbone Cuirass is inside the Lost Dwemer Checkpoint Vaults.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 3:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Person: Yeah,I did know about the Dragonbone cuirass.Also,a little bit of trivia for you.Where is the corpse of Pop Je located?

Sunday, March 12, 2006 6:30:00 am  
Anonymous Random said...

The corpse of Pop Je is located in a tomb on the island of Dagon Fel. You get a ring and a bone of Pop Je(Don't Know why)

Sunday, March 12, 2006 10:34:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph Kennedy said...

Give it to me!
Give it to me again!
*sniggers*

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:13:00 am  

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