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, April 07, 2006

Chapter 110: Partner

"Siri, think of it this way: what if you met someone whose job - whose purpose in life - was to kill every high elf he met?"

Sirilonwe and I had been arguing for some time about my... disposal - of the vampire hunter. I was not apologising for what I had done - there was little point. And I was not sorry.

"I would have him thrown in chains - taken away!" She retorted, the shadows under her eyes looking particularly deep. The hour was late. "I would not simply kill him!"

"I think you can see that it cannot be like that for us." I said softly. "What authority would imprison a vampire hunter for attempted genocide? I did it to protect my... the other vampires at..."

And then I had to tell her where I had been for the last few nights. Somehow I had avoided the topic until then, afraid of her reaction to my spending time with other vampires. With good reason, it seemed. She was horrified at my tale of Ashmelech, and of my new 'mother', Dhaunayne Aundae.

Again though, Sirilonwe was prepared to give me a chance where I did not expect I deserved one. I considered myself blessed to have found someone like her.

"You've been in the company of dead things too much in the past weeks, I think... It's time to work again with mortals, Edward. Those... vampires you were with are not going anywhere - and certainly aren't getting any older - and the Temple just sent you out to kill things night after night... It's time to be among us again. Come work with me at the guild."

I think in her mind she wanted to keep an eye on me, and act as a more 'positive influence' on me. I did not mind at all - the idea was much more palatable than the alternative: Sirilonwe leaving me. I agreed right away - to Sirilonwe's relief:

"Good;" she sighed; "let's talk about it more in the morning. I'm tired."

She led the way up the stairwell to my chambers, pulled her dress off on the way to the bed, and was asleep in minutes. I joined her presently (after checking that the shutters and doors were securely closed), and forced myself into sleep.

Over breakfast (Sirilonwe's breakfast, anyway) in Wolfen keep's dining hall, we discussed our plans. While an environment of competition and professional jealousy among Mages Guild members meant that most of those members tended to work alone, it was not unheard of for two or more members to work together. Sirilonwe said she would adjust to sleeping through part of the day so that we could both go out at night, if our allotted tasks required us to go outside.

Sirilonwe having assured me that going to Archmage Trebonius to ask what work we could do was a bad idea, we teleported across to the Ald'ruhn guild hall to see Steward Edwinna Elbert. Edwinna seemed happy to be asked:

"Yes, there is something..." she began, closing the book she had been reading, but leaving a finger in between the pages to keep her place; "a colleague of mine - of ours, I suppose I should say - Senilias Cadiusus, is heading the Imperial research expedition to the 'Nchuleftingth' Dwemer ruin. He is supposed to send a report on the excavation once a month - but this month's report has not arrived... it is long overdue, in fact. I'll need you to travel to Nchuleftingth, and find out what's happening there."

The Steward looked from Sirilonwe to me.

"Going together, are you? Well, Nchuleftingth is in Molag Amur, so two people are certainly safer than one." Edwinna shot me a not-entirely-trusting glance. "Not that you need it, Frost."

As we made to leave, Edwinna drew Sirilonwe aside for a "word in private". Afterwards, Sirilonwe rejoined me with a light frown on her face.

"She does not trust you." She said levelly. "She does not like the idea of us travelling together, alone, in the wilderness."

This was, of course, true of virtually everyone in the guild. No-one really trusted me much anymore.

"Do you think they - she - would trust me if they knew we were together?" I asked quietly.

"I think they would not trust me, if they knew that." Sirilonwe replied darkly, as we prepared to teleport back to Wolfen castle (she had placed her magical Mark in the keep's great hall earlier that morning).

As Steward Edwinna had hinted, the volcanic Molag Amur region was a dangerous place - especially at night. I engaged Sirilonwe in serious conversation about what we would do if we encountered resistance during our travels. She did not seem concerned about the prospect of danger; in actual fact I was surprised to learn that she owned a rare Daedric blade of her own: a wakizashi hidden in her chambers at the Vivec Mages Guild.

"I have not always been a library-bound scholar, Edward." She said with a smirk, at my astonished expression. "You do not even know how old I am!"

This was true. Age was often difficult to judge when it came to elves. She could have been three or four times my own age, for all I knew. I had better sense than to ask her age right then, at least.

So, Sirilonwe had a fine weapon she could lay her hand to, and she assured me that she was an excellent student of the Destruction College of magic - nearly as good as the Archmage, in fact. She did not have any armour hidden away in her chambers, however, so I took her through my small museum of arms and armour to see if we could find something suitable. My collection (all of it functional) had grown considerably in the past months, and now incorporated (among others) Orcish plate, ancient Dwemer armour, the 'Vampire Ancient' armour, the enchanted snow-wolf fur from Solstheim, a few select pieces of Daedric plate, and...

"The glass armour..." Sirilonwe breathed - "that would be perfect."

She chose the green volcanic glass armour: the best 'Light-classification' armour in the museum - and also one of the most rare and expensive sets out of all the armour I owned. The suit was complete save for a pair of bracers or gauntlets and a helmet. I had seen both these things for sale at the Tower of Dusk at Ghostgate (during my visits there on Temple business), but had been unable to really justify the tremendous expense; until Sirilonwe chose the glass armour for her use. She was insistent that we go to Nchuleftingth together, and I would not have her hurt along the way.

So we spent most of the early afternoon discussing precisely what we would do if we were attacked during our journey, while Ulfred fitted Sirilonwe for the glass armour. I also fetched my old water skins from one of the storerooms for Sirilonwe to use. I did not really become thirsty anymore - except (obviously) for blood - so I had not needed them since my change. Sirilonwe slept through the late afternoon, until the sun set, so that she would not be too tired for us to depart that very evening.

After dusk we had ourselves teleported to Ald'ruhn, before setting out for Ghostgate to buy the remaining pieces of the glass armour set. We flew along the steep and winding path between the settlements, Sirilonwe magically empowering her legs to run faster so that she could keep up with me. In the Ashlands at night, especially so close to the Ghostfence and Red Mountain, faster was safer.

The Buoyant Armiger outpost in the Tower of Dusk at Ghostgate never slept. Someone was always on duty to guard the gate against the beasts from Red Mountain. So; there was no trouble purchasing a pair of glass bracers and a helmet from the quartermaster there, especially since I gave the money to Sirilonwe and had her make the transaction. I kept a low profile around Buoyant Armigers. After all, along with the Temple's Ordinators, they were the group responsible - in earlier times - for driving the vampires of Vvardenfell to apparent extinction.

The armour pieces were as expensive as I had remembered: nearly thirteen and a half thousand septims! At least the quartermaster also included his adjustment of the bracers and helmet to fit Sirilonwe in that price.

It was still well before midnight by the time we were finished at Ghostgate, so we decided to make for Nchuleftingth that night. After a great deal of teleporting about (from Ghostgate to Wolfen castle, to the Balmora guild hall, to the Caldera guild hall, and finally to the Telasero stronghold's propylon chamber), we were as close to Nchuleftingth as we were going to get without using our legs. We had discovered earlier that both of us could be sent to the Balmora guild hall by Wolfen castle's 'teleportation pillar': it was as simple as having Sirilonwe hold my hand when I touched the Wolfen ring to the pillar. Both Masalinie (the Balmora guild guide) and my friend Folms were habitual night owls, so they did not mind teleporting us to Caldera and Telasero (respectively).

We did not linger at the Telasero stronghold. I had told Sirilonwe about my previous visit to that awful place... And though I had previously learned from Folms that members of the Temple had been dispatched to cleanse Telasero (in more ways than one), I could still smell the stench of blood, infection and rotting corruption - even from outside. I don't think Sirilonwe could smell it. I would rather have not travelled via Telasero at all, but one of Sirilonwe's maps had shown the precise location of Nchuleftingth - and leaving from Telasero was obviously the most efficient route to take.

In Molag Amur, the night was especially dark. The sky was overcast, and the air permeated by drifting smoke and steam from the bubbling pits of mud dotting the volcanic landscape. I could see much better than Sirilonwe of course, and led her on a safe route through the unstable region. At one point I saw a curious 'beast' (for want of a better word) off in the distance. At first it looked like a pile of boulders, half covered by windblown ash and dirt. As I watched, though, the boulders rose from the ground, ash sloughing off their surfaces as they grouped together into a rough man-shape. The thing lumbered slowly off into the gloom, and I said nothing of it to Sirilonwe.

Apart from a couple of aggressive alit and kagouti, we encountered nothing particularly dangerous on the journey... until we neared Nchuleftingth.

I had just spotted the bulbous top of a Dwemer tower and was turning to tell Sirilonwe when I saw them: two ghostly blue shades with white, indistinct, shimmering scythes. They were standing just behind her, their diffuse, glowing scythes raised to strike.

"Get down!" I shouted, dragging my blade free of its sheath and leaping towards her.


Anonymous DaBigPman said...

Don't die Siri!!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006 12:00:00 am  
Anonymous DaBigPman said...

hey um random....i thought the cure for vampirism by the bouyant armiger was in one of the citadels in Red Mountain. if not i believe it might also be in one of the strongholds.

Saturday, April 08, 2006 12:43:00 am  
Anonymous Constant said...

Ooh, Sirilonwe is a real bad-ass. I wonder if she knows kung fu. :)

Saturday, April 08, 2006 12:57:00 am  
Anonymous Random said...

Dabigpman: I believe it is in Tayaluerin(or something like that) in the Red Mountain Region.

More Trivia: How do you acquire the Belt of God?

Saturday, April 08, 2006 1:29:00 am  
Anonymous JeeBee said...

The Belt of the Armor of God can be acquired by solving the "murders in Vivec" quest. You can choose between some Indoril armour and the belt when you've killed the murderer and return to the captain of the watch.

Saturday, April 08, 2006 6:12:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Frost talked about Siri and him working together I immediately thought that Siri was going to die or have to become a vampire.....that would be an interesting plot change, but her dieing would be too cliche...


Saturday, April 08, 2006 9:04:00 am  
Anonymous Person said...

Ooh... Drama Drama!

So I guess it's safe to say that Sirilonwe is your thrall, Joseph?

Belt of the armor of God? hmm... oh yeah! Now I remember. What are the enchantments again? I've got it tucked away somewhere, can't remember where (too lazy to find :) ).

And BTW, sorry random. I didn't realise that you had posted the answer to my question.

Morrowind Trivia - Who is living in Saint Delyn Canalworks 1?

Saturday, April 08, 2006 12:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

I just thought of something. I read somewhere in-game that Green Volcanic Glass was originally fashioned into Armor by the Altmer, and that the Chimer (Dunmer) then learned the craft from them. No small wonder why Sirilonwe liked the Glass Armor. Probably reminded her of home. :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006 1:22:00 am  
Blogger Joseph said...

Person: Well, Sirilonwe is Edward's thrall, yes - at least in terms of the mechanics of the Vampire Embrace mod. In the story of course, it is different. :-)

"I read somewhere in-game that Green Volcanic Glass was originally fashioned into Armor by the Altmer, and that the Chimer (Dunmer) then learned the craft from them."

I didn't know that. That would make for a good explanation. Really though she just chose it because it was the best suit of light armour there. ;-)

- Joseph.

Sunday, April 09, 2006 3:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Person said...

Yay! Smart fox me like!

Morrowind Trivia - Who lives in Saint Delyn Canalworks South 1?

Sunday, April 09, 2006 6:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Constant said...

If I remember correctly, in St. Delyn Canal South-One lives Ilmeni Dren. You get this 'Twin Lamps' quest from her.

Sunday, April 09, 2006 9:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Siri has glowing eyes on the photos in this post. Are these photos of herself or the other character you are playing and that one is a bit vampy?

Monday, April 10, 2006 9:20:00 pm  
Blogger Joseph Kennedy said...

sirlonwe looks good in the armour...until she puts the helmet on. The glass helmet is probably the worst-looking piece of armour in the game

Thursday, May 08, 2008 11:31:00 pm  

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