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, March 12, 2006

Chapter 99: The last remaining light

Early morning light was streaming through the window, making Sirilonwe's normally silver hair glow a deep orange. I had just woken up, but Sirilonwe was still deep asleep in my arms, facing away from me. Her hair was tickling my nose.

This was all new to me... sure, there had been snatched 'moments' with girls my age at the Cult orphanage where I grew up - but in a place like that there was not really anywhere to be alone for any great length of time. I had certainly never woken up next to someone before. The feeling of a warm body sleeping next to my own, her soft, smooth skin... it was all... wonderful.

But it was all tempered by an agony of self-loathing, and the icy thrill of dread running down my spine. What had I done, really? My Charm spell had made Sirilonwe pull me down on top of her, and then... Why couldn't I stop myself?

Sirilonwe rolled over to face me, rubbing her large eyes. After a moment she stopped, and began to regard me steadily, a faint smile playing around her lips.

"I'm sorry." I said.

The smile vanished.

"What?" She rasped, before clearing her throat. "What for?"

"The Charm spell. I'm sorry - it came almost without me meaning... I didn't mean to... It wasn't my intention that..." I paused, trying to slow myself down. "I didn't know you would... I'm sorry. I feel awful. But when you..." I trailed off.

She was quiet for a long time, staring at a spot on my chest. Eventually she spoke again:

"I wanted you anyway. Yes, it wasn't the most chivalrous thing you could have done, but... not all that different than if you had plied me with brandy over dinner. And... I have to confess: I Charmed you too."

I blinked. I was not expecting that.

"What? When?" I asked, startled.

"When we met." Sirilonwe replied. "When we touched hands. I was curious about you, and you never said anything much to anyone here, so..." Her smile returned. " Also, I liked the way you looked." She poked me gently in the stomach.

I thought back to the day we met, and remembered that I had suddenly been quite taken by Sirilonwe when we clasped hands. It was when I had noticed her hair, and her eyes...

"So we are even;" Sirilonwe went on; "and I forgive you. I know you didn't do it to get in my bed - you did it because..." Her eyes flew wide. "Oh no, Edward; it was about the vampires!" She seemed to only just remember. "Get up."

I was feeling more and more wrong-footed. First she was not angry when I had expected her to be - and then suddenly she was angry after all.

"Wh-what?" Was all I managed.

"Get up!" Sirilonwe snapped, pushing me in the ribs so that I fell out from under the blankets, and off the side of the bed.

She leapt up and scooped my clothes off the floor, before tossing them at me.

"Vampirism is a disease!" Her voice was raised. "It is a disease that kills you! How can you be sure that you will... persist - after that? I know that becoming a vampire is about coming back after death - but how can you be sure you will come back? Especially you, with that... leak."

Sirilonwe pulled her red dress on, and stopped to stare across the bed into my face, her eyebrows knitted together as if trying to solve a puzzle.

"Are you really decided in this?" She asked quietly.

I nodded, and dropped my shirt over my head.

"I don't think I have a choice." I replied, my voice just as sombre as hers. "My body - I told you - my body is already failing."

Sirilonwe did not look angry anymore - well, not as angry, at any rate; she looked miserable.

"What if..." She began, and then seemed to be having trouble swallowing... "What if you're different when you come back?" She finally managed.

A lump was forming at the back of my throat.

"I don't know... But I won't hurt you. I swear I -"

"Just go." Sirilonwe cut across me, covering her eyes.

I froze, my heart feeling as if it was filling with icy water.

"GO!" She shouted, suddenly looking quite fierce.

I squeezed my eyes shut and slipped the Wolfen ring over my finger.

Once I was strapped into my armour, I used the 'teleportation pillar' in the great hall of Wolfen castle to reach the Balmora Mages Guild, had Masalinie Merian teleport me to Caldera, and then asked Folms to send me to the Rotheran Velothi stronghold, way up north in the Sheogorad region. Dagon Fel was an awful long way from the Ascadian Isles - unless you were a mage.

I was decided in my path. I don't think there had been any doubt in my mind since the moment I faced the vampire in the Reloth tomb, the previous day. Her death... well, her destruction was unfortunate - and was not what I had intended. I had given it a lot of thought, and I did not want to kill my vampiric 'parent'. It didn't seem right somehow.

Sirilonwe had told me that vampires had been spotted in the wilderness to the west of Dagon Fel - so that was where I would look. Sirilonwe... my heart lurched painfully again at the thought of her. I didn't know what to do about what had happened with her. I tried to put it from my mind, and struck out north-west from Rotheran, looking for an Ancestral Tomb or some other likely hiding place for a vampire. Somewhere it could shelter from the daylight...

I searched for hours, climbing and then sliding awkwardly down the damp and slippery moss-covered rises of the Sheogorad area; occasionally leaping, magically aided, onto the crest of one of the tree-sized mushrooms that grew there to gain a better look at the landscape. Hours later I found it: an ancestral tomb with the name 'Sarethi' carved above the entrance. This time I removed both bracers and rolled my sleeves up, before securing my shield to my back so that it protected the back of my neck. I drew my sword. I had modified my plan somewhat. They could bite my arms, but I wanted them nowhere near my neck.

Of course, I did not know if there were any vampires to be found in that tomb - or simply the mouldering ashes of generations of a Dunmer family - but I wanted to be prepared.

I was in luck. A few chambers into the tomb I was set upon by two Dunmeri vampires: a male and a female. They came at me side by side, and with a forehand then a backhand swing, I had hit them both in the face with the flat of my blade, causing them to bleed from the nose and mouth just like the vampire in the Reloth tomb. These two required no further incentive to attack me - in fact, the sight of my bare forearms seemed to act like a lure to them. The vampires gripped me by one wrist each, and pinned me, spread-eagled, to the floor.

Their bites hurt - a lot; as you might expect - I could feel the blood being drawn from my arms... but I could also feel their blood, trickling down into my wounds. And then, I felt it: my skill in the magical college of Restoration was such that I could tell when a disease had taken hold in my body (at least I could if I was paying attention). I didn't know which vampire it had come from: maybe from both... a vampiric mother and father.

With some difficulty, I kicked one of them off and thrust a finger on my freed hand through the Wolfen ring, hanging from my neck. Instantly I was in the great hall of the castle, bleeding on the floor.

"Master Frost!" I heard Falorn exclaim. The Bosmer groundskeeper had apparently been checking on the displays of armour in the hall. "Are you quite alright?"

I hesitated, and did not speak until I had regained my feet. I did not want anyone to know what I was doing. But then, there was something I needed from Falorn...

"I live a dangerous life." I shrugged, holding out my arms to show that the wounds were already almost closed: the power of my enchanted 'Keeper' shirt at work. After a moment, I added: "Falorn, there's something I need to ask you."

"Of course, Master Frost." The Bosmer said, his eyes still fixed on my bloody forearms.

"If... if something were to happen to me - if I die..." I paused. I was putting on a performance, but it was not a great stretch for me, given my situation. "If I die, I need you to see to it that I'm not cremated. I would like to be placed in a crypt."

Falorn appeared concerned.

"Well... yes - of course - I would see to it. But why... I mean - why now?"

"I live a dangerous life." I repeated, with a slight shrug. "Look, never fear Falorn; I'll leave the castle to you, since you were here first." I forced a wry smile. "Now come on; back to work."

Watching Falorn go, I felt a little more calm - if the disease running through my veins really did turn me into a vampire in a few days, at least I could feel more confident that I would not be incinerated in a crematorium because I appeared dead.

Three days... Three days left as a living man, with a beating heart. Three days left in the sun. What would I do in those remaining days? I knew I didn't want to talk to anyone. I wasn't sure why - but it probably had something to do with the way Sirilonwe and I had parted. I just wanted to be alone.

I came to think: what would it be like to never see the sun again?

I decided that I should spend as much time as possible outside, in the sun; before it was too late. I'm not quite sure where it came from, but the idea entered my mind that I should try to journey all the way around the coast of Vvardenfell, on foot. I think I wanted to see as much of my new island home in the sunlight as I could - before that became an impossibility.

So, I gathered up a good supply of food from the kitchen, filled my water skins, and just before midday, set out to the east from the castle grounds: simply because that was the direction the main gate faced.

I walked (and sometimes ran) all afternoon without stopping, passing the farms and plantations of the Ascadian Isles, the steaming, sandy pits and skeletal trees of the Molag Amur region, and then the spiny, shining rocks of Azura's Coast. For the whole day, the weather was as beautiful and sunny as I could have hoped for. I bathed in the sea and slept under the stars on my bedroll.

On the second day, I started up the east coast, leaving the spiny rocks behind, and following the ashen beach that faced Zafirbel Bay. After that were the dry yet verdant plains of the eastern Grazelands. I reached the north-eastern tip of the island as the sun reached the western horizon. On both the first and second days I stood and watched the sun set - until the last remaining light had faded away.

My heart was heavy on the third morning: I had covered only half the circumference of the island, and if the accounts were to be believed, I had only that day left. I knew I wasn't going to make it. I can't really say why, but at that time I wanted very much to make it all the way back home, before I was... forced into darkness, I suppose.

My spirits were raised somewhat by the spectacular find I made in a Daedric ruin near my campsite. Heavily guarded, behind an underground shrine, was a wooden strongbox that contained a splendid Daedric katana. My longsword was, of course, very very good - but I had missed the precision and elegance of a katana. I moved the Daedric longsword to my back; the katana replaced it at my side.

It spurred me on, I think - and besides, I felt incredibly restless. I could not bring myself to stop. In fact, as I continued on to the west, along the coast, I began to run; to sprint as hard as I could; my 'Tireless' pants again meaning I never lost my breath or had to stop.

I reached Khuul, at the north-western corner of Vvardenfell, in the early afternoon. I skirted around the fishing village without stopping. Khuul also marked the beginning of the endless grassy plains of the West Gash. I had yet a long way to go. Onwards I ran, until hours later I reached the Bitter Coast. The sun was low in the sky when I descended into the muggy swamps. Soon, the sun was swallowed up by swelling, purple storm-clouds, and a warm rain began to fall. That was the last time I saw the sun.

But still I carried on, using magic to sprint across the surface of the mucky pools of water, and leaping over the tangled masses of exposed roots that pervaded the area. The storm intensified: all I could hear was the thunder, the falling rain, and the frantic beating of my own heart.

Hours later I swept through Seyda Neen, my heart thundering in my ears, feeling as though it would burst. I had traversed the entire north and west coast of Vvardenfell in one day: it was incredible - but by that time it was truly dark. I was running out of time. If I could just hold on for one, maybe two more hours... I could reach home.

I was pounding down the peninsula towards Ebonheart and Wolfen castle - the path I had taken when I had first departed on my three-day journey - when it happened. My heartbeat seemed so loud it drowned out everything else: but it was slowing, even as I tried to maintain my furious pace. I staggered, suddenly very weak. The crescent mark on my face and the place on my chest where the moon emblem had penetrated the skin were both throbbing painfully. I couldn't breathe. I didn't know what was happening.

Was it truly the beginning of the change - the transformation into a vampire? Or was the magicka leaking into my body going to kill me after all - and once and for all? A final death...

I managed to get my finger through the Wolfen ring - though by that point I had stopped breathing - and it was there in the keep's great hall that I collapsed, the world fading away before me.


Anonymous Constant said...

I must say, Joseph, this chapter was very touching. Altought, it's just a computer game, and not even so realistic, and still some great mind like yours can turn it into a masterpiece like this. I adore the way you write, you totally make it all alive... I actually held my breath when reading your text, and that's something I'll say. Never before I've felt such a tension for a fictive video game character.

I'll now go and try to find a life. Best wishes for you and especially Frost. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Mike L. said...

Oh man, now I've got to wait 'til Tuesday (I'm in the U.S.) with this on my mind! Story well told, as always.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:55:00 pm  
Anonymous stygian said...


Sunday, March 12, 2006 2:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh,god!This is so very sad!I would hate it if Frost turned into a mindless raving lunatic,but he's always been level-headed.(most of the time)i can't wait until Wednesday,I kind of scared to read it,though. :(

Sunday, March 12, 2006 3:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Wow. That was a twist I wasn't expecting. Who would have known Sirilonwe liked him so much as to charm HIM?

Vampiric "Mother" and "Father"... I wonder what Frost will say or do to them.

Morrowind Trivia - Who is Ama Nin?

Sunday, March 12, 2006 8:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to remind you, Frost is Nerevarine, he needs no cure:

What he puts his hand to, that shall be done.
What is left undone, that shall be done.

On a certain day to uncertain parents
Incarnate moon and star reborn.

Neither blight nor age can harm him.
The Curse-of-Flesh before him flies.

In caverns dark Azura's eye sees
And makes to shine the moon and star.

A stranger's voice unites the Houses.
Three Halls call him Hortator.

A stranger's hand unites the Velothi.
Four Tribes call him Nerevarine.

He honors blood of the tribe unmourned.
He eats their sin, and is reborn.

His mercy frees the cursed false gods,
Binds the broken, redeems the mad.

He speaks the law for Veloth's people.
He speaks for their land, and names them great.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 9:59:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

Run, Frost, Run! Loved it, waking up next to Sirilonwe was good, pretty much the same thing happens if you wake up next to a girl who was drunk last night(Except they don't mention vampires).

Sunday, March 12, 2006 10:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Tchakkazulu said...

It's gonna be a killer chapter 100, that's for sure :)

Monday, March 13, 2006 3:19:00 am  
Anonymous Nyxalinth said...

I got choked up over this one, especially when Sirlonwe realised that Edward was commited on his path, and about seeing the sun for the last time.

I write as well and I feel that I do pretty good, but in both persistence and consistency, you have me beat. It would take me years to write this long of a story!

Keep going. You're an inspiration.

Monday, March 13, 2006 4:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Times Up! Ama Nin is a Woman you meet in Berandas Stronghold in the room with the winged twilights. She says they took her from the road outside and put her up in thier nest and left her there. She asks you for help to escape and if you give her an Divine Intervention scroll she gives you Mara's Blouse and Mara's skirt. She is Actually The Nine Divines Goddess Mara, and she test your faith.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 4:34:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH,well,I'll have to brush up on my Morrowind knowledge if I want to compete with you,Person.And Joseph,this chapter is really moving and I wish I could write like you do!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 6:12:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Tuesday, March 14, 2006 9:45:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can u email me the name of each and every mod ur using and your characters major and minor skills plz? is my email

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 12:47:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks for the amazing comments everyone! :-) Really keeps me going when the chapters get as long as this one.

"Just to remind you, Frost is Nerevarine"

Just to remind you, Frost may or may not be the Nerevarine. :-P He doesn't know one way or the other yet - and, of course, believes that the whole idea is ridiculous.

On the topic of Pop Je's tomb; I believe that it is a tribute to a deceased relative of one of the game developers.

"can u email me the name of each and every mod ur using and your characters major and minor skills plz?"

If you check one of the previous comments pages here, you'll find that I've already posted a list of mods I use in my game - it hasn't changed much since then. As to the skill list, I can post that here - but why do you want to know (out of curiosity)?

- Joseph.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 5:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Well anonymus, I play morrowind almost every few days, so I've had plenty of time to brush up on my knowledge.

Heres something easier - What is Veloths Judgement?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 9:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother is cuirious about the skills. hes a morrowind freak and my friend wants to know what mods ur using to see if he would get the moon emblem on his face

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 6:24:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Well, the crescent-moon mark on Edward's face is an embellishment on my part: it was not added by a mod. Edward has it because I added it to his custom face texture. There are a number of tutorials out there on the subject of face texturing for Morrowind, so anyone can make their own face texture with a crescent mark (for example) - though learning all the ins and outs takes a significant effort.

This is Frost's skill list (I think - this is off the top of my head):

Major: Sneak, Illusion, Restoration, Alteration, Mysticism.

Minor: Long blade, Medium armour, Athletics, Acrobatics, Destruction.

He has a 'magic focus' (can't remember the proper term), and has Luck and Endurance as his favoured attributes.

So there you are.

- Joseph.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 12:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

Veloth's Judgment is a weapon that you get to kill off a vampire lair on a temple quest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 2:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Skit said...

Oh... snap. This has got me pretty freaked out... I guess he'll get it cured, since you can't complete the main quest being a vampire, unless, you know, you have a mod that lets you do it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 2:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Correct!It is an enchanted Daedric Warhammer, which in my opinion, has perfect enchantments for killing Vampires. It is given to you, as random said, to kill off Vampire clan Berne. You are also given a Sheild and something else ( I forgot) with it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm personally more of an Arvil Bren fan, but this last chapter of Frost was very good, the last two in fact were both very good. I like the desperation; it adds a lot to his character and provides a believable rationalle for introducting vampiricism into the story.

As far as the whole vampire thing though, yeah it's a twist that I didn't see coming, but it makes sense with the whole popular mods thing. A lot of the most popular tweaks out there are vampire related. How else is Joseph going to get them mentioned? Who knows, perhaps old Frost will eventually be cured of his vampiricism when he finds out that his curse will also remain gone, sort of like Corpus in the main quest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:34:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph Kennedy said...

God this was a moving chapter
I actually forgot it was just a story for a while - which should really be the goal of any author
so well done

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:18:00 am  

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