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.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Chapter 109: Self-preservation

Now that I was considered part of the Aundae family (or 'clan'), more of the vampires residing in Ashmelech were willing to speak with me. I was somewhat surprised to learn that several vampires there offered goods for sale, though perhaps I should not have been. Who else could most vampires purchase things from? The items I found most interesting were not the sort of things that would likely be available outside a den of vampires, either...

They were glass vials and bottles that had been enchanted in such a way as to keep any blood placed within them as fresh and warm as if it had just left the body. Some of the vials were enchanted to keep a vampire's own blood fresh, and others were designed to store the blood of mortals - as vampire blood is obviously quite different to mortal blood. In short, the highly-priced bottles were intended to be used in an emergency - as an alternative to restorative potions. Since healing magic does not work on the undead, these vials were an elegant, yet simple, solution to a difficult problem for vampires:

One of the things I had learned from Dhaunayne was the reason why drinking fresh blood actually heals a vampire's wounds: an injured vampire will actually heal gradually over time - we regenerate, in other words. Unless a vampire is very old and powerful though, this process is so slow as to be essentially imperceptible; unless helped along by the substance all vampires need in order to persist in this world: fresh blood. Hence why glass vials of preserved blood could take the place of healing potions for a vampire.

Glass - white glass, as opposed to the stronger green volcanic glass - may seem like a poor choice of material for an item that would likely be carried into battle, or other dangerous and physically demanding situations; but I was told that no other (readily available) material would hold the required enchantments as well as the white glass did. In any case, I bought a number of the vials; of both the 'vampire-blood' and 'mortal-blood' varieties. Since I was keeping my word to Sirilonwe and not hunting any more, I did not know when I would actually have the opportunity to fill the mortal-blood vials... perhaps if I kept some empty ones on my person, in case I was attacked...

My own blood though - that was my own to spill as I pleased: with my sharp-tipped fangs, I neatly sliced my wrist open and let the blood run into one of the vampire-blood vials. It took a very long time (or so it seemed to me) to fill; leading me to the discovery that the vials were also enchanted to hold much more than they appeared to. I felt weak afterwards, and had to pay Sirilonwe a late-night visit to restore my lost blood.

In the morning I asked to be teleported to the Ald'ruhn Mages Guild. The more I thought about the vampire hunter who had been driven from Ashmelech, the angrier I became. I was reminded of how I felt about the Dark Brotherhood assassins, actually - and about whoever it was that had purchased the contract on my life from them. As far as I was concerned, anyone who would seek me out - would hunt me - with the intention of killing me, when I had done nothing to them... well, they deserved death.

In my mind, this vampire hunter was guilty of attempting a kind of genocide, and though I may have hesitated at first, when I arrived in Ald'ruhn I was decided: I would kill him, in just the manner Dhaunayne requested.

My problem was that I only had a vague description of the vampire hunter, and did not even know his name or where, precisely, I might find him in the town of Ald'ruhn. I asked around the guild hall (receiving some very suspicious looks for my trouble), and it was the inscrutable Argonian Heem-La who had just the information I needed. Heem-La, I learned, habitually sat under one of the thick volcanic glass windows near the hall's main entrance, and from his vantage point saw everyone who passed by in the street outside the guild. The vampire hunter was apparently somewhat famous; Heem-La knew him by name:

"Ano Vando?" Heem-La rasped. "That one usually passes by in the early hours of day; going towards the town gates." The Argonian paused and inclined his head, his mouth open - as if tasting the air. "Around this time each day. Look out window - he may be seen soon."

And sure enough, after a few minutes, an armed man with an arresting gold-and-black ebony shield strode by, his form distorted through the thick green glass of the window, but still recognisable as the hunter Dhaunayne had described to me. I was already prepared; wearing my new Shadow Lord armour, plus my Adamantium helmet with its Netch-leather scarf wrapped about my face. Over this I had thrown the thickest robe I owned, with the hood pulled low over my brow. Only my eyes were uncovered; I was as well protected from the sunlight as I could manage.

Faster than I think he could perceive, I spun and threw Heem-La to the ground, sending the 'Sleep' spell into him as my fist connected. Fortunately, he was the only guild member in the hall's entrance chamber at the time: he was the only one I had to render incapable of witnessing what I was about to do.

The sunlight was so bright - though I kept my head down, the street's every surface seemed to blaze with heat; reflecting the burning, deadly light under my hood and into my eyes. I sprinted from the guild hall - a streak of smoke, and then flame - across the ashen street. There were others on the street - guardsmen, commoners, and (unfortunately) children - but they barely had time to turn and stare before I reached Ano Vando. Even blinded as I was - by pain and light - in the blink of an eye I had overtaken the vampire hunter, and taken his head off with one clean swipe as I passed; he did not see me coming.

I was gone before his head hit the ground; teleported back home to the castle's great hall, where I tore off and threw aside the smouldering, charred remains of the heavy, hooded robe. It had not helped much. I was burned all over; every part of my skin was reddened and painfully raw. I almost pulled the stopper from my vial of blood and drained it there and then; but with a great effort, forced myself to save it for a real emergency. I was in no more danger; I just needed Sirilonwe...

Her blood would heal me.

That evening, I again jogged up and down the ridges and gullies of the Sheogorad region, on the way to Ashmelech. My heart was weighed down by the lies I had told Sirilonwe. She thought I had been burned when Heem-La unexpectedly threw open the main door to the Ald'ruhn guild hall to get a better view of what had happened to Ano Vando just outside, flooding the entrance chamber with light (as I told it). In fact, directly after receiving much-needed blood from Sirilonwe, I had visited Heem-La to apologise for knocking him aside (and accidentally rendering him unconscious) in my haste to close the door. Heem-La couldn't quite remember what had happened - in fact he couldn't even remember what he and I had been speaking of - so fortunately for me, he accepted my story without question.

I did not like lying to Sirilonwe; but I did not know how she would react if she knew that it was I who had killed the vampire hunter. I did not want to lose her.

Dhaunayne was pleased with what I had done, though the only outward indication of this was her gift to me: an 'Aundae Amulet'. It was finely made; a tiny silver mask (about half the size of my palm) depicting an elven face, with two teardrop-shaped rubies set to resemble a blood tear in the corner of each eye. According to Dhaunayne, if I pressed both rubies in at the same time, I would be instantly teleported to just inside the entrance to Ashmelech; from wherever I may be. It was an inordinately generous gift, even considering the agony I had endured running out in the sunlight on her orders. The vampire hunter Ano Vando must have concerned my 'mother' even more strongly than she had let on.

I thanked her warmly for the amulet, and attached it to the same chain I hung the Wolfen ring upon.

Dhaunayne asked nothing more of me, so I teleported home a few minutes later, intending to visit Sirilonwe in her chambers... but she was sitting in front of the fire in the keep's great hall when I arrived. She was in fact sitting in the same chair as the night when she had returned to me.

I grinned at the sight of her, but when she turned to face me and I saw her expression, my smile melted away.

"I know you killed that vampire hunter, Edward." She said.


Anonymous DaBigPman said...

damn your suspensful endings joseph. :) keep up the good work. i think it will be my turn for some morrowind trivia:

What is special about the room atop Castle Kaarstag?

Thursday, April 06, 2006 12:21:00 am  
Anonymous Aurelia said...

Howdy :)

I have been reading your journal for a few days now and have just reached this newest chapter. ^^

I love your writing style, and just like 'dapigpman' I am frustrated with your suspensful endings. :p

Having only briefly played Morrowind on the xbox, a lot of Frosty's adventures are new to me. This blog has inspired me to buy a copy of the pc version and start a new game. ^^

Keep up the good work, and I am definitely going to keep reading about poor 'Frosty' for a long time. :)


Thursday, April 06, 2006 4:34:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Damn Sirilonwe and her high moral standards!

Just out of curiosity Joseph, how long did it really take to kill Ano?

DaBigPMan: On first glance, nothing. Its a small room barely enough to fit three people in. There's usually one reikling in there (easily taken care of), but if you look closely, there is a small crack in the wall near the back with a daedric pauldron secreted away in there.

Morrowind Trivia - What and Where is the Wailing Delve?

Thursday, April 06, 2006 1:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

Again, wonderful work with the storytelling, Joseph. I agree with the previous writers - these cliffhangers are frustrating, but in a good way. They really make me look forward to the next chapter. Also, I'm personally a huge fan of vampires and Morrowind and it's interesting to read someone else to dramatize them like this. I have been in Aundae clan once but I didn't do any tasks from now on... I'm eager to see how it goes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:51:00 pm  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

i know this one person. Go to Mournhold and then go to the Norenen-dur Shrine under the plaza brindisi Dorom. Then make your way through the Dwemer shrine until you reach the passage of the Walker. blow a hole in the wall with a dwemer charge. Then go to the Teeth theat Gnash in the Norenen-dur Shrine. Levitate up to the Wailing Delve. In side is a waterfall with a bunch of ledges leading down. in this delve you will find a Daedric Cuirass and a Daedric Pauldron. you find a couple other of nifty things but these are the best!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006 12:48:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Rain Man once said: "Uh Oh."


Friday, April 07, 2006 8:43:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...


Morrowind Trivia - What is so special about the Prelude Shipwreck?

Friday, April 07, 2006 12:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Random said...

Person: The Prelude shipwreck is part of a Hlaalu quest where on board is a Daedric Wakizashi. Incidently, on the quest, you cannot give a normal wakizashi, but you must give the Prelude Wakizashi

Now for some of my own Trivia: Where are the papers of the Buoyant Armiger who cured(supposedly) Vampirism?

Friday, April 07, 2006 1:00:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks everyone, and welcome to Aurelia! The PC version of Morrowind does have the advantage of all the mods you can install and tweaks you can make - so be sure to go crazy with those. :-)

Person: I think it took two or three hits to kill Ano; it took longer to run up to him than it did to kill him, anyway.

Constant: There is actually only one more quest that Dhaunayne gives you: to kill a certain number of vampires from other clans. Each of the vampire clans only has three quests, actually.

- Joseph.

Friday, April 07, 2006 5:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

As I thought.:3

Morrowind Trivia - What is so special about the Prelude Shipwreck?

Friday, April 07, 2006 7:36:00 pm  

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